When this challenge was posted I looked up upcoming festival holidays that I might be able to attend, finding the 'mooncake' / 'lantern' festival Tết Trung Thu held in mid-autumn by many Chinese and Vietnamese. I discovered too late that I had missed the first one held by the Vietnamese Heritage Center in New York City, but I found that they shared lovely stories about the event and its history on an Indiegogo page that I ended up contributing to (https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/vietnamese-moon-festival-t-t-trung-thu-in-nyc/x/2338595#home).
There's something quite nice about the festival having origins in hope for bountiful harvests, over time adopting hope for children to continue strong traditions, now evolved into a child-oriented holiday that celebrates children and play.
Traveling has opened up all sorts of holiday experiences including Day of the Dead in western Belize, Semana Santa in Guatemala (Easter, but celebrated totally differently!) Fallas in Valencia, Spain, Carnivale in Haiti. It's also fascinating to celebrate "regular" holidays in other countries too, Easter in Poland was one of the BEST meals ever! Birthdays in other countries are also a lot of fun, especially when it is the birthday celebrant who Gives rather than receives. Birthday parties in Belize, Colombia, France, Italy, Spain, Ghana were truly wonderful and eye opening. Here's to learning about other cultures! and you don't have to travel to learn. When I lived in NYC and was super involved in Couchsurfing, we celebrated all sorts of holidays with each other! Awesome!
Too funny, Steve - I actually did this yesterday, too! Here's a (Spanish) explanation of what was going down: http://www.laopinion.com/noticias-los-angeles/Fiestas-salvadorenas-en-LA Feria Agostina is billed on Facebook as the premier event in LA each year for the Salvadoran community -- a cultural celebration including music, food, dance, a parade, carnival games, and lots of companionship. I saw one commenter jokingly replying to another that the main thing expected of someone attending is to "eat pupusas." Sounds good to me! I didn't snap any pics of my own, but here are some public photos from the event site, where I also learned about an annual convention of Salvadorans living around the world, and learned that LA's Feria Agostina presented to that conference last year. (I'm abstaining from Google Translate in an effort to pick up more Spanish, so there may be mistakes in my interpretation here.)
On Saturday, a parade rolled through the neighborhood where I live to celebrate Ecuadorian Independence -- something I'll admit I knew nothing about before consulting Wikipedia. I learned that the event being celebrated, was the first Latin American revolt against Spanish occupation, and it served as the "call of independence that was heard around the continent, and inspired the eventual domino collapse of the crown throughout Latin America." (The food kicked ass, too).