Celebrations of Culture


Jannah Al Defaaei, Writer

There are many celebrations that provide a sense of culture and meaning throughout the world. During this time of the year, Christmas and Hanukkah are the main holidays celebrated. Throughout each year, the nations around us celebrate festivals, holidays, and celebrations that they connect with. Each holds a purpose and history that reside in its meaning. 

In Thailand, thousands of lanterns are released throughout the Chiang Mai during the Yi Peng Lantern Festival. It takes place on the evening of the full moon on the 12th month of the Thai lunar calendar, which is usually in November. The lanterns symbolize bad luck, so the act of releasing means releasing your bad luck into oblivion.  If your lantern disappears into the darkness before the candle burns out, it is said that you will have extremely good luck that year.  The festival itself was adapted from Brahmin origins and has close ties with the ancient Lanna Kingdom.

The Holi Festival of Color is celebrated in Indian Hindus in celebration of the arrival of spring, symbolizing good over evil. It always falls on Purnima, the day of the full moon, and lasts for two days. A bonfire is lit and is meant to burn away all bad and evil. People gather in big crowds with colored dye (powder), water guns, music, and dancing. They throw the colored dye onto one another, which creates a magical image of happiness. It is a happy time where people come together and let go of all worries.

The Harbin Ice Festival in China involves massive ice sculptures that make up an ice wonderland. This festival has gained worldwide recognition and attracts many tourists. It has grown into a cultural celebration with traditional folk songs, dances, and performances. It also includes a group marriage ceremony, where as much as 40 couples get married a year. Some competitions that are held include ice swimming, ice sailing, speed skating, and mountain skiing. This festival brings people from different cultures together to experience a new culture.

There is an endless number of cultural celebrations held all over the world. We are ignorant to most, but once we learn about them, we often realize how much we are missing out on. The world is a beautiful place filled with beautiful cultures, and this is just a taste of it.