Category Archives: Festivals

Highlights of Hungary from the Smithsonian Folklife Festival 2013

This year’s country for the Smithsonian Folklife Festival was Hungary. The focus was on eight regions of the country and folk art and traditions from these regions. Some of the highlights include wood working; textiles, including flower embroidery from Kalocsa, … Continue reading

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Pushkar: Camel Fair

Pushkar is a small Rajasthani town that is known for its Brahma temple, one of the few in the world, and for the camel fair. Once a year, around the full moon in the Hindu month of Kartika (October or … Continue reading

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Diwali in Delhi

        Nov. 15, was the last day of the 5-day Diwali, festival of lights, celebration in India. (See http://www.planetvisioncreation.com/culturequest/archives/222). I’ve been in India since the beginning and have experienced an even more extreme expression of Indian culture … Continue reading

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The Azores

The Azores, a group of nine volcanic islands in the Atlantic, are an autonomous region of Portugal about 950 miles west of its coastline. The islands are divided into three groups: The Western group: Corvo and Flores; the Eastern group: … Continue reading

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African-Influenced Winter Holidays

Kwanzaa (Dec. 26­–Jan. 1) Beginnings Kwanzaa is a U.S. celebration honoring African-American heritage and culture. The name Kwanzaa comes from the Swahili phrase “matunda ya kwanza” meaning first fruits of the harvest. The holiday was started in 1966 by Maulana … Continue reading

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Day of the Dead in Latin America

Day of the Dead, or Día de los Muertos, is a holiday for remembering deceased family and friends that is celebrated throughout Latin America and around the world in countries influenced by Mexican culture. Additionally, many Asian, African, and European … Continue reading

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Diwali—Hindu Festival of Lights

Diwali (or Devali or Deepavali), which means “array of lights” or “row of lamps”, is a major Hindu festival. It takes place every year for 5 days at the full moon between mid-October and mid-November.  This year, October 24–28. It … Continue reading

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Chinese Lantern Festivals

Chinese have celebrated lantern festivals since the Han Dynasty (206–221 A.D.) . These important Chinese holidays fall under two categories: winter and mid-autumn. The winter festival takes place the first day of the first lunar month, which is usually in … Continue reading

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Oktoberfest

  Oktoberfest, the 16­­–18-day beer festival in Munich, Germany, is held every year from late September to the first weekend in October. It’s considered the world’s largest fair—with over 5 million people each year. This week, to observe the many … Continue reading

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