Page 5 of scenicroute Travel Blog Posts

Africa » Benin » South » Ouidah January 10th 2017

Before I write about today's festivities, I would like to apologise for the brevity of yesterday's. I had a minor contact lens incident and so didn't do as much as I usually would. I will be watching the rest of the full procession later in the week. And will write more about it at the weekend. Fête du Vodoun is celebrated n Benin on 10th January. It is a national holiday that celebrates the country's Vodoun (voodoo) history. I have found a couple of videos from previous years showing different elements of the festival. It takes place all over the country, but especially in Ouidah, a coastal city. It's a relatively new festival, becoming a national holiday in 1996, but some of the traditions are ancient. The evening before the festival starts, the Zangbeto dances. Men ... read more

Asia » Philippines January 9th 2017

Over 1.5 million people gathered in Manila today to celebrate el Nazareno Negro. The faithful tried to get as close to the statue as possible in the hope that miracles would be performed. The statuere a procession of about three and a half kilometers that ends at the Quiapo Basilica. Every year hundreds are left wounded and fainting, and there have in the past been 3 deaths. The processors try to jump up to the statue and touch it, as touching it is a guarantee that a miracle will be performed. They have to compete with the thousands of other people to climb the 2-meter high wooden frame that the statue sits on and are then pulled off by others trying to reach the same spot. The wooden Sculpture dates back over 300 years and was ... read more

Europe » Bulgaria January 8th 2017

Babinden - Day of the Baba/Midwife, is a traditional Bulgarian festival celebrated on the 8th January which honours the village's midwives. The holiday has pagan origins. There are many traditions that surround the event and I managed to find a Bulgarian culture video that follows the women who take part in the festivities. It is in Bulgarian (I think) but can be seen here - The women are the mothers of children that have been born in the previous couple of years. They collect water and go to the midwife's home bringing small gifts. Outside, under a fruit tree, they take turns to ritually wash her hands. In the video the gifts include things like aprons and towels. But the woman doesn't wipe her hands on the new towels, instead she wiipes her hands on ... read more

Europe » Russia January 7th 2017

Today I have been celebrating Russian Christmas with my friends Laura and Terry (see pictures). I spent a couple of hours in the kitchen cooking. Some of my fondest memories of being in Russia are from in the kitchen. In particular, being with my friend Anna's family... but more about her later. I managed to bake pirozhki from scratch, something I've never done before, and they were pretty damn good. I will be making them again. (I will put the recipe at the end, and the website I got it from where it's written in Russian). I also made a vinegret salad and an olivier salad, which came out pretty good, and bought some typical Russia/Slavic food from the Polish/Russian shops in Glasgow. Pierogi, tvorog, beer cheese (I don't know what this is called in either ... read more

Asia » Laos January 6th 2017

Today was my first observance rather than outright celebration. Pathet Lao Day is celebrated/remembered in Laos on the 6th January. I was determined to find out what Pathet Lao is, why it's remembered and why it's celebrated/remembered today - as well as having a little more information about a country that I honestly know nothing about. There aren't any particular ways of commemorating the day. So I have taken this opportunity to read a bit about it. There's not much reading and documentary watching that can be done in a day, but it's a start. My friend Laura, who I am visiting, knew two things about Laos (two more than me :) one: it's capital city is Vientiane, and two there was once a Laotian family in King of the Hill. Beyond that she knew as ... read more

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Lancashire » Clitheroe January 5th 2017

National Sausage Day Being that I spent the third with a lot of Christmassyness, I decided not to do Twelth Night (or what you will), nor celebrate the Serbian and Montenegrin (Montenegron?) celebration of Tucindan, although I do one year hope to hold my children to ransom until they give me a gift. But alas, I have no children to demand gifts from. So sausage day it is, and i have celebrated they way i know best... Sausage sarnie for breakfast, and a sausage roll for my lunch (thanks Dad!), as well as adding a sausage recipe to my book to try out at the weekend. There's honestly not a lot more to say about the festival. I haven't been able to find much about the event's history, but there are quite a few people tweeting ... read more

Europe » France » Île-de-France January 4th 2017

Today is the first celebratory mash up of the year. World Braille Day commemorates and promotes the tactile reading and writing system. My challenge today was to begin my learning of Braille. My mum has kindly lent me a small card she has with the basics of Braille on it. I ran my finger over the bumps just to get used to the feeling of it and have taken a sudden and irrational dislike to the letter 'W'. It feels horrible. Maybe the bumps are a little rougher or higher and so dig into the finger a little more. 'Y' also disturbs me. I hope to be able to read bits of Braille by the end of the month... wish me luck! Today is also Trivia Day. I love Trivia. Just little snippets of knowledge and ... read more
Playboy Braille

Asia » Armenia January 3rd 2017

There seem to be surprisingly few events on the third, most celebrations seem to happen on the first and second, so I may be scrapping the barrel a little, but Armenia has a public holiday to celebrate the days leading up to Christmas, so this is what I decided to focus on today. Նախածննդյան տոներ - Nakhatsenendyan toner (or Pre-Christmas) is celebrated on 3rd -5th January in Armenia and surrounding areas like Nagorno-Karabakh (a disputed territory, ethnically Armenian, internationally recognised as part of Azerbijan but mostly governed by the Nagorno-Karabakh Repuiblic). There don't seem to be any particular traditions for each of the days (at least none I could find in English or Russian - Armenian is a beautiful looking language but it's not one I can pick up in a day, sorry). So, I had ... read more

Asia » Japan January 2nd 2017

Kakizome (today spelt correctly!) is a Japanese tradition practised on the 2ndJanuary. Kakizome is writing an auspicious word or phrase in chinese script which used to be performed using ink rubbed with the first water drawn from the well on New Year's Day. These poems are then burnt on the 14th January in the Sagicho festival. It is said (on wikipedia, at least) that the person will be able to 'write with a more fair hand'. My handwriting in Latin and Cyrillic is as bad as my characters, so neater would be nicer. In these modern days people often write out auspicious Kanji, rather than poems, schools set pupils Kakizome over the winter holidays, and on 5th January thousands of calligraphers gather at the Nippon Budokan in Tokyo's Chiyoda-ku to participate in a Kakizome event which ... read more

South America » Colombia January 1st 2017

New Year's is one of those occasions celebrated pretty unanimously around the world, though, as I've discovered, in many different ways. As a Brit, I have spent most of my New Years' Eves with family or getting drunk, or getting drunk with family. We play games, watch Big Ben on the TV, enjoy some fireworks and then sleep. It's my sister's birthday on the 1st January, so we usually have a meal and go to the zoo (my sister likes giraffes + there is a zoo = we go to the zoo). So I tried to find some celebrations from around the world that would fit into my usual celebrations. The traditions (both ancient and modern) are fairly diverse. I feel I have lost out on the traditional Peruvian fist fight with my enemy as I ... read more
Columbian Suitcase

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