It wasn’t too long ago when we wrote about summer traditions around the world. But now,the sunny days and warm nights of summer are starting to fade, and the crisp morning air and changing of leaves are upon us. Here in the United States, we celebrate the autumn season with pumpkin patches, bobbing for apples, and haunted hayrides. But those are not the only ways to celebrate the season. In fact, different cultures around the world celebrate fall in their own unique ways.
Dia de Los Muertos – Mexico
Dia de Los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is one of the most recognized Autumn festivals. This two-day festival in Mexico is held to honor the lives of the deceased with drinks, parties, activities, and the favorite food of the departed. However, friends and family aren’t the only ones who get to enjoy the festivities. During this two-day festival, the dead are awaken to take part in the celebration with their loved ones.
Oktoberfest – Germany
Another widely known Fall festival, Oktoberfest, is held each year in Munich, Germany. This 16 to 18 day long annual tradition dates all the way back to 1810 as a celebration of Crown Prince Ludwig’s marriage to Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen. Originally, the celebration’s main attraction was horse racing, but was dropped a few years later. Now, Oktoberfest has evolved into the world’s largest several-day-long beer drinking festival.
Jidai Matsuri – Japan
Jidai Matsuri, or the Festival of Ages, is an annual October festival hosted in Kyoto, Japan. This Autumn festival is celebrated with a historical reenactment parade where people of all ages dress in authentic costumes that represent various periods and characters in Japanese history. Jidai Mastsuri dates back to 1868 when the Japanese capital relocated from Kyto to Tokyo during the Meiji Restoration. With approximately 2,000 participants, this parade’s route travels through Imperial Palace to Heian with thousands of spectators lining the streets.
Nuit Blanche – France
Nuit Blanche, also known as the White Night Festival, is an all-night arts festival where museums, private and public art galleries, and other cultural institutions are open free of charge. The concept originated in 1984 from the French artistic director, Jean Blaise, who founded the Centre de recherche pour le développement culturel – The Research Center for Cultural Development. The city turns into a de facto art gallery, and provides space for activities like art installations, performances, and social gatherings.
If you found this educational, interesting, or it inspired you to enjoy another culture, visit our blog page for more interesting culture and language discussions.