Celebrating Diversity – October 22 to 31

October 22 – Abu Simbel Festival (Egypt) – Built by Ramses II, his temple is angled so that the inner sanctum lights up twice a year: once on the anniversary of his rise to the throne and, once on his birthday.  Crowds pack in the temple before sunrise to watch the shafts of light illuminate the statues of Ramses, Ra and Amon.  The other date for this event is February 22.

October 23 – Chulalongkorn Day (Thailand) – This day commemorates the birth of Rama V, a progressive ruler who lived in 1868-1910.

October 26 – Chung Yeung Festival (China, Hong Kong, Taiwan) – Families visit the graves of their ancestors.

October 28 – National Day ‘Ochi’ (Greece) – Marks the anniversary of when Prime Minister Metaxas, said ‘no’ (or ‘ochi’ in Greek) to the invasion of Albania by the Italians, thereby entering Greece into the war.

October 31 – Samhain (Wicca) – Traditionally, animals were slaughtered for winter provisions and the spirits of those who have died in the last year are invited to a final celebration. 

October 31 – Halloween (Canada, USA) – This tradition goes back to the Celtic people 2,000 years ago who celebrated their New Year in late autumn and honoured Samhain or Lord of the Dead.  They put candles on windows and lit bonfires to scare the disembodied spirits off.  They wore disguises so as not to be recognized and always carried a lantern.  The Irish traditionally carved lanterns out of turnips or potatoes, but in North America they used pumpkins which were more readily available.  Black and orange are the traditional colours of Halloween.

About Karen Farbridge

An unwavering change maker seeking a just, democratic and sustainable world.

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