Cultures Seen Through Celebrations
Each culture’s beauty can be seen in the holidays they celebrate.
It’s a chance for amazing learning experiences as well as stunning photography opportunities. Here are just a few examples to get you started on your adventure.
Also known as the “festival of colors” or the “festival of love,” Holi is observed by Hindus to celebrate the coming of spring. On the eve of Holi, a bonfire is held to symbolize the burning of Holika, an evil being. This represents the triumph of good over evil. People fill the streets the following day and throw colored powders and waters in the air.
The festival is the most meaningful in India, but it is celebrated in places far and wide. Clouds of color fill the air all over the nation every spring. It’s fun to be a part of this celebration with so many people always together. So what are you waiting for? Do a simple search and find out about Holi celebrations near you.
photo credit: @infinitefokus
Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival
Thousands of people join together each year, armed with lanterns as they celebrate one of the year’s most stunning of spectacles: The Lantern Festival. While there is music, dancing, food, and positive energy the central focus of the festival is what everyone looks forward to. At the right moment, lights fill the sky as lanterns are released, symbolizing hopes and dreams.
At first, China invented the sky lantern to carry messages for the military. Later, came to Taiwan, where the Taiwanese used the sky lanterns to send prayers to ancestors. Today it carries the wishes of Pingxi villagers during the Lunar New Year.
If you can’t make it Taiwan this year, look for other lantern festivals across the United States.
Cherry Blossom Festival
Each year, cherry trees blossom across Washington, D.C. The National Cherry Blossom Festival is a commemoration of the 3,000 cherry trees that Tokyo Mayor Yukio Ozaki gave to the city in 1912. It is a celebration of friendship and cooperation between the United States and Japan.
The trees bloom annually. Visitors come from all over the world to witness this celebration. Therefore, it has become the nation’s largest celebration of spring. Whether you are in Japan or in the U.S., walking under the cherry blossoms will be sure to inspire creative reflection.
photo credit: @tedalexander_
One of the best ways to begin to understand another country’s culture is to visit during one of their many celebrations.