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Around The World

To welcome in the New Year, the Chinese shoot off firecrackers. At the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve, all the doors and windows are opened to allow the old year to go out.

The tradition of "collecting" was followed in Finland when a bride-to-be went door to door to collect her gifts in a pillowcase. An elderly man would accompany her, holding an umbrella, and getting a drink at each door.

The Jewish holiday of Purim, generally celebrated in March, is a time to eat, drink, and be merry. A person is required to drink until he can't tell the difference between "cursed be Haman" and "blessed be Mordacai".

Kwanzaa, an African-American festival, begins on December 26 and continues through January first. The Kinara, a setting of seven candles, is lit each day adding a candle everyday until all seven are lit. These candles represent unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, collective economics, purpose, creativity and faith.

The city of Chicago has developed the tradition of adding green dye to their river on March 17, St. Patrick's Day. They began in 1962 by using 100 pounds of green vegetable dye that left the river green for a week. Now only 40 pounds of dye is used which keeps the river green for a couple of hours.

The Festival of the Dead, Sicily's version of Halloween, is marked by children receiving candies, cakes, and toys from their deceased loved ones.




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