It’s a brand new year and people all around the world are celebrating different things in different ways. Here are some things that are being celebrated…
On the 25th of January people in Northern Ireland and Scotland will be celebrating Burns Night also known as Burns Supper. This tradition is the celebration of the life and works of the famous Scottish poet Robert Burn. It is a tradition was started at the end of the 18th century by the poet’s friends. If you ever attend a Burns Supper you will enjoy haggis served with mashed potatoes, oatcakes and cheese, whisky trifle and Scotch whisky. Haggis is flown into Istanbul from Scotland, along with a bag piper so that Scots abroad can follow the tradition. Burns poems are recited and toasts are made in his honor because Burns was a national hero who put Scotland on the map for his poetry and his nationalistic ideas of a free independent country.
A very colorful festival this month will be the Kaapse Klopse festival in Cape Town, South Africa. The locals call it Coon Carnival and it takes place on the 2nd of January. Thousands of people wear extremely bright colors, some carry bright umbrellas whilst others play musical instruments .The tradition goes all the way back to 1848 and was started by slaves who had been freed. They painted their faces white and mimicked the behavior of important local figures. They got away with the insults by singing or crooning them and this has earned the festival the international name of the minstrel carnival, minstrel being an old English word for singer. It is a fun, loud and colorful festival and still politically daring.
One of the renowned celebrations that’ll be taking place in the next month will be Chinese New Year. The festival traditionally starts on the 1st -15th of January on the eve of the new moon which is called a black moon. This festival has no religious connections and is purely related to the lunar calendar at the beginning of Chinese spring. It gives people a fresh start and so they clean their houses to sweep away bad luck and make way for good luck. People buy presents for each other and families gather to celebrate the new beginning. As with many other celebrations a special feast will be on the agenda. Children will receive money in red envelopes as red is the symbol of good luck in China. This year the Chinese New Year will be on the 3rd of February and 2011 or 4708 according to the Chinese calendar will be the year of the Rabbit. Chinese New Year will be celebrated in many countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam and Macau. It’ll also be celebrated in Chinatowns all around the world.
Anglican, Roman Catholic, and Greek Orthodox churches around the world will be celebrating Candlemass on the 2nd of January. Candlemass(also known as Candaleria) is the day of light and hope and aims to remind everyone that we all have light within us.
These are only a few of the special days that will be celebrated in different parts of the world during January and February.Two have resistance and political independence as a theme, the other two are celebrations of life through light.