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Posts from the ‘Events’ Category

Including Local Celebrations in Your Travels

The monthly ArtSmart Roundtable brings together some of the best art-focused travel blogs to post on a common theme.  This month we are discussing Festivals!  Take a look at all the great stories at the bottom of the page.

Hungarian Day decorations by children

Hand-made items by children decorate the 1849 Hungarian Army memorial.  The soldiers honored with this monument died during the 1849 Revolution which is celebrated on Hungarian National Day on March 15.

I’ve seen some amazing places in my travels and have always had excellent timing.  I’ve met the right person and ended up getting a private castle tour or been in the right place and got swept up in religious procession.  Somehow recently I just happened to be in town during a national holiday or religious celebration.  But unlike Carnival in Rio, Venice or New Orleans which are internationally know parties, the festivals I found were mainly for the locals.  Seeing how a community celebrates with their own customs, foods, and crafts makes for an incredible cultural experience.  It has convinced me that if you really want genuine travel, then you have to include local celebrations in your travel plans.

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A Look Back at the Daydream Tourist’s 2013

I hope everyone had a great 2013!  I’m looking over the Daydream Tourist and must say I’m pretty happy with my year!  My goal was 1-2 posts a week and I accomplished that (well, on average).  I wrote about a lot of cool things and saw even more amazing things in my travels, whether across the Atlantic or in my own hometown.  Here’s some of the highlights:

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St. Anthony’s Festival in Boston’s North End

St. Anthony Festival, North End Boston

St. Anthony processing through the decorated festival streets of the North End, Boston.

The funny thing about traditions is that sometimes a community starts their own.  One of the things I miss about Boston in the late summer are the neighborhood street festivals including the Portuguese and Italian celebrations in Cambridge and Boston.  While these events have the flavor of old Europe,  they are decidedly American celebrations.  The biggest of all of these, the St. Anthony’s Fest in the North End, is coming up (Aug 23-25, 2013) and a fun chance to celebrate Italian-American culture.  (My photos below are from last year.)

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“Visiting” Hungary at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival

As if the 4th of July weren’t exciting enough in Washington D.C., the Smithsonian host the annual Folklife Festival that week on the National Mall.  Bringing together international musicians, storytellers and craftspeople, the Festival celebrates culture and the preservation of traditional arts throughout the world.  Every year, three themes are selected for the festival and usually include a country, region, or collective community experience.  This year the themes were 1) Hungary, 2) Endangered Languages and 3) African-American fashion.

The Hungarian Village section of the festival sought to celebrate traditional music, dance and crafts as well as the people who are revitalizing that culture today.  There were informative museum-like exhibits, artisan demonstrations and lots of concerts.  Ever the international traveler, I was so excited to explore the Hungarian portion of the festival!

Hungarian tower

The Peacock Tower designed by Transylvanian architect Gyule Szilegyi stood at the center of the 2013 Smithsonian Folklife Festival.

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Big Thank Yous!

I want to send a big Thank You to all my readers!  I write to satisfy my own fascination and passion for art and travel and it makes me happy that others find these things as interesting as I do.  Within the WordPress blogging community there are several awards that are passed around through peer nomination.  I have been honored to get four of these over the last year but haven’t had a chance to write about them!  And so I need to catch up on some long overdue thanks to these wonderful bloggers who nominated me: MidLife Traveler, will wander…, Florence and the Historian, and Sharp and Keen!

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