Festivals of Asia and North Africa
A festival is a series of events or activities culminating in a conclusion and an encore of the same topic. The word “fiesta” is derived from the Spanish word which means celebration. The theme of any such event or festivity depends entirely on the organizer. Although it may follow a similar pattern, every festival has a different personality and taste. Some festivals have a theme or a spirit of revival, while others celebrate or commemorate a recent historical event.
There are different reasons behind the creation of a festival. For example, the Aztec festival is one of the most popular ones in North America. This festival is rooted from the Mexican holiday celebration of Cinco de Mayo. In ancient times, people did not eat or drink on Wednesdays; therefore, on this day they honored the goddess who is revered by the Aztecs as the creator of the world. On this day, every May Day, all over Mexico and Canada, people dress up in costumes and take part in various dances, feasts and games.
Another type of festival that is celebrated around the world is the Asian festivals. The Buddhist festival, for instance, began at the Buddha’s enlightenment, which took place in India. The festival is one characterized by wearing special dresses, meditation and contemplation. The main highlight of the festival is seated meditation by Buddhist monks. The festival is celebrated on the anniversary of the Buddha’s enlightenment.
Asian festivals are celebrated in many different ways. Some of these are the Chinese New Year, the Hungry Ghost Festival, the Festival of Anglers and the ending of the moon. While some of these events are regularly held across Asia, others are a part of a transnational festival with their own traditions. For instance, the festival of noodles is celebrated in Japan during November, while the Loi Krathong festival is celebrated in Thailand.
Hindu festivals are celebrated with great devotion and enthusiasm. This is because the Hindu faith believes that the spirits of the dead cannot be reborn again on earth. This festival commemorates the fact that the deceased has left a legacy for his/her loved ones and is not amongst the living. Thousands of devotees gather in the temple or in the surrounding areas to offer prayers and take vows to follow the path of the lord.
Islamic festivals celebrate the end of Ramadan and the birth of the Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H.) and mark the end of Ramadan. They are a major festival and marked by extravagant feasts and multi-day celebrations. Unlike the Christian festivals, there is no Christmas festival during this time.