A Year Full of Celebrations and Festivals
174 Pages
English

You can change the print size of this book

A Year Full of Celebrations and Festivals

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174 Pages
English

You can change the print size of this book

Description

Countless different festivals are celebrated all over the world throughout the year. Some are national holidays, celebrated for religious and cultural reasons, or to mark an important date in history, while others are just for fun. Give thanks and tuck into a delicious meal with friends and family at Thanksgiving, get caught up in a messy tomato fight in Spain at La Tomatina, add a splash of color to your day at the Holi festival of colors and celebrate the life and achievements of Martin Luther King Jr. on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

With fact-filled text accompanied by beautifully bright illustrations from the wonderfully talented Chris Corr, prepare yourself for a journey as we travel around the world celebrating and uncovering a visual feast of culture.


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Informations

Published by
Published 05 January 2021
Reads 0
EAN13 9780711261969
Language English
Document size 5 MB

Legal information: rental price per page €. This information is given for information only in accordance with current legislation.

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Cover
A YEAR FULL OF CELEBRATIONS AND FESTIVALS

Compiled by
CHRISTOPHER CORR
and Claire Grace
CONTENTS
Welcome
SPRING
International Kite Festival
The Carnival of Brazil
Carnival Festivals
Holi
International Women s Day
St Patrick s Day
Hanami
Festivals for People
Easter
Earth Day
Green Festivals
Gathering of Nations
Walpurgis Night
May Day
SUMMER
Palio di Siena
International Children s Day
Ramadan
Barunga
White Nights Festival
Music Festivals
Pride
Independence Festivals
Ghost Month
Edinburgh Festival Fringe
Hajj
La Tomatina
Food Festivals
Summer Solstice
FALL
Mid-Autumn Festival
La Merc Festival
Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta
Halloween
Day of the Dead
Guy Fawkes Day
Fire Festivals
Diwali
D salpe
Thanksgiving
Monkey Buffet Festival
Animal Festivals
The Pearly Kings and Queens Harvest Festival
WINTER
Hanukkah
Winter Solstice
Ice and Snow Festivals
Christmas
Bodhi Day
Pongal
Martin Luther King Jr. Day
Chinese New Year
Valentine s Day
The Festival of the Dancing Masks
Water Festivals
Saint Lucia s Day
Jokkmokk Market
New Year s Eve Countdown
Glossary
WELCOME
From one end of the year to the other, and in every corner of the globe, there is a festival for just about everyone. From candlelit religious holidays and joyous harvest festivals to colorful cultural traditions and bustling, bright parades, festivals bring friends, family, and communities together to celebrate in many different ways. Spring, summer, fall, and winter play host to a kaleidoscope of festivals all year long. Some last for just one day, while others go on for weeks and even months-but almost all of them bring joy and happiness!
As the days get longer, the sky begins to transform from gray to blue, temperatures start to rise, and trees and flowers begin to bud-spring has finally arrived. Although spring occurs at different times throughout the year, depending on where you are in the world, most spring festivals and celebrations have a common theme: rebirth and renewal. Societies might perform rituals to banish wandering spirits, pray for plentiful crops, praise gods and goddesses for bringing them this season of renewal, and gather together with friends and family to rejoice!
When the summer sun bursts into life, doors and windows are flung open. It s a time to get outside and make the most of the long summer days and fresh, warm breeze. Outdoor festivals pop up all around the world as people sway to the sound of their favorite music. It s also a time to celebrate the growth of plants and crops. Some cultures celebrate by lighting blazing bonfires, believed to increase the sun s power and help their crops flourish.



Fall is a time of change: red, yellow, orange, and brown cover the once-green trees and leaves begin to fall. The temperature drops and plant life begins to slow its growth, while animals prepare for the cold months ahead. It s also a time when communities around the world celebrate their favorite autumnal festivals. Spooky costumes are made for Halloween, people join together for Thanksgiving, while other cultures offer sacrifices and perform rituals in the hopes of securing a bountiful harvest.
The final season of the year creeps across the ground with a cold winter frost. While animals settle down for their quiet winter sleep, people around the world unpack scarves, gloves, and heavy coats to get ready for the dark and icy months ahead. However, this doesn t stop societies across the globe from gathering together to celebrate. There are festivals celebrating the shortest day of the year, magical snow festivals, and, for many, Christmas celebrations-when lots of families and friends gather together beneath wonderfully decorative trees to feast on seasonal food and exchange special gifts.
Festivals bring people all over the world together. So what are you waiting for? Pack your bags and get ready to celebrate your way across the globe!
SPRING
In cultures and countries all over the world, spring is a time to gather together with friends and family to welcome in new green shoots, baby animals, and the months of sunshine and growth ahead.


The kites are made from lightweight paper and bamboo, are usually rhombus shaped, and can be as big as 3 feet long! They are decorated in a kaleidoscope of colors and patterns.


INTERNATIONAL KITE FESTIVAL
Every year on January 14, the skies of Gujarat, India, are filled with beautiful multicolored kites, fluttering and swaying in the breeze. This rainbow of kites is part of the festival Uttarayan, which marks the day when winter turns to spring, according to the Hindu calendar.
The festival marks the awakening of the gods from their deep sleep throughout the winter months. It is also thought to be connected to the history of India s royalty, who loved the art of kite flying and used it as a way to show off their power and skills.
The festival is taken very seriously, and preparations begin months before the big day. Some people make their own kites, but more often than not people return to their favorite kite-makers, who create strong, resilient kites year after year.
People of all ages fill the streets and cover rooftops to fly kites and compete with one another. Family and friends visit each other, special foods are prepared, and from dawn until dusk the sky is full of kites of all shapes and sizes.
Although Uttarayan is celebrated all over Gujarat, the city of Ahmedabad has become famous for its celebrations and since 1989 has hosted the International Kite Festival as part of the official celebration of Uttarayan.
When the sun goes down, people send up bright white kites that can be seen against the dark sky. Master kite-flyers send up tukkals with long strings of brightly lit lanterns all connected together, illuminating the night sky as the festivities come to an end for another year.

The festival is dedicated to Surya, the sun god.

Kite flying starts as early as 5 a.m. to catch the early morning breeze!

THE CARNIVAL OF BRAZIL
Dazzling costumes, outrageous floats, incredible dancing, and thousands of energetic festival-goers fill the streets for a celebration like no other. The Carnival of Brazil is upon us! The world s largest festival takes place every year in Brazil. Carnival was originally a Catholic festival where people feasted to prepare for the following days of Lent (which is a six week period of self-denial and fasting). It begins on the Friday before Shrove Tuesday and ends five days later, on Ash Wednesday. Cities all over Brazil celebrate, but Rio de Janeiro attracts the most visitors and has become famous for its huge parades.
Today, parties called blocos are held all around the city, where people come together to share food and drink, listen to live music, and celebrate the festival with friends and family.

Dancers wear flamboyant and spectacular costumes, covered in sequins and feathers and made out of brightly colored fabrics.
During Carnival, the city s top samba schools compete at the Sambadrome Arena in the hopes of being crowned the winners.
MARDI GRAS
AUSTRALIA

This is an LGBTQ+ pride parade and festival, celebrated in Sydney every year. People gather together to celebrate and promote the freedom to love who they want.
THE COLOGNE CARNIVAL
GERMANY

Street parties, parades, and people in fancy dress fill the streets as the carnival takes over! During the festivities, three rulers are elected to head up the celebrations-the Prince, the Peasant, and the Maiden.
CARNIVAL OF NICE
FRANCE

One of the oldest carnivals: every year a theme is chosen and Nice erupts in colorful floats, spectacular costumes, and bustling parades, which are headed up by the carnival king!

CARNIVAL FESTIVALS
Carnival festivals are held all around the world. Most are held during February and March and lots are linked to the Christian festival of Lent. However, almost all of them include dazzling costumes, spectacular parades, and busy streets full of celebrating carnival-goers!
VENICE CARNIVAL
ITALY

Millions of people descend upon Venice every year to take part in this world-famous event, wearing elaborate costumes and magnificent masks. The carnival ends in the period of Lent.

HOLI
Celebrated in almost every part of India, Holi is sometimes called the festival of love or the festival of colors and is a major festival for Hindus. The festival lasts for a night and a day and falls somewhere between the end of February and the middle of March. The festival represents the arrival of spring, the end of winter, and the victory of good over evil. On this day, families come together to forget any bad feelings, repair broken relationships, love, laugh, and play.
Holi celebrations begin on the evening of Holika Dahan and bonfires are lit to celebrate the victory of good over evil. Rangwali Holi takes place the following day. People cover each other with colorful powders called gulal and drench one another with water in any way they can, including using water balloons and Super Soakers! People sing and dance and spend the day visiting friends and family to keep throwing the wonderfully colorful powder, gossip, and share delicious food and drink.

A popular saying on the day is Bura na mano, Holi hai, which translates roughly as Don t hold a grudge, it s Holi.
Traditionally the gulal powders were made from flowers, spices, and other natural substances, but today they are mostly made from synthetic materials.
The colorful powders all have different meanings. Some say red is a sign of love, blue represents the gods, and yellow is related to medicinal properties.

The color purple is often associated with International Women s Day. The suffragette movement wore green, white, and violet. The first letter of each color stands for Give Women Votes.
International Women s Day is an official holiday in some countries, and in China, Madagascar, and Nepal, it is a holiday just for women!

INTERNATIONAL WOMEN S DAY
Celebrated in many countries around the world, International Women s Day is a time to recognize the acts of bravery, courage, and determination carried out by ordinary women who have helped fight for women s rights. It s a time to continue fighting for change and making sure these courageous women s deeds weren t in vain.
This day dates back to the early 1900s, when oppression and inequality were spurring women on to campaign for change. In 1908, thousands of women marched through New York City calling for better pay, the right to vote, and shorter working hours and in 1909, the first National Women s Day was held across the USA. Then, in 1910, a woman named Clara Zetkin suggested that there should be a Women s Day every year, and International Women s Day was born.
However, there is still a long way to go to make the world a fair and equal place. Women are still fighting for equal pay, better education, access to health care, and much more. Incredible and inspiring women are everywhere-in your family, books, school, and in every part of the world. It s up to us to use our voices to make a change and support one another. On the next International Women s Day, stand up for what you believe, be bold, be brave, and do what you can to make the world a fairer place!


ST. PATRICK S DAY
March 17 marks the death of St. Patrick, and on this day, the whole of Ireland turns even greener than usual to celebrate its national holiday. Parades featuring traditional Irish music, dance, and street performances are held around the country to celebrate Irish culture and heritage.
St. Patrick is the famous patron saint of Ireland. However, he wasn t actually Irish but originally came from Britain! It s said that at the age of 16 he was captured and enslaved by Irish pirates. After six long years, he managed to escape his captors and was reunited with his family. Some years later, St. Patrick returned once more to Ireland and brought with him the word of Christianity.
Before St. Patrick arrived, Ireland is said to have been a largely pagan country. St. Patrick is thought to have traveled all around the island of Ireland teaching people about Christianity.
St. Patrick has become a key figure in Irish history and there are many tales and legends about him. Perhaps the most famous of these is that he chased all of the snakes off the Emerald Isle, ridding Ireland of slithering serpents forever! However, snakes probably never even reached Ireland. Scientists say that the most recent Ice Age kept Ireland too cold for reptiles, and after it ended, the surrounding seas probably kept snakes from ever reaching the island!

Shamrocks are often associated with Ireland. This is because St. Patrick is believed to have used one as a symbol for the Holy Trinity when introducing Ireland to Christianity.

Countries around the world turn green to celebrate! The Chicago River is dyed green every year, while in 2010, the Sydney Opera House was illuminated in green lights.

HANAMI
Also known as the Cherry Blossom Festival, this is a longstanding Japanese tradition used to welcome in the season of spring. This festival celebrates the beautiful cherry blossom flowers, or sakura, which some people believe represent human existence. Because their blooming period is so short and only lasts from the end of March to the beginning of early May, the delicate and short-lived cherry blossoms are seen as a reminder that our own lives are just as precious.
Today, people in Japan eagerly await the arrival of the beautiful blooming cherry blossoms. When Hanami arrives parks, riverbanks, and anywhere else that cherry blossoms can be found are packed full of people all having their own mini outdoor party beneath the canopy of pink and white flowers.
Some people dress up in traditional outfits called kimonos to mark the festival. The celebrations continue late into the night and little paper lanterns are strung up, illuminating the flowers as night falls.

Hanami has its origins in the 8th century, when the event was used as a way to welcome in the new year s harvest while also marking the beginning of the rice planting season.
Newspapers and local television channels report on the progress of the blossoms. The Japan Meteorological Agency even announces what is called the blossom forecast to keep people updated!
Cherry blossom festivals are held around the world too. Every April in New York the annual Sakura Matsuri Cherry Blossom Festival is celebrated at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden.
EMPEROR S DAY
JAPAN

The emperor s birthday is a national holiday in Japan. On this day, the Imperial Palace is open to the public and a big ceremony takes place as people gather to wave flags and greet their emperor.

FESTIVALS FOR PEOPLE
All over the world, different cultures pay tribute to kings, queens, emperors, and the legacy and lives of people who have had a lasting impact on our big blue planet.
KING S DAY
NETHERLANDS

Every year, people all over the Netherlands dress up in orange clothes and celebrate King Willem Alexander s birthday. Music, street parties, markets, and fun fairs pop up all over to celebrate this nationwide day of merriment!
ELIZABETH II DAY
AUSTRALIA

Every June in Australia, people celebrate the Queen of England s birthday. Lots of people have the day off from work, and it is a time for families to get together and visit relatives.
GANDHI JAYANTI
INDIA

On Mahatma Gandhi s birthday, people in India gather to pray, put on commemorative ceremonies, and decorate statues of Gandhi with flowers to honor him and the legacy he left behind.

One of the world s biggest Easter eggs was made in Argentina-it weighed almost 18,000 pounds and was 28 feet tall!
The Easter Bunny comes from Germany and originally decided if children were good or bad at the start of the Easter season.


EASTER
Believe it or not, Easter isn t just a day for hunting down eggs and eating chocolate! Easter is a Christian festival that celebrates Jesus returning from the dead and is considered one of the holiest days of the year. It is celebrated at the end of Christian Holy Week, which occurs at the end of Lent, a six-week period of self-denial and fasting. The Sunday of Holy Week is sometimes called Easter Day or Resurrection Day.
However, not everyone celebrates Easter as part of the Christian faith and it has lots of other meanings and associations. Some people believe that Easter actually originates from the pagan holiday that celebrates the goddess Eostre. Eostre was believed to be an Anglo-Saxon goddess of spring and rebirth, who is often depicted with an egg and hare!
Easter eggs are a huge part of the Easter celebration. People in certain regions of Ukraine celebrate by decorating Easter eggs using a method called pysanky. This comes from a word meaning to write and the decorations are made by applying patterns of wax to the eggs with a special little instrument called a stylus. When the egg is dipped in dye, only the areas that don t have wax on them come out colored. The wax is then melted off to reveal the beautiful pattern. The result is a bright, colorful egg to share with friends and family.
Easter egg-hunts are a popular tradition to celebrate the day. Family and friends gather together, and children spend their time trying to hunt down as many brightly colored chocolate eggs as they can.

In Sweden, children dress up as witches and go door-to-door in their neighborhood with paintings and drawings in the hope of getting candy!

Bright colors, flowers, eggs, and lambs are all symbols commonly used to represent Easter. This is because they are all bright and joyful images that mark the beginning of spring and the arrival of warmer weather and lighter days.


Trash in landfills can last longer than 50 years. This is why it is so important to make sure we recycle everything we can.
Earth Day Network uses themes to target different environmental issues. In 2018, the theme was to End Plastic Pollution to bring an end to single-use plastic.


EARTH DAY
Earth Day takes place on April 22 every year. It is a time for every single person around the world to reflect on the impact they have on our big blue planet. It s also a time to take action so we can help protect our planet for future generations. Events are held across the globe to show support, educate, and promote awareness about issues such as pollution, deforestation, climate change, endangered species, and much, much more. Roughly one billion people around the world in 192 countries are thought to take part in the celebration every year.
April 22, 1970, marked the very first Earth Day, when 20 million Americans joined together to campaign for a cleaner and better protected world, and today the Earth Day Network helps to organize the annual event.
Since 1970, Earth Day has grown in recognition and support, but we still have a long way to go in cleaning up our planet and making sure we protect it so it survives for years to come. Everyone needs to do their part and small changes can make a big difference over time. You too can be a part of this change-avoid using plastics when you don t need to and make sure you reduce, reuse, and recycle.

Earth Hour also takes place every year and encourages people to switch off their lights for one hour. It s designed to help us think about the amount of energy we use every day, which contributes to global warming.

GREEN FESTIVALS
We have to look after Planet Earth, and what better way to do this than putting on a festival dedicated to making eco warriors out of all of us? Countries all around the world have created festivals to encourage people to be green and think about the environment and the role we play in keeping it safe.
THE BIG TENT FESTIVAL
SCOTLAND

Although the festival no longer takes place, Big Tent was dedicated to promoting ecological long-term thinking and educating people about our fragile world. Themes were chosen to show how we can make a positive change in the world.
NORTHSIDE
DENMARK

This music festival wants to become the most environmentally conscious festival in the world. Organic foods are sold, plastic cups are recycled, cars aren t permitted, and almost everything at the festival is wooden.
LIGHTNING IN A BOTTLE
CALIFORNIA

A set of principles protects the surrounding environment at this music festival. Solar lights reduce the amount of energy, access to free water reduces the amount of plastic, and a Green Team works to keep the event clean.
GREEN MAN
WALES

Being green is a key part of the Green Man festival. Eco bathrooms are provided, recycling bins are scattered everywhere, plastic straws are banned, and most of the food and drink provided is locally sourced.
BOOMFEESTDAG
NETHERLANDS

More than 115,000 children in the Netherlands celebrate Boomfeestdag. On this day, people are encouraged to plant trees, and in the last 60 years, more than ten million trees have been planted as a result of this festival.


GATHERING OF NATIONS
A powwow is an event when Native American people gather together to celebrate, dance, sing, socialize, and honor their history. Some powwows are a day long, while others can last for a whole week! The Gathering of Nations in Albuquerque, New Mexico, is the biggest powwow and draws in roughly 3,000 dancers and up to 150,000 spectators.
Hundreds of tribal nations from all over the USA, Canada, and around the world come together to celebrate on the fourth weekend in April. It begins with a huge opening ceremony where thousands of people, all dressed in traditional clothing that is elaborate and colorful, dance to the sound of beating drums. The three-day celebration is broken up into different events including 36 different dance categories.
The festival helps to maintain traditional cultures, teach children about their heritage, and connect different communities. The event is open to all to come and celebrate and share the culture of Native American people.

Participants in dancing competitions are judged on their clothing too, which they often make themselves.
The three-day event is broadcast live on the radio so people can be a part of the celebrations from their own homes.
Stage 49 is another event during the celebration and features lots of different Native American musicians.

WALPURGIS NIGHT
On April 30, Walpurgis Night is celebrated in lots of parts of Northern Europe and Scandinavia, with different traditions and customs varying from region to region. Bonfires are lit, fireworks explode in the sky, and people gather together to eat, sing, and celebrate the anticipated arrival of spring.
The origins of the holiday are thought to originate from pagan celebrations. People performed rituals to try to speed up the arrival of spring and to ward off evil spirits. According to legend, this was the last day for wicked spirits and witches to make trouble before spring arrived.
Legend has it that on Walpurgis Night in Germany, witches gathered from across the land in a big celebration on the highest part of the Harz Mountains. Today the festival is celebrated by dressing up in costumes, playing tricks, and creating loud noises that are designed to keep evil at bay.
In Sweden, family and friends come together to sing traditional spring songs and light huge bonfires at dusk, which were traditionally believed to keep away witches. Loud fireworks are set off at the end of the night to round off the celebrations.

In Germany, Walpurgis Night is sometimes called Hexennacht, which means witches night.
In Finland, Walpurgis Night is called Vappu-people wear masks and run through the streets shouting!

Another festival closely linked to May Day is called Floralia. This was celebrated by the Romans, and the festival honored Flora, the goddess of flowers.
In different parts of the UK, a May queen is crowned every year. This links back to the goddess of spring, who was a symbol of nature.


MAY DAY
Every year, people all over Europe celebrate May Day to mark the return of spring. Dancing through the streets, singing different spring songs, and eating lots of cake are all usually part of the festivities!
May Day is actually the result of many different pagan festivals merging together, which is why people in different parts of the world have their own unique ways of celebrating. But almost all of the traditions have their roots in pagan festivals that celebrated fertility and the arrival of spring.
In Ireland and Scotland, May Day grew out of a festival known as Beltane. This was held halfway between the spring equinox and summer solstice and it marked the beginning of summer. Rituals were performed to protect cattle and crops and encourage growth. People would light big bonfires to banish the long winter nights and huge feasts were held to mark the occasion.
Meanwhile, in Germany, Finland, and Sweden, Walpurgis Night was (and still is) celebrated. Although this festival has changed over time, the original pagan festival was held during a time when spirits were thought to roam the earth and villages performed different rituals to protect their farms.
In many parts of the world, a tall wooden maypole is put up on May Day. Some traditions involve people dancing around the pole while holding on to long pieces of ribbon. Some believe that this is linked to the pagan tradition of cutting down young trees and placing them in the ground to mark the arrival of summer, while others believe that this dance represents the lengthening of days as summer approaches.

In some parts of the UK, Jack in the Green makes an appearance on May Day. He wears a wooden frame covered in beautiful green foliage. Branches, leaves, and flowers cover the frame, which is then worn by Jack during the May Day celebrations.

Morris dancing is often associated with May Day. Dancers wear white clothing and hats decorated with flowers and greenery. They dance to the sound of music as they stomp their feet, wave handkerchiefs, and ring the many bells attached to their costumes.
SUMMER
The warmest season of the year, summer brings with it longer days, lush green foliage, and a bright, blazing sun. It s a time to get outdoors, breathe in the fresh summer breeze, and look toward the long, bright, warm months ahead.


PALIO DI SIENA
Twice a year, in the town of Siena, Italy, locals and tourists crowd together in the Piazza del Campo to soak up the excitement and energy of the Palio di Siena, a magnificent and passionate horse race. The race takes place every year on July 2 and August 16: flags are waved, crowds cheer, horses grunt, and jockeys ready themselves for a race like no other!
For centuries, Siena s different districts, called contrade, have competed against each other in the medieval shellshaped square of the Piazza del Campo to win the coveted Drappellone. This is a large silk canvas painting that is designed and created by a different artist every year.
On the morning of the race, a mass is held to bless the jockeys, and later in the day, each separate contrada performs a blessing for their horses. Then a huge parade winds its way through the city, finally ending up in the Piazza del Campo. The jockeys and horses enter the piazza and the crowd surges with excitement-it s time for the race to begin!
The Mossiere tells the contestants when they can start, and as soon as they do, the horses must complete three full laps of the square. The first horse over the finish line on the third lap is the winner. They can win even if their jockey isn t on them anymore-just as long as they are still wearing their contrada colors!

The 17 contrade are called: Caterpillar, Dragon, Eagle, Forest, Giraffe, Goose, Owl, Panther, Porcupine, Ram, She-Wolf, Seashell, Snail, Tortoise, Tower, Unicorn, and Wave.

Although the dates vary around the world, lots of countries celebrate Children s Day on June 1.


INTERNATIONAL CHILDREN S DAY
The date of Children s Day varies around the world, but the message is the same wherever you go-to listen to children s issues and to promote the welfare of children.
In June 1925, representatives from countries all over the world gathered in Geneva, Switzerland, for the very first World Conference for the Well-being of Children. Children s Day was born as a result of this meeting, and although an official date wasn t picked, countries were encouraged to choose a date that was most relevant to their own cultures and traditions.
Lots of countries around the world celebrate this day by putting on different festivals, events, and activities. In Mexico, teachers organize games and music, and children wear bright colors. In New Zealand, families honor their children as taonga, which is the Maori word for treasure, while in Nigeria, schools are closed for the day and children fill the streets to compete in parades for prizes.
The organization UNICEF recognizes the day on November 20, and every year, they celebrate the rights of the child by trying to educate the world through different events. They use this as a day to promote international togetherness and awareness among children worldwide and to improve children s welfare.

Some countries come up with fun and silly activities to celebrate the day. In 2011, a baby-crawling competition was held in Russia!

In 2017, UNICEF encouraged adults to let children take over for the day! They wanted the world to listen to what children have to say and thought that maybe if we listen, the world could be a very different place.

RAMADAN
During the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, Muslims all over the world celebrate the holy month of Ramadan. It is a time when Muslims will partake in prayer so they can feel closer to their God, Allah. Many Muslims will try to read the whole Qur an (the Muslim holy book) at least once during the Ramadan period and will attend religious services at their local mosques.

The first prayer of the day is called Fajr. There are four more during the day-Zuhr, Asr, Maghrib, and Ishai. This timetable creates a pattern to the day for Muslims to follow.
During this month, many Muslims will fast by not eating or drinking from dawn until sunset. They do this to help them understand the needs of the poor and those less fortunate or without food. It is a time for them to reflect and appreciate how lucky they are to have access to even the most basic of things like food and water.

During Eid al-Fitr, Muslims give money to charities to help those less fortunate buy clothes and food so that they can celebrate too.
Not everyone takes part in the fasting period during Ramadan. Children, pregnant women, and elderly or sick people don t have to fast.
During the month of Ramadan, Muslims usually have two meals a day. They begin with suhoor, which they eat just before sunrise. At the end of the day, just after sunset, family and friends join together to break their fast. Water and dates are sometimes eaten, followed by a meal that is called iftar. Fasting is one of the Five Pillars of Islam that Muslims live by. The other pillars are faith, prayer, charity, and visiting the holy city of Mecca.
Ramadan ends in a huge celebration called Eid al-Fitr, which means the Festival of the Breaking of the Fast. This is a three-day festival and takes place when the new moon is seen. During this celebration, Muslims thank Allah for the strength he gave them to take part in Ramadan and practice self-control.

People eat bush food at the festival. This is any food native to Australia and includes fruit, seeds, honey, and a collection of meats from creatures only found in Australia.




BARUNGA
Every June, the Barunga Festival takes place near Katherine, Australia. The festival celebrates the Jawoyn community through music, sport, and culture. The three-day-long festival is a time when the Aboriginal peoples of Barunga, the Jawoyn, can showcase their indigenous history as the first peoples of Australia.
The festival was first held in 1985 as part of the celebrations for the leader of the Bagala, Bangardi Lee. Since then, it has been held every year on the long weekend in June that celebrates the queen s birthday. The Barunga Statement was first presented to the prime minster at this festival in 1988 on a piece of bark. This statement calls for the Australian government to recognize the rights of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
Visitors from all over the world take part in the festival. For three days, people come together to play music and listen to local bands; compete in different sports such as soccer, softball, and basketball; and try their hands in various workshops including arts and crafts, basket weaving, and even didgeridoo making! In fact, every year there is an International Didgeridoo Competition, where performers from all over the world compete.
Throughout the three days, ceremonial dances are performed, traditional food is eaten, and Aboriginal language classes are held. It is a time for the world to uncover the rich history of Aboriginal peoples and celebrate and honor their story and history.

Festival-goers have no other option but to camp, as the events take place in a remote area of Australia with nothing around for miles and miles.

Over 4,000 people attend the festival every year!

Watching the Neva Bridge open to allow boat traffic to pass through is also a favorite activity of festival-goers.
The festival runs between late May and late July every year-the exact start and end dates vary by a day or two each year.


WHITE NIGHTS FESTIVAL
Every year, in certain regions around the world, people experience the midnight sun or white nights. It happens during the summer months when, because of the extreme latitude of certain countries, the sun does not completely set for around two whole months. As a result, the sky glows with incredible luminous colors all night long.
The city of St. Petersburg in Russia celebrates this time with its very own White Nights Festival. Many different events are put on during this time, including the Stars of the White Nights. This is a cultural celebration that brings together an incredible program of ballet performances, opera recitals, and classical music concerts. These wonderful performances take place at the Mariinsky Theater and the Mariinsky Concert Hall, and music lovers come in their masses to watch these marvelous shows.
One of the most famous events during the White Nights Festival is the Scarlet Sails celebration. People gather to watch an enormous fireworks display that signals the end of the school year. An open-air concert is held and a light and pyrotechnic show is put on as a boat with red sails crosses the Neva River.

Art galleries and museums open overnight during the festival and the streets are filled with tourists and locals soaking up the twilight culture. This is called the Night of the Museums.
NEW ORLEANS JAZZ HERITAGE FESTIVAL
USA

Famous faces from all around the world take part in this annual soul-stirring music festival. Music lovers from all over come to tap their toes to that jazzy rhythmic beat.
GLASTONBURY
ENGLAND

Hilarious comedy, inspiring theater, dazzling circus acts, amazing dance, and, of course, incredible music-it must be Glastonbury! This five-day festival attracts thousands of music lovers from all over the world.

MUSIC FESTIVALS
Pop, rock, classical, jazz, folk, hip-hop . . . There s a music style for absolutely everyone. So what are you waiting for? Get ready to sing, dance, sway, and boogie your way around the globe as you uncover the most amazing music festivals from every corner of the world!
AIR GUITAR FESTIVAL
FINLAND

Participants compete by showing off their awesome air guitar skills. Apparently, the original ideology behind the festival was Wars will end and all bad things will vanish when everyone plays the air guitar.
F TE DE LA MUSIQUE
FRANCE

On this day, people are encouraged to get outside and fill the air with every kind of music imaginable. The idea came about in 1981 in France, but today it s celebrated in more than 120 countries worldwide.


PRIDE
Pride parades are a time for celebration, love, and acceptance. Every June, events all over the world are held to celebrate Pride and to support LGBTQ+ rights, culture, and communities.
The origins of the parade go back to 1969, when the Stonewall Riots took place. The Stonewall Inn was a gay bar in Greenwich Village, New York, where police frequently carried out raids and harassed the LGBTQ+ community. On June 28, 1969, a raid took place. But this raid was different. People fought back, and it wasn t long before a riot broke out. The riot lasted several nights and ultimately led to the gay liberation movement. One year later, the first Pride Parade was held in New York on June 28 to commemorate the Stonewall Riots.
Today, Pride events take place during the month of June and July to acknowledge the struggles that LGBTQ+ people have faced throughout history and still deal with today. But it s also a time of celebration, and thousands of people wearing dazzling colors, daring outfits, covered in glitter, and frequently flying bright and beautiful rainbow flags fill the streets to show the world who they are.

Say it clear, say it loud. Gay is good, gay is proud.

The LGBTQ+ Pride rainbow flag was created in 1978 by the artist Gilbert Baker after activist Harvey Milk requested something for the Gay Freedom Day Parade in San Francisco.

The Stonewall Inn was located on Christopher Street in New York and because of this the first Pride march was called Christopher Street Liberation Day.

INDEPENDENCE FESTIVALS
All over the world, countries celebrate their independence through national holidays and other unique cultural celebrations. France and the USA are just two places in a long list of countries that carve out time every year to celebrate their independence.
BASTILLE DAY
FRANCE

The storming of the Bastille ultimately led to France gaining independence. Today the occasion is celebrated in Paris every year with the Bastille Day Military Parade, which runs along the Champs- lys es.
Every year on July 14, the citizens of France celebrate Bastille Day, also known as La F te Nationale. The day celebrates the storming of the Bastille prison in France, which marked the beginning of the French Revolution.
INDEPENDENCE DAY
USA

Every year, people all over the USA celebrate the Fourth of July as parades march down streets, fireworks explode in the sky, and friends, and family gets together.
The Fourth of July marks the day when the Declaration of Independence was adopted, which stated that the USA was an independent country and no longer under the rule of Great Britain.

On the last day, lotus-shaped lanterns are lit and families float them down nearby rivers. Some people write their ancestors names on the lanterns to help guide lost souls back to the underworld.
In some areas, Taoist monks perform chants to drive the ghosts away. It s thought that the ghosts hate the sound of the chanting and wail and scream when they hear it.




GHOST MONTH
According to Chinese folk legend, the seventh lunar month is Ghost Month. At the beginning of Ghost Month, it s believed that the gates of heaven and hell open, allowing ghosts to cross over into the living world. Then, on the 15th day of Ghost Month, people offer sacrifices to try to appease the ghosts that are believed to be wandering the earth. People celebrate and observe this month in various different ways depending on their own community s culture and beliefs.
Ceremonies or traditions are performed throughout Ghost Month so that people will be protected from attacks or pranks by the ghosts and to honor and worship ancestors. Special rituals include burning incense; laying out ancestral photos, paintings, and artifacts; and most importantly, preparing food. It s believed that the ghosts have been wandering the land since the beginning of Ghost Month-so they must be pretty hungry by the 15th!
Lots of other rituals are performed during Ghost Month, including burning fake paper money. People do this so that their deceased ancestors will have the money they need during their time on earth. Monks also throw rice and small pieces of food in the air to give to the ghosts.

The festival goes by several other names including Hungry Ghost Festival, Zhongyuan Festival, and Yu Lan Pen Festival.

People avoid doing certain things during Ghost Month including going out at night, whistling, and wearing red-which apparently the ghosts are attracted to!


The theater groups that weren t invited to perform in 1947 put on their shows on the fringes of the Edinburgh International Festival, which is where the Fringe Festival got its name from.


EDINBURGH FESTIVAL FRINGE
For three weeks in August, the Fringe Festival takes over almost every part of Edinburgh as musicians, actors, dancers, comedians, and every kind of performer you can think of fill theaters, bars, churches, streets, and every available space imaginable to be a part of a festival like no other.
The festival dates back to 1947, when a group of performers who hadn t been invited to take part in the Edinburgh International Festival decided to come anyway and put on their shows. Since then, the festival has grown year after year, making it the largest arts festival in the world. Today, there is no committee that decides who can or can t perform, meaning that anyone who has a story to tell, can find some available space to put on their show, and wants to be a part of this incredible festival can do so!
In previous years, over 55,000 performances have taken place during the almost month-long festivities. The festival has something for absolutely everyone and includes theater, comedy, dance, physical theater, circus, cabaret, children s shows, musicals, opera, music, spoken word, exhibitions and events, and so much more. Thousands of performers from all over the world cover Scotland s capital every year and fill the city with an explosive and creative energy.

Over two million people from all over the world come to the Fringe Festival every year!



HAJJ
Hajj is the annual pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia, which every adult Muslim is expected to make at least once in their lifetime as long as they are physically and financially capable of doing so.
Millions of Muslims travel to the holy city of Mecca every year to praise God, with some people walking for thousands of miles to get there. Once there, people pray toward the Ka bah, the house of God, located in the Grand Mosque in Mecca. No matter where a Muslim is in the world, this is the spot that they turn and pray toward.
For five days, people pray within Mecca and in the deserts that surround it. A series of rituals are performed including walking counterclockwise around the Ka bah seven times, walking or running between two hills called Al-Safa and Al-Marwah (also seven times), and visiting the plains of Mount Arafat, where Muslims pray to God for forgiveness of past sins and for a good life in the future. Finally Muslims throw small stones at pillars, which represents the act of rejecting evil.

At the end of the pilgrimage, meat is given to the less fortunate, people shave their heads, and Muslims around the world celebrate the three-day festival of Eid al-Adha.

So that they can feel closer to God, people wear simple clothes and refrain from arguing with one another.

Hajj is one of the Five Pillars of Islam. The other pillars are faith, prayer, charity, and fasting. Anyone that completes the journey can add Hajj to their name.

The festival has become so popular that organizers had to make it a ticketed event. Before this, crowds of up to 50,000 people filled the streets to join in the fun.


LA TOMATINA
Every year on the last Wednesday of August, 20,000 people fill the streets of Bu ol in Spain to throw tomatoes at each other, resulting in the biggest tomato mess you ve ever seen!
No one is quite sure how the festival began, but it s believed to have started either in 1944 or 1945. Some say that one year some upset locals threw tomatoes at their town council, while others say that it stemmed from a local food fight among friends. But whatever the reason, people enjoyed it so much that it became a tradition!
On the morning of the festival, several trucks haul tons of tomatoes into the center of the town. Water cannons are then fired to signal the start of the festival, and it doesn t take long for the streets to turn into rivers filled with tomato juice and pulp!

People are only allowed to throw the tomatoes after they have been squished so it doesn t hurt so much.
BATTLE OF THE ORANGES
ITALY

Every year, the city of Ivrea transforms into a river of sweet-smelling oranges! Nine different teams are organized to take part in this food fight, and over 500,000 pounds of oranges are turned to pulp during the battle!

FOOD FESTIVALS
Take your taste buds on a journey like no other by visiting just a few of the most delicious food festivals from all around the world! Whether you re eating, throwing, or rolling, you ll be able to find a festival somewhere in the world to fill your appetite!
THE ONION MARKET
SWITZERLAND

Every November, people journey from all around to be a part of this tear-inducingly wonderful food festival. Wander from stall to stall and sample onion sausages, soup, tarts, and many more delicious onion treats!
HERRING FESTIVAL
DENMARK

Every year, herring migrate to Danish waters to breed. And every year people take part in the unofficial world herring championship! Apart from fishing competitions, you can also enjoy tucking into some herring delicacies.
CHINCHILLA MELON FESTIVAL
AUSTRALIA

Known as the Melon Capital of Australia, every two years Chinchilla is covered in pips, pulp, and skin as watermelons burst onto the scene! Activities include the heaviest melon competition and skiing with melons!
COOPER S HILL CHEESE ROLLING AND WAKE
ENGLAND

Starting on the top of Cooper s Hill, contestants chase after a nine-pound round of cheese. The first person to cross the finish line at the bottom of the hill wins the cheese! On your mark, get set, GO!

SUMMER SOLSTICE
On June 21 every year in the northern hemisphere of the world, people experience the longest day and the shortest night of the entire year-this is known as the summer solstice or Midsummer. It is one of the oldest and most widely observed festivals, and people around the world celebrate this long day of sunlight in different and wonderful ways.
STONEHENGE
GREECE
SWEDEN
GERMANY
BELARUS

In Greece, some people try and jump over a bonfire three times as part of their celebrations. If they do this, it s believed they will have a wish granted. This is very dangerous and not to be tried out!
Stonehenge s standing stone structure was built thousands of years ago. On June 21 every year, the sun rises over the Heel Stone (a very large stone in the structure), and the sun always sets over the Heel Stone on the shortest day of the year. Because of this, some historians believe that Stonehenge may have been used as a calendar, linked to the study of the night sky.
The maypole is at the center of all the Midsummer celebrations in Sweden. Once a sign of fertility, today people wear crowns of flowers, dance, and sing around the maypole to celebrate the longest day of the year.
This celebration is sometimes called Litha in parts of Bavaria, and fire plays a central role. Big bonfires are created, and people spend the night singing and dancing around their flickering light.
In Belarus, the celebrations are called Kupala Night. Part of the festivities includes women floating small flower wreaths down a river. This is supposed to help them see what the future has in store for their love lives!
FALL
Daylight begins to fade as the days grow shorter, the ground is covered in a patchwork quilt of crunchy, colorful leaves, and a crisp chill fills the air. Fall is a magical time full of seasonal change with a wonderful assortment of festivals celebrated all around the world.


The Mid-Autumn Festival is the second most important festival in China, with the Chinese New Year being the most important. People see the moon as a symbol of reunion, harmony, and happiness.


MID-AUTUMN FESTIVAL
Celebrated in the middle of fall, when the moon is at its biggest, brightest, and roundest, the Mid-Autumn Festival or Moon Festival is a time when families and communities from East Asia come together, light lanterns, and eat mooncakes.
The festival has no fixed date but usually is observed on the 15th day of the eighth month of the lunar calendar (usually around September or October). Celebrated mostly in Chinese and Vietnamese communities, it is traditionally a harvest festival where people give thanks to the moon for its part in providing a plentiful crop.
The festival is over 3,000 years old, and different stories and legends have been passed down from generation to generation to explain its origins. One such story tells the tale of the moon goddess, Chang e. After her husband, Yi, shot down nine suns that were scorching the earth, he was given the elixir of life as a reward. However, his apprentice tried to steal it. To stop him doing this, Chang e drank the potion and flew to the moon so she would still be close to her husband. When Yi discovered what had happened, he laid out fruit and cake as a sacrifice to worship his wife.
Today people all over the world celebrate by coming together to pay homage to the full moon. Food sacrifices are sometimes offered to the moon, believing that it will bring good luck. Paper lanterns filled with light are often floated gently into the sky as communities gather together to give thanks.

Some communities perform dragon and lion dances during the festival for luck. People also give gifts of mooncakes to friends and family. These are sweet pastries made from sugary pastes and salted egg yolk.

The Jade Rabbit is a popular symbol during the festival. He is believed to live on the moon and keeps Chang e company.

The Giants Parade is a sight to be seen! Huge papier-m ch giants parade down the streets and can measure over 13 feet tall!


LA MERC FESTIVAL
Every year in Barcelona, La Merc Festival takes place for five days, transforming the city s streets into a huge outdoor party. Hundreds of events take place all over the city as people get ready for a Catalan celebration like no other.
The festival was traditionally held to honor Barcelona s patron saint, the Virgin of La Merc , bid farewell to the long summer months and welcome in the shorter, cooler autumn days. Today people celebrate with countless different events all over the city including live music, street performances, a Giants Parade, and much more.
A Correfoc or fire run is an open-air performance where people dressed in devil outfits or as monstrous creatures set off fireworks. People attending are warned to cover up as sparks often fly into the crowds! This tradition dates back to the 12th century, when the Ball de Diables or dance of the devils was a popular type of street theater that portrayed the forces of good and evil.
One of the highlights of the festival is a performance put on by a group called the Castellers de Barcelona. Thousands of people pack in tightly to fill a big open space called the Pla a de Jaume to watch the Castellers try to build a human tower. The towers follow precise steps and instructions and are made up of three definite parts-the pinya (or base), the tronc (or trunk), and the pom de dalt (or the crown of the castle). These towers can reach up to ten levels tall, but it takes a huge amount of skill and practice to do this.

There is a tamer Correfoc for children held before the main event. Here people in dragon costumes wave sparklers as they dance through the street.

The Ball de Bastons is another event where people dance to a choreographed jig as they clash their sticks or batons together.

ALBUQUERQUE INTERNATIONAL BALLOON FIESTA
Every October for nine whole days, the skies of Albuquerque, New Mexico, are scattered with hot air balloons in every color imaginable, creating the largest balloon festival in the world. People from all over the globe journey to Albuquerque in the first weeks of October to take part in the fun as hundreds upon hundreds of giant balloons lift high up into the sky. Beginning in 1972 with just 13 balloons, the festival has grown year after year, and today has its very own 385-acre Balloon Fiesta Park, which is also home to the Anderson-Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum. One of the highlights of the events is the Special Shape Rodeo. During this event, balloons of all shapes and sizes are launched into the air. Cows, dinosaurs, bumblebees, zebras, clowns, giraffes, fish, and almost every other shape imaginable float skyward as thousands of people below gaze up at this menagerie of balloons.

Mass Ascension is also part of the festival s events. This is where 500 balloons from all over the world rise together as one into the sky.
Dawn Patrol is carried out by those who like to fly in the dark. They also have an important job to do and every day before sunrise they rise up to check weather conditions.
Official launch directors for the pilots and crew of the hot air balloons are called Zebras because of the black-and-white-striped shirts they wear!

HALLOWEEN
Dressed up as ghouls, fairies, pirates, and robots, today Halloween is a time when children go door-to-door trick-or-treating. However, this wasn t always the way this most haunting of days was celebrated . . .
The day is said to have its origins in the Celtic festival Samhain. In Ireland and other parts of Europe, Celts believed that on the very last day of October the lines between the worlds of the living and the dead became blurred. To stop ghosts wreaking havoc on their crops and animals, the Celts would light huge bonfires and dress up to ward off evil spirits.
Over time, the festival lost its pagan undertones and Christianity took over. People began to celebrate All Hallow s Eve and All Saints Day on the following day, which honored the dead. Eventually the festival got the name we know it by today-Halloween. Today, people celebrate in different and unique ways. In the USA, people carve elaborate pumpkins, while in Kawasaki, Japan, a huge Halloween parade is held where over 2,000 costume-wearers take part.

Traditionally, jack-o -lanterns weren t made out of pumpkins, but instead were made out of turnips, beets, and potatoes!
Barmbrack (a kind of fruit cake) is eaten around Halloween. Different objects are baked into it, which are believed to tell a person s future. A ring means you ll marry soon, and a coin means a prosperous year awaits.


DAY OF THE DEAD
Celebrated over two days on the 1st and 2nd of November in Mexico and other parts of Latin America, the Day of the Dead is a time of color and joy when people celebrate and remember loved ones who have died.
The festival is believed to have stemmed from ancient Aztec, Toltec, and other Nahua people s traditions. They considered mourning the dead disrespectful. Today it is Mexico s most celebrated religious holiday. It s thought that it is a time when the souls of deceased family members come back to earth. To honor and welcome them home, families set up ofrendas or altars that usually contain photos, food, candles, and paper decorations.
People who celebrate the Day of the Dead believe that the souls of their loved ones would be offended if they came home and found their family in mourning. So instead, the festival serves to celebrate the deceased through music and funny stories. Huge parades are held, and people fill the streets dressed in skeleton costumes with colorful paints decorating their faces.

Pan de muerto is often eaten during the festival. This is a sweet, eggy bread usually infused with orange peel. People also eat sweets shaped like skeletons and skulls.

Mictecac huatl, also known as the Lady of the Dead, was the goddess of the underworld, and during the time of the Aztecs, it was believed that she would lead the celebrations of the day.
The ancient Aztecs once believed that spirits could return home as butterflies. In certain parts of Mexico, millions of monarch butterflies migrate from Canada during the same week as the Day of the Dead.

Traditionally, straw dolls of Guy Fawkes were tossed on the bonfires. This is less common now, and huge crackling fires and dancing fireworks are the central focus of the day.


GUY FAWKES DAY
Remember, remember the 5th of November, Gunpowder treason and plot. We see no reason Why gunpowder treason Should ever be forgot . . .
Every year on November 5, people all over the UK celebrate Guy Fawkes Day. Also known as Bonfire Night, this is a night when huge fires are lit all over the country and massive displays of fireworks explode into the night sky to the sound of oohs and aahs from the watching crowds.
The night dates back to 1605, when a group of conspirators attempted and failed to blow up the Houses of Parliament in London-an act known as the Gunpowder Plot. Led by Robert Catesby, Guy Fawkes and his fellow plotters were angry at the Protestant king for his treatment of the Catholics. They plotted to murder the king using 36 barrels of gunpowder, which they placed secretly in a cellar beneath the Houses of Parliament. However, the plot was discovered and stopped before the explosion could take place.
Today Guy Fawkes Day is celebrated across the UK and in a number of countries that were formerly part of the British Empire, with parades, bonfires, and fireworks-which traditionally are meant to represent the explosives that the plotters didn t get to use.

Apparently, up until 1959, it was illegal not to celebrate Bonfire Night in the UK!

Every year, guards check the Houses of Parliament on November 5 to make sure it is safe. However, this is more for tradition than anything!

FIRE FESTIVALS
Fire is a huge part of festivals around the world. Its burning light has been used to represent the passing of seasons, as a means to banish evil spirits, and in countless other rituals and traditions. As the sun sets, flickering flames fill the air in these fiery festivals.
TORCH FESTIVAL
CHINA
UP HELLY AA FIRE FESTIVAL
SCOTLAND
BUERGBRENNEN
LUXEMBOURG
LANTERN FESTIVAL
CHINA
WAKAKUSA YAMAYAKI / THE MOUNTAIN ROAST
JAPAN

At the end of January, thousands of people journey to Scotland to celebrate a Viking-themed fire festival that includes parades, traditional songs, and burning torches as far as the eye can see.
Every year, people all over southwestern China celebrate this festival for three whole days. Flaming torches are carried and people gather together for Bonfire Parties where they sing and dance the night away.
Every year in Luxembourg, huge bonfires are lit across the country on the first Sunday in Lent. People watch the dancing flames, which traditionally represent the end of winter and the beginning of spring.
This celebration traditionally marks the end of the Chinese New Year festival period. Crowds fill the streets and float little paper lanterns up toward the full moon, creating a night sky full of tiny lantern lights.
Every year Mount Wakakusa is set on fire. No one knows where this tradition began. Some believe it was due to a conflict over boundaries while others think that the fire was used to drive away wild boars.



DIWALI
Diwali is a five-day festival that celebrates new beginnings, the triumph of good over evil and light over dark. It takes place annually and marks the start of the Hindu New Year. The exact date changes every year because it is determined depending on the position of the moon, but it is usually celebrated in October or November. It originates in India, but people all over the world celebrate this vibrant festival.
The festival is observed by Hindus, Sikhs, and Jains, and as a result, traditions and celebrations vary from religion to religion. During the five-day festival, people often exchange gifts and sweets, wear new clothes, gather together to eat, and watch incredible displays of fireworks. Many prepare for the festival by cleaning their houses and putting up decorations, including little oil lamps called diyas.

Many honor the Hindu goddess of wealth, Lakshmi. It is thought that she brings blessings for the New Year. People light lamps and open their doors to welcome her into their homes. Others associate the festival with the return of the gods Rama and Sita to their birthplace in Ayodhya, after their triumph over the demon Ravana.

The five days of Diwali are Dhanteras (Day of Fortune), Naraka Chaturdasi (Day of Knowledge), Diwali (Day of Light), Annakut (New Year), and Bhai Duj (Day of Love Between Siblings).

Rangoli are beautiful patterns that people draw at the entrance of their homes to welcome the gods. These are created using colorful powders and flowers.

D SALPE
Huge bells clang noisily, hooves clip-clop, cows moo deeply, and herders call to one another-D salpe has arrived! After four months of grazing in the lush green Alpine pastures, it s time for the cows to make their way back down to the valleys below, where they will return to their winter homes.
In spring, farmers all over France, Switzerland, and other Alpine countries take their cattle to the mountaintops to graze on the highest pastures. Then, every September, Alpine cows are given colorful floral headdresses and are herded back down the mountain by the local farmers. Traditionally, the cows wore huge bells around their necks to protect them from evil spirits.
This has become a much-loved tradition for locals and tourists alike, who gather on the sides of the path to watch the cows make their journey home.

The farmers wear special outfits too. Men wear a bredzon, which usually consists of a light blue shirt under a short-sleeved blazer, while the women don a dzaquillon, which is a traditional checkered dress and colorful pinafore.
Cheesemongers sell their products to the gathering spectators and a loud and boisterous brass band plays traditional music to welcome the herd back to the valley.



THANKSGIVING
Every year, on the fourth Thursday of November, Thanksgiving is celebrated all over the USA and in other parts of the world. Decorations are hung, delicious pumpkin pies are baked, elaborate meals are prepared, and people travel far and wide to be with their friends and family.
There are various versions of the Thanksgiving story. The most common centers around the story of colonists (who would become known as the Pilgrims) arriving in America, which they call the New World in 1620. Here they met the Wampanoag people who helped them to settle. But this story leaves out the many conflicts between the colonists and the Native Americans, the indigenous people who suffered greatly at the hands of the European settlers.
The Thanksgiving holiday was officially established in 1863 to try and unite the nation after the American Civil War, but this is not the story taught. Today, many feel the most well-known version of the Thanksgiving story leaves out this important part of history.
Today huge parades are held around the USA to celebrate Thanksgiving-with the most famous being the Macy s Day Parade in New York City. For most, though, the day centers around joining with family and friends to share in a huge feast. Roast turkey, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, and pumpkin pie are all featured on the Thanksgiving menu.

Every year, there is an official presidential pardon of a turkey. This lucky turkey gets to live out the rest of its life on the farm!

In 1827, Sarah Josepha Hale, author of Mary Had a Little Lamb, launched a campaign for Thanksgiving to be a national holiday.

MONKEY BUFFET FESTIVAL
Every year in Lopburi, Thailand, a very different kind of festival is held. Mounds of bright and colorful exotic fruit are stacked on top of each other and tons of vegetables are neatly arranged ready for the guests of honor. However, this massive feast isn t for you, your family, or any of your friends to enjoy. Instead, the lucky attendees are quite furry . . . !
The festival is celebrated every year to honor macaque monkeys, which are thought to bring good luck to Lopburi and the people who live there. Some believe that this tradition is linked back to the story of prince Rama and his wife, who had been captured by a demon lord. The story goes that the monkey king Hanuman helped rescue Rama s wife, and since then, monkeys have been seen as a sign of good luck. The buffet is a way for people to show their appreciation to them, and on the last Sunday of November, more than 3,000 monkeys are treated to a feast like no other!
The festival starts with locals dressed in monkey costumes who perform simple dances to try to attract the monkeys. Huge banquet tables are covered in so much vibrant fruit, delicious vegetables, sticky rice, and sweet Thai desserts that not even an inch of the table can be seen. It doesn t take long for the monkeys to arrive and people come from far and wide to watch them filling their bellies with all the food they can eat!

Roughly 9,000 pounds of food is prepared every year for the monkeys to feast on! Some pieces of fruit are frozen in huge blocks of ice, so the monkeys have to work extra hard to get it out!
The festival is held near the temple of Phra Prang Sam Yot in Lopburi-which is also nicknamed the city of monkeys.

ANIMAL FESTIVALS
Every year around the world different festivals are held to pay respect, honor, and celebrate our animal friends. One such festival is the Hermanus Whale Festival. Every September, this three-day festival is held on the Cape Whale Coast in South Africa, dedicated to the larger-than-life southern right whale. Thousands of visitors flock to the area to learn all about these gentle giants and try to get a glimpse of them as they rise to the surface of the water.
HERMANUS WHALE FESTIVAL
SOUTH AFRICA
TIHAR FESTIVAL
NEPAL
BIKANER CAMEL FESTIVAL
INDIA
VELAS TURTLE FESTIVAL
INDIA
SURIN ELEPHANT ROUND-UP
THAILAND

This Hindu festival celebrates the links between humans and animals. On the first four days, crows, dogs, cows, and oxen are celebrated, while the love of brothers and sisters is recognized on the fifth day.
Every year this two-day festival is held to honor the incredible camels who survive the harsh desert conditions. The camels are dressed in beautifully colorful costumes and parade across the hot desert sand.
Around March, olive ridley turtles come to Velas Beach to lay their eggs. These turtles are endangered, and this festival provides protection to the eggs to ensure that the baby turtles can hatch and find their way to the sea.
This festival is dedicated to paying respect to elephants. It begins with the Elephant Breakfast, where these magnificent beasts are treated to melons, bananas, pineapples, and a host of other delicious treats.

The Pearly title is a hereditary one, which means that the only way to become a Pearly is to be born into the family or marry one!
The suits the Pearlys wear are called Smother Suits and are covered in sparkly buttons, badges, and glitter.


THE PEARLY KINGS AND QUEENS HARVEST FESTIVAL
Every September, Pearlys put on their black pearly button covered suits and gather together in their masses at Guildhall Yard to celebrate the autumn harvest before parading through the streets of London to St. Mary-le-Bow Church.
The Pearlys date back to the 1870s, when Henry Croft decorated his clothes with pearly buttons to draw attention to himself while he was collecting money for charity. He got the idea from the costermongers, street merchants who sewed buttons on their trousers. Croft s outfit and charity work attracted so much attention that he was inundated with requests from hospitals, churches, and other organizations to help them raise money. However, this was too much for just one person and so Croft approached the costermongers who had inspired his style and asked them to join him in his charity work. They became the first Pearly family.
Today the Pearlys continue with their efforts to raise money for different charities, and year-round they take part in various fund-raising events. At the end of September, they put on their Harvest Festival as a way to thank all of their supporters who have helped them in their fund-raising throughout the year. Maypole dancing, Morris dancing, and a loud and busy marching band fill the streets of London at this annual celebration, which culminates in a service at St. Mary-le-Bow Church.

Today a statue of Henry Croft can be seen in the crypt of St. Martin-in-the-Fields Church in London.
WINTER
Sleigh bells ring, decorations are delicately hung, and snow begins to drift silently through the air-winter has finally arrived. Wrap up warm, watch your breath dance in the frosty air, and enjoy the cool crunch of snow underfoot as the winter months begin to unfold.


People begin their celebrations by lighting a single candle on the first day of Hanukkah. They keep lighting a candle a day, until the final day, when eight candles burn together.
Lighting the candles reminds the Jewish community of the miracle of the menorah and the Maccabees and symbolizes how God looked after the Jewish people.


HANUKKAH
Also known as Chanukah, Hanukkah is the Jewish festival of lights and is celebrated every year by Jewish people all over the world. It begins on the 25th day of the Hebrew month Kislev (which is usually around November or December) and lasts for eight days. It is a time when Jewish friends and families celebrate their faith.
The origins of Hanukkah date back to thousands of years ago, when a Syrian king named Antiochus took over a Jewish holy Temple and tried to force the people to worship Greek gods. However, a group called the Maccabees refused and a great war broke out that lasted for three long years. The Maccabees were victorious and recaptured their holy Temple from King Antiochus and his soldiers. They set about cleaning and repairing the Temple and rededicated it to God. They did this by lighting a small oil lamp called a menorah. There was only enough oil to light the lamp for one day, but miraculously the lamp continued to burn for eight whole days.

Families gather to celebrate, giving gifts, playing games with traditional toys called dreidels, and preparing huge meals. Special foods are often eaten around this time, including doughnuts and latkes, which are a type of potato pancake.

Every year on December 21 in Newgrange, sunlight floods through a small opening called the roof-box and fills the chambers within with a glowing light.


WINTER SOLSTICE
Every year on December 21, the earth tilts on its axis to such a degree that it is the farthest distance from the sun that it will be all year long. For those living in the northern hemisphere of the world, this means that they experience the shortest period of daylight of the entire year and the longest night.
For thousands of years, different cultures and societies have celebrated the winter solstice in their own unique and wonderful ways. Some used it as a calendar to guide different farming activities such as planting crops and managing livestock. Others saw it as a time to celebrate-the shortest day could only mean that longer days were around the corner.
In the Boyne Valley in County Meath, Ireland, a mysterious and ancient temple can be found that celebrates the winter solstice in a magical and luminous way. Built roughly 5,200 years ago by a farming community, Newgrange is a large, circular stone temple and burial place with several chambers inside. Historians believe that the tomb was built to mark the beginning of the New Year and as a symbol of life triumphing over death.

Newgrange is older than Stonehenge and the Great Pyramid of Giza.

Some Christmas symbols have their roots in the winter solstice. The Yule log comes from the pagan ritual of lighting a log on the eve of the solstice to protect against evil spirits and bring luck.

ICE AND SNOW FESTIVALS
Every year around the world, people pull on their sweaters, wrap up in their thickest coats, dig out their heavy snow boots, and get ready for their favorite frosty festivals. Ice chisels ready? Let s go!
SAPPORO SNOW FESTIVAL
JAPAN

Every year, for eight days, the city of Sapporo in Japan becomes a winter wonderland as millions of people travel to the area to see the spectacular snow statues and ice sculptures. Ice chisels ready? Let s go!
WORLD SNOW FESTIVAL
SWITZERLAND

Every January, Grindelwald hosts a celebration of ice-cold art. Artists from all around the world take part in the festival and compete to design figures and sculptures out of 3-foot-high blocks of snow.
KIRUNA SNOW FESTIVAL
SWEDEN

This snow sculpture competition takes place every January. From husky sled rides to playgrounds built out of ice, wrap up warm and get ready for a chilly adventure.
CARNAVAL DE QU BEC
CANADA

This snowy festival has something for everyone! Frozen ice sculptures, dazzling light shows, speedy dog sledding, magical nighttime parades, and even ax-throwing competitions!
HARBIN INTERNATIONAL ICE AND SNOW SCULPTURE FESTIVAL
CHINA

The largest ice festival in the world: millions journey to Harbin in China to be a part of this magical month-long celebration. Over the years, gigantic ice castles have been created, along with a huge Buddha statue made from snow.

In lots of households around the world, people wake on Christmas morning and tiptoe downstairs to see if Santa Claus and his reindeer have visited them in the night.


CHRISTMAS
Happy Christmas! Nollaig Shona Dhuit! Feliz Navidad! Joyeux No l! Fr hliche Weihnachten! Zalig Kerstfeest! Feliz Natal! Glaedelig Jul! Boldog Kar csonyt! Buon Natale! Gle ileg J l! Merii Kurisumasu! God Jul, Gledelig Jul! Weso ych wi t!
Whatever way you want to say it, Christmas is a time when people all over the world celebrate with friends and family in their own festive way. People in countries around the globe have their own unique traditions, but a lot of people begin the season by putting up a lush green Christmas tree, covering it with tiny twinkling lights and hanging their favorite decorations from its spiny branches.
Traditionally, Christmas is a time when Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus. However, December 25 isn t seen by everyone as a religious holiday and people celebrate Christmas with different customs and traditions regardless of their religion or beliefs.
In France, children leave their shoes out on Christmas Eve in the hope that P re No l will fill them with sweets; in the Philippines, families hang a star-shaped lantern called a par l to remember the star of Bethlehem; in Norway, children eagerly await the arrival of Julenisse, who brings them presents on Christmas Eve; while in Japan, some families tuck into a Christmas Day feast of Kentucky Fried Chicken!

In Austrian tradition, a beast-like demon called Krampus is said to punish bad behavior, while St. Nicholas rewards good behavior.

Christmas falls during the summer in Australia, and lots of families pack up their Christmas feasts and head down to the beach to celebrate the festive day with sea, sun, sand, and surf!

The most important day for Buddhists is Wesak or Buddha Day, celebrated in May. On this day, Buddhists remember the Buddha s birthday and his enlightenment.


BODHI DAY
Every year, Buddhists around the world celebrate Bodhi Day. People spend the day meditating and reflecting on their place in the world.
Buddhists believe that Bodhi Day is the day that Buddha gained enlightenment. Buddha was born Siddhartha Gautama and was a rich prince from Nepal. He led a wealthy and comfortable life, but he realized that life wasn t quite so perfect for everyone. Although he was healthy and comfortable, he saw sickness and pain in the world and knew that he could no longer live his own life of luxury. He went out into the world to find meaning and understand why there was suffering. The story goes that he vowed to sit beneath a Bodhi tree until he found answers to his questions. He sat beneath the tree meditating for a week and on the eighth day gained enlightenment-which means total inner peace and freedom from want. From this moment on, he was known as the Buddha, and he dedicated the rest of his life to teaching others what he discovered.
People celebrate Bodhi Day in different ways. Some spend the day meditating, chanting Buddhist texts, or performing acts of kindness for other people. Others mark the day by drinking tea and eating cake. Some families hang colored lights in their homes-these lights are used to symbolize the many pathways to enlightenment.

Some Buddhists eat rice porridge as part of the day s celebrations. This is because some believe that this was the first meal Buddha had after he gained enlightenment.

Meditation is a key part of Buddhism. Through meditation, Buddhists believe they can clear their mind, making it a calm and peaceful place.


PONGAL
This four-day Indian festival is celebrated every year and takes place in the middle of January. People gather to thank the sun god, the Earth, and any farm animals that have helped yield a plentiful harvest. The festival is celebrated by many with different traditions varying from region to region.
On the first day, people clean their houses, throw away old and useless items, and pick out new clothes for the occasion. On the second day, a special rice dish, a bit like rice pudding, is prepared. Milk is boiled until it overflows and then rice is added. When it is ready, cashew nuts and raisins are added and the whole family gathers to eat this special and delicious meal. People also create special drawings called kolam using rice flour to decorate their homes.
The third day is a time when farmers show their thanks to the animals that have helped them throughout the year. The Hindu story goes that Lord Shiva sent Nandi, his bull, to Earth with a message: have an oil bath once a day and eat once a month. However, Nandi got confused and told the people to eat daily and bathe once a month! Shiva was so angry that he banished Nandi to Earth, where he would have to plow fields and help people produce more food. This is why cattle are celebrated on this day.
The fourth and final day is dedicated to visiting family.

In some regions, women lay out the leftover rice dish on a turmeric leaf along with a few other ingredients. They do this in the name of their brothers.

Cattle are washed, their horns are decorated, and colorful flowers and tinkling little bells are hung around their necks. The cattle are also given special foods to eat and brought to the local villages.
The four different days of Pongal are Bhogi, Thai Pongal, Mattu Pongal, and Kaanum Pongal. The term pongal means to boil over.

The Stone of Hope is a statue of King that was unveiled in 2011. The statue was inspired by a line from King s I Have a Dream speech: Out of the mountain of despair, a stone of hope.


MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. DAY
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.
Every year, this day celebrates the life and achievements of the inspirational Martin Luther King Jr., who is best known for his campaigns for racial justice and equality in the USA. It is held on the third Monday of January every year, which is around King s birthday on January 15. On this day, people honor King and remember his inspiring words and the contributions he made to help America reach his vision of becoming an equal society.
King achieved a great deal in his life, but he is perhaps best remembered for his part in organizing the March on Washington in 1963. Over 250,000 people attended the march and rallied for the importance of civil rights. Among other things, people marched to end segregation in public schools and pass laws that put a stop to discrimination in the workplace. It was at this march that King gave his I Have a Dream speech, which focuses on his wishes for a society of equality and freedom and has become one of the most famous speeches in history. The March on Washington was a success, and in 1964, the Civil Rights Act was passed, outlawing racial segregation and discrimination in America.
Every year people around the world celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day in his honor and remember his dream that, one day, everyone would all be treated as equals.


Every Chinese year has a different animal associated with it. The animals are: Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, Pig, Rat, and Ox.
The color red is used a lot during the festival-in costumes, decorations, and clothes. This is because it symbolizes happiness, wealth, and prosperity.


CHINESE NEW YEAR
Also known as the Spring Festival, Chinese New Year marks the beginning of the new calendar year in China, and it is one of the most important celebrations of the whole year. The date changes every year because it follows the lunar calendar, which is based on the movement of the moon. However, it usually falls somewhere between mid-January and mid-February and lasts for 15 days.
The origins of the festival date back thousands of years. Legend says that a monster named Nian would appear every New Year s Eve and terrify local Chinese villagers. People hid inside their houses away from this terrifying creature . . . until one day a brave boy used a loud firecracker to scare off the monster. From that moment on, people celebrated the defeat of the monster with fireworks.
Some families begin the celebration with a dinner on New Year s Eve to celebrate the previous year. Others clean their house before the festivities begin to get rid of any bad luck from the last year.
Huge fireworks displays are put on and deafening bangs fill the air while bright and colorful explosions dance across the sky.
On the final day of the festival, paper lanterns are lit. People believe that this will light the way for the New Year, and it is called the Lantern Festival.

People fill the streets to watch colorful parades of dancing dragons and lions. Large teams dress up as long and winding dragons and move poles hidden underneath their costume so that the creatures move and dance.

Because it was once thought that birds began mating in February, they too have become a symbol of the day.


VALENTINE S DAY
Every year on February 14, people across the world send cards, buy flowers, write poems, and purchase gifts to profess their love to that special someone. However, despite it being a hugely popular day, not many people know who St. Valentine was or why these traditions began.
There are several stories and legends surrounding Valentine s Day. One such story dates back to Roman times when Emperor Claudius II outlawed marriage. He did this because he believed that men without wives and families made better soldiers. But a priest by the name of Valentine saw this as a cruel and unfair act and so began performing marriages in secret for young lovers. However, when Claudius finally discovered what the priest was up to, he had him thrown in jail and sentenced him to death.
Legend has it that Valentine became friends with the jailer s daughter, and just before his death, he wrote her a note and signed it From your Valentine -an expression that is still used today!

Cupid, the Roman god of love, is often associated with Valentine s Day along with hearts.

Some people believe that Valentine s Day is linked to the Lupercalia-a festival that celebrated the coming of spring.

People come from across the world to view the Festival of the Dancing Masks. It s thought that the largest gathering drew up to 100,000 spectators.

THE FESTIVAL OF THE DANCING MASKS
Drums vibrate through the ground while the sound of music fills the air: the Festival of the Dancing Masks has begun!
Every other year in late February, the incredible Festival of the Dancing Masks (or FESTIMA) takes place to showcase a wide variety of traditional masks from six different African countries: Benin, Ivory Coast, Mali, Togo, Senegal, and 50 of Burkina Faso s villages. It was originally set up in an effort to celebrate traditional beliefs and is held in a town called Dedougou in Burkina Faso in West Africa.
Masks have been an important part of African cultures for thousands of years. They are made from lots of different materials including straw, wood, leaves, and fabric. Some traditional beliefs are that the masks have magical powers and that the wearer of the mask will embody the spirit of the animal or creature that the mask is designed upon. Sometimes a guide will stay close to the mask-wearer so that they can help interpret the message from the spirit.
The festival starts in the early hours of the morning and carries on late into the night. The day s events include storytelling, music, an overall celebration of the different cultures taking part, and, of course, mask dance performances!

Some masks cover just the wearer s face, while others cover their entire body!

Traditionally masks played a big role in weddings and funerals. By putting on this festival every year, societies hope that these traditions won t ever be forgotten.

WATER FESTIVALS
For anyone who doesn t mind getting a bit wet, there are a whole host of water festivals waiting to be discovered!
SONGKRAN
THAILAND
CHAUL CHNAM THMEY
CAMBODIA
BON OM TOUK
CAMBODIA
BORYEONG MUD FESTIVAL
SOUTH KOREA
DAI WATER SPLASHING FESTIVAL
CHINA

This festival marks the beginning of the Cambodian New Year, which lasts for three days. To welcome in the New Year, people take part in the ceremonial pouring of water on each other.
Also known as the Cambodian Water Festival, this three-day-long celebration marks the reversal of the flow of the Tonle Sap River. To mark this natural event, boat races, fireworks, and parades are all organized.
The first annual Mud Festival took place in 1998, and by 2007, the festival had attracted 2.2 million visitors. Mud baths and slides pop up all over to allow festival-goers to soak up the muddy festival fun!
This water festival celebrates the coming of the New Year in Thailand and washes away any bad luck from the previous year. During the festival in lots of areas, major streets are closed to traffic and are used as arenas for water fights. Festival-goers, young and old, take part by splashing water on each other.
Also known as the Water Sprinkling Festival, this very wet event takes place during the Dai New Year celebrations. People splash their friends, family, and neighbors to wish them good luck and prosperity.

Boys who take part in the procession are called star boys. They dress in white, carry stars on sticks, and wear tall paper cones on their heads.
Saint Lucia s Day is also celebrated in other parts of the world. In Italy, children leave out a cup of coffee for Saint Lucia.


SAINT LUCIA S DAY
On December 13 every year, people across Sweden, Denmark, Norway, and Finland celebrate Saint Lucia s Day in honor of the patron saint of light. Saint Lucia was killed by the Romans because of her religious beliefs, and every year Scandinavian countries pay tribute to her.
Also known as the Feast of Saint Lucia, the day marks the beginning of the Christmas season in Scandinavia. Customs and traditions vary from town to town, but usually a young girl is chosen for the day to represent Saint Lucia and to lead the festive parade. The chosen girl wears a long white gown and puts a wreath made of candles on her head for the occasion. She is followed by a group of younger boys and girls, also dressed in white. The group of children sing traditional songs as they parade through the town, holding candles lighting up the dark. This is meant to be a sign of hope and light during the darkest time of the year.
People also celebrate in their own homes. Traditionally, the eldest daughter dresses up in white and serves coffee, saffron bread, and ginger biscuits to her friends and family. Children sing traditional songs about Saint Lucia like this one:
The night treads heavily around yards and dwellings. In places unreached by sun, the shadows brood. Into our dark house she comes, bearing lighted candles, Saint Lucia, Saint Lucia .


Sami people dress in traditional outfits. These include brightly colored tunics, embroidered belts, boots, and furcovered gloves.


JOKKMOKK MARKET
Every year in the village of Jokkmokk in the far north of Sweden, the biggest Sami festival in the world kicks off on the first Thursday in February. Sami people, who are indigenous to the northern parts of Norway, Sweden, Finland, and the Kola Peninsula in Russia, gather together to celebrate the traditions of their cultures and people come from all over the world to take part.
The festival began over 400 years ago, when King Karl IX declared that markets should be set up in Lapland to increase taxes and spread the word of Christianity so that he could have greater control over the nomadic Sami. Today thousands of visitors descend upon the small town of Jokkmokk to be a part of this unique festival.
Traditional folk dancing and fashion shows, dog sledding, reindeer racing, and jojking, which is similar to yodeling, are all part of the festivities. As well as this, every day during the festival a local Sami elder leads a reindeer caravan. This is where a team of reindeer pulls the elder s grandchildren along on wooden sleds through the market s narrow alleys.
The festival is also known for its culinary delights and food lovers come from all around to experience Sami cooking. Colorful stalls line the streets as tourists and locals alike wander around sampling delicious food and drink.

Temperatures can drop as low as -22 degrees Fahrenheit during the festival. So make sure you wrap up warm if you re thinking of joining in the festivities!

NEW YEAR S EVE COUNTDOWN
Every year on December 31, people all over the world get ready to count down to the New Year. Even though the festivities happen at different times across the world because of time differences, the sentiment is the same the world over. Friends and family get together, huge fireworks displays crackle into life, and the air is filled with the noise of crowds counting down to midnight.

One of the most popular ways to ring in the New Year is with a huge fireworks display. Every December, the sky above Sydney Opera House in Australia dances with colorful lights as fireworks explode overhead!

Every year, a huge fireworks display bursts into life above Victoria Harbor in Hong Kong. An hour before midnight, Shooting Stars are released, which are little bursts of fireworks set off every 15 minutes!

Start the New Year with a bang in Kuala Lumpur as fireworks whiz across the sky! Music fills the air, friends and family gather to welcome in the New Year, and the larger-than-life Petronas Towers light up the dark midnight sky.

A highlight of the year for many, New Year in Dubai draws thousands from around the world to watch spectacular fireworks displays. Some years huge pyrotechnics displays are held at the Burj Khalifa-the tallest building in the world!

St. Basil s Cathedral is one of the most recognizable buildings in the world, and on New Year s Eve in Moscow the already colorful structure is soaked in even more color as spinning, whizzing, and shooting fireworks fill the air.

Light shows, street parties, live music, and, of course, fireworks: Paris is one of the best places in the world to ring in the New Year. Couples flock to the Eiffel Tower to count down to midnight and start the New Year with a kiss!

One of the best spots to watch fireworks in London is wrapped up warm along the River Thames. From here you can see Big Ben and the London Eye lit up and ready for the kaleidoscope of colorful dancing fireworks at midnight!

Traditional customs for New Year in Rio de Janeiro include wearing white, jumping over seven little waves to make wishes, and eating lentils! Tourists and locals alike crowd onto Copacabana beach to watch glittering fireworks fill the sky.

In New York City, thousands go to Times Square to watch the ball drop. A huge ball descends a flagpole located on the very top of the Times Square building. When it reaches the bottom, it means the New Year has officially begun!

Along the beautiful sandy beaches of Hawaii, people call to each other, Hau oli Makahiki Hou! to wish each other a very happy New Year as magical fireworks shimmer across the night sky when the clock strikes midnight.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
GLOSSARY Aboriginal Having lived in a land from its earliest times Altar A table or other surface used in religious rituals Annual Taking place every year Beltane Ancient Celtic festival celebrating the peak of spring Bodhi tree A sacred fig tree Bush food Foods native to Australia, often those eaten by Indigenous Australians Choreograph To set out the sequence of steps in a dance Commemorate To celebrate or remember an event or person in a respectful way Contrada A single district within an Italian town such as Siena Culminate To reach the peak or climax Dedicate To devote an object to a specific god or purpose Digeridoo A wooden, tube-shaped Australian Aboriginal wind instrument Discrimination Treating someone unfairly based on who they are Diya A type of small clay oil lamp with a cotton wick Dreidel A Jewish toy shaped like a four-sided spinning top Ecological Related to living things and their relationship with their surroundings Embroidered Covered with decorative patterns sewn in thread Endangered At serious risk of dying out as a species Enlightenment Deep spiritual knowledge that Buddhists believe breaks the cycle of being endlessly reborn Equinox The date, which occurs twice a year, when day and night are the same length Fasting Going without food and drink, especially for religious reasons Flamboyant Bright, colorful, and noticeable Headdress A decorative head covering, often worn for ceremonial reasons Hemisphere Half of the Earth, either north or south of the equator Heritage A community s valued traditions, buildings, or culture, passed from generation to generation Husky A breed of dog with thick, warm fur and a powerful body Indigenous Originating or occurring naturally in a particular country or region Jack-o -lantern A lantern with a face carved out of a hollowed-out vegetable, often a pumpkin or turnip Jayanti The Hindi word for anniversary Kaleidoscope Pattern or sequence that changes all the time Kolam A drawing made on the ground with rice flour or powder made from chalk or rock Latitude The distance north or south of the Earth s equator Liberation Freedom, often from imprisonment or oppression Lotus A type of large water lily, a sacred flower in Buddhism Maypole A tall pole, often painted or decorated with flowers, which people dance around on May Day Meditation Remaining calm or quiet in order to clear and focus the mind, for spiritual reasons or relaxation Menagerie A collection of diverse things or animals Menorah A candelabra with six or eight branches, plus one extra candle used to light the others Mosque A place where Muslims worship Mossiere The official race starter for the Palio di Siena, in charge of making sure the horses are in their correct starting positions Nomadic Traveling from place to place, rather than living in the same place all the time Pagan Someone with religious beliefs that don t follow those of the world s major religions Patron saint A saint who is believed to give special protection to a person, place, or thing Piazza A big, open square in a city or town, especially in Italy Pilgrimage A journey to a place that is meaningful to you, sometimes for religious reasons Powwow An important meeting for Native Americans, sometimes with food, ceremony, and dancing Prosperity Wealth or financial success Pyrotechnic Related to fireworks Pysanky A Ukrainian Easter egg decorated with traditional dyed patterns Resilient Able to withstand difficult challenges Rio Carnival A festival held each year in the week before Catholics begin Lent Samba An energetic Brazilian dance Segregation Forcing people to live separately because of their race, gender, or religion Shamrock A small plant with three round leaves on each stem Solstice The longest or shortest day of the year Symbolize To use one thing as a symbol for another Taoist A believer in the Chinese tradition of Taoism, which encourages a simple and harmonious life Tukkal A type of heavy fighter kite, used by expert kite fliers Turmeric A tropical plant used to make a bright yellow spice to color and flavor food Underworld According to some religions, a place under the Earth where spirits go when they die Uttarayan Hindu festival that celebrates the gods waking from their winter sleep Wreath A decorative circle made from flowers and leaves
Dedication
For Patricia Hickey. Life is a festival. -C.C. For Niall. Here s to a life of celebrating. -C.G.
Copyright

A Year Full of Celebrations and Festivals 2020 Quarto Publishing plc.
Text 2020 Quarto Publishing plc.
Illustrations 2020 Christopher Corr
Written by Claire Grace
First Published in 2020 by Frances Lincoln Children s Books, an imprint of The Quarto Group.
100 Cummings Center, Suite 265D, Beverly, MA 01915, USA.
T +1 978-282-9590 F +1 078-283-2742 www.QuartoKnows.com
The right of Christopher Corr to be identified as the illustrator of this work has been asserted by them in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act, 1988 (United Kingdom).
All rights reserved.
No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means, electrical, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise without the prior written permission of the publisher or a license permitting restricted copying.
A catalog record for this book is available from the British Library.
ISBN 978-0-7112-4543-3
eISBN 978-0-7112-6196-9
The illustrations were created in gouache
Published by Katie Cotton
Designed by Mike Jolley
Edited by Claire Grace
Production by Nicolas Zeifman
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