This is the next instalment of my Special Moments, Magic Memories series for the 2022 A to Z Blog Challenge.
Nowadays it feels like you can plan every detail of which events might be held while you’re visiting a place. “Back in the day” serendipity gave us the gift of happening upon a festival you may have known nothing about before you set forth on your trip.
Our first experience of that was Easter in Florence. We were delightedly surprised by the traditional celebration that occurs there, Scoppio del Carro. Rather than try to explain this complex process and its symbolism why not read this article? It was certainly quite a spectacle though our photos have now faded and don’t do it justice, but we were thrilled to see the event. I can see that at some point I’m going to have to excavate our negatives and scan them, not just the printed photos.
On the same trip we happened upon the Zurich end of winter festival and celebrations. The parade of people in the traditional costumes of their guilds was impressive and we were intrigued how friends would rush from sidelines to give “their” person a bunch of flowers. No Aussie wussiness about flowers there as the men were quite comfortable carrying them.
At the end of the parade, the crowd gathered at a park area, where an artificial snowman was set alight to celebrate the end of winter. We enjoyed seeing the crowds’ enthusiasm and somehow made brief friends with a couple of people who shared their drink with Mr Cassmob. It was such fun!
Back home in 1988, there was a spectacle of a different kind as white Australia celebrated its establishment as a British colony. It ignored that Indigenous Australians had lived here for thousands of years before that. Not to mention that the Brits only just pipped France to the post, or that it could have also been claimed by the Dutch. Britain, however, had lost its American colonies and needed another dumping ground for its convicts. Who could imagine how the next two hundred years would generate a new nation often to the detriment of its First Nations peoples.
Having said all that, the prospect of seeing Sydney’s magnificent harbour with a flotilla of tall ships was one that just had to be seen so our family took another camping trip to see this spectacle. There’s no doubt it was an amazing site, and sensitivities aside, it was worth seeing.
GENESIS OF GENEALOGY
A Brisbane festival in 1986 included the George St Colonial Festival. The Genealogical Society of Queensland had a stall about tracing your family history. This was enough to tip my interest into a practical activity/hobby/obsession. This quiet discovery led to half a life-time’s worth of discoveries and excitement. I’ve loved it all.
Do you enjoy visiting Festivals at home or abroad?
What triggered the start of your genealogy journey is you’re a fellow addict like me?