Category Archives: Today’s Holiday

Battle of Olustee Reenactment

The Battle of Olustee Reenactment commemorates the largest battle in Florida during the Civil War. A Confederate victory, the Battle of Olustee was fought on February 20, 1864, and a reenactment has taken place on a February weekend each year since 1977 in Lake City, Florida. Associated events include a beauty pageant, history displays and lectures, a music festival, an arts and crafts fair, Blue-Grey 5K and 1-Mile Fun Runs, and a Blue/Grey Square Dance. The Battle Reenactment, with about 2,000 reenactors, is the largest annual Civil War reenactment in the Southeast. Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Kamakura Matsuri

Kamakura Matsuri is held in northern Japan in the Akita Prefecture, at the time of year when there is usually deep snow on the ground. In Yokote and other towns of the region, children build Kamakura, snow houses that resemble igloos. They furnish the huts with tatami mats and a wooden altar dedicated to Suijin-sama and have parties in them, while families gather to drink sweet sake and eat rice cakes and fruits. The rice cakes are made in the shape of cranes and turtles, traditional symbols of longevity, and of dogs called inukko, thought to guard against devils. Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Great Backyard Bird Count

The Great Backyard Bird Count takes place every year over four days in mid-February throughout the United States and Canada. Volunteers of all ages and experience, known as “citizen scientists,” spend at least 15 minutes counting birds from any location. Then they report the number of birds and species they have seen via the Internet. This gives scientists a real-time portrait of which birds are where in North America. The event was launched in 1998 by the National Audubon Society and the Cornell University Ornithology Lab. Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Frederick Douglass Day

Each year on February 14, Frederick Douglass‘s birthday is commemorated with a ceremony at the Frederick Douglass National Historic Site in Washington, D.C. The event features speakers on human rights, recitations of excerpts from Douglass’s speeches, music performances, and a wreath-laying ceremony. Activities, including lectures, readings from his works, and film presentations about his life, are also planned in New Bedford, in Rochester, N.Y., where Douglass’s grave is located, and in many other locations throughout the country. Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Lim Festival

The Lim Festival is an alternating-song contest, held in the commune of Lung Giang, about 18 miles from Hanoi, in the Bac Ninh Province of Vietnam. This is a courtship event, in which girls and boys of different villages carry on a singing courtship dialogue. The singers take part in what is a vocal contest with set rules; one melody, for example, can only be used for two verses of the song. The storylines of the songs tell of daily events. Other Lim Festivals takes place in other villages in the province with processions and games such as human chess and wrestling. Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Hala Festival

The Hala Festival has been held in Kuwait every year since 1999 to celebrate the coming of spring and to promote Arab culture and the local economy. The festival begins with an opening carnival and parade, culminating in a lavish fireworks display. Over the course of the subsequent weeks, visitors are able to enjoy such features as performances of music from around the Middle East, exhibitions of calligraphy and cars, sporting events, and religious events. Shopping is a focal point of the festival, with more than 100 local merchants taking part in prize drawings and special offers. Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Liberia Armed Forces Day

On this day, Liberians honor the soldiers of the country’s armed forces. Festivities often include regiment parades and a public address from the Liberian president or the commander-in-chief. The holiday has evoked mixed memories for Liberians, as the army has been linked with the chaos that plagued the country at the end of the 20th century. In 2007, however, the defense ministry introduced a newly restructured contingent, which paraded through the main streets of the capital city, Monrovia, before hundreds of attendees. Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Firecracker Festival

Firecrackers are a traditional element of Tet, the Vietnamese New Year celebration, and one town really takes its firecrackers seriously. Each year 16 families are selected to compete in producing the most spectacular display for the town of Dong Ky in Vietnam’s Bac Ninh Province. These are huge, elaborately decorated affairs that may require two dozen men to carry and up to $500 to create. Each firecracker is paraded through town and set up on a special tripod for firing. After all the firecrackers have been set off, a panel of judges determines the winning family. Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Great Sámi Winter Fair (Jokkmokksmarknad)

The Sámis are a nomadic people of ancient origin who still make their living keeping reindeer herds in the northernmost regions of Norway, Sweden, and Finland, and on the Kola Peninsula of the former Soviet Union. They started holding the Winter Fair, or Market, in Jokkmokk, Sweden, more than 400 years ago. The four-day event draws many visitors who are curious about Sámi culture. It includes the marking of the reindeer, reindeer roundup demonstrations, folk music and dance, films, lectures, and the sale of special Sámi foods and handicrafts. Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Setsubun (Bean-Throwing Festival)

Setsubun is a ceremony observed in all major temples throughout Japan to mark the last day of winter according to the lunar calendar. People throng temple grounds where the priests or stars such as actors and sumo wrestlers throw dried beans to the crowd who shout, “Fortune in, goblins out!” Some people also decorate their doorways with sardine heads, because the evil spirits don’t like their smell. Beans caught at the temple are brought home to drive out evil there. Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary