So, I really to fix my schedule for my posts. Note to self, get focused on this!
Anyway, I figured hey, it’s summer, we should be going on a vacation, going to exotic lands, not stuck in a job or away from family. Summer is supposed to be a time to relax and have fun. So, since I feel that is the case, I have decided to write about a couple of the best festivals around the world that you should visit during. A quick note, these are not all during the summer but rather all through the year so you can have some fun times all year round.
First is the festival that brought up this conversation at work yesterday, which is the Mexican festival of Día de los Muértos. Otherwise known as Day of the Dead in the English-speaking world, this festival is celebrated in late October in the Oaxaca region of Mexico. This, in my opinion is one of the most well-known aspects of Mexican culture. During day of the dead, Mexican families gather together to honor their dead ancestors, clean their family graves or tombs, and celebrate the passing into the next life. This is also widely believed that during this time of year during this festival, the dead family members return to the earth to watch over their families and accept offerings of food, candy, and other things that the family member loved. While this festival may seem odd or even morbid in the western world, it is viewed to be a very joyous occasion in Mexican culture. Death is viewed positively in their part of the world, viewing at as another adventure or journey, even going so far to say it is the next great step in life.
If you visit during the day of the dead, expect a lot of color and a very rambunctious group of people. All I can say is to have fun and be safe. Enjoy the festivities and take in the sights because this truly is a great time to visit. This time of year, in that part of the world has great food, sights and many more things that I think each of you should check out sometime. One thing I suggest though. If you ever visit, buy a Calavera, otherwise known as a sugar skull.
Hands with the Holi colors, India
My next big festival is the Holi Festival in India. The Holi Festival ( होली महोत्सव ) is a festival that takes place all over India sometime in the first week of March. This is known around the world as the festival of color and is one of the most known images of India. If you have ever been to a color run, imagine that but an entire city participating. Giant cities such as Mumbai or even cities here in the USA take part in these Hindu festivals. Basically, to be covered in color during the festival is celebrating the love between the gods Krishna and Radha who fell in love despite their age or social status. The different colors have different meanings as well. Red reflects Love and Fertility, Blue is the skin color of Krishna, yellow is the color of turmeric, and green symbolizes spring and new beginnings. I wrote a bit about this festival in my What If about India so if you are interested in travelling to the subcontinent then check it out.
Mooncakes during the Mid- Autumn Festival
Lastly is the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival. The Mid-Autumn Festival (中秋節 or 中秋节) is a harvest festival that is celebrated in the same time of year as the day of the dead. Chinese from all over the world celebrate these days as if they were back home in china. This was also a celebration that we had during the first semester of my Chinese class in college. Basically, each day has a different theme, each with a different meaning and way of celebrating. I forget which days are which so bear with me on this. One such day is a day you spend at a local shrine or place of worship, another you celebrate you family members, live or dead, and the last day is the lantern festival, where people send floating lantern into the sky and sent lantern ships down local streams and rivers. This is a festival I would love to go visit, mostly due to the fact that it rivals Chinese New Year on its festivities. There are also many legends and stories that derive from these festivities they are a lot of fun the read about so I would say to check the out. One thing I must warn you about is the mooncake. I compare it to the fruitcake during Christmas, everyone has them and eats them, but nobody wants them. They are basically a lotus paste exterior with a raw egg in the center. The rounded cakes are supposed to symbolize a full moon. Beware though, these things are very, very pricey. Don’t believe me, look it up.
Well, that is all the holidays that I have for you today. I hope you guys enjoyed (I know I did). If you did don’t forget to like and subscribe down below. My Facebook page is very active and so you will get new links and locations just about every day on there. You can find that below. Thank you, guys, and I will see you all tomorrow!
Ni Mingtian Jian!
Photo Credit: Dia de los Muertos: http://mundowallpaperlp.blogspot.com/2013/10/wallpapers-de-dia-de-muertos.html
Mid-Autumn Festival: http://www.bridgeschinesenetwork.com/celebrating-the-mid-autumn-festival-2/