ALL POSTS IN [Festivals and Celebrations]

Paris Plage (Photo Courtesy of Reuters / Charles Platiau)

Celebrated on July 14, French National Day or Bastille Day commemorates the beginning of the French Revolution and the Storming of the Bastille on July 14, 1789. Celebrations are held all over France, but thousands line up along the Champs-Elysees in Paris to watch the oldest and largest military parade in Europe. These annual festivities aren’t limited to the celebration on the ground, but locals and tourists can look high above the crowds to see the Patrouille de France aerobatics team in action.

Bastille Day isn’t the only thing tourists should add to their agenda when visiting Paris in the summer. Here’s a quick list of 5 fun summertime experiences you don’t want to miss when vacationing in Paris.
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Photography by Archive Photos / Getty Images

Tomorrow, people across the US will don their red, white and blue in celebration of America’s 238th birthday.

Pictured above, actress Louise Synder wears a vintage swimsuit and a Stars & Stripes top hat to set off fireworks for a Fourth of July celebration on the beach in 1950.

Whether you’re planning to spend Independence Day with family and friends at the beach, grilling in the backyard, or watching one of the best fireworks displays in the US, we hope you’ll enjoy this week’s holiday-themed, throwback Thursday as much as we do.

Check back every week this month for our Vintage Summer Throwback Thursdays.

 

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Canada Day celebration

Photography by Thinkstock

While Americans famously celebrate Fourth of July, Canadians celebrate their own nationalistic holiday, appropriately named Canada Day, on July 1.

Until Oct. 27, 1982, Canada Day was actually known as “Dominion Day.”  It was almost a hundred years before that, on July 1, that the British North America Act was passed (sometimes referred to as the Constitution Act) which established Canada as a separate nation. The following year, the Governor General of Canada asked that all Canadian citizens celebrate on July 1. Declared a civic holiday in 1867, most Canadians are pleased this day off landed in the summer instead of the cold winter, because it’s often the kick-off weekend to summer vacations. READ MORE

Pop the Kennebunk Festival (Photo Courtesy of Maine and Maine Home+Design Magazines)

The Dish
For 6 remarkably tasty days in June, food and travel lovers from across the US unite at the Kennebunkport Food and Wine Festival, an annual event that has – hands down – become the hottest ticket in coastal Maine. Now in its 10th year, the festival draws Maine’s top chefs, as well as wine and beer makers to this charming waterfront town.

Rub elbows with an eclectic group of guests at nightly cocktail hours and after-parties, featuring live music and tasty artisan beverages made from local distilleries such as New England Distilling, but save your energy for the festival’s main events.

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Fort McHenry

Photography By National Park Service

As Francis Scott Key watched the smoke clear and the sun rise above Baltimore’s Fort McHenry after witnessing its bombardment by British naval ships during the final months of the War of 1812, he had every expectation of seeing a white flag of surrender. To his surprise, he saw the tattered, but still flying, remains of an oversized American flag that had been commissioned just months earlier by the fort’s commander Major George Armistead.

Key was so moved by the by sight of the flag and by the Americans’ protection of their fort that he penned the poem “Defence of Fort M’Henry.” That poem, eventually set to music and renamed “The Star-Spangled Banner,” became the national anthem of the United States of America. READ MORE

Photo Courtesy of Taxi / Getty Images

For Canadians, the 3rd weekend in May, or the “May Long” (weekend is implied), is the unofficial start to summer.  While technically this is the Victoria Day weekend — named in honor of Queen Victoria’s birthday — most Canadians are feeling victorious for surviving yet another cold northern winter. This is a nation where we break out the shorts at the first thaw; so, we’re pretty pleased to kick off the season with a weekend at the cottage or in our backyards with a barbecue. For tourists, here are 5 classic things to do in Canada this summer:
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barbecue chicken on the grill

May is National Barbecue Month and we’re celebrating everything good about marinade, spice-rubbed and basted barbecue goodness! In the traditional sense, barbecue is a preferred method for cooking meat: chicken, pork, steak and more with gas, smoking wood or charcoal.

With so many states (Texas, North Carolina, Tennessee and Kansas) laying claim to fame that their barbecue is the best, how do you decide where to start your barbecue tour? READ MORE

Cinco de Mayo celebration

Photography by Reuters

Cinco de Mayo, which means “5th of May” in Spanish, celebrates Mexico’s victory over the French in the Battle of Puebla in 1862. And in many cities in Mexico and in the US, Cinco de Mayo means it’s time for a fiesta.

Celebrated on May 5 each year, more than 120 cities across the US have Cinco de Mayo celebrations where you can listen to live Mariachi bands, enjoy authentic Mexican cuisine and throw back a few margaritas or cervezas. So grab your sombrero and maracas, and head to one of the best cities in the US to celebrate Cinco de Mayo 2014! READ MORE

 

Author Jermel-Lynn Quillopo wearing plumeria and purple orchid leis.

Flowers play such an essential part of the Hawaiian culture and having them strung together into a lei symbolizes a form of Aloha. Aloha translates into phrases such as “hello”, “goodbye”, “I love you” and “thank you.” The gesture of the Aloha spirit also comes in the form of presenting beautifully fragrant leis during occasions such as birthdays, anniversaries, and graduations.

The phrase “May Day is Lei Day”, dates back to 1928 when local newspaper writer Don Blanding wrote an article suggesting there be a day dedicated to the tradition of lei giving. If you’re ever on the islands on May Day (May 1st ), you’ll see many draped in colorful and beautifully fragrant leis made from an assortment of flowers such as cigar flowers, orchids and tea leaf.

The original lei stands started during Hawaii’s Boat Days era, when worldwide visitors arrived in big cruise ships into the Aloha Tower Harbor. These visitors would be welcomed with grass skirt wearing hula dancers, beautiful ukulele medleys and greeted with a lei to wear; making the lei Hawaiiʻs international symbol of Aloha.

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New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival

Photography by Getty Images

There’s no better way to experience the history, soul and charm of The Big Easy than at a festival. While Mardi Gras is the most popular and well-known festival in New Orleans, the celebrations don’t stop there. With more than 400,000 attendees each year, the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, also known as Jazz Fest, is the city’s second most popular festival. 

Taking place from April 25 to May 4 this spring at the Fair Grounds Race Course, this 10-day, 2 weekend festival celebrates the music and culture of New Orleans and Louisiana with live music, authentic Louisiana cuisine and crafting. READ MORE

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