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St. Patrick's Day & International Festivals! ☘

All the countries I have lived in have their own specific festivals. Learning and knowing about these can help you understand about the culture of the country and often there is lots of specific vocabulary associated with the celebration.

Before moving to Ireland 3 years ago my experience of St. Patrick's day was that it was a holiday which involved visiting Irish pubs and wearing green! I decided to briefly research this festival and discovered that it was about Saint Patrick bringing Christianity to Ireland in the 5th Century. But it’s more known now to be a drinking holiday and is not really remembered for its religious roots.

In the UK there is a very specific tradition of Guy Fawkes night or Bonfire night which is celebrated with a bonfire where people get together outside and often watch an organised fireworks display. According to some historians it’s about foiling a gunpowder plot to blow up the houses of parliament.

When I lived in Prague, Easter was celebrated very differently than when I was in England. There is a controversial tradition where men lightly hit the women with sticks from a willow tree and the women either give the men painted eggs or throw water over them! It is an Easter Monday ritual of pagan origin, popular in rural areas.

Check out the link below if you don’t believe me!

I have fond memories of these festivals and am disappointed that we can’t celebrate in the usual way because of the Coronavirus, however there are many zoom events going on and I may have a Guinness to remind me of all the fun I had! 🍺😊

What kind of festivals do you have in your country? Why do you like these festivals?

Do you think someone visiting might find them strange?

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