Culture of Celebration
From Santacon in Portland to the Dragon Boat Festival in Hong Kong, from Christmas dinner in Cuba to New Year’s Eve on the beaches of Brazil, discover celebrations across the globe.
Recent Festivals and Events Articles
- Don’t Miss Cartagena’s Wonderful Winter Festivals Picture this: mojitos, classical music, Caribbean breezes, and stimulating conversation. This intersection of intellectual and sensual experience is at the center of Cartagena’s two winter cultural festivals: the Cartagena Festival Internacional de Música and the Hay Festival Cartagena.
- Exploring the Spirit of Route 66 in New Mexico Though officially decommissioned, Route 66 (now traced by I-40) is still alive in New Mexico in the form of neon signs and cruising culture. Hit the road, preferably in a convertible, and check out these retro sights.
- The Feria de Cali: An Extravaganza for Everyone The Feria de Cali (December 25-31) is an end of year homecoming festival for Caleños, or Cali natives, the world over, and it has everything a Colombian party should: parades, concerts, and plenty of dancing. While for Caleños the Feria might be about reuniting with family and old friends, for visitors, this is the best ...
- Welcoming the New Year in Sydney There is no doubt that Sydney is naturally one of the most stunning cities on this earth, but when it wants to it can even improve on its natural beauty. If you’re in Australia, a visit to Sydney at New Year’s is an absolute must—there simply is no better celebration to watch live.
- Native American New Mexico, Ancient and Modern Even if you’re visiting only a small area on your trip, there’s a lot of American Indian history to see in and around each place in New Mexico—but definitely try to schedule a visit around a dance ceremony at a pueblo, as this will give you the most memorable impression of the living culture.
Featured Holiday Articles
- Visiting a Shinto Shrine on New Year’s Eve in Akan On New Year’s Eve, many people in Japan brave the snow to visit Shinto shrines and pray for good fortune in the coming year. Ruthy Kanagy invites us to experience the tradition through her eyes, from making an offering to warming up with grilled mochi and a cup of hot, sweet sake.
- Chaul Chnam Thmey: Happy New Year in Cambodia In many places around the world, December is a month filled with holiday celebration. In Cambodia, a predominantly Buddhist nation, the New Year is celebrated in April (right in the middle of the hot season) and is the most important spiritual and social event of the year. Author Tom Vater discusses how the holiday is ...
- Réveillon in Imbassaí In Brazil, it’s customary on New Year’s to get decked out in immaculate white and offer flowers to Iemanjá, Queen of the Seas. Resident Michael Sommers shares a fun, humor-filled experience of the end-of-the-year holiday.
- New Year’s Eve in Ecuador: Embracing Local Culture Instead of singing “Auld Lang Syne” when midnight strikes in Ecuador, residents set dummies on fire. Read on to learn more about the country’s biggest tradition on New Year’s Eve as Amy E. Robertson shares her experience of the holiday in Quito.
- Chun Jie: Spring Festival in Beijing Chun Jie celebrates the beginning of the new Chinese year. Like most Chinese holidays, its exact date varies slightly from year to year, depending on the Chinese calendar. Author Shannon Aitken discusses the holiday’s traditions and why this may (or may not) be a great time to visit Beijing.
- ‘Tis the Season of Salt Cod, Piñatas, and Ponche Mexico’s Christmas season is full of tradition and pageantry—though very few conifers. Julie Doherty Meade describes the various ways of celebrating, and she shares the story of her own first Christmas in Mexico.
- A Merry Cuban Christmas There’s a good reason that many Cubans have never seen Santa, and it’s not because he couldn’t get a visa—nor that it’s never been known to snow in Cuba. To Cuba’s young, bearded revolutionaries, Christmas was both religious and capitalist at the same time, so the holiday was officially banned. Christopher P. Baker discusses the ...
- Christmas Celebrations in Delhi Christmas is not the most feted day of the year for most people in Delhi, but it definitely does not go by unnoticed. Author Margot Bigg discusses holiday celebrations in India.
- Christmas in Paris: Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire Nat King Cole probably didn’t have Parisian street corners in mind when he crooned the opening lines to the classic holiday tune “The Christmas Song,” but chestnuts roasting on an open fire are an annual tradition that adds a hefty dose of seasonal charm to the City of Light. Author Aurelia d’Andrea reveals the best ...
- A Queenstown Carol For those from the northern hemisphere, it’s a bit surreal to experience Christmas “down under.” Author Michelle Waitzman shares her first experience of the holiday in New Zealand, from a paragliding adventure she’d never forget to a shared meal that showcased the Kiwi community spirit.
Image at top of the Grove City Balloon Festival © J. Todd Poling, licensed Creative Commons Attribution.