“A nation’s culture resides in the heart and soul of its people”
A person’s true identity resides in its culture and traditions, which go on from generation to generation. It brings a lot more than just an identity to a unique nation or a group of people, it also brings unity among different sets of people and also around the world, securing a place where everyone respects uniqueness and embraces it together.
Each country either shares a common tradition that is celebrated around the globe at the same time or a unique one giving enlightenment to its country. Certain places have traditions and cultures that are so magnificent that people worldwide travel at that time of the year just to witness it or feel the emotions of that season.
Lanna’s Lantern Festival, Yi Peng
One of the best things about traveling is, you get to embrace and experience different traditions. And what’s more fascinating than the festival of lights, also known as Lanna’s Lantern festival, is celebrated in Chiang Mai. People across the world travel in November just to witness the spectacular shades of light filling up the dark sky.
Those incredible movements, when hundreds, if not thousands of brightly shining lanterns rise into the night’s sky over Chiang Mai, are truly an iconic moment to be captured.
These small acts, indeed have a meaning, which is printed in history. Locals believe that this time of the year when rivers get filled to their fullest and the moon is at its brightest- the perfect time to “ make a wish” and set your floating Krathong off on the Ping River according to the traditions.
The Yi Peng Lantern Festival is worth witnessing. It’s not only because of its remarkable beauty but also because it is loading with deep meaning for anyone who chooses to participate in it.
History of Yi Peng and its Significance
This festival is believed to be originated in India, although this festival is deeply rooted in Buddhism. Earlier it was celebrated as a symbol of the withdrawal of the monsoon season and the arrival of the cool- dry season
This is celebrated in a close knot to the Lanna kingdom and is considered the biggest festival celebrated in Chiang Mai, the ancient capital of the Lanna Kingdom.
Each of our actions has some hidden meaning; which is being carried throughout history. In the same way, it is believed that these lanterns intend to take away all the negativity and, misfortune as they ascend higher up in the sky.
Buddhist monks believe that anything you ask for, with pure intentions in your heart, shall come true. this festival to be the time to “ make merit’
Also during this time, the street gets filled up with people and local vendors selling lanterns and shops with a wide variety of foods and drinks, to make this experience even more rememberable.
The best place to celebrate is one can go to Mae Jo University but remember to hurry up as everyone wants a good spot during the big release.
La Tomatina, Spain
Talking about the La Tomatina festival, August ends marks the beginning of this famous annual Spanish festival. Which is held in the Valencian town of Bunyol.
This colorful and messy festival involves participants coming from all around the globe throwing thousands and thousands of over-ripe tomatoes on each other.
it also marks, its position in the world’s biggest food fight, that’s right every year approximately 40,000-50,000 people gather to take part in it, which usually exceeds the normal population of the state. That’s why the ticket system was introduced in 2012 where only 20,000 people were allowed to participate.
La Tomatina History and Significance
La Tomatina has remained one of the strongest traditions in Bunyol since the age of 1944 or 1945. What exactly lead to the starting of this tradition is still a mystery.
Many believe that disgruntled townspeople attacked city councilmen with tomatoes during a town celebration, paving their way to starting this celebration. People seem to enjoy so much during their first time, which leads to repeating of this food fight each year.
However, this celebration soon got prohibited during the Spanish State time under Francisco Franco claiming to have no religious significance, but soon got returned in the period of 1970s soon after his demise.
This celebration is in honor of the town’s patron saints, Luis Bertran and the Mare de Deu dels Desemparats( also known as Mother of God of the Defenceless), a title which is given to the Virgin Mary.
Even though the origin of this celebration is based on assumptions. Still, it scored to win the hearts of many people due to its fun and exciting vibes leading to an increase in the number of participants.
Also considered as one of the most prominent festivals of light in India. It is one of the most imperative festivals in the Hindu religion, people all over the country start preparing one month in advance which includes various traditions and cultural events depending upon the different states.
Although Diwali is celebrated over five days, the first-day people overall clean their house. On the second day they decorate their households, the third day which is the main day involves rituals like poojas and prayer meetings. Day four involves the exchange of gifts and best wishes for the new season and the fifth and final day involves brothers inviting their sisters with love for a delicacy.
This is that time of the year when families and all their relatives reunite and celebrate it together which includes the distribution of sweets and various other forms of gifts to their neighbors and friends, symbolizing love and friendship in union with this celebration.
During this time, the houses are beautifully decorated with lights, clay lamps, and Ashok leaves. People even make rangolis and ignite their beauty by lighting diyas.
This season of celebration can be observed few weeks prior as roads get filled up with stalls of a variety of firecrackers, sweets, and gifts. One can notice that all the buildings are filled up with lights.
History and Significance of Diwali
This tradition is very much important in the Hindu religion, as it marks the return of Lord Rama, along with his wife Sita and his brother Lakshmana, marking a long exile of 14 years.
Reflecting upon the vastness and diversity in India, Diwali is celebrated due to various reasons.
In northern India, they reflect upon the story of King Rama’s return to Ayodhya after he defeated Ravana through the actions of lighting rows of clay lamps.
Southern India celebrates it as the day when Lord Krishna defeated the demon Narakasura.
On the other hand, in western India, it marks the day when Lord Vishnu, the Preserver ( also considered as one of the main gods of the Hindu trinity) sent demon King Bali to rule the nether world.
Every ritual which is performed in these five days has a very significant meaning.
Bursting of firecrackers to the lighting of candles and diyas they all symbolize the victory of light over darkness, of knowledge over ignorance, and good over evil.
Houses are covered with lights, and lamps to ‘ light’ the way to knowledge and victory.
Since the celebration also assists as a cleansing ritual, one that signifies letting go of all of the past worries and troubles and stepping into the new way of light.
Diwali marks the onset of winter and the beginning of all new things, both in nature and humanity.
The entire country gets bathed in the soft glow of light and warmth springing from every house, marking it a truly unbelievable sight to behold.
Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta
It is considered the biggest balloon festival in the world, which takes place in Albuquerque of New Mexico. It is a nine-day long event and approximately 600 balloons take flight during the event.
A variety of events and fests takes places around the globe each year, with significance of its own, In the same way, people of Mexico and many other places wait each year for the arrival of the month October, so that they can release the creativity of their own in the sky.
A large number of hot air balloons and many other types of balloons fill up the sky, the scene is epic. Numerous people take part in the events and many guests even come to witness this marvelous festival. Since this fiesta offers a rare opportunity for the guests to witness the inflation and take-off of ballooning from the launching field itself.
There are various ways to enjoy this splendid event, as alongside this many other fun activities are also held which include balloon race, gas balloon race ( which involves whose balloon reaches the maximum height and covers the longest distance), Flag and anthem and also fiesta challenge.
So basically, this nine-day long event is categorized into five major events which are known as dawn patrol, mass ascensions, artistic visions, special shape rodeo, and balloon glows.
Considering one of the biggest events of Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta is the Mass ascensions since 500+ balloons are launched at the same time. Alongside this special balloon event; takes place Flight of Nations in which different nations around the globe launches hot balloons, each carrying its country flag.
Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta History and Significance
Balloon festival started in the year 1972 when some 13 hot air balloons were flown across the sky on 8th April 1972. It was released into the sky to mark the 770 KOB radio, which is a famous radio station.
More than 200 spectators gather from a wide range of places like Texas, Nevada Arizona, and many more.
For more than four decades, this festival has succeeded to mark its impression in the hearts of the people, as a result more than 1 Lakh people gather each year to witness this festival. And the number keeps on increasing with each consecutive year.
Rio Carnival, Ri de Janeiro
It is considered to be the biggest carnival in the world, and no one can doubt that since it’s a five-day-long celebration which is held 40 days before Easter each year, it officially starts on Friday and end on Fat Tuesday or Ash Wednesday, a day before the beginning of the lent season.
millions and millions of people globally participate and come to witness this event. Rio Carnival sums up the true culture of Brazil as people can sing, dance, and have lots of fun during this time.
The main eye witnessing the performance of the carnival is the Samba parades, since it features more than 200 Samba schools. The rules which follow are the participants have to pick up a specific theme, music, lyrics, and costumes. Each group has to follow a specific order and present a choreographed performance in fancy costumes.
For this golden opportunity to showcase its talent and majestic moves, Samba schools practice all year round to succeed in the parade during Rio Carnival.
Along with it more than 300 street bands also take part, where each brand has its place to parade.
Also, the fascinating thing during the carnival that takes place is the Magic Ball in Copacabana Palace Hotel, quick note doesn’t be surprised if you will be rubbing elbows with the celebrities and the wealthy.
What is a Carnival without the best street parties? That’s right you heard it correct, the best street parties are organized by the street group known as ‘blocos’. It’s genuinely impossible to turn a corner without bumping into other street parties, as here one is going to find a large crowd milling and dancing to the tune of samba.
History and Significance of Rio Carnival
Brazil’s Rio carnival is a blend of African, Portuguese, and indigenous culture, where Portuguese settlers brought with them the theme of it being a festival of food.
Over the years, its original Catholic beginnings have evolved from a conservative and controlled celebration into a flamboyant exotic celebration we encounter today.
As earlier when Rio Carnival dates back to the 1650s.The elaborate fests were organized to give honor to the Greek wine gods. Where the Romans used to worship Dionysus or Bacchus often referred to as the god of the grape- harvest.
Hence the festival ‘Entrudo’ was introduced by the Portuguese and this inspired the birth of the Carnival in Brazil in 1840, where the very first Rio masquerade took place.
What is a Celebration if you are not there?
Celebration is a part of life, every culture has its way of spreading out joy. Carnival and fests are among the most popular tourist destinations in the world. It’s a multi-million-dollar industry that involves each sector from all walks of life. It’s always best to make your reservations earlier to get the best deals from hotels, tickets and airlines. These celebrations always tend to be the world’s biggest attractions; however, it will remain conceptual if your presence isn’t there to experience to glorify its beauty.