There are so many holidays in the world that their number can not even be counted. Most of them also have pagan roots. However, there are also such holidays, which appeared relatively recently. This, for example, festivals of fireworks, which, due to their popularity, have every chance to survive for a long time. After all, fire festivals are quite spectacular, and the festive atmosphere there is preserved not only at night, but also during the day. In addition, there are also festivals devoted to these entertainments. We will tell below about the most famous holidays associated with fire.
Up-Helly-O (Lerwick, Scotland).
Winter Scotland literally sparkles with holidays. It is possible to mention at least Hogmanai, the local New Year. Participation in the country is processions with torches, in which almost half of the population participates. And on the last Tuesday of January, there is also a fire festival called Ap-Helli-O. He, like Hogmanay, has been held here since the days of paganism. This holiday sheltered the city of Lerwick in the north of the country. And the choice of such a day for the fiery festival is not accidental. After all, the longest night of the year passes. In ancient times the Vikings burned torches and fires all this night, giving the Sun new strength. And the venue of the festival is quite successful. In Lerwick there is an outlet to the sea, which is simply mandatory for the traditional ritual. He provides for the burning on the water of a huge boat, built on the model of the Viking dragon. The ship quickly turns into a big fire, which gives a sign to the Scots about the beginning of the feast. He is accompanied by indispensable songs and dances. Flare processions are also a mandatory attribute of Up-Helli-O. People take the lights in the hands with the advent of dusk, and the participants in the procession are disguised as Viking costumes. In honor of the holiday, almost every house hosts gala dinners, similar events are held in various institutions and even schools. Fallas (Valencia, Spain).
From the Valencian language the name of this holiday is translated simply – “lights”. The holiday marks the end of winter, and it is celebrated from March 12 to 19. Fallas captures the entire territory of Valencia – Gandia, Alsir, Denia, Orihuela and Madrid itself. Village residents of the province are preparing for the arrival of this holiday long before its onset. On the fields for this, fires are kindled to scare off evil spirits and lure the good ones, bearing abundance. The beginning of the holiday is characterized by crowded processions, people dress festive folk costumes. Here everything plays with bright colors and ribbons. They also created compositions that the Spaniards carry in the church, giving to the Virgin Mary. When the ritual campaigns end, Fallas turns into a boundless merry party, on which music constantly plays. People constantly drink at this celebration, and carnivals are held everywhere. Of colors, ribbons and torches, they construct the symbol of Fallas, which are burned in every yard. Fireworks turn out to be the culmination point of the festivities.
Luminara (Pisa, Italy).
This holiday is held every year on 16 June. All of Pisa, like the Arno River flowing through it, are lit up by thousands of lights. On this day, all houses and even churches are decorated with illuminations in the form of complex ornaments. Bridges are illuminated in the city, and floating candles are launched along the water. The main pride of Pisa, the Falling Tower, is illuminated by ancient lamps with burning oil. This night can not do without fireworks, traditional for any major holiday. And this is called all the festivities – Luminara. This fire festival is dedicated to the patron of Pisa, Saint Ranieri. For the first time the lights in honor of this saint were lit here in the XVII century. In the next century, the tradition of celebrating the Luminara became much more inventive. The buildings ceased to be decorated with countless oil lamps. Renovated illumination could literally change the outlines of all houses. City let it be one night, but it turned from real into illusory. In 1867 the holiday was canceled, but then it was returned.During the Second World War, it was also not up to the Luminaries, they also canceled festivities in 1966. Then spilling Arno destroyed many houses and bridges in the city. However, the following year, the Pisans, who missed their Luminara, continued to “light” again.
Fiesta del Fuego (Santiago de Cuba, Cuba).
A fire festival is held in the city on the east coast of the island. It was there that the Cuban revolution began in its time. And this Fiesta is passed from 3 to 9 July, its main activities occur at night. In the city you can find whole columns with platforms decorated with flowers. There is always someone dancing, and amateur orchestras play in the streets everywhere. Everywhere there are trays and food and traditional for Cuba, booze, rum. And when night comes, the whole city lights up with torchlight. Festive festivities are becoming more spectacular than during the day. On the streets and squares are like fire shows and fakir performances. Every night the celebration ends with a grandiose salute.
Festival of fireworks “Cologne fires” (Cologne, Germany).
This festival has a laconic name in German. The festival is only 10 years old, but it has already become a major attraction for tourists from the very first year of existence. A small city in the middle of July is filled with tourists from all over the world. I must say that they are ready for such an influx in Cologne. So, in the days of the festival there are even museums around the clock, and not just entertaining and commercial establishments – cafes, restaurants and shops. Today, “Cologne lights” are already gathered to a million spectators. People come here to see not just a series of salutes above the embankment, but a whole show with lights and music. Each volley of fireworks is accompanied by music that sounds in time with the shots. It is best to watch the festival from the embankment or some urban hills. And to fully contemplate the whole sight, you can sail the nighttime Rhine on a boat.
There are two main holidays in the life of this Asian country. Tadjinjut, like Tinjiang, is associated with the rainy season, an important period for Myanmar. The second holiday is dedicated to its beginning, its symbol is water. But Tadinjyut is held in honor of the end of the rainy season, its main symbol is fire. In the country it is considered that Tinjan is by and large a youth holiday. It is very stormy – people pour water on each other and at this time it is not forbidden to get drunk. But in Tadjinjute, the focus is on the elders, they are honored and remembered by family values. It is important that this festivities are also considered one of the holidays honoring Gautam Buddha. After all, on the eve of Tadinjuth, this saint returned to earth from heaven, where he explained his teachings to the gods for three months. When people met the Buddha, they lit a lot of welcome lights. It was then that the tradition of celebrating Tadinjuth with numerous lights was born. And most of all these these days around the temples. So, one of the main churches in Yangon, Shwedagon, surrounds a whole ring of 9 thousand candles and oil bowls. A lot of people gather there, offering night prayer. From there everyone goes to night festivities. A record number of firecrackers explodes in the streets, and a lot of burning lanterns are launched into the sky.
This day in Nepal is called differently – Lakshmi-puja, Cow’s Day, Dog Day or Crow’s Day. There are so many traditions connected with Tikhar that it’s time to get confused. First of all, it should be explained that this is not even a single holiday, but a whole bunch of festivities, which forms a festival lasting several years. The literal translation of its name means “a series of lamps”, but much more naturally sounds a different interpretation – “a festival of lights.” During the festival, a lot of lights are on fire everywhere. They are formed by lamps, candles and just lanterns. The final point of Tihara is a magnificent fireworks display.The festival lasts five days, which are dedicated to the important for the inhabitants of Nepal gods – Jashme, symbolizing death, and Lakshmi, symbolizing fertility. The first day of the feast is celebrated by crows, who are considered companions of Jasper. Almost half of the festive meal goes to these birds. On the second day, attention is paid to dogs that guard the gate to the realm of the dead. These animals are marked with tilak, red dots on the forehead, which are usually present in humans. The third day of the festival is dedicated to cows, their Nepalese are perceived only as the earthly embodiment of Lakshmi. Animals are decorated with ribbons and flowers. The fourth day of the festival is given to the well-being of the family. The main ritual object becomes a family box for collecting money. The last day of Tihar is dedicated to the veneration of relatives, especially brothers and sisters.
This important fire festival is also an important national holiday. Diwali is celebrated in India for a long time, they say that it is at least 7 thousand years old. And it begins at the end of the rainy season, in November. In Diwali, the Hindus worship several of their gods at once – Krsna, Kali, Ganesha and Lakshmi and the ruler of Ramu. In preparation for the holiday, people clean their homes, buy new dishes and get rid of old things. Thus they want to make the pleasing goddess of well-being Lakshmi, because the whole house for her visit will be scrubbed to shine. And to meet with the goddess was at the appropriate level on the roof of the lights Diya – ritual lights. However, they are located not only here. During the festival, lights are also lit in temples, in gardens, on the river coast, on the streets and even in animal pens. Before the beginning of prayers in front of the figures, Lakshmi is spreading out patterns of multicolored powders. During the holiday it is considered that bathing in any water body is equivalent to bathing in the Ganges. The spirit of man will be purified in the same way as in the sacred river. If we talk about customs that are devoid of ritual subtext, then in Diwali fireworks are launched. At night, a lot of Bengal lights are lit up here, and crackers explode.
Loy Kratong (Thailand).
This holiday is also connected with the wires of the rainy season and takes place in November, which is already quite traditional for the countries of Southeast Asia. The Thai holiday is called Loy-Kratong. And it begins at midnight, when, as if on command, almost the entire population of the country starts to run kratong. These are small boats decorated with leaves, flowers and candles. With this gesture, the Thai people express gratitude to the goddess of water and apologize for their sins. And in kratongi usually put and sweets with coins, so people for a year ahead to coax the spirits of water. Analyzing the fate of his ship, people come to a conclusion, whether the gods accepted their gifts and whether sins are forgiven. If the kratong continues to swim with a lighted candle, then this is a good sign. But if the boat quickly drowned or the candle went out on it, then one can not do without kratong. After all, sins are so heavy that the ritual of purification should be recaptured. Thais try to run kratongas with the whole family, because this will give the chance in the next life to be close to relatives. People fill the reservoirs with boats, and then until the dawn they have fun, launching fireworks and sky lanterns. At this time the Thais also hold contests for the most beautiful salute.
Fete de Lumières (Lyon, France).
This Festival of Lights in Lyon is the main tourist event in the city. And it passes there since the XIX century at night from 6 to 9 December. However, there is nothing to be afraid of, because the lights of the holiday illuminate the city, almost as in the afternoon. The holiday of lights in Lyon is celebrated quite traditionally for Europe, where much attention is paid to the illumination of buildings. But the French were able to achieve impressive success in fire and light shows. At first, Fete de Lumières was celebrated with festive processions with lanterns and torches. Over time, the accents shifted to decorating with garlands and colored lamps.At the same time, city dwellers decorate not only the facades of their buildings, but also every window. Festive lighting covers the whole city, and in addition to it, on the main square of Lyon plays an illuminational show. However, from year to year his plot changes.