Holidays valued around the globe

Jade Edmonds and Grace Harvey – Mustangs Ahead

The Holiday season is here and many Americans over the next few weeks will focus on friends, families and festivities.  What many may not realize, however, is the number and diversity of holidays celebrated across the globe –

England:

  • February 28 – Shrove Tuesday- is celebrated by eating pancakes before lent, which is a period where you give up a specific food for 40 days.
  • May 1- May Day- the start of spring.
  • November 5- Guy Fawkes- celebration of the day Guy Fawkes set gunfire under the parliament building and tried to kill King Charles.
  • December 26- Boxing Day- an extra day to celebrate Christmas.

Greece:

  • October 28- Ochi Day- celebration of the Greek refusal to the Italian ultimatum of 1940.
  • December 26- Glorifying Mother of God- celebration of the Theotokos, which means the mother of Jesus in Greek.

Russia:

  • February 23- Protector Of The Motherland Day- celebration of Russia’s army men.
  • March 8- International Women Day- celebration of all women; women are given chocolates and flowers.
  • April 12- Cosmonaut’s Day- celebrates Russia’s achievement of sending human beings into space.
  • May 9- Victory Day- arises from Russia’s victory over Germany in WWII.
  • July 7- Ivan Kupala- Ivan Kupala, or the Day of John the Baptist, is a day that mixes religious belief with pagan traditions. While the day is closely linked to the practice of baptism, this day is most enthusiastically celebrated by children, who dump water on unsuspecting relatives, friends, or passers-by. Ivan Kupala also marks the “official” day when the conditions become appropriate for swimming during the summer months.
  • June 12- Russia Day- celebrates the adoption in 1991 of the Declaration of Sovereignty of the Russian Federation.
  • November 4- Civil Unity Day- refers to a critical point in Russian history and honors the liberation of Moscow on November 4th, 1612 from the Polish invaders – in great manifestation of the national unity – by a people’s army consisting of all classes of the Russian society.

Mexico:

  • September 16- Diez y Seis- the day in 1810 when Father Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla urged Mexicans to rise up against the Spanish-born ruling class.
  • October 12- Dia de la Raza- marks the arrival of Christopher Columbus in North America.
  • December 12- Dia de Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe- Mexicans honor their patron saint with parades and religious celebrations.

India:

  • Janurary 26- Republic Day- on this day in 1930 is when the Declaration of Indian Independence (Purna Swaraj) was proclaimed by the Indian National Congress as opposed to the Dominion status offered by the British Regime.
  • October 2- Gandhi Jayanti- marks the occasion of the birthday of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, the “Father of the Nation“.
  • October 30- Diwali- one of the biggest festival of Hindus, celebrated with great enthusiasm and happiness in India. The festival is celebrated for five continuous days, where the third days is celebrated as the main Diwali festival or ‘Festival of lights’.

Senior Millie Harvey is from England and said, ” My favorite day is Guy Fawkes Day because we set off fireworks and have a celebration with our friends and family”.

Jose Reza said, “I am from Mexico, the one holiday that is not celebrate in the United States is EL DIA DE LOS MUERTOS (day of the dead). El Día de Los Muertos is celebrated each year on Nov. 1 and 2. On Nov. 1 most people dress up like the devil or a skeleton. All of them do it during those days and they go to the streets to march. They make altars that represent the people that died. The alter contains a cross, candle, flowers, frankincense, the glass, photography, and a tablecloth.”

Junior Neil Patel from India said, “There are many holidays in India but the most favorite of mine is Diwali (Diwali is festival for light and also new years for Indian people). In Diwali we do fireworks and have hundreds of food varieties. People gather in temples to offer food to God. They do fireworks all night long. Diwali is usually at the end of October and early November. Its lasts five days.”