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Winter activities and festivals

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Winter activities and festivals

  1. 1. Winter Activities and Festivals Let Me Know You: United in Diversity
  2. 2. POLAND  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".[1] 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."
  3. 3. 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 specialties!
  4. 4. SPAIN Reyes Magos/Epiphany 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.
  5. 5. 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 contest.
  6. 6. LITUANIA 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.
  7. 7. 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.
  8. 8. Romania COLINDATUL 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 casatorite. In partile Ardealului colindul incepe dupa Sfanta Liturghie din prima zi de Craciun si se desfasoara pe parcursul celor trei zile de sarbatoare.
  9. 9. BOBOTEAZA 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
  10. 10. ITALIA 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 shopping
  11. 11. 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.
  12. 12. BULGARIA New Year's Eve and New Year's Day - December 31 and January 1 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.
  13. 13. TURKEY 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.