Category Archives: Today’s Holiday

October Horse Sacrifice

In ancient Rome, a chariot race was held in the Field of Mars on October 15. After the race was over, the right-hand horse of the winning chariot was killed as a sacrifice to Mars. There was a fight between the inhabitants of two different quarters of the city to see who could seize the head and place it in a designated spot. As soon as the tail was cut off, it was rushed to the king’s hearth so that the blood would fall on the hearth. The rest of the blood was preserved until April 21, when it was mixed in a special ceremony and given to shepherds to burn to purify their flocks. Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Sukkot

In the Biblical account of their escape from Egypt, the Jews, led by Moses, wandered in the desert for 40 years. For much of the time they lived in huts, or sukkot, made of wooden frames covered with branches or hay. The festival of Sukkot commemorates this period in Jewish history. The traditional way of observing Sukkot is to build a sukkah and live in it during the seven-day festival. A major part of the festival is the four species: a palm branch, citron, three myrtle twigs, and two willow branches. These are tied together and waved at different points in the service. Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Festivals Acadiens

Festivals Acadiens is a combination of several festivals (food, music, crafts, and more) to celebrate Cajun culture in Lafayette, Louisiana. The Bayou Food Festival offers a range of Cajun cooking from crawfish gumbo to alligator sausage to corn maque-chou. The Louisiana Crafts Festival features handmade Cajun crafts and demonstrations by blacksmiths, decoy carvers, alligator skinners, and storytellers. The Festival de Musique Acadienne features centuries-old music sung in French. Lectures and workshops on the Acadian language and history are also part of the weekend. Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Ironman Triathlon Championships

This grueling international athletic contest has been held since 1978 in Hawaii on Hawaii Island. It consists of a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bicycle race, and, for the final leg, a standard 26.2-mile marathon run. Close to 2,000 stout-hearted men and women participate, preceding the races with a Thursday night party in which they stoke up on carbohydrates. Cash prizes are now awarded at a banquet the day after the triathlon. The event is scheduled for the Saturday nearest the full moon in October so that more beach is exposed at low tide, and there is more light from the moon at night. Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

General Pulaski Memorial Day

Count Casimir Pulaski first arrived in America in 1777 to help General George Washington and the Continental Army overthrow the British. It was on October 11, 1779, that the Polish count died while trying to free Savannah, Georgia, from British control. The president of the United States proclaims October 11 as Pulaski Day each year, and it is observed with parades and patriotic exercises in communities in Georgia, Indiana, Nebraska, and Wisconsin. The biggest Pulaski Day parade takes place in New York City on the first Sunday in October. Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Han'gul Day

This day commemorates the invention of the Korean alphabet by scholars under the direction of King Sejong of the Yi Dynasty in 1446. The day is celebrated with Confucian rituals and Choson-period court dances performed at Yongnung, the king’s tomb, in Yoju, Kyonggi. Yoju also stages the King Sejong Cultural Festival, with chanting and processions at Shilluksa Temple, farmers’ dances, games such as tug of war, and a lantern parade. In some areas, there are calligraphy contests for both children and adults. Ceremonies are also held at the King Sejong Memorial Center near Seoul. Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

World Space Week

In 1999 the United Nations designated October 4 through October 10 as World Space Week. The week celebrates the contributions that space science and technology have made to improving life on Earth. October 4 was chosen to commemorate the former U.S.S.R.‘s October 4, 1957, launch of Sputnik, the first manmade satellite in space. October 10 honors the 1967 signing of the U.N. Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space. Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Middfest International

Middletown, Ohio, is home to the annual festival of international culture known as Middfest. Designed to promote world understanding, friendship, and peace, the festival highlights the culture of a different country each year. Performers, artists, and dignitaries from the featured country come to Middletown and stay with local families. Included in the celebration are museum-quality exhibits, ethnic dances, and menus from all over the world. Lectures, workshops, films, and special interest activities are also scheduled throughout Middfest weekend. Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Festival of the Nine Imperial Gods

As celebrated today in Singapore, the Festival of the Nine Imperial Gods begins with a procession to a body of water. There a Taoist priest prays for the spirits of the Gods to enter an urn of burning incense. The procession then carries the urn to a temple, where worshippers can bring offerings. Outside the Tou Mu Kong temple, near Kangkar, Singapore, people are informed of the Gods’ presence by the raising of nine oil lamps dangling from a bamboo pole. On the ninth day, the urn is placed in a small boat to carry the Gods back to the heavens. Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Nigeria National Day

Also known as Independence Day, this national holiday commemorates the autonomy of Nigeria that officially began October 1, 1960, after being under British control since 1900. Nigeria became a federal republic with a new constitution on October 1, 1963. In 1966 some military officers staged a coup and ruled until other army officers overthrew them in 1975. Civilian rule was restored on the anniversary of freedom, October 1, 1979. The city of Lagos was the capital until 1986, when the government center moved to Abuja. Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary