Many of us travel during the holidays – whether it’s across the neighbourhood, across the country, or across the world. Being with our families to celebrate is what makes the holidays special.
Christmas and New Year’s factor in significantly to the surge in travel during this time of the year, but there are a number of other important days at this time of year and so here’s a look at a few other celebrations that bring families across the world together.
Shōgatsu – The Japanese New Year’s celebration is held on January 1st – 3rd – although celebrations often go on for a full week. Temple bells ring 108 times to usher in the New Year and homes are cleaned to mark a new beginning. The Kadomatsu – a traditional decoration made with pine boughs, straw, and bamboo – grace homes to symbolise longevity.
Kwanzaa – This week-long celebration from December 26th – January 1st celebrates and honours African heritage in African-American culture. Families come together for a feast and gift-giving – and homes are decorated with colourful African artwork such as Kente cloth.
Boxing Day – Celebrated the day following Christmas in the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and other Commonwealth nations – this holiday’s origin can be traced back to mid-17th century England. Traditionally, it was the day when tradespeople would collect a box of gifts from their bosses. Today, it is a shopping holiday and also features important sporting events.
Hanukkah – Also known as the Festival of Lights or Feast of Dedication, Hanukkah is an eight-day Jewish holiday celebrated with a series of family-based and communal rituals performed every day throughout the holiday. In 2014, the holiday took place from sunset, December 16th to nightfall on December 24th.
Three King’s Day – Celebrated on January 6th – this holiday, often called Epiphany, commemorates the birth of Jesus. Festivities differ around the world, but many include colourful parades. In Spain and Latin America children typically receive presents on this day and it is traditional to bake a type of bread known as Roscón.
Bikaner Camel Festival – Held every January in the tiny village of Bikaner in Rajasthan, this two-day festival is all about camels. An import part of the local culture,camels are celebrated with contests raging from fur cutting design contests to camel ‘dancing’ where their amazing footwork is put on display.
No matter which holiday you celebrate – we’d like to thank all of those involved in the travel industry with this special video message for making the celebrations above possible by bringing together millions of families around the world.