Most nations have specific national days of holiday and celebration on which they commemorate particular events and observe national traditions? These days are sometimes also referred to as “public holidays” because most businesses and other institutions are closed. A public holiday is therefore a big investment for a nation, and so they are usually reserved for only the most important occasions and so the reasons for national holidays to be called can tell us a lot about the moments and people that have been important in a nation’s history. So what are the most important national holidays and celebrations for the three countries you are studying, and what does this tell us about the nation’s priorities, heroes and special events?
Start by asking a simple question of an online search engine, such as: ‘what are the key national holidays and festivals in [nation]?
You may find some useful information here:
- Infoplease – National Holidays around the world
- International Traveller – The top 20 festivals from around the world
- BuzzFeed – 23 World Festivals You Won’t Want To Miss
Consider these questions:
- What is celebrated on the day/at the festival? In what ways? Are there specific traditions or rituals?
- What makes you think that this is the most important public holiday for each nation you are studying?
- Is it a solemn occasion or is it a joyful party?
- What can we learn about each nation from understanding the holidays it observes?
Capture some thoughts:
Save a photograph or image that you associate with your country’s main national holiday or festival (ready for the summary activity at the end of this section) and make some notes about the national celebrations of each of the countries you are studying on the Symbols of National Identity worksheet.