Celebrating Uniqueness with These Festivals Around the World
Everybody chimes in when the countdown begins at 10 seconds to midnight, then fireworks shoot up into the sky when the clock strikes 12. “Happy New Year!” and a kiss or two is shared. There are certain customs to follow when it comes to festivities. Think Christmas, and a turkey dinner with presents under a […]
Everybody chimes in when the countdown begins at 10 seconds to midnight, then fireworks shoot up into the sky when the clock strikes 12. “Happy New Year!” and a kiss or two is shared. There are certain customs to follow when it comes to festivities. Think Christmas, and a turkey dinner with presents under a tree come to mind. Also, be mindful to avoid standing under the mistletoe with a person that one does not fancy. It almost seems like people are just going through the motions when it comes to festive celebrations, which may leave one to feel somewhat jaded. However, if one is looking to switch things up, the following festivals around the world are worthy game changers.
Scotland, Edinburgh’s Hogmanay
Dec 30 To Jan 1
Hogmanay is a Scottish word that means the last day of the year. In Edinburgh, it also means a fiery three-day affair that warms the heart in the midst of winter. The celebration opens with the stunning traditional Torchlight Procession on 30 December, a symbolic gesture (may the torches one burns light the way in the New Year) that sees a river of light bearers weave their way through the historic heart of the city. Accompanied by the young pipe and drum bands, torchbearers will arrive at Holyrood Park, where the procession forms a distinct outline of Scotland with the torches. After the lit (pun intended) procession, one will be spoilt for choice when it comes to celebratory events as Edinburgh ushers in the New Year. Head over to the “world’s best New Year street party” hosted by Johnnie Walker, where live bands, DJs, street performers, and acrobats create a jovial atmosphere while one anticipates the end of the year with the fireworks display from Edinburgh Castle. Finally, start the year refreshed by joining the Loony Dook, a New Year’s Day tradition where participants jump into the chilly waters at South Queensferry to raise money for charity and shake off their Hogmanay hangover.
Visit www.edinburghshogmanay.com for the full listing of events.
The Bahamas, Nassau’s Junkanoo
Dec 26 & Jan 1
The Bahamas’s dazzling Junkanoo first started when slaves in the British colonies, under the law, were given three days of holiday during Christmas. With this reprieve from labour, they celebrated by singing and dancing in colourful masks. Fancy decorations on clothes, using materials found in their environment, such as feathers and papers, also contributed to the jubilation. Today, Junkanoo is a major cultural festival of the Bahamas, a magnificent celebration of life and freedom. It is marked by two spectacular parades on 26 December and 1 January from 1am to 9am. While Junkanoo parades are held in most of the islands of the Bahamas, none comes close to the extravagance at Nassau. As a community festival, friends and family come together to form groups, sometimes up to 1,000 members, to coordinate music, costumes, and dances according to a theme. All the elaborate costumes seen at the parades are made using unassuming materials such as cardboard, crepe paper, feathers, and beads. To experience the festival in its full flamboyance, plan ahead and arrive early as some of the best views are on upper floors of Nassau’s Bay Street or on side bench seats, which one may reserve in advance. Up the ante by participating in the festival through arrangements with the hotel.
Visit www.bahamas.com for more details and other activities.
This article was written by Marcus Li. Read the full story at www.mens-folio.com here.