Meet curious holidays around the world

If we look at the calendar of holidays in different countries, it is not surprising that the origin of events - and even the way they have been adapting throughout history - is very characteristic of local culture. Carnival, for example, is practically a “synonym” of Brazil, although street parties also take place in other parts of the globe.  

In the United States, Independence Day, on the 4th of July, is so symbolic that it even became a film. Bastille Day (14 July) is the biggest French holiday. The 2nd of November - here called Finados - is the Día de Los Muertos in Mexico and nothing less than the most traditional celebration of Mexicans, which expands the peculiar way of honoring ancestors to the world.

However, as much as some events are world famous, we gather other holidays beyond curious (some very old) in different parts of the planet. Check out!

Inti Raymi (Feast of the Sun) - Peru

Considered one of the most important celebrations in Peru, the Inti Raymi - which, in Portuguese, means “Festa do Sol” - is celebrated in honor of Inti, the Sun God in the Inca tradition, on June 24th. The party, which marks the winter solstice of the southern hemisphere in the Andean region, takes place in Sacsayhuamán, an archaeological site full of mysteries that is 2 km from Cusco. 

A parade with rituals in honor of the deity is part of the festival, which was banned in 1572 by the then viceroy Francisco de Toledo. The monarch considered Inti Raymi a pagan festival, contrary to the Catholic faith. Even with the ban, Peruvians continued to celebrate the date in a clandestine manner, until, in 1944, the event was officially reconstituted and, since then, has been a cultural heritage of the Andean country.

Boxing Day - several countries 

The holiday of December 26, the day after Christmas is common in some European countries, mainly in England, and has also become a tradition in others like Australia and Canada. It is a day to visit family and friends with whom it was not possible to spend the previous night and enjoy the meals left over from supper. 

For those who left the purchase of gifts for the last hour, it is the ultimate opportunity to take advantage, as the stores go into liquidation. In fact, the act of giving has everything to do with Boxing Day, since, although the origin of the celebration is not so precise, it is believed that it came from the boxes (in English, boxes , which would explain the origin of the name) that were given to merchants to thank merchants, postmen and other categories for the services provided during the year. Kindness, therefore, is the main hallmark of the day after Christmas. Another curiosity about December 26th is that, traditionally, the teams of the English football league enter the field to celebrate it. 

Australia Day - Australia

The arrival of the first British ship to the Australian coast - beginning the process of colonization of the country of Oceania - is the reason for a series of celebrations that take place every January 26th there. “ Australia Day ”, as the date became known, became a national holiday in 1994, despite being celebrated long before that. It is a party with decoration right around the houses, people dressed in themed costumes from head to toe, water competitions, fireworks and much more!

On the other hand, for Aboriginal peoples and their descendants, it is a time of protest, since the native population already inhabited those lands when the English disembarked. It is not by chance that the annual event is also called an Invasion Day ( Activation Day ) or Survival Day (Day of Survival) by activists.

Heritage Day - South Africa

Among South Africans, the appreciation of origins has a specific date to be reinforced: September 24, Heritage Day , which in Portuguese means “Heritage Day” or “Heritage Day”. With a rich cultural diversity (which even led to the nickname “rainbow nation” given by Archbishop and Nobel Peace Prize winner Desmond Tutu), South Africa brings together a series of events around the country on that day. 

However, one of the traditions that is part of this heritage is the braais , as barbecues are called there. So much so that Heritage Day became synonymous with “Dia do Braai”, since the passion for meats on the grill is considered the common point among so many different habits.

Dragon Boat Festival - China

Here we are talking about an age-old celebration that takes place throughout the 5th day of the fifth month of China's lunar calendar. The local language Duanwu , or “Dragon Boat Festival”, honors Chinese official and poet Qu Yuan, who, in 278 BC, committed suicide by launching himself on the Miluo River after discovering the invasion of the province where he lived by troops enemies.

As a way of thanking them for their contributions to the Chinese people, traditionally people sail the country's rivers aboard wooden boats on the commemorative date. A detail that draws attention is that the Chinese usually gather the family to prepare the typical zongzi , rice balls wrapped in bamboo leaves, which are left in the river as a way to ask for protection to the spirit of Qu Yuan.

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