In the United States, our big national holiday is, of course, the 4th of July. We celebrate the day of our independence, first forged in 1776. We also celebrate lots of other holidays throughout the year. Every country around the world has its own special holidays they are known for. Check out these unique and fun holidays that are celebrated elsewhere.
Chinese New Year
As the most significant of the traditional Chinese holidays, this is also known as the Spring Festival. It is celebrated from Chinese New Year’s Day, which is the first day of the first month of the Chinese calendar, to the Lantern Festival on the 15th day of the first month. Thus, it is known as the longest on the Chinese calendar. Colorful parades in the streets punctuate this most special of Chinese holidays, highlighted by spectators, dancers, dragons, lanterns and much more.
Chinese Lantern Festival
The Lantern Festival is celebrated on the 15th day of the first Chinese lunar month and it ends the Chinese New Year period and celebrations. The festival is celebrated all across China in a variety of ways including lighting and enjoying lanterns. Whether they’re floating, fixed, held or flying lanterns – it’s the most widely celebrated custom during the festival. Some celebrations include setting off fireworks, dragon dances, guessing riddles written on the lanterns and walking on stilts!
Also known as the festival of lights, Diwali is a five-day Hindu festival beginning on Dhanteras and ending on Bhaubeej: between the middle of October and the middle of November. It is indeed an official holiday in India, Malaysia, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Fiji, Myanmar, Mauritius, Guyana, Trinidad & Tobago, Suriname, and Singapore. Hindus consider this the most important festival of the year. It’s like our Thanksgiving, in that is celebrates the harvest before the winter hits. In terms of importance, however, it’s on par with Christmas here in the United States. People celebrate with clay lamps, family parties, bonfires, electric lights, and flowers.
Dia de los Muertos
The Day of the Dead is celebrated in Mexico and Central America on November 1. The day is to honor and celebrate the deceased family members. It is believed that the spirits of the dead can come back on November 1st for family reunions. Different families will celebrate by setting up special altars in their homes to commemorate their loved ones while others will place flowers and candles on their loved one’s graves. In addition, the day is celebrated with special gatherings, music and plenty of delicious food!
La Semana Santa
Easter and the Holy Week is observed in Spain, Mexico and Latin America. Easter is considered one of the holiest days of the year, so the week leading up to Easter is filled with different celebrations and activities in preparation for the rebirth of Jesus. The week consists of masses, prayers, and solemn processions.
This is Rio de Janeiro’s claim to fame. This world-famous festival takes place just before Lent and has the distinction of being the biggest carnival in the world. In fact, two million people crowd the streets every day. The first festival took place as far back as 1823, and is still going strong today marked by spectators, food, dancers, floats and adornments.
If you’re headed to any of these exotic places around the world to celebrate a festival, you should know the local language first. Let BRIC Language Systems show you the most effective way to learn languages like Mandarin Chinese and Brazilian Portuguese.