There are billions of people in the world and each of us are different in lot of ways. We all have an event that symbolize our cultures in some way.
USA has the 4th of July as a special event to celebrate America independence from the British. The events that take place represent some form of freedom and independence. Without these celebrations the world we live in would be different; we wouldn’t know about our history and why we celebrate these events. This is a way we can learn about who we are as a culture and celebrate how far we have come. The Chinese and the Scottish people also have special events that symbolize their culture.
The Chinese have many different cultural events but one special one is the Chinese New Year also known as The Spring Festival. Scotland’s event is also to celebrate and to remember the history of their people. The name of the event is Up Helly Aa also known as the Fire Festival. Each culture has different events that teach their people about the past and not to forget how far they have come.
The Chinese have a cultural event that I always wanted to experience; since I don’t have the time or the money to fly to China, I watched it on YouTube. Their event is called the Chinese New Year. During this time they are celebrating their calendar New Year and it’s a weeklong celebration. While celebrating everyone is fixed on the festival.
Businesses close to celebrate the New Year as they offer up sacrifices to the gods and light fireworks to scare off evil spirits. While researching different events, I also came across another interesting event that the Scottish people do every year. The name of this event is the Up Helly Aa Fire Festival. The Up Helly Aa Fire Festival is an event in Scotland, where they get together and have a parade, view the bill at the market cross, and a Senior Precession where they march to the burning site with torches to the King George V playing field. The history of the Chinese Year started when the Gregorian calendar arrived in 1582. The Chinese government was very strict then and didn’t allow their people to celebrate the New Year until the end of the 20th century.
“The Spring Festival falls on the 1st day of the 1st lunar month, often one month later than the Gregorian calendar. It originated in the Shang Dynasty (c. 1600 BC-c. 1100 BC) from the people’s sacrifice to gods and ancestors at the end of an old year and the beginning of a new one”(2014). In 1996 they change the name to the Spring Festival and made it a week long holiday. This event has changed since the Chinese New Year was created for opportunity and to learn about the history of the Chinese culture.
Today it still means the same, but the younger generation is just using this as a week to relax from work and not worry about the history of their people. While watching a video on YouTube, you get the experience of seeing their culture and how they do things. Its exciting to watch as they light fireworks in the night sky to see all the beautiful colors and how they march down the street wearing the dragon heads costomes dancing in the streets. The Chinese are extremely interesting to watch because their ways are so much different than ours and it fun to watch them enjoy the things they do to make sure their culture is not forgotten.
The Up Hella Aa is a fire festival that started in 1877 in the Shetland town of Lerwick and take place the last Tuesday of January every year. While reading about Up Helly Aa, one website says “Marking the end of yule, this northern Mardi Gras is a celebration of Shetland history, a triumphant demonstration of the islanders’ spirit and a superb spectacle which his gained worldwide recognition as Europe’s biggest fire festival”(Up Helly Aa-Europe’s biggest fire festival). When this event first started it was only men who could participate but one major change is that now men and women can perform in this event. Reading uphellaa.
org they say “Much has changed and much has remained the same. In 1949 the BBC recorded a major radio programmer on Up-Helly-Aa, and from that moment Up-Helly-Aa – not noted for its split-second timing before the war – became a model of efficient organization. The numbers participating in the festival have become much greater, and the resources required correspondingly larger. Men and women now co-operate to open large halls throughout the town to entertain them. However, despite the changes, there are numerous threads connecting the Up-Helly-Aa of today with its predecessors 150 years ago”(Up Helly Aa). I thought this event was truly interesting also.
While watching a YouTube video, I noticed how they all come together and have a parade and as they march they are thankful for their history. There is a bill they view and read; its like the Declaration of Independence, to teach everyone the history of their country. When night fall they put on their Vikings outfits light 900 tourches and march to the burning site where the public is not allow. The Chinese New Year, although different in its own way it is very similar to an event we have in the USA and that is Christmas. This is similar to Christmas, for it’s a when family gets together and enjoy others company.
Is also the biggest time of the year as this is when people shop and give each other gifts also the transportation where people are driving or flying home to spend time with love ones. The only difference between the two is, the Spring Festival is a weeklong event and Christmas is one day. This Cultural event has not been influenced by other cultures, nor has it influence other cultures. The Chinese New Year also known as Spring Festival has been a Chinese event that the Chinese culture has enjoyed for several years. The Up Helly Aa Fire Festival is an event that is not compare to any other event in the world when it comes to research This is the only event that I have research that dress up as Vikings and march down the street with over 900 people with torches.
I believe it can be compared to the 4th of July. July 4th is Independence Day in American and we celebrate by saluting of the American flag and shooting fireworks. We get to view all the fireworks as they light up the sky during Independence Day but at the end of the Scottish Fire Festival they march to a place to burn something up and if youre not a part of the people that are participating in the festival you will never know since the public isn’t allow to watch during the burning of the torches. The Up Helly Aa Fire Festival happens every year and they celebrate by walking the streets burning torches to represent their history. The Up Helly Aa was created in Scotland by the Vikings and it has not been influenced by any other cultures and no other cultures have been influence by the Up Helly Aa Fire Festival. Every nation in the world has a special event that is exclusive to them.
These events are actually history lessons to teach the people about their history and where they have come from. Every culture needs to have a celebration so they can learn about the history of the people and themselves and to have a better understanding of their history and why they do things that are different in other regions of the world. Learning about these events made me realize how important it is to not only embrace the history of your culture but also embrace others. If we can embrace other cultures beliefs and understand that they are doing it for historical purposes and for fun, we would be able to learn a lot and have fun while we are learning. Watching these events on YouTube is only giving me half of the real expeerence of the culture. I can only see and hear what is going on while siting behind a computer screen.
To get the whole 100% feeling of these events you have to be there in person so you can enjoy the live music, eat the good food, interacting with the people and feeling the heat of the torches as they walk pass you in the parade. The videos are great but you can learn more by being threr and having fun with the people learning about their culture with them. The Chinese New Year and the Up Helly Aa are two events that are different but similar in their own ways. They are two different cultures enjoying their history. These celebrations are only to show you about your people and to have fun doing it. Works CitedChinese New Year.
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Retrieved April 29, 2014, from http://www. youtube. com/watch?v=qR7uiGVKOsQUp Helly Aa – Europe’s biggest fire festival. (n.
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Retrieved April 29, 2014, from http://www. scotland. org/features/up-helly-aa-europes-biggest-fire-festivalUp Helly Aa. (n.
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