Turkey is a transcontinental country located in southeastern Europe and western Asia. This situation makes it share cultures, architectural heritage, attractions and ancient ruins from both sides, making it a very interesting country. This article informs you briefly of the 8 most exciting places to visit in Turkey. Continue reading
People across the world visit various tourist destinations every year. Most of these destinations are either historical or purely relaxing and amusement oriented. People generally visit places such as Switzerland, Italy, France, Pacific islands, Thailand and other South East Asian countries. However, have you ever given Mexico a thought as a potential tourist destination? If your answer is no, then you must read further to learn more. Let us inform you that without further doubt, this country is one of the most loved tourist hot spots for many, including American tourists.
Most Christian holidays have pagan roots and traditions, and Easter is no exception. In Sweden, it is said that this is the time of year that witches mounted their broomsticks and flew off to Blockulla – the mystical meadow where witches gathered to dance with the devil.
This piece of folklore is commemorated in Sweden on Maundy Thursday, or Scarlett Thursday – the Thursday before Easter Sunday, a day in which the Church marks the Last Supper at which Jesus Christ was betrayed by one of the Apostles. In a tradition similar to Halloween, Swedish children paint their faces and dress as witches (påskkärringar, or ‘Easter hags’). They go from door to door, carrying their broomsticks, to ask for candy and other treats. In some areas, the children make little decorated Continue reading
Carnival, the rowdy celebrations preceding the start of Lent, is celebrated across many cultures with different traditions. While Latin cultures are famous for their Carnival celebrations in places such as New Orleans and Venice, there is a very strong Carnival tradition in northern cultures, as well, especially in the Catholic areas of Germany, where the Carnival season lasts for several months. The “Karneval” of Rio (from Latin “carrus navalis” = the “ship of fools”) becomes the “Fastnacht” of Mainz (from the Germanic word “fasten” – to fast).
In many parts of Germany, the official Carnival season begins at the 11th minute past the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month – November 11. This gives the various Carnival guilds three to four months to organize the festivities, such as parades, balls, and the election of their Carnival “royalty.” In Continue reading
In cultures that observe Valentine’s Day, it is usually the men who are under a lot of pressure to make a dinner reservation and buy a gift for their wife or girlfriend. In Japan and Korea, however, it is customary for the women to give gifts to men on Valentine’s Day instead. Typically, the gifts are boxes of chocolate, which most women purchase for all of the men in their lives: their bosses, male co-workers, male friends and family members. These are called “giri choco,” or “obligatory chocolates.” It is not unusual for a woman to buy 20 or 30 boxes of chocolate for this occasion. In fact, more than half the chocolate sold in Japan is purchased around February 14th!
Japanese women also buy “honmei choco” for their special someone – typically a larger, more expensive Continue reading
Muslim religious leaders and scholars have sent an open letter to the Pope and other Christian leaders urging greater understanding of the commonalities between the two faiths. The letter, titled “ A Common Word Between Us and You,” marks the Eid al-Fitr al-Mubarak, the festival that is the end of Ramadan, and the one year anniversary of the open letter of 38 Muslim scholars to H.H. Pope Benedict XVI.
In the letter, the authors “invite Christians to come together with us on the basis of what is common to us, which is also what is most essential to our faith and practice: the Two Commandments of love.” The letter goes on to review how both the Muslim prophets and the Christian Bible Continue reading
The “Fifth of May,” is a holiday that is widely celebrated in the United States both by people of Mexican background and by Americans regardless of their ethnic origins. In Mexico, it’s not that big a deal. Similar to St. Patrick’s Day, Cinco de Mayo is a holiday that is more widely observed in the U.S. than in its country of origin. It has become a day that features parades, music, dancing and parties that celebrate Mexican culture and food.
Cinco de Mayo is often mistakenly thought to be the Mexican Independence Day, which actually takes place on September 16th. Instead, the date commemorates the anniversary Continue reading
The beginning of May was an important feast day in many ancient cultures, a time to celebrate the coming of summer. The Druids of the British Isles thought that May 1, the Feast of Beltane, divided the year in half, with the other half ending on Samhain on November 1. Both days were celebrated by lighting new fires and dancing. The Romans devoted the beginning of May to the worship of Flora, the goddess of flowers. When the Romans invaded the British Isles, many of the Floralia traditions were added to the Beltane celebrations. Today’s May Day customs combine traditions with roots in Continue reading
April 21 is a national holiday in Brazil known as Tiradentes Day, which honors Joaquim José da Silva Xavier (1746 to April 21, 1792), a Brazilian revolutionary who fought for Brazilian independence and freedom from Portuguese taxation as part of the movement known as the Inconfidência Mineira. He was a dentist, and his nickname, “Tiradentes,” means “tooth puller,” a pejorative name adopted during his trial. He is considered a national hero in Brazil, who spread liberal ideas for which he was martyred, Continue reading
Vaisakhi, also known as Baisakhi, is the Punjabi and Nepali New Year, and the beginning of the harvest season in Punjab, India and Nepal. It is one of the major Sikh religious festivals, and is celebrated by Sikh communities around the world.
The date of Vaisakhi is determined by the solar calendar; it is the first day of the Vaisakh month on the Sikh Nanakshahi calendar, which replaced the Hindu calendar in 1998. It usually falls on April 13, and occurs at the same time as the Hindu or Vedic New Year.
For the large agricultural community of the Punjabi region, the Vaisakhi Festival is a time of Continue reading