Describe an interesting tradition in your country You should say:
What the tradition is When do you celebrate it How you celebrate it
And explain why it is interesting
Day of the Dead, or Dia de Muertos, as we call it. It’s a national holiday, and it is based around the family coming together to remember and pray for all those relatives and friends who have died in the past – the prayers are supposed to help their spirits on the journey to the afterlife.
Many families gather together at family alters, or ‘offends’, where they spend time with their loved ones honoring those who have died. They bring items like flowers, sugar skulls and often women in the family will prepare the favorite dish or food that a particular person loved to eat and take it with them when they visit the grave site. Some visitors to the family graves also leave items which belonged to the person who died; mementos of them. The origins of this tradition go way back, hundreds of years to the time of the Aztecs and an annual festival they used to hold worshipping a goddess; I can’t remember her name now though.
And it became a national holiday back in the early 1960s when the government decided to consolidate the tradition of the indigenous natives to unify the whole country because apparently it wasn’t a special event in the north of the country originally, or something like that, but it gradually spread throughout the whole country over a long period of time.
The three-day event has separate parts to it. So the first day is when kids dedicate their prayers to children who have died, ‘angelitos’ they call them, and ask the spirits of the children to visit. The second day is dedicated to the spirits of adults who died, and then the final day is when families visit their family grave or cemetery with their special gifts, food and so on and spend time praying for the souls of their loved ones who have died.I think it’s an interesting tradition because it involves all family members and all families across the country, so it really is a strong tradition and it brings families together every year.
- How do people celebrate festivals in your country?
Festivals are truly the time when people do come back home and celebrate with their family and friends. People dress up according to the occasion and cook delicacies, invite friends and have a family time. Almost all festival in our country start with a puja, i.e. prayers to God after which the gatherings take place.
- Do you think festivals are important for the society?
I think definitely yes, festivals are surely the binding force for the society. In lives of people who are truly dissatisfied, festivals bring in the hope of something good and something new. Most people forget their issues and come together to celebrate a festival. Even more, with prayers being associated with each of the festivals, they bring about so much positivity in life.
- How would you describe young people’s attitudes towards tradition?
Um I would say that at the beginning many of young people would maybe not embrace fully the idea of going through every painstaking detail of preparations and err behaviour codes for all these celebrations and feasts. But then uh, gradually it will become a part of their lives, and um that would be their connection with their families and extended families, so they would kind of grow more and more into it, and trying to adhere to every rule that tradition was brought to them by their parents and grandparents. So at the beginning maybe the youth would take it lightly on the surface only, but then later um I think the traditions will be embraced fully.
- Do you think customs and traditions are changing these days?
Um, I would say so inevitably because of the adjustment to urban- to the urban living if you wish, and to the fast times that we live in. So definitely there are concessions to what err used to be done before. But the core, which is much more important, is always preserved. At least has been the case so far.
- Do you think traditions and customs are affected by advertising?
I never actually gave it a thought. Uh there might be, but again in my personal experience I haven’t seen any kind of uh direct influence that would uh change or alter, take people from their original directions whatever the advertisement is about.
- Do some countries celebrate traditions more than others?
Um I wouldn’t say so, I have impression that all countries celebrate traditions, or rather the people who live in these countries. Even in some new countries, a conglomerate of different people, and all these people would stick to their old traditions. That’s how I see it. So, people who wouldn’t follow the traditions would do it in all sorts of countries, or in any country.
- Other possible questions:
What’s the difference between Vietnamese traditional festivals and western festivals?
How to Vietnamese people celebrate some private holidays like honeymoon?
Is it important to celebrate traditional festivals?
Do young people in your country like to celebrate foreign festivals?