Showing posts with label Holidays Around the World. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Holidays Around the World. Show all posts

Christmas - December 25

Christmas is the most important holiday in the Western Christian community. On this day we celebrate the birth of Jesus, the father of Christianity.
The holiday was set in 354, by Pope Liberius, who declared December 25 to be the birthday of Jesus.
The story of the birth of Jesus has two versions in the New Testament: one appears in the Gospel according to Matthew, and the other in the Gospel according to Luke.
According to Luke the Virgin Mary revealed that she was pregnant by an angel, and that she was conceived by the Holy Spirit, without sexual contact. The emperor Augustus who ruled the Roman Empire at that time ordered registration in the census, so Miriam and her husband Joseph left their home in Nazareth and went to sleep with Joseph's family in Bethlehem. They could not find a vacant room in the inn to sleep in, so they spent the night in the family's stable. That night a girl picks up Jesus in a manger. The birth of Jesus in Bethlehem, the city of David's origin, was the fulfillment of the prophecy of the prophet Isaiah.

According to Matthew, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem (the book does not detail his parents' journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem), the three ancient sages came to visit the family. After the visit they came to Jerusalem and told King Herod that they had seen a star, which tells of the birth of a great king. They followed the star to Bethlehem, arriving at the place where Mary and Joseph were staying. They gave Jesus gifts - gold, myrrh and frankincense, and warned his parents against Herod's intentions to murder all the children in Bethlehem who were under the age of two, because of his fear of the birth of a child to compete for his chair. The family fled to Egypt and returned to Israel after Herod died. They settled in Nazareth because they feared Herod's son, Archelaus.
The birth of Jesus statues
Nativity Scene: a Christmas custom is to design the scene of Jesus' birth in a barn with sculpted figures of Christ, His parents and possibly also with the ancient sages.

Among the main customs of the holiday:
Christmas tree decoration - a fir tree decorated with lights and ornaments.
Home decoration with green vegetation and mistletoe, many houses in North and South America also decorate the houses and courtyards from the outside.
Giving presents in the name of Santa Claus who arrives in a sleigh at night mounted on reindeer and places the presents under the fir tree.

santa claus dolls

Main street at Christmas Haifa northern Israel

Sancta Nicolas car
Sancta Nicolas car in Haifa, near Santa Claus house


Animated gifs of Christmas

Bloomsday - June 16th

Bloomsday (originally in English: Bloomsday, Bloom's Day, and in Irish: Lá Bloom) is a special day celebrated every year on June 16, in honor of Irish writer James Joyce's book, "Ulysses", which takes place entirely on one clear day, in June 16, 1904, in the city of Dublin, Ireland.
Bloom Day is named after the book's protagonist, Leopold Bloom.

June 16, 1904 was a special date for the writer Joyce. On this day he first met Nora Barnacle, a simple uneducated maid, and fell in love with her. They lived together until Joyce's death at age 59. They only married in 1931, when Joyce was 49 years old.
The Bloomsday celebrations began in 1954, 50 years after that day in 1904. A group of artists and creators in Dublin, including writer Brian O'Nolan and artist John Ryan, along with Joyce's cousin, decided to honor Joyce's memory at the ceremony And on a pilgrimage to the book sites following Leopold Bloom. They named the event Bloomsday, after Bloom.
Among the sites they visited were the Martello Tower on Sandikov Beach, Davy Byrne's Pub and Bloom's home at 7 Eccles Street.
Bloomsday celebrations have become a tradition in Dublin, and many cities around the world have joined the celebration in memory of James Joyce.
Coincidentally, Joyce's brother, Stanislaus, died on this day in 1955.

How to celebrate Bloomsday?
If you visit Dublin on June 16, you will see people walking around in the clothes of the period in which the book took place, 1904. The Joyce Center in Dublin offers tours of routes that recreate part of the book's plot. Restaurants offer a special breakfast that day in the spirit of the "Calypso" episode, in which Leopold Bloom prepares breakfast from pork kidneys. Other activities on this day are academic conferences, plays and public readings from the book "Ulysses".

Pictured: The door of Leopold Bloom's imaginary home, 7 Eccles Street in Dublin. The house was demolished in favor of the construction of a new residential building and the door is displayed today in the center of Joyce, Dublin.

In the photo: the cover of the book Ulysses, a reconstruction of the first edition from 1922 (Source)

  June 16 is also Fresh Vegetables Day

Europe Day - May 9

Europe Day is the day in which most European countries celebrate the unification of the continent, announced by Robert Schumann, French Foreign Minister in 1950.
Europeans began celebrating this day in 1985, when they set the EU flag.
EU flag

In honor of Europe Day, get some fascinating and interesting facts about the continent:

Europe - Technically, Europe is not a continent because it is not separated from Asia. Greece is the one that decided that Europe would be a continent in itself.

France - The most popular place in Europe is Disneyland (Eurodisney), Paris.

England - Only 1% of the items preserved in the British Museum are actually on display.

Italy - Italians do not drink cappuccino after 11 am.

Germany / Turkey - There are more shawarma restaurants in Berlin than in Istanbul.

Spain - The Church of the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, has been under construction for over 130 years and construction is expected to be completed by 2026.

France / Italy - The tallest toilet in Europe is located on Mount Mont Blanc, at an altitude of more than 4,200 meters (13780 Feet)!

Belgium has the most crowded railway network in the world (113.8 km / 1,000 km2).

Bosnia and Herzegovina has one of the last rainforests in Europe. His name is Perućica.

Bulgaria is the oldest country in Europe and it has not changed its name since 681 AD.

Greece - 40% of the population of Greece is in its capital city Athens.

There are no mosquitoes in Iceland at all. Not even one.

Russia has more than 13,000 uninhabited villages and they occupy 40% of the continent of Europe.

Italy - The Tower of Pisa took 200 years to build because of its inclination. He still continues to tilt himself.

Austria / France - The truth is that the croissant was invented in Austria, not France.

Greenland is the largest island in the world.

England - The escalators on the London Underground surround the circumference of the earth twice a week throughout their journey.

Belgium - The place where the most chocolate is sold in the world is the airport in Brussels.

Sweden - Sweden has the largest number of McDonald's branches relative to the number of people.

Scotland - Thanks to the Loch Ness monster, Scotland brings in 7 million euros a year from tourism.

Spain - Half an hour is the time it takes to get from Spain to Africa by ferry.

United Kingdom - The name of the longest city in Europe is Lanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch and it is located in Wales.

Liechtenstein is such a small country in Europe. In her last military involvement in 1866 she sent 80 soldiers who returned with 81. Apparently they had attached a friend to Italy.

The medieval period in Europe lasted twice as long as the United States existed.

Liberation Day in the Netherlands- May 5

Every year on May 5, the Netherlands celebrates its liberation from Nazi occupation during World War II (Dutch: Bevrijdingsdag).

The Dutch people were largely liberated by the First Canadian Army, aided by British troops, a Polish Armored Corps, and American, Belgian, Dutch, and Czech troops. Other parts of the country, especially in the southeast, were liberated by the Second British Army, which included American, Polish and French air forces.

On May 5, 1945, Canadian commander Lieutenant-General Charles Foulkes and Oberbefehlshaber Niederlande commander-in-chief Generaloberst Johannes Blaskowitz reached an agreement on the surrender of German forces in the Netherlands  at Hotel de Wereld in Wageningen. One day later, the surrender document was signed in the auditorium of Wageningen University, located nearby.

 Hotel de Wereld, Wageningen

After the liberation in 1945, the day of liberation was commemorated every five years. In 1990, May 5 was declared a national holiday, the holiday of liberation that is celebrated every year.

On May 4, the Dutch hold the "Dodenherdenking", a day of remembrance for people who fought and died during World War II and the Dutch wars in general.

The Dutch gather near monuments all over the country and hold memorial ceremonies. One of the most famous memorial ceremonies is held near the National Monument in Dam Square in Amsterdam and at the Waalsdorpervlakte in the dunes near The Hague, where more than 250 Dutch opponents were murdered by the Nazis.

At eight o'clock in the evening there are two minutes of silence.

The next day, May 5, the liberation celebrations begin. All over the Netherlands there are music festivals, parades of war veterans, fireworks and big celebrations. 

In honor of the day the Netherlands was liberated from the Nazis, here are some interesting facts about the Netherlands:

During World War II, the percentage of Jews deported or murdered in the Netherlands was the highest among European countries. Investigations conducted after the war revealed that many of the civilians collaborated with the Nazis. In the Netherlands, however, there were the most Righteous Among the Nations who assisted the Jews.

The Prime Minister of the Netherlands, Mark Rutte, used to get to work by bike! Even when he is hosted in other countries, he always prefers to get from place to place by bicycle.

More than a quarter of the Netherlands is below sea level. Half of the Netherlands is less than one meter above sea level. Schiphol Airport is 4.5 meters below sea level.

The Dutch are the highest people in the world. The average height of Dutch men is 1.84 meters and that of Dutch women is 1.70. Scientists say this is due to a combination of genes, nutrition and well-being. Others say it is because of the milk they consume in abundance.

The Netherlands is a very flat country. Its highest point is the Vaalserberg Hill, which is only 322.7 meters high, and is located at the eastern end of the country in the province of Limburg. You could say that Holland is as flat as pannenkoek (pancakes in Dutch).

Because Amsterdam soil is a thick layer of sludge and clay, all buildings are built on wooden pillars mounted on an average 11-foot-high sandy layer. The Royal Palace in Dam Square is built on no less than 13,659 wooden pillars.

The Netherlands is known for the extensive tulip fields of its tulips. Many tulip flowers and tubers come from the Netherlands. However, the origin of the tulips is not from the Netherlands. The first tulip tubers were brought to the Netherlands from Turkey, when it was discovered that the Dutch soil was very good for growing them.

tulips field in the Netherland

The Netherlands leads in the number of home births. In many countries it is customary to give birth in a hospital. Not in the Netherlands: About 30% of all Dutch births take place at home.

The Dutch love coffee. After the Scandinavians, the Dutch are the biggest coffee drinkers in the world. They drink no less than 140 liters of coffee a year on average. 3.2 glasses a day!

86% of Dutch people speak English as a second language. All Dutch children learn English in school. If you visit Amsterdam, you will find that you can speak to almost everyone in fluent English.

The Netherlands is the largest exporter of beer in the world. In 2001, Dutch breweries exported 1.3 billion liters of beer abroad. Half of them were shipped to the United States.

Flag Netherland
Flag of the Netherland

International Workers' Day - May 1st

The 1st of May every year is International Workers' Day, which is a day of identification and struggle for the working class, better working conditions and the strengthening of workers' organizations.

Labor Day is a very old holiday. It began in the 1980s, when workers demanded that the working day be limited to eight hours. Workers' unions in Toronto, Canada, demonstrated on April 15, 1872, for the release of 24 printing workers who went on strike in order to limit the working day to 9 hours. They were arrested because workers' union and strike were then illegal. May 1 was set as the ultimatum to change the workday to 8 hours. The workers' demands were not met and they launched a general strike. On May 4, 1886, a demonstration in the city of Chicago went out of control and turned into a riot, killing about 60 protesters and seven policemen. Following this, the socialist movement turned its flag into a red flag, as a reminder of the blood of the working class that was shed. The riots that erupted that day were called the Haymarket affair.
Today the holiday is celebrated in most countries of the world.

In the photo: the demonstration in the Haymarket affair, May 15, 1886

May 1st is also Lei Day

Nowruz, Persian New Year - March 21

Nowruz (Persian: New Day) is the Persian New Year and Spring Day. It begins on March 21 or 20, the spring equinox and lasts 13 days during which Iranians go on national holiday. On the 13th day of the holiday everyone goes out to celebrate and have picnics, this day is called ‘Sizdah bedarer’ and it concludes the holiday.
The holiday Nowruz is an ancient holiday that is over 3,000 years old. It belongs to the Zoroastrian religion, the ancient Persian religion that existed before Islam. The calendar of the Zoroastrians is according to the sun and therefore it is customary to celebrate the beginning of the year on the day of equality that heralds the beginning of spring.

Mardi Gras - Fat Tuesday - Pancake Day

Happy Mardi Gras! The holiday also called Shrove Tuesday and Fat Tuesday is a Carnival celebration, beginning on or after the Christian feasts of the Epiphany (Three Kings Day) and culminating on the day before Ash Wednesday (known as Shrove Tuesday). Mardi Gras is French for "Fat Tuesday", reflecting the practice of the last night of eating rich, fatty foods before the ritual fasting of the Lenten season.

In the photo: a poster inviting to the Mardi Gras celebrations from 1914
Mardi Gras is the last day before the "fast" of the Christians, a 40-day period of the Christians before Easter in which they do not consume animal products. The first day of Lent is called "Ash Wednesday" and it falls 46 days before Easter, always on Wednesday. The fasting period is 40 days, when on Sundays it does not take place.
The Tuesday before Lent is a day dedicated to celebrations in the Christian world. In many localities processions and parades are held, and in many homes large and solemn meals are held. Because on Tuesday it eats a lot of desserts and fattening things without making an account, it is called Fat Tuesday. Mardi Gras always falls between February 4th and March 10th.
One of the traditional customs at Mardi Gras is to eat pancakes so Mardi Gras is also Pancake Day.
The pancakes are made from flour, eggs, milk, sugar, baking powder, oil or butter.
Animal Pancake Pan Amazon

Pancakes are a dish that is eaten around the world, in different variations. In France the pancake is thin (what we know as crepe). In Germany it is eaten with powdered sugar, jam and lemons. In the Netherlands the rolled pancakes are eaten with savory and sweet toppings. In Russia, Belini is eaten. In Greece it is prepared with yogurt and eaten with honey. In Malaysia and Singapore it is sometimes prepared with soybeans instead of flour and stuffed with cheese, jam, nuts and peanuts. In China, the pancakes are thinly prepared with buckwheat and green onions and are part of the Peking-style duck dish. In India, pancakes are called Uttapam and are made from rice and vegetables. In Japan, they make a fluffy pancake cake called Okonomiyaki (お好み焼き o-konomi-yaki).

When will Mardi Gras be in the coming years?

2022- 1 March
2023 - 21 February
2024- 13 February
2025- March 4th
2026 - 17 February

March 1st Independence Movement Day in South Korea - March 1

The March 1 (3-1) movement was one of the first Korean resistance movements against Japanese rule over them from 1910 to 1919. The movement's name refers to an event that took place on March 1, 1919, hence the name of the movement, which means "Movement Three- One "or "March First Movement" in Korean.
This day is a public holiday (in Korean the holiday is called: 삼일절). This is a day off for the entire population, and schools and most businesses are closed.
The movement was formerly called the Sam-il Movement and arose in response to the colonial occupation of the Japanese Empire.
In a speech delivered by American President Woodrow Wilson at the Paris Peace Conference in January 1919, he defined "fourteen points" outlining the right to national self-determination. Korean students studying in Tokyo issued a statement following the speech demanding freedom from colonial rule.

Events of March 1, 1919:
At 14:00, 33 activists who founded the Sam-il movement gathered at the Taehwagwan restaurant in Seoul. They read aloud the Korean Declaration of Independence designed by historian  Choe Nam-seon:
"We hereby declare the independence of Korea and the freedom of the Korean people. We hereby declare all the nations of the world as a testimony to human equality. We hereby declare our descendants so that they can enjoy forever their inherent right in the country.
As much as this declaration stems from a history of five thousand years, as much as it stems from the loyalty of twenty million people, as much as it affirms our longing for the advancement of eternal freedom, it expresses our desire to take part in the excellent global reform of the human conscience. , And just action necessary for the coexistence of all mankind. Therefore, no force in this world can block or suppress it! "
After the announcement, they called the Central Police Station to inform them of their actions and were publicly arrested.
At that time, 14:00, and on the same day, crowds gathered in Pagoda Park to hear student Chong Zhang, reading the same statement in public. The activists then gathered for a peaceful procession, which the Japanese military police tried to suppress. Other special representatives related to the movement read aloud copies of the declaration of independence in various places around the country.

As the processions continued to grow, the Japanese military police could not control the crowd. Frightened Japanese officials called on military forces to calm the crowd, including naval forces. As public protests continued to grow, the repression became violent, resulting in the brutal assassination of many Koreans by the Japanese regime.
About 2,000,000 Koreans took part in the demonstrations. Several thousand were massacred by the Japanese regime. Tens of thousands were injured and tens of thousands more Koreans were arrested by the regime. Some of the arrested protesters were publicly executed.
In 1920, a Chunganari battle broke out in Manchuria between exiled Korean independence fighters and the Japanese army.
On May 24, 1949, South Korea declared March 1 a national holiday. General Chu Hong-hoi dedicated the first movement of martial arts taekwondo among the black belts to the Sam-il teul movement.
South Korea was liberated from Japanese rule only at the end of World War II, in 1945, when the United States defeated Japan.

March 1 is also Pig Day Women of Color Day and Compliment Day

Grenada Independence Day- February 7

Today is the Anniversary of Grenada's independence from Britain.
In honor of the holiday the people of Grenada wear red, green and gold, and wave flags. Calypso and Soca music plays everywhere. Folk dances and military parades fill the streets.
Grenada is an island nation in the Caribbean located south of the Gulf of Mexico in the Atlantic Ocean.
Grenada is called the "Spice Island" thanks to the fact that it is a leading producer of some of the most beloved spices in the world: cinnamon, cloves, ginger, nutmeg, Jamaican pepper and citrus peels. Grenada is the second largest producer of nutmeg in the world. There's even a picture of a nutmeg on the flag of Grenada 
Grenada is a small country with an area of 344 square kilometers (134.6 sq mi). It has a total of about 111,000 inhabitants, as of July 2017.
Hotel in Grenada

Not much is known about the early history of the island of Grenada . Before Christopher Columbus came to it in 1498 it was inhabited by Indians of the Caribbean tribe. Columbus gave Grenada  the name "Concepción" (Spanish: Concepción), and the name Grenada was later given to it by Spanish sailors who probably came from the city of Granada in Spain. In the 18th century the name "Grenada" became the official name of the country.
The Europeans were in no hurry to settle on the island for over a hundred years after discovering it, because of the Caribbean Indian tribes who were warriors and cannibals. In 1650 the French shipping company of the cardinal Richelieu purchased the island and established a European settlement there, after many wars with the Indians and bringing an army from the island of Martinique as reinforcements. The French established the city of Fort Royal which today is the capital of the island, St. George's.
In 1762 Britain conquered the island from the French during the Seven Years' War.
Until 1782 the island's economy was based on growing sugarcane done by forced labor of slaves. In 1782, botanist Joseph Banks discovered that the soil and climatic conditions in Grenada were ideal for growing nutmeg. The demand for this nut was very large in the European and American markets and established the economic status of the island. In 1834, as part of the abolition of slavery throughout the British Empire, slavery in Grenada was also outlawed.
On 7 February 1974, Grenada gained full political independence from Britain. It joined the Commonwealth of Independent States and adopted the model of the constitutional monarchy. The head of state of Grenada is the British Queen Elizabeth II.
In Grenada there is significant negative migration. 50% of its population are under 30 years old.
The origin of most of the inhabitants of Grenada is Africa. The official language of the country is English, and the other languages ​​spoken there are Creole, French and Patua. The dominant religion in the country is Christianity.
If you want to travel in Grenada, you will need to get to Maurice Bishop International Airport or its port. The city of St. George's is one of the most picturesque and beautiful cities in the Caribbean. St. George's Harbor is a harbor with a magical and picturesque view of the city built on hills. It has a modern wharf of cruise ships, a market and a promenade with plenty of shops and restaurants. The residents are kind and welcome the tourists cordially. The beaches of Grenada are quiet, clear and clean. Grenada is a paradise for diving enthusiasts - it has coral reefs, a sunken ship and an underwater sculpture garden. The sunken ship is the "Bianca", a holiday ship that burned and sank in 196 near the coast. Today it is home to giant sea turtles, eels and barracuda.
Grenada has beautiful waterfalls, parks and lakes and an abundance of interesting birds.

Unity Day in Nepal -Prithvi Jayanti- January 11

On January 11 each year, Nepalese people gather on the streets of Kathmandu, its capital city, and celebrate Nepal's Unity Day with parades, flags and flowers at the foot of the statue of their beloved King from 260 years ago - King Prithibi Narayan Shah.
Unity Day in Nepal was celebrated in honor of King Prithibi Narayan Shah, who began the reign of the Shah dynasty in 1769, united the Kathmandu Valley with the rest of the country and established the state of Nepal.

King of Nepal Prithibi Narayan Shah
Nepal is located in South Asia, on the border with the People's Republic of China to the north and India to the west, east and south.

Some interesting facts about Nepal that make it such a special country:

Nepal is a small country but has a great variety of cultures, ethnic groups and languages. It has more than 80 ethnic groups and 120 different languages. Neither group constitutes a majority. Some of the groups are of Indian descent, some from Tibet and some are from local culture.

Although the area of ​​Nepal is small, it stars in the list of the highest mountains in the world: it has eight mountains out of the list of the ten highest in the world. The Himalayas within which the Mount Everest and the Anforna ridge are located are in Nepal and attract the most daring mountain climbers from all over the world.

Nepal has never been under direct foreign rule, probably because of the high mountains and the difficulty in conquering and holding such a mountainous country. Even the mighty British Empire created a peace treaty with the rulers of Nepal. Nepal was a "buffer zone" between two great powers - Imperial China and the Indian British Colony.

The most common religion among the Nepali people is Hinduism. Nepal is home to the famous Pashoptinat Temple dedicated to the god Shiva. Hindus from all over the world tend to visit the Pashoptinat Temple in Kathmandu.

Nepal is considered to be the traditional birthplace of the founder of Buddhism, Siddhartha Gautama, who is actually the famous Buddha. People come from all over the world to immigrate to his birthplace in southern Nepal, to the town of Lumbini.

Nepal is the only country in the world whose flag is not square.
Nepal's main agricultural product is jute, sugar cane, tobacco and grain.
Despite all these wonderful things in Nepal, the country suffers from political instability and poverty among almost half of its population. It is considered an underdeveloped country, but in recent years efforts have been made to promote its economic growth through foreign trade and external investment, mainly in tourism and hydroelectric power generation.
January 11 is also Milk Day

Boxing Day - December 26

Boxing Day is a secular holiday celebrated on the day after Christmas, December 26, and its tradition is to give Christmas presents to people in low socioeconomic status, that is, to those who cannot afford to give Christmas presents. . Boxing Day is especially common in the UK and in countries that were once part of the British Empire. The name boxing comes from the word "boxing" - packaging, after the holiday gift packaging.

The origin of the holiday is in Britain, at a time when the servants would work throughout the Christmas in the service of the nobles, prepare and serve them the meals, clean after them, etc.), and only a day after Christmas would they receive leave and gifts from the masters. Christmas presents were called "Christmas boxes".
Another possible explanation for the origin of the holiday is a story according to which on this day priests broke the boxes for collecting donations in the churches and distributed the money to the poor.
Nowadays it is customary on Boxing Day to give annual donations to charity, and in addition, in the UK in particular, it is a day of many discounts and promotions in stores, so it has become a day of shopping.

How to celebrate Boxing Day?
You can donate to charities or charities or just buy a gift for someone you love, and you can also take advantage of this day to shop at sites abroad that give significant discounts like asos, amazon, ebay, Aliexpress etc.

December 26 is also Kwanzaa Day

Finland Independence Day - 6 December

Finland is a country in northern Europe, in the region of the Nordic countries that also includes Iceland, Denmark, Sweden and Norway. It borders Russia to the east, Norway to the north and Sweden to the northwest. In the southwest of the country is the Baltic Sea.

From the Middle Ages to the early 19th century, Finland was part of Sweden. In 1809 the Russian Tsar Alexander I conquered Finland from Sweden and annexed it to the Russian Empire as "Grand Duchy".

Russian rule lasted until Imperial Russia underwent the October Revolution of 1917 which brought an end to Tsarist rule. Finland saw its opportunity to negotiate sovereign independence and the Finnish parliament declared its independence on December 6 of that year.

In Finnish, Finland's name is Suomi. The name Finland originates from the Swedish language that has been the prevailing language in the country since Sweden's invasion of it in the 12th century.

The climate of Finland is characterized by cold temperatures of the Arctic region. The Baltic Sea and its many lakes moderate the cold a bit. The country is mostly flat, with small hills and its surface is low.

Finland is home to about 5.5 million people, as of February 2021. The capital of Finland is Helsinki.

Helsinki Finland

Finland's Independence Day is celebrated on December 6 every year. This is a very patriotic day because on this day the independence of the country declared on this date in 1917 is respected, as well as the events of World War II in which Finland almost lost its independence again.

How do you celebrate Finnish Independence Day?

Independence Day was first celebrated in 1919. Initially Independence Day was a festive event with patriotic speeches and special church services.

Recently, the Independence Day celebration has become a more lively event and Finns have five special traditions for celebrating this day:

Candles - The Finns place special candles in blue and white, the flag colors, usually two, near the window. This tradition began in the 19th century and is said to be reminiscent of the period when two candles were placed in a window as a sign to Finnish soldiers that the house would offer them shelter and hide them from the Russians.

2. War graves - Many Finns visit the cemetery and light candles so that the whole area sparkles beautifully. In all the big and small cities, war graves and memorial stones are visited by city officials and sometimes there is a candle parade of students or children, which pays homage to the graves.

3. Watch the 2017 film Tuntematon sotilas (The Unknown Soldier), directed by Aku Louhimies, based on a novel by Väinö Linna, which depicts World War II in Finland.

4. Blue and white - The blue and white colors of the Finnish flag are proudly displayed in shop windows and bakeries that make cakes with a blue and white icing.

On Independence Day there are no special dishes, but most people have a more fancy dinner. Many bake gingerbread or tart and plum tart cookies which are seasonal treats especially before Christmas.

5. Watching the reception for Presidential Independence Day. At 19:00, the official Independence Day celebration begins with a Gala (‘Linnan juhlat‘ ) at the Presidential Castle in Helsinki, which is televised. 

Some interesting trivia facts about Finland

Finland has 179,888 islands and 187,888 lakes.

The only common English word taken directly from Finnish is 'sauna'.

There are more saunas than cars in Finland. It is estimated that there are 2,000,000 saunas in Finland, for a population of 5.3 million!

Finland is sometimes mistakenly included as part of the Scandinavian region. This is not true because Scandinavia is a geographical area that includes only Sweden, Denmark and Norway. Finland belongs to the Nordic countries and the correct term for the territory that includes Scandinavia and Finland is Fennoscandia.

If you want to visit Finland, the cheapest month to visit it is July and the most expensive is January.

Northern Finland is part of a region called Lapland.

If you want to watch the Northern Lights in Finland, you should visit the village of Luosto, located north of the Arctic Circle in Finland, between September and March.

The Northern Lights in Finland

Happy Independence Day Finland - Hyvää itsenäisyyspäivää!

Happy Independence Day Finland - Hyvää itsenäisyyspäivää
Happy Independence Day Finland - Hyvää itsenäisyyspäivää!

December 6 is also Miners Day and Constitution Day in Spain

Constitution Day in Spain - December 6

Spain's Constitution Day is the day Spain celebrates its becoming a democracy and the enactment of its constitution, on December 6, 1978, after the years of King Franco's dictatorship.
Spain is a country in southwestern Europe located on the Iberian Peninsula and borders Portugal, France, Gibraltar and Andorra.
The official language of Spain is Spanish and its capital is Madrid.

In honor of the Constitution Day celebrated in Spain, get some amazing facts about this country that you probably did not know:
Spain is the second largest country in Western Europe and the European Union.

The official name of Spain is "Kingdom of Spain".

Defamation of the royal family in Spain can lead to a sentence of up to two years in prison.

In 2013, Spain was in third place in the list of the most visited countries in the world.

There are no words in Spain's national anthem.

The youngest king ever was Alfonso XIII of Spain, who became king from the day he was born.

In 1492, the Catholic kings of Spain issued an order to expel all Jews from Spain. The Muslim Sultan of Izid sent the Ottoman navy to Spain to save the Jews from the persecution of the Spaniards.

Only 72% of Spaniards speak Spanish. The rest speak Catalan, Galician, Basque and other languages.

The first modern man arrived in Iberia (now Spain) about 35,000 years ago on foot from the north.
The Tomatina is an annual festival held in Spain where people throw thousands of tomatoes at each other.

The Eiffel Tower was originally intended for Barcelona, Spain, but the project was rejected.

Source: Instagram 
The Church of the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona has been under construction for over 130 years and construction is expected to be completed by 2026.

Spain had more unemployment in 2013 (27.2%) than the US during the Great Depression (25%).
In 2011, a small town in Spain that was on the verge of economic collapse, participated in the largest lottery in the world and won.

Spanish rice is not known in Spain.

source: Amazon
43% of the world's olive oil is produced in Spain.

In 1894 Japan offered to buy the Philippines from Spain for 40 million pounds.

In 2000, the Spanish disabled basketball team was forced to return their gold medals after it was found that almost all players have no disability.

Spain has no laws against public nudity.

Prostitutes in Spain should wear glowing vests, like the rest of the workers on the roads, to avoid accidents.

The oldest lighthouse in the world is the Hercules Tower in Spain, built in the first century AD and still in operation.

There is a city in Spain where 700 people have the surname "Japon", because they are descendants of 17th century samurai who remained there as ambassadors of Japan.

There are two Roman dams in Spain that are still in use after 1,900 years.

In 1971, Evita Perron's body was exhumed and flown to Spain, where former Argentine President Juan Perón and his new wife kept the body in their dining room.

Spain was neutral in World War I and II, but experienced a civil war between 1936 and 1939 in which more than 500,000 people were killed.

Spain has two large enclaves, Sauta and Malilla, located in the African continent.

The Aztec emperor Mokatsuma II has a line of descendants who were brought to Spain and became part of the Spanish nobility, holding the title of "Duke Moktsuma de Toltango".

The US has more Spanish speakers than Spain.

Across Spain there are over 16,000 festivals that include cruelty to animals. About 60,000 animals die in them each year.

There is a direct descendant of Christopher Columbus who lives today. He is a Spanish nobleman.
Of all the countries celebrating Independence Day, 58 are celebrating liberation from Britain, 26 from France, 21 from Russia and 21 from Spain.

Spain was Europe's leading force during the 16th and most of the 17th centuries. Its strong position came from wealth in colonial assets and from being the leading naval force in the world.

Spain has a 47-story skyscraper that does not have an elevator.
Spanish flag

December 6 is also Miners' Day and Finland's Independence Day

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