Holidays are celebrated all over the world. They are often associated with religion, prayer, and celebrations honoring loved ones, religious figures, and personal blessings. Many different holidays are celebrated throughout the world that we do not often celebrate ourselves. Here are just a few of the beautiful holidays celebrated in all different cultures.
Diwali is a 15-day celebration and festival of lights that celebrates new beginnings and good over evil, light over darkness. Diwali is celebrated in Hindu religions, Jains, and Sikh religions. People who take part in the celebration often celebrate Diwali during harvest and the New Year, during Kartika. Kartika is a month in the Hindu calendar that typically falls between October and November each year, this year it fell from October 23- November 21.
Diwali is one of India’s largest celebrations each year, and possibly the most important. Indians will decorate the outside of their house with lanterns, candles, and different light sources to symbolize the inner light that wards off spiritual darkness. Each day, celebrators will utilize different ways to show their loved ones that they care, on the last day is the celebration of color. This celebration allows for those to gather and celebrate, throwing powders made from flowers into the air to signify life and new beginnings during the new year. Popular flower colors that are used to create the powders are ivory, red, yellow, maroon, pink, and dark greens.
Chinese New Year
Chinese New Year celebrates the New Year in accordance with the Chinese calendar. In China, it is known as the Spring Festival, marking the end of the coldest days in China. It is the 15-day celebration of welcoming the new, and saying goodbye to the old. The Chinese New Year welcomes harvests, new beginnings, and fresh starts. Chinese New Year is based on the New moon and occurs between January 21 and February 20 each year.
Chinese New Year is a time for prayer and fighting off demons and monsters, these are often showcased in their parades and decorations. You will often see balloons and floats dedicated to dragons and monsters paraded around in bright, lively color that signifies the good. People who celebrate will also decorate their spaces with the color red. Red is known to ward off evil and monsters as well. Chinese New Year is a wonderful time of year to start with a clean slate, start fresh.
Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr
The month of Ramadan is celebrated in Muslim cultures across the country. Beginning April 12 and ending May 11, Ramadan is the ninth month on the Muslim calendar and is celebrated with a month of dawn to sunset fasting, prayer, community, and self-reflection. At the end of Ramadan, the celebration of Eid al-Fitr occurs which is the breaking of the fast. During this celebration, people will gather to break their fast. They will eat, pray, and reflect together as a way to close out the month of Ramadan.
Bodhi Day is a Buddhist holiday that celebrates the day that Buddha, Siddhartha Gautama sat under the Bodhi tree and experienced enlightenment following intense meditation. Bodhi Day is celebrated on December 8 of each year. Buddha was enlightened under the Bodhi tree. The Bodhi tree is a sacred fig tree and is often represented with heart-shaped leaves. Once he achieved this enlightenment, Buddha was able to see how everything and everyone was connected. This leads him to create the Four Noble Truths and the Eight-Fold Path that is followed by Buddhist religions today.
Bodhi day is a day in which Buddist followers can renew their dedication to the religion, affirm themselves and achieve enlightenment, compassion, and kindness for other living beings. Celebrators will often decorate a Bodhi Tree, celebrate with a traditional meal of rice and milk, and string lights to represent the paths to enlightenment.
The annual African-American celebration is celebrated with gift-giving and a meal centered around faith and caring. This meal is called Karamu Ya Imani which translates to Feast of Faith. Kwanzaa was first celebrated in 1966 and was created by Maulana Karenga. Maulana Karenga is an African-American professor of African studies, an activist, and an author. Many people will correlate Kwanzaa with a Christmas celebration and use the time to celebrate with family and friends. Kwanzaa was created to give thanks to family, friends, harvest, and blessings and to show those around you that you care. Kwanzaa is a beautiful holiday to celebrate with the ones you love and honor the African-American culture.
Lunar New Year
The Lunar New Year is often celebrated in China and other Asian countries. The festival begins with the first new moon of the lunar calendar and will end 15 days later. About a week before the beginning of the new moon, the new lunar year, people who celebrate will deep clean their homes and businesses. This is done to remove any bad luck that may be lingering, this ritual is called “sweeping of the grounds.” During this celebration, family and friends are honored and religious ceremonies occur to honor ancestors. Family members will also contain envelopes with small amounts of money called Lai See to start the new lunar year off right.
On the last night of the Lunar New Year, the Chinese will often celebrate with a festival of lanterns. The Lantern Festival is celebrated with the release of hundreds of lanterns into the sky and displayed outside houses, followed by servings of traditional food including yuan xiao, (sticky ball rice symbolizing family) fagao (prosperity cake), and yusheng (raw fish and veggie salad).
Holidays are sacred to many. They are periods of time that people can honor, celebrate, and pray together; celebrating family and loved ones, and honoring their faith. Holidays are celebrated all over the world, in many different ways, and by all different cultures. There are many different ones that we can learn to understand and celebrate to embrace other cultures and other faiths.
Originally from Denver Colorado, Chloe is 27 and now living in Asheville, North Carolina with her Son. Chloe loves everything Fashion, Style, and Design. Everything from clothing to home decor!