How are you spending the holiday? People all over the world have different ways of celebrating holidays and here are just a few:
In Barcelona, Spain, people sported their holiday best for the traditional Christmas Swimming Cup.
Songkran Water Festival
Known as the Water Festival by visitors, this annual festival in Thailand falls shortly after the spring equinox. Songkran (based on a Sanskrit word for “astrological passage”) is celebrated in the country as the traditional New Year’s Day. Along with visiting elders and going to a Buddhist monastery, festivities include throwing of water – in this case, with a little help from an elephant!
Straw Bear (Strawboer) Day is an old English tradition held on the 7th of January. It is known in a small area of Fenland on the borders of Huntingdonshire and Cambridgeshire, including Ramsey Mereside. This day is believed to be traditional start of agricultural year in England. A man or a boy wears a straw costume covering him from his head to toes. He goes from house to house where he dances. As prize for his dancing people give him money, food or beer.
Up Helly Aa refers to any of a variety of fire festivals held in Shetland annually in the middle of winter to mark the end of the yule season. The festival involves a procession of up to a thousand guizers (pronounced “geezers”) in Lerwick and considerably lower numbers in the more rural festivals. They form into squads who march through the town or village in a variety of themed costumes.
There is also a formal parade in which a galley ship, made just for the ceremony, is taken through the streets, towards the water. There, it is placed on the beach, awaiting for the ending ceremony.
After the city of Lerwick banned tar barrelling, permission was eventually obtained for torch processions. The first yule torch procession took place in 1876. The first torch celebration on Up Helly-Aa day took place in 1881. The following year the torchlit procession was significantly enhanced and institutionalised through a request by a Lerwick civic body to hold another Up Helly-Aa torch procession for the visit of the Duke of Edinburgh. The first galley ship was burned in 1889.
The procession culminates in the torches being thrown into a replica Viking longship or galley. The event happens all over Shetland, but it is only the Lerwick galley which is not sent seaward. Everywhere else, the galley is sent seabound, in an echo of actual Viking sea burials.
After the procession, the squads visit local halls (including schools, sports facilities and hotels), where private parties are held. At each hall, each squad performs its act, which may be a send-up of a popular TV show or film, a skit on local events, or singing or dancing, all-night Shetland/Scottish folk dancing, usually in flamboyant costume.
That said Happy Canada Day EVERYONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Ohhhhhh wait that one was just for me oops!!!!
Here I will try again! hehehehehehe