It’s related to the late winter festival cycle. According to pagan beliefs, the winter was a time of evil, so the Kukeri had the task to chase away everything evil the winter represented with their scary masques. Therefore it’s not a counterpart of Halloween. It’s rather related to the traditions that came to be associated with the Lent, even though there is no sanctioned carnival tradition in the Orthodox Church. The Lent celebrations, like Kukeri or jumping over fires, were and are very much frowned upon by the Church. The only similarity to Halloween are the scary masques.
The second month of the year traditionally plays host to some really interesting events, festival and happenings all across the globe. Here is a list of some of the most interesting events that should have taken place in February 2020 and 2021. However, we only mention the ones that start during the month so you may find some events like the Sundance Film Festival, and the Harbin Ice and Snow Festival missing from the list.
Kurentovanje is a Slovenian meat-and-mouth folk ritual in honour of spring and fertility, which is a carnival to banish winter. An analogue of Maslenitsa. The origins of Kurentovanje are doubtful, but it is likely associated with Slavic paganism. Typical dances from the month of March take place in […]
Basel Carnival is part of the city’s identity culturally speaking, it is at the heart of its creative energies and represents three days when the city goes wild. Owing to its uniqueness and quality, it has been added to the UNESCO intangible cultural heritage list. In 2021, the Carnival in Basel (Fasnacht) will not take place as usual and will be a little different from the major event that we know and love. More information
Traditions, records and extraordinary ‘valentines.’
The oldest valentine in the world.
There is a legend that the very first Valentine card in the world was written by Saint Valentine before his execution. But the officially registered love note, dated February 14, 1415, belongs to the Charles, Duke of Orléans, who wrote love letters to his wife while he was in the Tower of London. This Valentine is now kept in the British Museum.
Carnival, or the “Fifth Season,” is in full swing in Germany. From Thursday, costumed revelers will be crowding the streets to celebrate parades and never-ending parties. Here is our guide to carnival and its greetings.
Carnival in Cologne is almost as old as the history of the city itself. But it has been celebrated in the organized fashion we know today for only about 190 years. The Greeks and the Romans celebrated joyous spring festivals in honor of Dionysus and Saturn with wine, women and song. The ancient Germans celebrated the winter solstice in order to pay homage to the gods and drive out the evil demons of winter. In later times, the Christians adopted these heathen customs. Lent, the period of fasting before Easter, was ushered in by carnival (carne vale = Farewell to meat!).
The legendary Venetian carnival is in full swing – alas, this year it takes place without tourists, online. Details – in the gallery of “Izvestia”.
It was the last waltz for Europe and the last dance for humanity. Had one of Europe’s oldest, most successful and popular royal houses not been destroyed and consumed by New York-based banking houses the world would likely have been a far better place today.
These festivals are unique and have an incredible energy – everyone has a great time dancing and singing. This particular image was captured at a festival in Botoșani, Romania.