THE FLOATING HOLIDAY

Photo owned by: Iraida Bethencourt

My grandma, when she was young, dressed up for the carnaval celebrations.          Photo owned by: Iraida Bethencourt

Venezuela has many traditions and feasts but the one that is most celebrated around all of Venezuela are the ‘carnavales‘. There are many reports about this specific tradition because it is one of the few events that makes the whole country come alive. Some of those reports that cover this are Countries and Their Cultures -VenezuelaVenezuelan Culture and Discover Venezuela.

Picture owned by: Emilia Rodriguez Robles

Picture owned by: Emilia Rodriguez Robles

This feast is always celebrated in the month of february but with no specific date because it takes place forty days before Good Friday and since Easter changes every year, the date of the holiday changes also. The way it works is that people get the friday and following monday of the week off work and school. Everyone celebrates it a little different depending on where they live in Venezuela. People from cities have different events and activities than the people in the pueblos. For example, usually the people from the city leave and go to the beach that is close by whereas those from the more rural places stay in their towns. At the end of the day though, they all aim the celebration towards the same thing.

Picture owned by: Emilia Rodriguez Robles

Picture owned by: Emilia Rodriguez Robles

The festivals are extremely colorful. The country suddenly changes its look. Everything is decorated and the streets are all lit up. Then the Venezuelans themselves dress with the traditional costumes and perform many of our traditional dances. There is a lot of folk music and joropo, which is a typical Venezuelan dance. There is also dancing of salsa and merengue which are danced in any party during the year. Music and dancing has always taken a strong role in Venezuelan culture. There are also those who just go to the beach and have different events there. Since I am from the city, my family and I usually went to the beach. I remember that we had a lot of water balloon fights and sand castle competitions in which everyone competed. There are also the typical Venezuelan foods such as Arepas, cachapas, empanadas and tequeños that are served at this event. It is a time when the culture and tradition that all have inside are released in a very extroverted way. It is great to remember these things because a lot of the times when we hear about Venezuela it is bad news. It is about the corrupted government or about how dangerous it is. But we must keep in mind that even though it is a country that is struggling, there are still beautiful things within it. Despite what goes is going on in this country, the Carnavales keep being celebrated, remembering the wonderful things such an amazing country has to offer. Written by: Iraida Bethencourt Graterón

THREE WEBPAGES INTO THE WORLD OF FIESTA

As I mentioned on my other post, Spain has a lot of different festivals and customs according to the cultural diversity that it has had through history, however this singularity could be difficult to explain, that is why I have chosen three webpages that do it very well.

Each region of this ancient country has its own particular tradition and festival and all of them are gathered on the official Spain´s tourism webpage. Here you can find all the cultural activities that this wonderful country offers. This events are as different as the Pilar festivals in Saragossa,the mistery of Elche theatre or San José Fallas celebration in Valencia. It also has a very useful map that shows you the most important festivals, its location and information about them. This webpage also offers other kinds of tourism such as artistic or gastronomical.

Las Fallas de Valencia

Image by viajero turismo

Another webpage that also contains a lot of information about the different festivals that take place in Spain is Marca españa. However, this webpage, which also belongs to the state, is more general, it mentions the most-known festivals and traditions along the country. That is the reason why it is perfect for someone that wants to know a bit of every region but doesn’t have time to take a deep look on each of them. It also talks about other fields of the Spanish culture apart from the festivals such as social inclusion or history.

Spanish fiestas is the perfect site for a foreigner to get to know the different festivals that take place in Spain each month. As I said the events are monthly classified so the tourist can arrange its trip depending on the time of the year that he or she is planning to go. It also describes each festival very accurately and gives advises on where to sleep or eat during the tourist’s stay in that concrete city.

Edrurne Larumbe

1 DE NOVIEMBRE

mini4 So many traditions; all in the same country, Guatemala. With twenty two different cultures, there are at least 70 traditions. It`s ironic that a small country like Guatemala, half the size of Mexico, has a lot of cultural diversity; No one could imagine this. So many colors, food, smells; usually the older women are the ones in charge of cooking for the town`s gathering, because for this special dates the tradition is to gather in one house or in the central 1000004_489919334436140_1574653872_npark to eat, drink and talk. The women gather and cook for everyone who`s coming, this food that they cook is the typical guatemalan food. By tipical I mean food like beans, corn tortillas, tamales, tacos, meat but specially “ El Fiambre” 1st of November is one of the most important traditions for Guatemalan culture. People also called it: “ Barriletes gigantes”, “ Dia del Fiambre”, “ Dia de los Muertos”, ” Día de los Santos” . It started because the cristians celebrate the death of their beloved ones, Guatemalan people take this really serious. It is said that bad spirits come to the cementeries during this time, sounds are heard , people get scared randomly. But the most important reason is that indian feel closer to the diseased when they put up high the kite runners, it’s a way for them to send a ” message” to the skype, something they didn’t have the opportunity to say, something they wish to send or say. A way to say good bye and let go. The kite runners became really famous in the whole country because of their size, they`re giant kite runners.  At least fifteen men have to set them up in the sky. It is an art to watch them, this tradition takes place in Sumpango, located 1 hour outside the city; cementeries are full of people, locals and touristsn it lasts around 6 hours meanwhile they finish the kite runners and set them to fly. Once they are in the sky, some judges come watch them, see which ones fly better, which ones are more creative, and also wich ones the audience like the most. and at the end of the day when the kites are left to fly away they choose one winner from them all.Barriletes-Gigantes-de-Sumpango1 After the ceremony of the kites each family goes to their home and eat the famous ” fiambre”; at first sight it might seem ugly but it is the most delicious food in Guatemala, it is one of my favorite dishes. My mother has a recepie that came all the way from her great grand-mother, and from generation to generation we have all learned to do it. It`s not only delicious but it is also real pretty with a los of colors and shaped, textures. When you have the opportunity you should not only come to watch the amazing ceremony of the kites but also to try the fiambre, and you will understand when I say that it is amazing. Fiambre-Miguelssm. By: Ana Isabel Garcia Rodas Photograph copyright © Ana Isabel Garcia Rodas.

All Souls Day!

As I said before, this blog is purposed mainly to show to you about the culture of my country, El Salvador. There is a broad amount of celebrations in El Salvador, some of them are celebrated in the whole country and some others are celebrated in some parts which are related to the celebration.
For example, there is one celebration called The San Miguel Carnival. This celebration is the festivity of San Miguel, one of the 14 departments of my country, and is only celebrated on that specific department.
On the other hand, there is one of the most important festivities in El Salvador and, in fact, is celebrated in the whole country. This festivity is called the All Souls Day, in spanish “Dia de los Santos Difuntos”, which I mentioned in my last post and I’d like to talk about it on this one.
Personally this is one of my favorite festivities in my country, and my favorites are not many. This festivity consists in visiting the graves of the deceased family in the cemeteries where they are buried, and prey for they souls. My family’s tradition is to visit the Santa Ana general cemetery. Santa Ana is another one of the 14 departments and it is a 45 minutes trip in car. After visiting all the graves and praying for all family, we have the tradition to go to my aunt’s house to have some food, and here comes one of the reasons why I like a lot this festivity, apart of being together in family, is the food, oh yes, that glorious kind of typical food you eat once a year, and it’s amazing. One of this one time a year snacks that I like the most are ojuelas. This candies are corn flakes in the form of thick rings covered in syrup, I just got hungry just thinking about them.

So, in conclusion, All Souls Day is one festivity that I like a lot between my favorites. Family, friends, delicious food, all together are the perfect combination for having a good time in El Salvador.

Fernando Gonzalez.

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UNITED STATES

After a long time trying to find a topic, my group and I decided to make the blog about different celebrations that offer countries around the world. We thought that it could be a great idea because most of us have different nationalities. Then came the most difficult part for me.

I’m from Spain but I didn’t want to be the one in charge of the country because one of my friends could say more than I about it. I thought about Italy because I have been there this summer and I loved it. I visited Venice, Florence, Roma and Pisa. These cities full of romanticism would give me a lot to write about. Their culture is something special and at the same time similar to the one of Spain, even the language is understandable for me. The problem was that I have never been in any of their celebrations or traditional events, so writing about them was not such a good idea.

I choose United States, the country in which I have spent the best holidays of my life. I have visited six states and been living there with two different host families. I know how they usually celebrate important events such as 4th of July, Christmas, Easter..etc.

I find Americans way of life really interesting. They are so patriotic, always singing their hymn and hanging flags on their houses. It makes you love their country too. The people there is so open-minded, when they have a guest always make him feel as if he were part of the family, even the neighbors are really nice. The food is not very elaborate but is really good, they have a huge variety of things that we have never seen in Europe. It’s great to taste new flavors.

I have a lot of reasons for choosing United States, I like it but more over I have been living there so I can write about my own experiences

Ana Jordán Sanz

EL SALVADOR

I was born in San Salvador, El Salvador, where I lived 18 years of my life after moving to Spain for my University Studies. El Salvador is a small country in Central America and it is one of the smallest of the whole continent with only 21,000 square kilometers and a population of 6.2 million people.

When I moved to study abroad in Spain I noticed that many people doesn´t know much about my country and its culture. Citizens

The Citizens of the World blog has the main purpose of giving acknowledgement to all the main cultural events on my country and how they are held.

The major part of the festivities held in El Salvador are about the saints which represent each department of the country and are held on that specific department, other events are, for example, the Day of All Souls (Dia de los Fieles Difuntos in Spanish) and the Independence day, which is one of the most important, obviously.

In this blog I will talk about the cultural importance and significance. Also I will explain in what places they are celebrated and why, and also, which of them I, personally, like the most.

Show things about my country to people who doesn´t know its one of the things I enjoy the most, as well as learning from others, like a good citizen of the world.

Fernando Gonzalez.

GUATEMALA

ALTIPLANO 167

Guatemala “ land of culture, soul of the world”

The heart of the mayan culture Guatemala is a beautiful country located in Central America. Known for its multiple cultures within the small country. We have 22 different language but the official language is the spanish. The mayan culture`s heart is located in Peten, in the north of Guatemala; Antigua is located on central Guatemala; somehow we end up having the most beautiful places and cultures of the world. My goal is to remind people not to always trust in what the tv or the press say, because I know how bad they talk about Guatemala, of hoy dangerous it is, and how the tourists are treated, but guess what, they are wrong. I’m not going to lie and say that there is no insecurity becuase there is for us, the locals, but it shouldn’t stop people from going and seeing for themselves what they here. I can Catedral de Antigua (2)promise you that it is not thecase at least you go to the guettos of Guatemala and expect to get out with your phone. That is the point for this blog to let know the people how different and pretty is the world out there. I choose this theme because it is really important to stay connected in a certain way to the country were you come from even though I am so far from Guatemala. Guatemala gave me life,gave me friends, gave me health, education so this is my Little help back to change the prejudices that everyone has. Guatemala is more than my country, my home; and mi casa es tu casa, Whenever you wish to come don’t feel shy to contact me and I will give you a tour. We need to break the bubble in wich we live and search for new adventures around the world. SONY DSC by: Ana Isabel Garcia photography property of Ana Isabel Garcia