** holiday and celebration attire -- national celebrations

Seasonal Holidays and Celebrations: National Celebrations

Figure 1.--Here we have a wonderful glimse into the parlor of an American family, probably on Christmas day. The boy in the velvet suit is standing by his wonderful hobby horse. Imagine his thrill when he found that under the tree. The photograph is undated, but we would guess was taken about 1905. Notice the gas lights.

Many holidays are country or region specific. On virtually any given day, there is a national celebration somewhere in Europe or North America, let alone the world overall. Very few days are celebrated throughout all of Europe. The only two widely observed holidays are Christmas and New Years. Not only is their a wide disparity of days, but many of the national hoidays are mutually exclusive. The French, British, and Americans celebrate the end of World War I on November 11, called Veteran's Day in America. There is also Memorial Day honoring the sacrific of American servicemen which is celebrated on the last Monday in May. The end of World War II is also observed in France. The Germans observe neither, even though a case can be mase that, at least West Germany, was also liberated from the NAZI tyranny as much as the occupied countries were liberated. (Germans watching World War II movies must have mixed emotions in terms of idenytifying friends and enemies.) Most countries have more national holidays than Americans. The Austrians for example celebrate 17 holidays. Some countries have more. These events include patriotic and religious holidays as well as a wide variety of special hoidays.

National Days

Most countries celebrte a national day. In much of the world it is an indepemdence day celebration. In Europe national days are more varied. In America it is of course July 4 which was the day that independence was declared from the British. The Portuguese celebrate the end of a dictatorship on April 25. The Belgian monarch swears allegiance to the Constitution on July 21. The British celebrate Guy Fawkes Day which is a kind of combination betweem a national day and Halloween. The Candians celebrate Canada Day which was when the different British North American provinces were combined to form Canada. The French national day marks the fall of the Bastille, a derelict but forboding prison. Mexican independence day is Cinco de Mayo (May 5) which is becoming inceasing popular in America and not only among Mexican Americans.

Religious Holidays

The important Christian holidays like Easter and Christnmas are widely observed in Europe and North America. Many countries also celebrate Assecion Day and All Saints Day. HBC is of course mist familiar wih Chistian celebration. We would be pleased to add additional religious celebraions here about which HBC readers my want to contribute information.

Special Days

Every country has their own special days. These celebrations honor a wide variety of special days. The Swedes celebrate Mid-summers Eve. The English have a variety of special days, including the Queen's birthday, Guy Fawkes Day, and Boxing Day. The Dutch make a big event out of Queen's Day anf take to streets dressed in orange--the national color. The orange refers to the Duke of Orange who helped maintain Dutch independence and supress Irish catholics. As a result, the orange worn by Irish protestants in northern Ireland is an affront to Irish catholics. The monarch's birthday in several countries has become a major patriotic holiday. Hopefully HBC readers will tell us about important holidays in their countries.

Other Celebrations

HBC in preparing this section on holidays has come across some holidays that we have never hears of and have been able to find now information about. Presumably they are holidays whose celebration used o be of greater significance thn is the case today. They may also be religious or national holidays with which HBC is unfamiliar. Hopefully HBC readers will provide us some information on these holidays to expand our coverage of this interesting topic.

Specific Countries

Holiday celebrations in every country are a combination of holidays unique to that country such as inddpendece or national day celebrations as well as holidays celebrated in many different countries. Thesecommon holidays, however, are not always on the same day. Holidays such as New Year, Thanksgiving, are celebrated on different days in different countries. Chritianity is especially prone to this. Easter and even Christmas is celevrated on different days around the world. In this regard Jewish and Islamic holidays are much more standard.


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Created: December 3, 2002
Last updated: 9:09 AM 1/13/2013