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Thread: European holidays and festivals

  1. #1
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    Post European holidays and festivals



    Europe is extremely rich in festivals and holidays, be them Christian, pagan or non-religious. Here is a short list encompassing all European countries.

    - 1 January : New Year's Day

    - 6 Januray : Epiphany (Fête des Rois)

    - 2 February : Candlemas/Imbolc/Saturnalia

    - 14 February : Valentine's Day (lover's day)

    - 16 February : National Day of Lithuania (independence from Russia and Germany in 1918)

    - 24 February : National Day of Estonia (independence from Russia in 1918)

    - February : Carnival & Mardi Gras

    - 3 March : Liberation Day in Bulgaria (independence from the Ottoman Empire in 1878)

    - 15 March : National Day of Hungary (1848 revolution anniversary)

    - 17 March : Saint Patrick's Day ; National Day of Ireland

    - 20-21 March : Spring Equinox (official beginning of Spring in some countries)

    - 25 March : National Day of Greece (independence from the Ottoman Empire in 1821 and proclamation of the republic in 1921)

    - 1 April : Fool's Day

    - April : Good Friday (Christian)
    - April : Easter Sunday (Christian)
    - April : Easter Monday (Christian)

    - 21 April : Queen's Official Birthday in the UK

    - 30 April : National Day of the Netherlands (Queen's Day)

    - 1 May : Labour Day (excludes UK and Netherlands), May Day

    - 3 May : National Day of Poland (Constitution Day)

    - 17 May : National Day of Norway (Constitution Day)

    - 2 June : National Day of Italy (Republic Day)

    - 5 June : National Day of Denmark (Constitution Day)
    - 6 June : National Day of Sweden (Constitution Day)

    - 10 June : National Day of Portugal

    - 20-21 June : Summer Solstice (official beginning of Summer in some countries ; Pagan bonfire night)

    - 23 June : National Day of Luxembourg (Grand Duke's Official Birthday)
    - 24 June : St. John's Day (bonfire night ; Catholic)
    - 25 June : Statehood Day in Slovenia and Croatia (independence from Yugolsavia in 1991)

    - 14 July : National Day of France (Bastille Day)

    - 21 July : National Day of Belgium (inauguration of Leopold I, first king of the Belgians)

    - 1 August : National Day of Switzerland

    - 15 August : Assumption of Mary (Catholic) ; National Day of Hungary (country's foundation)

    - 29 August : National Day of Slovakia (anniversary of the 1944 uprising against the Nazi)

    - 1 September : National Day of Slovakia (Constitution Day)

    - 3 September : National Day of San Marino (anniversary of the country's foundation in 301 by Saint Marinus)

    - 8 september : National Day of Andorra

    - 21 September : Independence Day in Malta
    - 22-23 September : Autumn Equinox (official beginning of Autumn in some countries)

    - 3 October : National Day of Germany (Unity Day)

    - 12 October : National Day of Spain

    - 23 October: National Day of Hungary (1956 revolution anniversary)

    - 26 October : National Day of Austria (anniversary of the Declaration of Neutrality)
    - 28 October : National Day of the Czech Republic (independence from Austro-Hungary in 1918)

    - 31 October : Halloween (imported from USA)
    - 1 November : All Saints Day (Catholic)
    - 2 November : All Soul's Day (Catholic)

    - 5 November : Guy Fawkes' Night (bonfire night ; UK)

    - 11 November : Armistice Day (end of WWI) ; National Day of Poland (independence from Germany and Russia in 1918)

    - 18 November : National Day of Latvia (independence from Russia in 1918)
    - 19 November : National Day of Monaco

    - 1 December : Union Day in Romania

    - 6 December : Saint Nicholas' Day (children's day ; Catholic); National Day of Finland

    - 21-22 December : Winter solstice/Yule (official beginning of Winter in some countries)

    - 24 December : Christmas Eve
    - 25 December : Christmas Day
    - 26 December : Boxing Day / St. Stephen's Day / Second Day of Christmas (excludes Belgium & Portugal)

    - 31 December : Saint Sylvester's Day (New Year's Eve)
    Last edited by Maciamo; 11-11-06 at 01:21.

  2. #2
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    Wow what a bunch of holidays!
    The UK is pretty useless for public holidays.
    We get:
    New year's day
    Good Friday and Easter Monday (date variable)
    May day (Monday at beginning of May)
    Spring holiday (Monday at end of May)
    August Bank Holiday (Monday at end of August)
    Christmas Day
    Boxing Day

    ... and that's all.

    If I was Great Almighty Ruler of England we'd have St Andrew's Day off work, I don't understand why we can't have a one day holiday just for the celebration of our country, not in a religious sense but just because all other countries celebrate their 'patron' day, so I think we should too! I think it's cheerless not to have a holiday then!

    Also, yup, when I am Prime Minister we will have holidays to celebrate the solstices, 21 March, 21 June, 21 September, 21 December... I might sound odd saying it as a Catholic but I'm serious... I think the movement of the seasons is very important and it should be noticed more and acknowledged... I think people are getting very out of touch with nature. The rotation of the earth around the sun isn't just something for 'pagans' but something that affects everyone's everyday lives.

    Actually I think we should have every religious festival as a holiday! I'm all for it! No discrimination! Let's celebrate! ........ bahhhh, I'm just a slacker. *hides* XD

    It's interesting that you mention 'St John's Day' on 24th June, because I've never even particularly noticed it. It's not one of the 'holy days of obligation', as is, for example, the feast of saints Peter and Paul... I wonder if that's something which is more prominent in mainland Europe...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo
    - 6 November : Guy Fawkes' Night (bonfire night ; UK)
    I thought it was "Remember Remember the fifth of November"

    Do people in the UK celebrate that day with bonefire for Guy Fawkes?

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    Quote Originally Posted by misa.j View Post
    I thought it was "Remember Remember the fifth of November"
    Do people in the UK celebrate that day with bonefire for Guy Fawkes?
    Oops, mistyped. Sorry...

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    Quote Originally Posted by misa.j View Post
    Do people in the UK celebrate that day with bonefire for Guy Fawkes?
    Yes, yes we do!
    At least, not everyone has a bonfire, cos it's not always a space for it (and it's a little tricky to make it safely ) but many people have fireworks or go to see a fireworks display on that night.

    This year I went round to a house of some friends and we had a bonfire in the back garden and set off fireworks. It was great! ^^
    Well, I'm easily pleased; I love fireworks and fires!
    Usually people will have a BBQ too. (this year we just drank soup, but it is generally some kind of 'cold-night comfort-food' XD)
    It used to happen that kids would take round a guy, to collect money, but that doesn't happen any more (at least, maybe some places it does, but I've lived my life in turn in a small village, a middle-ish size town and a large city and I have never seen it).

    I love bonfire night!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kinsao
    Actually I think we should have every religious festival as a holiday!
    I would love to observe Holi Festival in India. The Indians who live in the US do celebrate, but I've never seen it. It looks like a lof of fun.

    Too bad you guys don't have Thanksgiving, which is my favorite holiday and coming right up next Thursday.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo View Post

    - 31 October : Halloween (imported from USA)

    Halloween is not imported from America. It was originally an Irish celebration. It is a celebration for the end of the harvest and the start of the winter months. It comes from Samhain which is 1 of the 4 main ancient Irish festivals (the others being Imbolg (which is now St. Brigid's day 2nd of Feb), Bealtaine (1st of May) and Lunghasa (1st of Aug). It has been celebrated in Ireland (and also Scotland) for probably thousands of years. Even today, Haloween is a wild night in Ireland. There are thousands of bonfires and people have to keep their pets indoors to prevent them from being thrown on bonfires or struck with fireworks. It is the busiest night of the year for the Fire Brigade in Ireland.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eireannach View Post
    Halloween is not imported from America. It was originally an Irish celebration.
    Halloween as it is celebrated in most of continental Europe and Asia (e.g. Japan and Korea) was imported from the US. Of course the roots of the American Hallowe'en are in Ireland, but it isn't due to direct Irish cultural influence that it spread around the world. The first time I heard of Halloween was in only 1997, through American students living in Germany. The first time I saw Halloween decorations a bit everywhere (and sold in shops) was in Japan in 2001. Halloween is still a novelty in Europe outside the UK and Ireland.

  9. #9
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    I'll add: 25th July, Celebration of Santiago Apostol.

    Also we don't celebrate April fool's day here. We have a similar celebration on 28th December, we called it "Dia de los Santos Inocentes".

    Halloween is still a novelty in Europe outside the UK and Ireland.
    Wrong, in Galicia is a very ancient tradition. They called it Samain.

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