Officially called the International Festival of Contemporary Music, the Warsaw Autumn Festival’s offerings in its early years were more conservative than the name would seem to indicate. Today more experimental music and world premieres are performed along with classical standbys of the 20th century. It was established in 1956 by a group of Polish composers who wanted to bring other East European as well as West European countries together. The concerts are held in the National Philharmonic building, the Royal Castle, and other venues around the city. Discuss
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Dedicated to Visvakarma, the patron god of all Hindu artisans, the Festival of Tools is a workers’ holiday in India dedicated to each individual’s most important tool or instrument. A pitcher representing the god is set in a place of honor in every home and shop, and before it the people lay their most important tool. Sometimes incense is burned or scented water is sprinkled over the tool. Workers give thanks for their tools and implore Visvakarma’s help in plying their trade. After this ceremony is over, people gather in parks or public places and spend the rest of the day with games and feasting. Discuss
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This national holiday celebrates Papua New Guinea’s independence on this day in 1975. In the late 19th century, Germany laid claim to the northeastern section of the island, while Britain ruled the southeastern section. Britain left its section to Australia in 1902, which eventually administered the whole area until independence, though it is still part of the British Commonwealth. In 2000, Papua New Guinea celebrated its silver (25th) anniversary of independence with a flag-raising ceremony, a parade, and musical and dance performances in the capital city, Port Moresby.
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Nicaragua shares its Independence Day with four other Central American countries—Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras— all of which declared their independence from Spain on September 15, 1821. There is a parade in the capital city of Managua, and the president and other public officials give speeches. Nicaraguans also celebrate Independence Day by attending cockfights and bullfights. But unlike bullfights in other countries, the Nicaraguan matador does not kill the bull. Instead, he tries to mount it and ride it rodeo-style.
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Dally in the Alley is a one-day arts fair that takes place on the Saturday after Labor Day in the North Cass neighborhood of Detroit, Michigan. The Dally began as a community block party and art fair in 1977. It expanded into a performing arts festival and moved to its current location in 1982, when it became known as the “Dally in the Alley,” the name of an English pub song. Each year more than 30,000 visitors attend the festival, which includes music, a curated art show, poetry and writing workshops, children’s activities, food, and refreshments—particularly beer. Discuss
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