I Didn’t Know That………

I love the internet, no really I LOVE the internet. The ability to easily access information on a seemingly infinite amount of subjects is just amazing to me. I can remember a time when research had to be done using old-fashioned books called encyclopedias or you needed to spend large amounts of time in a library. Either way research was a tedious and challenging task. Today any information we want is available instantly via our computer, tablet or even phone. WOW………

Autumn has always been my favorite time of the year. It could be because my birthday is in October, or because temperatures in Pennsylvania are cooler and more comfortable than the hot humid summertime or it could be the fall foliage is full of vibrant colors. Actually I believe it’s probably a combination of all those things. Anyway I did a little research in my free time just to satisfy a curiosity about how other cultures celebrate or recognize Autumn. I guess this might be a new feature for my blog, call it ‘I Didn’t Know That’……..

Diwali as described by Wikipedia the Hindu festival of lights. It is even an official holiday in places such as India, Fiji, Nepal and a few other countries. Spiritually it signifies the victory of light over dark, good over evil and hope over despair. Sounds like a winner of a holiday to me. The holiday encompasses as many as 5 days and includes consuming sweets, exchanging gifts (big shopping holiday in India) and is even celebrated by the Hindu faith as well as some Buddhist sects.

Oktoberfest is celebrated around the world with its origins dating back to 1810 in Bavaria. The earliest celebration in Bavaria started with a parade and  festival in honor of the marriage of King Ludwig I and Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghansen. Horse racing, feasting and of course beer drinking were featured. Over the centuries the festivities have changed to include rides for children, bratwurst restaurants and of course beer drinking. When the Berlin Wall fell the tradition also included a celebration of German Unity Day.

Masskara is a fall festival that takes place in the Philippine city of Bacolod every October. It started as the result of a tragedy. In 1980 a ship called the Don Juan collided with a tanker while headed to Bacolod and over 700 people lost their lives many of them Bacolod citizens. The city wanted to do something to raise the spirits of the city residents and the festival of smiles was born. Bacolod was already known as the City of Smiles and this festival showed the resilience and fortitude of the citizens to get thru a depressing period in their history. Celebrations include the wearing of masks ala the Rio festival, a beauty pageant to crown the Masskara Queen, feasting, sporting events and street dancing.

Apparently even Vegans have their own fall celebration. In Phuket, Thailand there is a celebration called The Nine Emperor Gods festival. Only vegetarian food is served at this festival and the traditions are a bit on the extreme side. The celebration is used to help celebrants be forgiven for sins in their current life, forgiveness for crimes in previous lives and celebrating the fact no animal lives were lost to provide food for the festival. Now a masochist would probably love this festival since people looking for redemption from their transgressions are skinned, slice their own tongues with swords and practice other forms of self-mutilation. OUCH….. Interesting but for me but the worst torture would probably be the food. I like many different vegetables but only if they are served with some meat.

Thus ends the first edition of I Didn’t Know That……………………..




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