Category Archives: Today’s Holiday

Rama Leela Festival

The Hindu festival of Dussehra, observed on the 10th day of the waxing half of Asvina, celebrates the victory of the legendary hero Rama over the demon Ravana. The Rama Leela (or Ramalila) is a cycle of pageant plays based on the Hindu epic, Ramayana, which details the life and heroic deeds of Rama. Around the time of Dussehra, therefore, the Rama Leela is performed in towns and cities through northern India. The performances last between seven and 31 days, during which the Ramayana is constantly recited to the accompaniment of music. Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Texas Rose Festival

This annual tribute to roses is held in Tyler, Texas, the center of the region that produces more than a third of the field-grown roses in the United States. Tyler’s Municipal Rose Garden, one of the largest rose gardens in the country, covers 14 acres and has some 30,000 rose bushes. They blossom among pines, fountains, gazebos, and archways. The festival features the coronation of a Rose Queen, a rose show, a parade of floats decorated with roses, and tours of the rose gardens. There are also arts and crafts shows, a square-dance festival, and a symphony concert. Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Nagoya Festival

An annual secular festival in Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture, Japan, the Nagoya Festival was started by the city’s merchants in 1955 to give thanks for their prosperity. It features a parade of about 700 participants depicting historical figures in period costume, among them Oda Nobunaga, Toyotomi Hideyoshi, and Tokugawa Ieyasu, the three feudal warlords who unified the country at the end of the 16th century. Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Keene Pumpkin Festival

Every year since 1991, the town of Keene, New Hampshire, has held the Pumpkin Festival, in which tens of thousands of carved and lit pumpkins are displayed on scaffolding standing some 50 feet high. The scaffolding is arranged as walls and as four massive towers, and pumpkins are carved and displayed in rows thereon. In the evening, candles are lit within each pumpkin to form great flickering orange walls that light up the crowds. Related activities include the largest children’s costume parade in New England, a pumpkin pie eating contest, and a pumpkin seed spitting contest. Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Europalia

Since its founding in 1969, the European arts festival known as Europalia has presented a comprehensive survey of the diverse cultural and artistic aspects of a specific country. The first several festivals were devoted to European cultures, but in 1989 the decision was made to devote the festival to a major culture from outside Europe. Most of the festival events take place in Brussels, which include art, photography, and craft exhibitions; theater, dance, and orchestral performances; literary and scientific colloquia; and film retrospectives. Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

International Cervantes Festival

Spanish novelist, poet, and playwright Miguel de Cervantes (1547-1616), best known for Don Quixote (1605), is honored in a three-week festival held in Guanajuato, Mexico, featuring orchestral music, opera, theater, dance, film and folklore. Although most festival events are held in the Teatro Juarez and the Teatro Principal, amateur Mexican actors often give street performances of Cervantes’s famous one-act plays in the Plaza de San Roque. Various musical performances are a popular attraction, as are art exhibits, children’s theater, and folkloric dance ensembles. Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Svetitskhovloba

Built in the 11th century, the Svetitskhoveli Cathedral is located in the historical town of Mtskheta in Georgia. It is one of the principal worship sites of the Georgian Orthodox faith and has also inspired a major Georgian Orthodox holiday, Svetitskhovloba, which is celebrated two days of the year, July 13 and October 14. Svetitskhovloba pays homage to this cathedral, as well as to the relic that it is believed to hold: the cloak of Christ. Pilgrims from Georgia and other nearby countries congregate for a mass baptism at the junction of the Aragvi and Kura rivers. Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Pack Monday Fair

The Pack Monday Fair, which used to be called St. Michael‘s Fair because it is held on the Monday following Old Michaelmas Day, is held in Sherborne, England. It begins shortly after midnight on Sunday, when a band of young people lock arms and march through the streets of Sherborne blowing bugles, horns, and whistles, and banging metal pots, tea-trays, and garbage can lids together. Locals call this noise-making brigade “Teddy Roe’s Band,” a tradition that has persisted for several centuries even though town authorities have tried to stamp it out. Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Italian Heritage Parade

Since 1869, the city of San Francisco has hosted the annual Italian Heritage Parade in the heavily Italian North Beach area. After services at the Church of Saints Peter and Paul, the parade wends its way from Fisherman’s Wharf down Columbus Avenue to Washington Square Park. Floats and marching bands from local organizations make up the procession. Every year, young girls are chosen from the community to serve as Queen Isabella and her court, named after the Spanish queen who financed Columbus’s historic expedition. Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary