February’s fun and foreign holidays

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February’s fun and foreign holidays

Stephan Orlovich, staff writer

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Valentines Day and Presidents Day come to mind when one thinks of the holidays in February; however, many unrecognized holidays and holiday seasons pass in 28 days.

To begin with, Chinese New Year festival, also known as the Spring Festival, continues into Feburary this year. This widely celebrated season that kicks off the Lunar Year began on January 28, 2017. This festival initiates the year of the rooster and millions of people participate in it. The Spring Festival brings over 500 million people to China and other Asian countries. This is the largest annual mass migration in the world. Many people celebrate Chinese New Year in many different ways.

Eight grader Eddie Hseih says, “We eat tons of food that can be preserved for a couple of days because we eat the leftovers. We get money in red packets. Overall, it is a really fun festival that I look forward to.”

Many people in dominantly Asian countries have a huge feast to celebrate the Lunar New Year. They also attend parades and dance all night with their families. It is a time for people to be together and it is believed to be the most important meal of the year. Although millions around the world celebrate Chinese New Year, relatively few actually know how it began.

According to legend, there lived a monster named Nian who had a long head and sharp horns. He would live in the sea until the first of the year, when he would come up onto the land and ravage the surrounding villages, taking everything the villagers owned and killing their livestock. One year, an old man with a ruddy complexion and white hair came to the village. The night before the monster was set to attack, he lit bamboo to make makeshift firecrackers, pasted red papers on the doors, lit candles in houses, and dressed in all red to scare away Nian. When the villagers came back to their respective villages, they were shocked to learn that their stuff was untouched. The old man instructed them to keep doing this and the tradition has carried on until present time.

Another interesting holiday that occurs during February is Tu B’shevat. This is a Jewish holiday that celebrated trees, flowers, and all kinds of life. Some Jewish businesses take off for this holiday to celebrate the life that is all over the world. This holiday is celebrated on the evening of February 10 to the evening of February 11. It started as the day for calculating the Jewish people’s agricultural tithes; however, it changed to a day of remembering the goodness and life that a God had given them over the years of Jewish history. Israelis plant trees and flowers, along with other types of plants on this day. This holiday is similar to Arbor day.

Other interesting occurrences in the month of February include five independence days, for Sri Lanka, Dominican Republic, Saint Lucia, Gambia, and Grenada. These Independence Days are celebrated with parades and singing of the country’s national anthem. Other holidays during this month include 28 quirky, fun, and enjoyable holidays. These trivial but joyful days include, Make a Friend Day, which is pretty self-explanatory, Chocolate Fondue Day, which is a day to celebrate chocolate fondue and the sweet, trivial things in life, and e-day, which is a day to raise awareness about hazardous electronic waste, to name a few. These small, insignificant holidays brighten people’s day and give some happiness to the drab and dreary routine of life.

In conclusion, the month of February is a time of celebration for many people all over the world. Some holidays are widely celebrated, while some seem insignificant and unimportant. Whatever the case may be, these days brighten life and add a much needed break from the daily routines of life.

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