Gong Hei Fat Choy (gung hey fah choy) Wishes for great happiness and prosperity
-- New Year’s wish in Cantonese
We are fortunate to be in this U.S. island-state in the middle of the Pacific to experience all the hoopla that marked this new year’s arrival. Experiencing the festivals and holidays significant in the religions and cultures of others is one of the big benefits of travel, to our way of thinking. Take the the three R's of celebrations. . .
First, the Rooster
|This is one of the many roosters who live on the island of Kaua'i|
Had we not been in Hawaii though we’d have likely not had as much 'to do' about this new Year of the Rooster as had we been at our Pacific Northwest home. Chinese New Year isn’t a big event in the Seattle suburb where we live.
|This is one of the resident roosters at the Courtyard Marriott on Kaua'i|
At this resort decorations ranged from paper streamers and red Chinese lanterns to works of art. One of the most exquisite we’ve seen is this floral rooster centerpiece of the lobby at the Four Seasons O’ahu here at Ko Olina, on the island’s west coast.
|Lobby Four Seasons O'ahu at KoOlina|
|Year of the Rooster|
Then, the RebellionsA few years ago we found ourselves near Puerto Vallarta, Mexico on the 5th of May and we were surprised at how low-keyed the Cinco de Mayo celebrations were as compared to the way it is hyped and celebrated some thousand miles away in Washington State – by Americans.
|Salud! A margarita toast to Cinco de Mayo|
(The 5th of May is the anniversary of the Battle of Puebla, a battle which resulted in the unlikely victory of Mexico over France in 1862. Although I doubt if many who celebrate it in the U.S. know much about the date’s significance.)
|Oxi Day Celebration in Kardamyli, Greece 2015|
Oxi is the word for “No” in Greek.
Businesses close and school children march in parades, don traditional clothing, perform dances and make speeches in our villages. In the larger cities the military often play a large role in the celebrations.
|Water Ceremony in Bangkok, Thailand|
Sometimes the luck of being in the right place at the right time has given us the chance to participate in very sacred, subdued celebrations as happened in Thailand last year. We are still not sure of the significance of the water ritual with which the Buddhist Monks welcomed us to in Bangkok, but it was an unforgettable part of our travel experience in Southeast Asia.
|Easter Saturday 2015 village of Agios Nikolaos, Greece|
I used celebrations in this post in hopes of illustrating how enriching travel can be. The freedom to travel – whether close to home or far-distant places is something we cherish Experiencing new cultures, customs, traditions and the celebrations associated with them is something vitally important to us. We hope these passports continue to be invitations and not barriers to the world’s celebrations.
Now it's your turn: what celebrations have you experienced as a result of your travels? Have a celebration that takes place in your part of the world that you want to recommend to others? Tell us about them in the comments below or shoot us an email and we’ll add your suggestions to the comments. Until the next time ~ safe travels to you and yours!
Linking up this week with these other bloggers:
Through My Lens
Our World Tuesday
Travel Photo Thursday
Travel Inspiration .