Category Archives: Today’s Holiday

Salzburg Festival

Although the Salzburg Festival features musical events by a wide variety of composers and performances by internationally celebrated musicians, conductors and singers, the festival has always paid special homage to Mozart. The festival takes place at the end of July and through most of August at different venues throughout Salzburg—most of the operatic and large orchestral pieces are performed in the Festspielhaus, chamber music concerts are usually given in the hall of the Mozarteum, and the Residenz is the scene for serenade concerts held by candlelight. Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Estonia Restoration of Independence Day

In the 20th century, Estonia was a sovereign state from 1919 to 1940. At that time, it was forced to become a socialist republic of the Soviet Union. Then, in 1991, the Soviet Union collapsed, and on August 20 of that year, Estonia formally re-established its independence. Throughout 2008, the country celebrated its 90th anniversary as a republic. This is one of three days on which the national flag must be hoisted on state buildings, along with Victory Day (June 23) and Independence Day (February 24). Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Payson Rodeo "August Doin's"

The Payson Rodeo is a rodeo, parade, and general Wild West three-day weekend in the cowboy-and-cattle country of Payson, Arizona. The first Payson rodeo was held in 1885, and it’s been held ever since with no interruptions, not even for war, making it the world’s oldest continuous Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association rodeo. Events of the weekend include the parade with floats, dancers, and cowboys, country music, a chili cookout, and arts and crafts. Total attendance is usually about 30,000. Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Mohegan Wigwam Festival

This Mohegan festival, which takes place in Uncasville, Connecticut, has evolved from the pre-Columbian thanksgiving ceremony held by the Indians to thank their creator for the corn harvest. The Wigwam Festival, now billed as a “homecoming”—a time for Mohegan Indians living in all parts of the world to come home and renew their roots—is an opportunity to conduct tribal business, such as the installation of new chieftains and medicine women, and to update one another on tribal matters. Other events include traditional dancing, storytelling, and arts and crafts displays. Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Dominican Republic Restoration Day

During the 19th century, the Dominican Republic won its autonomy from Haiti, only to lose it again over a decade later to Spain. The country reclaimed its freedom after winning a two-year-long war with Spain in 1865. Restoration Day commemorates the official beginning of the War of Restoration in 1863. Celebrations take place throughout the island, but the most prominent celebrations are in Santo Domingo and the other main city, Santiago. Customary festivities include parades, street fairs, and performances of the national anthem and other compositions. Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Nag Panchami

This Hindu festival is dedicated to the sacred serpent, on whose coils Vishnu rested while he was creating the universe. According to Hindu belief, snakes can bring wealth and rain, and unhappy ones can cause a home to collapse. Therefore milk and flowers are offered to snakes, especially cobras; snake deities; or painted snake images at shrines. Because snakes are also worn by Shiva, hundreds of snakes are released at the Shiva temples in Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh, where Shiva lived after destroying a demon, and in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, considered the religious capital of the Hindu faith. Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Torta dei Fieschi

When Count Fieschi of Lavagna in Genoa, Italy, was married in 1240, he invited his guests—and everyone else in town—to share a cake that was more than 30 feet high. The citizens of Lavagna haven’t forgotten his generosity, and each year they celebrate the event on August 14. Dressed in costumes, they parade to the town square, where they pin to their clothes a piece of paper (blue for men, white for women) on which a word is written. When they find someone wearing the same word, the couple is given a piece of “Fieschi’s cake.” Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Zimbabwe Heroes' Day

To honor those members of the armed forces who gave their lives to defend Zimbabwe, the nation holds an annual day of remembrance for them on August 9. Celebrations are held at the National Heroes Acre in the capital city of Harare. Families of the dead lay wreaths on the graves, and the country’s president visits each grave and speaks with the families. Young people march from the center of the city to the site, singing revolutionary songs as they march, and schoolchildren recite poems about revolutionary struggle. Similar ceremonies are held throughout the country. Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Goschenhoppen Historians' Folk Festival

The Goschenhoppen region of Pennsylvania, in what is now Montgomery County, was settled in the early 18th century mostly by German immigrants. The Goschenhoppen Historians, a group founded in 1963 to study and preserve the culture of the Pennsylvania German, also known as the Pennsylvania Dutch, hold an annual Folk Festival at Goschenhoppen Park in East Greenville every summer to educate the public about life in this area during the 18th and 19th centuries and to preserve the traditional skills of the Pennsylvania German people. Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Puck Fair

A traditional gathering that dates back hundreds of years, Puck Fair is a three-day event held in Killorglin in County Kerry, Ireland. A large male goat is decorated with ribbons and paraded through the streets on the first day, which is known as Gathering Day. The goat, known as King Puck, presides over the fair from his “throne,” an enclosure on a three-story platform in the town square. The main event of the second day, known as Puck’s Fair Day, is a livestock show. On the third day, known as Scattering Day, King Puck is led out of town to the accompaniment of traditional Irish music. Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary