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Latin American Holidays and Celebrations
Transcript of Latin American Holidays and Celebrations
(We Three Kings of Orient Are) Mexico City Cinco De Mayo also called the Fifth of May Celebrated in Mexico, but more specifically, the Mexican state of Puebla Puebla www.history.com/topics/cinco-de-mayo vianica.com/go/specials/5-independence_Nicaragua.html venezuelanalysis.com/news/3874 When: May 5th History/Origin: Political This is NOT Mexico's Independence Day (September 16th, the anniversary of the Cry of Dolores), although this is widely believed. It is a celebration of the triumph Mexico's armed forces achieved at the Battle of Puebla, during the Franco-Mexican War, against the French invaders, whose forces were larger and better armed, in 1862. Culture: Parades Folk Dancing Cultural Costumes Food Mariachi Bands Many Mexican people participate in the parade and street festivities. A layout of ethnic foods for a Cinco de Mayo feast. A mariachi band poses for a picture with several dancers in their cultural dresses. Similarities: While Americans may print the anniversaries of battles on the calendar, we certainly do not celebrate them to this degree! Tegucigalpa Independence Day Celebrated in Honduras, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Nicaragua When: September 15th History/Origin: Political This is a collective day celebrating the end of each of the countries' fight for Independence. Culture: Carrying of the Torch Parades Speeches Meetings Singing of National Anthems Involvement of School Children Similar to Independence Days of other Latin American countries, as well as the US, Spain, Portugal, France, and Germany A group carries the torch, which passes hands all the way from Guatemala to Costa Rica. A Honduran school band takes part in an Independence Day parade. El Salvadoran cadets sing their country's national anthem. Caracas Dia de la Resistencia Indigena Celebrated in Venezuela also called the Day of Indigenous Resistance When: October 12th History/Origin: Political This day is set aside to show respect for the native people, who fought against the European settlement and influence, and to hold on to their traditions and cultures. In other countries, it marks Columbus' arrival and the beginning of colonization. The name came from Hugo Chavez, who recently lost his battle with cancer. Culture: Political Gatherings Collective Nationalism Parades Gifts of Land (once) Plays Ceremonies In 2004, the people worked to topple a statue of Columbus, in the same fashion as the statue of Saddam Hussein. Hugo Chavez makes a speech on the Day of Indigenous Resistance, the name of which he coined. Similarities: Like the US' Columbus Day (we celebrate Columbus, however), as well as some similar named Latin American holidays: Dia de la Raza (Day of the Race) and Costa Rica's Dia de la Culturas (Day of the Cultures) Puno Fiesta de la Virgen de la Candeleria
Observed in Catholic countries, including Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Venezuela and Uruguay When: February 2nd History/Origin: Religious A festival honoring the Virgen de la Candelaria, known by many other names around the world. The Virgen is the patron saint of Puno. Culture: Music Similarities:
The celebration often serves as a prelude to Carnaval in Brazil. It is similar to our Saint Patrick's day with the amount of alcohol consumed and respects given to a saint, but on a much grander scale. In Peru they take their statue of the Virgen through the streets, while in Bolivia they believe in keeping the statue indoors to keep calamities from occurring. One tradition in Bolivia is blessing new vehicles from all over the country with beer. Parades Colorful Costumes Drinking/ Partying http://gosouthamerica.about.com/cs/southamerica/a/Candelaria.htm Rio de Janeiro Brazilian Carnaval Areas all over Brazil celebrate this elaborate occasion. Including Bahia, Sao Paulo, Salvador, and Pernambuco. When: 40 days before Easter, marks the beginning of Lent History/Origin: Religion Originated from a festival in Saturnalia, was then adapted by Catholicism to serve as a farewell to pleasurable things, such as meat or dairy, in preparation for Christ's death and to practice repentance. Culture: Parades Blocos, seen in Rio, are blocks of people that dance and sing through the streets. Crowds gather in the thousands in Bahia to see the magnificent Parades and other festivities. Regions: Rio de Janeiro: Bahia: In their parades big groups will dance with improvised side standers. Some of their African groups begin celebrating a week early. Pernambuco: Samba Schools organize many of the functions for the grand event, there is even a contest for the best school. A fat man is elected "king" of the carnival annually. Consists of four main groups: Afoxês, Trios Elétricos, "Indian" groups, and Blocos Afros. The African population in Bahia heavily influenced their traditions. Similarities: Has differences when compared to its counterparts in Europe, and in Brazil's specific regions. The basic principles are the same however. It is also very similar to our Mardi Gras. http://www.justbrazil.org/brazil/brazil-carnaval.asp Music Semana Santa San José Also known as Holy Week Celebrated in many other countries including Spain, Mexico, Guatemala, and South American countries. When: Sunday before Easter through Easter Sunday History/ Origin: Religious This holiday celebrates the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is a time for praise and reflection with family. Beach time! Dry Law Cultures: Family feasts Large meals are made for this time of celebration but are primarily seafood to comply with Lent Many families
take this time to hit the
beach and spend time with family. Plays http://costarica.com/culture/semana-santa/ In many countries, participants of Semana Santa wear a conical hood called a nazareno. The plays held are very serious and reenact the procession of Jesus through Jerusalem and onto his crucifixion. People dress up like Roman soldiers, Mary Magdalene, St. Joseph, disciples, and Jesus. The participants must have been free of sin for a year. Crowds line to praise and mourn their savior. We celebrate Holy Week in the United States, but not to the degree as most prominently Catholic countries. Our traditions differ greatly. Fiesta del Gran Poder Primarily celebrated in La Paz, but also in other parts of Bolivia. La Paz When: First of June History/ Origin: Religious A celebration for the Gran Poder, or Jesus Christ, devoting him as the second part of the Holy Trinity. Began in 1930's as a big dance celebrating Jesus! Cultures: Parades Music Costume Dancers Big Party! There is often a procession where bystanders try to catch a glimpse of a passing dark figure of Christ. Similar to many other There are giant parades with music and costumed dancers honoring ethnic and cultural backgrounds. Similar to many other Latin American holidays. Other than some Catholic holidays there are not many holidays to compare to in the United States. http://gosouthamerica.about.com/od/bolartandculture/qt/ElGranPoder.htm El Dia de Los Muertos Mixquic Also called
Day of the Dead Celebrated all over Mexico. When: November 1st and 2nd History/ Origin: Social This is a very special time for Latin Americans to come together with family to celebrate their loved ones that have passed on. businesses close Cultures: travel to gravesites build private alters Family members build alters filled with their loved ones favorite foods, possessions, sugar skulls, and flowers. Family members travel to the gravesides to give respect and celebrate the lives of their loved ones. Similar to All Saints Day in European countries. Many Mexican American communities celebrate the holiday in the US. Many would see it similar to our Halloween because of the the dark images, but this holiday is much more meaningful in Latin Americans. Costumes Parades http://www.inside-mexico.com/featuredead.htm Final Thoughts: Many of the holidays and celebrations we selected have parallels that can be drawn both between the United States and European countries. We also found similarities between the Latin American countries themselves in the traditions used to celebrate these holidays, such as parades, colorful costumes, music, and feasts. Of the holidays that were similar to American culture, Latin American celebrations were typically much more profound, truly embracing family, culture, and history. Many Latin American holidays are deeply intertwined with their religious beliefs, almost solely the Catholic doctrine fostered during colonial times. While American holidays typically last one day, many Latin American holidays are celebrated over periods of time lasting up to several weeks.