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St. Martin's Day, also known as the Feast of St. Martin, Martinstag or
Martinmas, the Feast of St Martin of Tours or Martin le Miséricordieux, is a
time for feasting celebrations. This is the time when autumn wheat
seeding was completed, and the annual slaughter of fattened cattle
produced "Martinmas beef". Historically, hiring fairs were held where
farm laborers would seek new posts.
November 11 is the feast day of St. Martin of Tours, who started out as a
Roman soldier. He was baptized as an adult and became a monk. It is
understood that he was a kind man who led a quiet and simple life. The
most famous legend of his life is that he once cut his cloak in half to share
with a beggar during a snowstorm, to save the beggar from dying from the
cold. That night he dreamed that Jesus was wearing the half-cloak. Martin
heard Jesus say to the angels: "Here is Martin, the Roman soldier who is
not baptised; he has clothed me."
Poland Christmas Markets
The largest Christmas Market in Poland is
held in Krakow, but other Christmas
markets pop up in other cities like Warsaw
and Wroclaw. Each city's Christmas
market will have a slightly different focus,
so if you're doing a tour of Poland, it will be
worth it to visit more than one fair to see
how they differ in size and scope. You'll
also be able to buy or sample regional
January 5-6. All over Spain
Celebrations take two fundamental forms: the play of the three Magi, and a
mounted procession. Plays are currently staged specially in Aledo and Churra
in Murcia and Canada (Alicante), Sanguesa (Navarra), Santillana del Mar
(Cantabria) or Viso de los Pedroches (Cordoba) -- this latter one taking place
once every four years. The whole country celebrates the Day of the Three
Kings, Los reyes Magos, since it is they on their camels - rather than Santa
Claus drawn by reindeer - who distributes presents to children the night of the
5th. The Kings and their retinue, in full regalia and often accompanied by local
public figures, form part of the extravagant processions of floats, bands and
dancers through the major towns and cities.
Fiestas de San Antonio Abad
January 17. Mallorca, Balearic Islands.
On the eve and actual day of this Saint,
there are "foguerons" (bonfires) in many
parts of Mallorca, with "demons" dancing
round. Other activities include a greased-pole
Lithuania Usgavenes Festival – February
Lithuania's welcome of springtime takes the shape of the Usgavenes
festival, which occurs before Lent. Traditional foods, like pancakes, are
prepared and eaten, and young people dress up in costume. Traditionally,
this festival has also been accompanied by folk songs and dances.
Užgavėnės (Shrove Tuesday) – is a carnival, which escorts winter. This
holiday is not associated with any church rituals. Its traditions clearly unify
elements of culture before Christianity and during Christianity. Fortune-telling
occurs during this evening. For example, it is believed that all the
witches can be seen if during Užgavėnės you scrape out all the leftovers
from your teeth and tie them up in a handkerchief and wear it under your
bosom until Easter.
Saint Casimir's Day
is celebrated on March 4th. He is
Lithuania's only saint and his feast day was
very popular among the people. When
Lithuanians heard priests speak in church
about other saints, it was hard to picture
where they had lived, their living conditions
and surroundings. The people accepted
the saints, loved them, took them to their
hearts, but they still remained distant.
Today A traditional Lithuanian folk crafts fair dating back to the
beginning of the 17th century is now at its apogee at two main Market
places and in the down-town Vilnius.
As the fair was traditionally held on St. Casimir's Day on March 4, its is
popularly referred to as Kaziukas Fair or Little Casimir's fairit is rather
more like a festival of folk art and crafts, music and dance attracting
tens of thousands of people and craftsmen from all over the country.
In Ajunul Craciunului incep colindele. In unele zone ale tarii dimineata
pornesc copiii la colindat inainte sa se lumineze pentru ca Nasterea
Domnului s-a petrecut in taina noptii, in prezenta animalelor, a stelelor, a
pastorilor si a ingerilor.
In alte parti copiii merg in fapt de seara. Exista multe sate in care
dimineata vestesc Nasterea lui Iisus copiii mici, seara misiunea este
preluata de flacai de 17-18 ani sau de adulti (barbati tineri sau perechi
In partile Ardealului colindul incepe dupa Sfanta Liturghie din prima zi
de Craciun si se desfasoara pe parcursul celor trei zile de sarbatoare.
La Boboteaza se sfintesc toate apele, iar preotul se duce la o apa
unde va arunca crucea. Mai multi barbati se arunca in apa ca sa o
aduca inapoi, iar cel care va scoate crucea din apa va avea noroc
tot anul.Dupa Sfanta Liturghie preotul intra din casa in casa pentru
a sfintii fiecare casa si pe fiecare credincios
Feast Day of the Immaculate Conception, December 8,
is a national holiday. There are celebrations throughout Italy
and churches hold special masses. You'll find parades, feasts,
and music in many places. In the Abruzzo region, it is often
celebrated with bonfires and traditional singing. Rome
celebrates with floral wreaths and a ceremony at the Spanish
Steps presided over by the Pope. Although government offices
and banks are closed, many stores stay open for holiday
Italy's Venice Carnival is a funny, crazy and exuberant
event set in one of the world's most unique and beautiful cities -
safe too, though beware pickpockets in the crowded square
(Piazza) of San Marco.
For the ten days the city sees all sorts of normally sensible folk,
including many families, as well wackos, weirdos and exhibitionists,
dressing up in specially made costumes or outfits rented for the
occasion, strutting their stuff around Venice's centre.
The area is stuffed with both sightseers and snappers of pictures,
but there are sufficient sights of both the costumed variety and of
local architecture and artefacts to keep any visitor happy for quite a
few days, if not the whole event.
New Year's Eve and New Year's Day - December 31 and
New Year's Eve in Bulgaria is celebrated with a variety of traditions.
Ladouvane has traditionally been practiced by young women seeking
marriage - it includes dancing and the ritual boiling of herbs. Sourvakari, in
Bulgarian tradition, are young men who travel through their village, singing
songs (similar to the practice of Christmas caroling). New Year's Eve is
also marked with food, dancing, and traditions that have been passed
down through Bulgarian families.
On New Year's Day, friends and families visit one another. Children may
also go singing from house to house, in exchange for treats.
The Republic Day of Turkey
Is one of the public holidays in Turkey and Northern Cyprus,
commemorating the proclamation of the republic in 1923. It lasts 35
hours, starting at 1:00 pm on 28 October.
The holiday commemorates 29 October 1923, when Mustafa Kemal
declared that Turkey would be a republic. Turkey had effectively been a
republic since 23 April 1920 (the establishment of Grand National
Assembly of Turkey), but official recognition of this came only three years
later. On 29 October 1923, the name of the nation, Turkey, and its status
as a republic was declared. After that, a vote occurred in the Grand
National Assembly, and Atatürk was elected as the first President of the
Republic of Turkey.