There are more seasons than just winter, spring, summer and fall in the world. To celebrate these special times of year. Countries around the globe have developed their own customs. Traditions and even holidays to help commemorate the great turning of the wheel from one season to another. Whether you’re looking to spice up your social calendar or learn about some fun. New traditions, here are eight of the most fascinating seasonal holidays from around the world.
Nepal – Chhath Puja
The Chhath Puja takes place on Kartik Shukla Paksha Dwadashi (the full moon in November). During Chhath, it is believed that married women will have healthy and strong husbands. While unmarried women will find a good husband soon. Worshiping Sun God, chanting mantras to Sun God and offering food and water to cows brings blessings. The prayers are made before sunrise, at noon, at sunset and after midnight; during all these times women worship and fast. Women take a bath early in morning; they wear clean clothes and apply mehendi or Kumkum on their hands and feet while they pray. They also decorate their houses with rangoli designs during Chhath Puja.
Brazil – Carnival
If you think of Brazil,. You don’t necessarily think of Carnival—but it is one of the largest cultural festivals in Latin America. It’s so huge that it takes place over several days with parades, pageants and special events happening all over Brazil. In Rio de Janeiro, home to some of Brazil’s best parties. 1 million people take to the streets in celebration every year. While most people associate Carnival with Rio and its beach Olympics, festivities are actually held all around southern Brazil.
India – Diwali
Although most think of Diwali as a Hindu holiday, it’s also celebrated by Sikhs, Jains and Buddhists. The five-day celebration commemorates victory over evil and light triumphing over darkness. Even though it often coincides with Thanksgiving in America, Diwali doesn’t have an exact time frame. It can fall anywhere between mid-October and mid-November. Diwali is also called Deepavali (literally meaning a row of lamps). Which refers to an integral part of the festival: lamps are lit to signify knowledge spreading across India. However, these days that is mostly done electronically by kids on their cell phones!
Philippines – Panagbenga Festival
As soon as spring hits, everyone in Baguio City starts to prepare for Panagbenga. The city’s official flower, of course, is not just any other flower but a variety of different orchids. During Panagbenga, all orchid-related activities and events are held to showcase and market these flowers. Celebrated in February or March each year (the exact date depends on lunar calendar). The Panagbengana Festival is certainly one of our favorite seasonal holidays that we would love to experience again one day!
Japan – Setsubun
is a Japanese holiday to mark the beginning of spring. Each year on February 3rd, Japan celebrates Setsubun. The exact date depends on when, in accordance with traditional Chinese calendar, starts Spring. Traditionally people throw roasted soybeans while saying Oni wa soto! Fuku wa uchi! which translates to Demons out! Luck in!. People also toss other beans for good luck and split them among friends and family members. Setsubun is not a public holiday; however, many local governments, businesses and schools organize various events for children before or after they go home. In ancient times there was a custom of purifying houses by removing evil spirits before spring cleaning could begin.
Korea – Lunar New Year
The lunar new year is one of Korea’s most important holidays, and arguably one of its biggest festivals. Known as Seollal (pronounced seu-nyul). It is an annual celebration that generally lasts three days (although some regions celebrate for four or five days). During that time, celebrations are held all over South Korea. With families getting together to eat traditional foods and visit their ancestral tombs. Almost everything stops in terms of business—most people spend New Year’s Eve with family. And don’t go to work on January 1st. Instead, they welcome a brand new year—celebrating good luck and fortune for 2016.
Egypt – Eid al-Adha
Commemorates Prophet Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son Ishmael as an act of submission to God. It is celebrated at the end of Hajj, Islam’s annual pilgrimage to Mecca. With prayers and thanksgiving in honor of God’s mercy. On Eid al-Adha, one male adult animal should be slaughtered for each Muslim family member (with some exemptions). The meat is usually divided into three equal parts: One part is given to friends and relatives. Another part is donated to poor Muslims, and a third part kept by the family for themselves.
China – Tomb Sweeping Day
China’s Tomb Sweeping Day is a two-day affair and dates back thousands of years. It commemorates one of three important Chinese festivals, otherwise known as the three festive days or the three festive seasons. Each Chinese New Year,. Chinese citizens honor their ancestors by placing food offerings on a family shrine or visiting their ancestor’s gravesites. People remember and honor those who have passed with respect and love to help them find peace in death.
Mexico – Día de Muertos
October 31st, Mexican Holiday of Dead. The Day of Dead is a Catholic holiday that commemorates and celebrates family members and friends who have died. While Dia de los Muertos (as it is known in Spanish) Is not as well-known outside of Mexico. For most Mexicans it’s considered to be one of the country’s most important holidays. Not only do families decorate tombs with marigolds. But they also participate in costume parades. Build altars to remember loved ones and consume large quantities of sugar skulls (made from sugar or chocolate). And yes, people really do eat them!