Category Archives: Today’s Holiday

St. John's Eve (Denmark)

Known in Denmark as Sankt Hans Aften, St. John‘s Eve occurs near the longest day of the year and therefore is an occasion for national rejoicing. Huge bonfires light up the night sky for miles around. Along the coast, fires are built on the beach or shore. People go out in their boats to watch them burn and to sing romantic songs. Sometimes there are speeches, singing games, dances, and fireworks as well. Midsummer Eve is also a popular time for Danes to leave their year-round homes and go to vacation cottages on the coast. Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Bawming the Thorn Day

This is the day on which people in Appleton, Cheshire, England, celebrate the centuries-old tradition of bawming the thorn, or decorating the hawthorn tree that stands in the center of their town. Children dance around the tree after draping its branches with flowers, flags, and ribbons. According to local legend, the original hawthorn tree was planted there in 1125 by a returning crusader. It was thought to have been a cutting from the hawthorn allegedly planted in Glastonbury, England, by Joseph of Arimathea, who buried Jesus after his crucifixion. Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Ysyakh

This is a celebration of the midnight sun, observed in the Yakut region in the northeastern part of Russia on and around the Summer Solstice. In 1992 the Yakut Autonomous Soviet Republic became the Republic of Sakha (the Yakut people‘s name for themselves) within the Russian Federation. The festivities during Ysyakh include foot races, horse races, and often sled dog and reindeer races. Folk dancing and feasting—primarily on boiled beef and kumiss, or fermented mare’s milk—complete the celebration, which often goes on all night. Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Royal Ascot

The racecourse on Ascot Heath in Berkshire, England, is the site of a world-famous horse race that was initiated in 1711 by Queen Anne. The Royal Ascot race meeting goes on for four days in June each year and culminates in the event known as the Ascot Gold Cup. A major social and fashion event as well as a sporting one, the Royal Ascot race is usually attended by the British sovereign and receives widespread media coverage. It has even given its name to a type of broad neck-scarf traditionally worn by well-dressed English gentlemen at the races. Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Medora Musical

Every night from mid-June through Labor Day in Medora, North Dakota, there is a musical extravaganza known as the Medora Musical—a patriotic song-and-dance salute to Theodore (“Teddy”) Roosevelt and his Rough Riders. The musical is performed in a natural amphitheater featuring an outdoor escalator to get people to their seats. The colorful buttes and ravines of the Badlands form a dramatic backdrop for the Broadway-class variety show. Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

National Agriculture Fair at Santarem

The most important agricultural fair in Portugal is held for 10 days in June each year at Santarém, capital of the rich agricultural province of Ribatejo. Although the focus of the Ribatejo Fair is on farming and livestock breeding, there is also a colorful program of bullfighting, folk singing, and dancing, as well as a procession of campinos, or bull-herders. Many other European countries exhibit farm animals and machinery at the Feira Nacional de Agricultura. Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Sprangprocession (Dancing Procession)

The Sprangprocession in Luxembourg has been held on Whit Tuesday, which falls 52 days after Easter, since the eighth century. It honors St. Willibrord (St. Wilfred), the patron saint of Luxembourg. The dance that is performed by thousands of participants in the procession through the narrow streets of Echternach has remained basically unchanged, and local bands play the same melody that was played more than 500 years ago. The procession ends up in the basilica, where the remains of St. Willibrord are buried. Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Time Observance Day

Emperor Tenchi (or Tenji) of Japan (626-671) is credited with making the first water clock, a device that measured time by the amount of water leaking out of a vessel. The Japanese honor their 38th emperor on June 10, the day on which he first ordered the hour to be announced by sounding temple bells and drums. The Rokoku Festival, or Water Clock Festival, is held on this day at the Omi Jingu Shrine in the city of Otsu, Shiga Prefecture, where the emperor’s water clock is housed. Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Pentecost

As recorded in the New Testament in Acts 2, it was on the 50th day after Easter that the Apostles were praying together and the Holy Spirit descended on them in the form of tongues of fire, and they received the “gift of tongues”—the ability to speak in other languages. The English call it White Sunday, or Whitsunday, after the white garments worn on Pentecost by the newly baptized. In Germany it is called Pfingsten, and pink and red peonies, called Pfingstrosen, or “Whitsun roses,” are the symbols along with birch trees. Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary