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#57135 - 07/19/11 04:23 AM Traditions and cultural events
Dimitri Offline

Registered: 07/13/08
Posts: 3394
It has been some time I made a new topic.

The idea for this new topic is to have members share some cultural happenings in their local area or certain traditions from their country. The inspiration for this idea is to give (interested members) a view in the cultural aspects of the country you live in.

Since I started this topic, I'll bite first:

"Meyboomviering" (Brussels/Belgium)

Planting of the Meyboom on the corner of the Broekstraat and the Zandstraat is an old folkloric tradition in Brussels. In 2008 it took place for the 700th time. This event remembers the brawl about the beertaxes from 1213 between the "Brusselse Kiekenfretters" and the "Leuvense Peetermannen". Brussels won this brawl. During this tradition the people from Brussels have to plant the tree before 17h, otherwise the privilege goes to the people from Leuven.

Original text for the event:

Het planten van de Meyboom op de hoek van de Broekstraat en de Zandstraat is een oude folkloristische traditie in Brussel. In 2008 vond het planten al voor de 700ste keer plaats. De Meyboomplanting herdenkt de vete over biertaks uit 1213 tussen de Brusselse Kiekenfretters en de Leuvense Peetermannen. Brussel won die, tot ongenoegen van de Leuvenaars. De Brusselaars moeten de boom telkens voor 17u planten, anders gaat het privilege naar de Leuvenaars.

Pictures: 2010 S1
2010 S1
Ut vivat, crescat et floreat

#57566 - 07/25/11 11:44 PM Re: Traditions and cultural events [Re: Dimitri]

In Australia we have a few different cultural traditions.

Australia is very sporting oriented and many Australian gain a sense of national identity from our sporting traditions and sporting prowess.

Probably the sporting event which galvanises the whole nation the most is the horse race known The Melbourne Cup.

The above link gives some details about this thing.

I am not a big fan of horse racing and know jack about it really, but even I get caught up in this thing when it comes around. I will get into the damn sweeps, like everyone else, and spend a small fortune on it.

Those who are prepared to waste thousands of dollars on this madness are regarded with a strange awe and they stand looking superior, arms folded, heads held high, and are confident for some reason.

The Melbourne Cup reminds me a little of what Hunter Thompson had to say about the Kentucky Derby all those years ago. It is rather strange and vile and people spend vast amounts of money on it and then get hopelessly drunk and become savage and territorial about these rotten horses and this mad dash for the fame and cash.

I think the only other sporting thing which Australian’s are so passionate about is the football grand finals, but I will save that for another time.

It is a great race.

Edited by MatthewJ1 (07/25/11 11:44 PM)

#57642 - 07/27/11 01:30 PM Re: Traditions and cultural events [Re: ]
TheInsane Offline

Registered: 09/16/09
Posts: 356
All of the supposedly Christian traditions in Sweden still has elements of Paganism in them but there is one that is mostly freed from Christianity and that is midsummer.

It is celebrated around the summer solstice. Traditionally on the solstice day but nowadays always on the Friday around the solstice (guessing it has to do with having days off work and such).

We raise and dance around a huge maypole representing fertility. It used to be just a pole representing the phallus. Christianity added to it horizontally so it looked like a cross. However Swedes then added rings to the cross (representing testicles).

The dancing is either traditional folk dance (with traditional folk music) or basic childrens games/dances with the appropriate music. The most famous of these is probably the song about the small frogs (små grodorna) with added movements that corresponds to the lyrics.

As with all Swedish traditions food is a big part often in the shape of a smorgosboard. Btw this is one of the relatively few Swedish words that has been incorporated into the English language. The Swedish version reads "smörgåsbord" and actually means "open faced sandwich [smörgås] table [bord]". It is most often used today as a buffe style table but sometimes with a specific meaning of what food is included.

Traditionally midsummers was filled with magic and fertility. So rituals as well as sexual acts were prominent. Still today people often bring the attention to children who are born around 9 months after midsummer \:\)

It is a celebration of the summer and since Sweden is a very norther country the summer nights are very bright and in the most northern parts the sun never sets (of course the reverse is true around the winter solstice when the sun almost doest rise).

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