In Malaysia, the equivalent term used is Deepavali. I have some Indian friends and I love the colorful kolam the most.|
Reply #2. Aug 12 10, 2:38 AM
In Bengal the people celebrate Kali Puja at the same time, to worship the goddess Kali. And without taking anything away from your detailed explanation, it bears mentioning that Diwali, like Christmas, Hanukkah and other holidays is a holiday that celebrates light during the part of the year when many parts of the world receive the least amount of daily sunlight. Coincidence? Probably not.|
Reply #3. Aug 12 10, 9:22 PM
Almost certainly not a coincidence. The winter solstice (northern hemisphere) is the time when the darkness starts to decease, and the light returns. What better time to celebrate the light?|
Reply #4. Aug 12 10, 11:01 PM
In the Philippines, New Year's Day is a public holiday. |
According to Wikipedia, it is traditionally celebrated with the family in or outside the house. The year is greeted on the Bisperas ng Bagong Taon/Noche vieja (New Year's Eve) with a lavish feast, called media noche (literally, "middle of the night"). Round shaped foods, sticky or glutinous rice based foods, and various 12 round shaped fruits for each of the months of the year are served. Traditionally, Filipinos, Chinese, and Spaniards stay at home, the latter serving parties lavishly, which almost always includes a lechón (suckling roasted pig). However, more and more of the younger generation and the recent immigrants such as Americans have popularized the celebration of the New Year in grand hotels, restaurants, in parks, and in streets. Children light firecrackers such as watusi or the sinturon ni Hudas (Judas' belt), while adults spend the night recollecting the year, and, in many families, involves a Bible reading.
I am intrigued to read that New Year's Eve is also a public holiday when it comes between Rizal Day, celebrated on the Monday nearest December 30, and New Year's Day. Rizal Day commemorates the anniversary of the death of the national hero Jose Rizal. I won't try to summarize his legend - you can read about it here:
Reply #5. Aug 13 10, 12:30 AM
If you're riding through Manitoba, Canada you'll find that we generally manage to get one paid holiday every month! |
January - New Year's Day
February - Louis Riel Day, the third Monday in February, to celebrate Louis Riel, the Father of Manitoba. Other provinces have a holiday in February, too. In Ontario its Family Day and in Saskatchewan its Heritage day.
March - usually Good Friday/Easter
April - ditto
May - Manitoba Day - May 12 (celebrating Manitoba's entry into Confederatiion in 1870)
- Victoria Day - May 24 (Canada must be the last country in the world to celebrate Queen Victoria's birthday. This is also the official start to the Canadian summer!)
July 1 - Canada Day - celebrating Canada's birthday - we became an independent dominion in 1867, the first Commonwealth country to achieve independent status.
August - The first Monday in Aiugust is a hliday in Manitoba (and pretty well acrosss Canada).
September - the first weekend in September celebrates Labour Day and is another long weekend
October - second weekend is Thanksgiving, and is a long weekend. We also do Hallowe'en on October 31, but that's not a day off from work.
November - Remembrance Day, November 11, when we honour our war dead.
December - Christmas.
June is the only month when we don't get to frolic, and also either March or April, depending on when Easter falls.
Reply #7. Aug 13 10, 9:44 AM
I remember growing up with acres of holidays to celebrate in the USA, but the one that is the least international is Halloween. You occasionally see half-hearted attempts to celebrate Halloween in Melbourne, but nothing like the block parties of my childhood, when everyone roamed the streets collecting treats from the neighborhood houses. Of course, we all knew which houses had our friends' families, who would be guaranteed to have treats for us, just as our parents had a large supply for those who visited our house. And those dark fall nights were illuminated by jack o-lanterns in every window, lovingly prepared as a way of keeping the kids occupied and reducing their anticipatory hysteria during the days leading up to the big night. |
The roots of Halloween are (probably, mostly) Celtic, brought to the United States by European settlers, who replaced the Celtic carved turnip with the new-world pumpkins now considered traditional.
Reply #9. Aug 15 10, 12:19 AM
The biggest holiday in my hometown of Greenbelt, Maryland, was Labor Day, which is celebrated in early September. We had a big parade with marching bands and beauty queens in convertibles. The Lion's Club prepared a pancake breakfast for the whole town. It was small town America at it's best and I do miss it.|
Reply #10. Aug 15 10, 6:43 AM
Halloween has become more of a celebration in the UK, probably over the last 30 years. The supermarkets stock costumes and mock lanterns and the children do come knocking on the door for sweets. |
Reply #11. Aug 15 10, 7:37 AM
Today we are visiting Mali, where my birthday is a public holiday! But not for that reason.|
On March 22, 1991 soldiers trying to quell a protest demonstration shot over 300 of the demonstrators in the capital city of Bamako, under orders from Moussa Traore, then the head of govenrment in Mali. On March 26 he was subsequently deposed by a military coup. March 26 is a national public holiday in Mali referred to as Martyrs' Day. It is celebrated with speeches and laying of wreathes on the Martyrs' Monument in Bamako.
Not exactly a party hat day, but a significant one for the people of Mali.
Reply #12. Aug 16 10, 12:26 AM
Palau spent some time (x to x) under the control of the USA. One of the residual products of this is the fact that Thanksgiving is a national public holiday in Palau, celebrated on the last Thursday in November. (I love that unusual definition for the time of a holiday - most are something like 'the first Tuesday' (when the Melbourne Cup is run, and Victorians have a state holiday); this definition will sometimes be the fourth Thursday, sometimes the fifth).|
I have not been able to track down any specific details of how Thanksgiving Day is celebrated in Palau, but I am fairly confident that a big meal of roast turkey with all the trimmings, including cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie, is NOT part of the tradition of a Pacific island country. Does anyone know any details?
Reply #13. Aug 17 10, 3:33 AM
As is the case in many countries where Islam is the dominant religion, Eid al-Fitr (End of Ramadan) is an important festival in Bahrain. It is celebrated over three days, starting on the first day of Shawwal, the month that follows Ramadan. Since Ramadan is a month of fasting, the celebrations for its ending often include family meals, as well as special prayer services, for which one wears one’s best, preferably new, clothes. Because the Islamic calendar is a lunar calendar, the actual dates of Eid al-Fitr vary from year to year, and are occassionally the subject if international debate as to exactly when the newmonth starts.|
Reply #14. Aug 18 10, 1:46 AM
Dragon Boat Festivals are also held regularly in the UK, often as a 'teambuilding' exercise. They don't seem to be limited to a specific date as I've found one due to be held in Cambridge in September.|
Reply #16. Aug 19 10, 7:41 AM
Here in Tuvalu, the Prince of Wales's birthday is a national holiday. Elizabeth II is the reigning monarch, and Charles is the heir apparent, so he gets a national holiday on 11 November! The queen's official birthday is also celebrated on the second Saturday in June. Independence Day is celebrated over two days, on 1 and 2 October. |
Reply #17. Aug 20 10, 2:04 AM
Lesotho celebrates a number of holidays, including Moshoeshoe's Day on March 12. This is celebrated by schoolchildren, who prepare throughout the year for choir and sports competitions. the date commemorates the death of King Moshoeshoe (c. 1786-1870), who led the fight against colonial invasion of his country. In 1869 he signed a treaty with the British that effectively established the future area of Basutoland, later Lesotho. His death in 1870 is considered to mark the change from the traditional period of Lesotho's history to the modern colonial period. The international airport of Lesotho's capital, Maseru, is named after him.|
Reply #18. Aug 21 10, 3:33 AM
As is the case in many Caribbean countries, Carnival is a major celebration in Antigua and Barbuda. On the island of Antigua, it is celebrated in late July, ending on the first Tuesday in August. The timing is to make it a celebration of the abolition of slavery in the British West Indies. Most of the celebrations take place in the capital of St. John's, and include street parades featuring elaborate costumes, calypso and steel drum music, and street dancing. On the first Monday in August, thousands of celebrants poiut into the streets at the amazing hour of 4:00am for 'J'Ouvert', the climactic street party. |
The island of Barbuda celebrates its version of Carnival, Carobana, in June. Some of the smaller islands hold Carnival celebrations to coincide with the beginning of Lent, in February.
Reply #19. Aug 22 10, 1:46 AM
On January 9 Panama celebrates Martyrs' Day. This holiday commemorates the day in 1964 when 200 Panamanian high school students marched to Balboa High School in the United States' Canal Zone, protesting the raising of the US flag by students at that high school, and demanding that the Panama flag be raised beside the US flag. There was a struggle, flags got torn, angry crowds assembled to support both sides, and the Panama National Guard was called in. Before things settled down, 22 people were killed and 500 wounded. |
As another note of interest, Panama celebrates Mothers Day on December 8. It is interesting that the date of celebration is not defined, as is usual in most countries, as being a specific Sunday (e.g., second Sunday in May) but with a fixed date.
Reply #20. Aug 23 10, 4:37 AM
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