A vacation is a day set apart by law or custom, where normal daily activities, particularly work or business involving school, are curtailed or stopped. In general, vacations are meant to let people enjoy or commemorate an occasion or tradition of significant social or cultural importance. In the United States, public holidays and festivals, referred to asholidays in the US, are mostly put aside for a specific reason, such as a national holiday, religious holiday or even family reunion.
Holidays, to the British English dictionary, can mean many things. On a worldwide scale, however, they typically mean special days set apart from normal schedules. The calendar may not be altered, but most of the major holidays follow a common theme: New Year’s Day, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Palm Sunday, Id Days, and so on. In some parts of the world, these days are referred to as seasons. Some, like Australia, Canada and the United States, have their own unique versions of the traditional English holiday.
Holidays used to be celebrated more rigorously back in the Middle Ages, when there were limitations to what people could do and who could participate. Those who could not make it to Britain for Great Britain’s version of St. Patrick’s Day were forced to spend the entire day fasting and doing no work, as a way of showing thanks to God for whatever was missing. In France, on the other hand, Puritanical laws prohibited anything that might lead the celebration of Christmas. Because of this, many European countries, save for Russia and some Middle Eastern countries, do not celebrate Christmas at all. They have their own versions of Christmas, like the Dutch Oijanme (Easter) and German Weihnachts (Christmas).
In United States, where Christmas is still a big deal, most of the country’s smaller communities are allowed to have their own version of St. Lucia’s Day, which is widely considered to be another valid holiday. It is widely accepted that this day was named after St. Lucia, who is believed to have converted to Christianity. In Puerto Rico, according to the Puerto Rican statehood, the name of the festival known as “Aloerita” translates to “Martine” in Spanish. The celebration of “Aloerita” is a way for Puerto Ricans to expend some of their cultural beliefs and practices that they see fit, celebrate a holiday that was created by settlers (most of them from England and Ireland) who came to Puerto Rico centuries ago and to pay their last respects to the converts that settled there before they immigrated to the US.
In India, the Hindu community celebrates Durga Puja, which is the harvest festival of green leaves and flowers, with immense fondness and enthusiasm. Although Durga Puja is also celebrated in some other parts of the country like Assam, Kerala, and West Bengal, it is common to observe it in the Bengali regions mainly because Durga Puja is a much-honored and much-celebrated festival in that part of India. This festive season or ‘Raj’ is highly regarded in the Bengali society and people visit their temples, gurudwaras (temples dedicated to God), and other religious sites to pay their respects to their deities and pray for good health and prosperity. During this period of festivities and prayers, Hindu tourists, along with Muslims, Christians and Sikhs, visit their respective homes and gift their wives or gifting beautiful women or men with jewelry, clothes and other items that they intend to buy for this festive season. In addition to clothing, jewelry, food items and other things, Hindu tourists usually pay a visit to their holy places and take blessed water to wash their hair, prepare themselves for Durga Puja and pray for their loved ones back home.
Some of the famous places where you can celebrate Holidays are: March / April, which is observed as Bengali New Year; May / June as Bengali Christmas; October / November as Bengali Thanksgiving; December as Bengali Friendship Day; and Holidays from December to March. Many Bengalis also celebrate Rama, Maghali and Bakrid in conjunction with their respective festivals. You can find Holidays in India also varying according to the time of the year, such as: during the Spring/Summer months (March-June), during the Fall (Dec-Jan), when people go back to work after the long Christmas break, and during the Winter (Noval, February-March). If you are planning for a Trip to India this coming summer, then be sure to check out India Holidays and make the most of your holidays in India this year.