Going to a far-flung destination and want to connect with the people and see something special? One easy way is through local and national holidays. These are often unique to a particular country and provide insights into its culture and history. But it can often be hard to find out what’s going on next week in Tuvalu.
The Holidays Around the World blog is your answer, providing daily updates on all the major happenings. Today, for example, is the birthday of the fourth King of Bhutan, Jigme Singye Wangchuck. He abdicated last year, but his birthday is still a national holiday. The website does more than list holidays, it goes into detail about what you can expect while you’re there. Today the people of Bhutan are celebrating by eating emadatse (chili pepper and cheese stew) and chang (warm beer made from barley, millet or rice). If it’s anything like Tibetan chang, be careful. With the high altitudes in the Himalayas this stuff gave me the worst hangover I’ve ever had.
November 11 is, of course, the anniversary of the end of the First World War. The ceasefire started on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month of 1918. The soldiers on both sides knew it was coming, but instead of keeping a low profile until the war officially ended, they blasted away at each other with a massive artillery barrage. People are weird. This holiday is known as Armistice Day in France, Remembrance Day in Canada, and a more general Veterans Day in the United States.
So head on over to this cool little blog, and don’t forget to dance in the streets tomorrow to celebrate Azerbaijan’s Constitution Day.