CultureEntertainmentTraditions

The Carnival of Venice 2021 will be a streaming event

When in February 2020 they had to interrupt the most anticipated event of the year in one of the most visited cities in the world, due to the pandemic, most people thought “we'll make it up next year”. Then February 2021 came and, although with slightly brighter prospects thanks to the arrival of the vaccine, Venice is still not ready to host the millions of tourists it used to welcome for its Carnival.  There are many people involved in the organization of the Venice Carnival. It is not just a city festival, it is also a very important event for the economy of the city. CNA Turismo e Commercio (the Italian organization representing craft enterprises) had estimated a turnover of 260 million euros for the year 2020, many of which went up in smoke. Last February there was no time to...

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Traditions

Bajau: nomadic people who spend their live at sea

Today we go to southeast Asia, in the triangle between Malaysia, the Philippines and Indonesia to discover a fishing tribe. In the past, the people of the Bajau community were real nomads who lived on boats and moved constantly, living on the riches offered by the sea. Today, most of them have decided to settle in the villages on stilts, continuing to live by fishing and few of them still live on the boat-houses known as "lepa lepa" reaching the coast only in case of need, for example to repair their boats or for trade. Currently, the Bajau live thanks to the fish trade supplying the Hong Kong industries; unfortunately, the increasing demand on seafood has led to the introduction of dy...

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CultureTraditions

A symbol of Russia that originated in Japan

Matryoshka is a wooden doll pertaining to the Russian tradition and it is one of the best-selling souvenirs that tourists buy when they visit the cities of the largest state in the world. Rather than a single doll, it is a set of dolls of different sizes, which can be stacked one inside the other, from the smallest one to the largest one. Each piece consists of two openable and reclosable parts that reveal its content. The larger doll is called the mother, while the smaller piece is the seed. The term matryoshka comes from the Russian matrëška, a term of endearment for matrëna which, in turn, derives from the Latin mater. It means "matron" in the sense of a female head of family within a matriarchal society. It is in fact an object totally inspired by the female uni...

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Traditions

Jarramplas: the Spanish festival where people throw turnips

A shower of turnips, people running, others singing, excitement and adrenaline come together in the streets of the town, we are in Piornal, a Spanish municipality in Extremadura. Here every year, precisely on January 19 and 20, on the occasion of San Sebastián, one of the most heartfelt and most important holidays of the area is celebrated, the famous Jarramplas.  The origins of this festival are rather uncertain, most of the inhabitants of Piornal say that Jarramplas represents a cattle thief who in the past, once discovered by the villagers, was hunted and hit with vegetables. Others claim that this ancestral festival has mythological origins, whereas others attribute it to a Native American tradition. Whatever its...

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Traditions

Thanksgiving Day: origins and traditions of the most envied American holiday

Every year, on the fourth thursday of November, Americans celebrate Thanksgiving Day. For our Canadian friends, the holiday falls on the second monday of October. An all-American festivity, which is so famous all over the world (especially due to the incredible amount of American films that we always watch) that when November comes we would like to celebrate it too. But where does this holiday really come from and how is it traditionally celebrated? Let's start by saying that Thanksgiving Day, along with Christmas, Halloween and the Fourth of July (Independence Day), is one of the most important and heartfelt holidays for Americans. Hence the enormous interest in it. It was initially of religious origin but it is now considered secular. Apparently, the first Thanksgiving Day was cel...

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Traditions

Himba: the red women of Namibia

Somewhere in the world, in one of the most pristine areas of the planet, there are still ancestral traditions that have not been affected by external influences and that continue to intrigue the whole of humanity. We are talking about the Himba people, that is right, the red-skinned people living in northern Namibia, in the wild region of Kaokoland.  The Himba tribe descends from Herera people who had taken shelter in the state of Angola in 1800, around 1920 the red-skinned group returned to their homeland without coming into contact with the German colonizers. Thanks to the absence of closeness and union with Europeans, today this indigenous community is the testimony of ...

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Traditions

“Día de los muertos”: how Mexicans celebrate their most important holiday

Today we fly to South America, more precisely to Mexico to discover one of the most important and oldest festivals in the tradition of this country, the “día de los muertos”, or the day of the dead. Those who know or have joined this party, or those who have seen pictures of this celebration, know that this ceremony has nothing to do with Halloween or with Italy's day of the dead. Here the bright and gaudy colours, the intense coloured skulls, the music and the dances are the key players, nothing is horrible or sad as people might imagine.  This anniversary has very ancient roots, at the beginning two holidays were celebrated to commemorate the dead: Miccailhuitntli i...

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Traditions

Are Christmas traditions the same everywhere?

Lights, decorations, pastries and Christmas carols. Children suddenly becomes good in the hope that an old man with a beard, dressed in red will bring them some gifts. Adults go crazy in order to find a present for everybody, yet they can't wait to get together with the whole family for the holidays. If Christmas isn't the most magical time of the year, then what would it be?  There are so many common elements in the celebration of this holiday around the world, from Christmas trees to receiving gifts. Equally numerous (indeed certainly more) are the Christmas traditions that differ from country to country. Some of them are really bizarre, others a little less. Let's find them out. The Scandinavian countries are the lands of Christmas par excellence, as Santa Claus lives in Rov...

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Traditions

Diwali is the five-day Indian festival of lights

India is a land of great charm, full of colours and contrasts, where traditions and spirituality are at the centre of Indian daily life. As soon as you arrive in this country, attracted by its vastness and its exoticism, you are literally catapulted into a reality where normality is characterized by people eating with their right hand, by people sleeping on the street, by monkeys stealing food from kitchens and by scooters whizzing by on the streets.  Today we are going to talk about one of the most important holidays that is celebrated in India, the Diwali (also called Deepawali), it is known as the festival of lights because millions of...

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Traditions

Yerba mate is the traditional drink in Argentina

If you are a tea or infusion lover, or if you have been lucky enough to travel to Argentina, then you will surely know yerba mate, the drink par excellence of Argentine culture.  Every Argentine, wherever he goes, always carries a mate, a bombilla, a thermos with hot water and obviously the indispensable yerba mate in his backpack. Let's find out what it is; yerba mate is an infusion prepared with the leaves of mate, an evergreen plant. The dried leaves are placed in the mate, a recipient of pumpkin or glass, wood, or metal, which is shaken to mix all the leaves, stalks and powder, after that the water is added. Now it is the turn of the bombilla, a kind of ...

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