Tag Archives: festival

Easter Tradition

“A tradition I have is every year for Easter my whole extended family goes to Cabo. Since Easter is on a Sunday and most of us have school the next day, we celebrate Easter on Saturday because we have to leave on Sunday. During the day we hangout and paint and decorate eggs which will be turned into deviled eggs in a couple hours. Then, we get ready for our easter egg hunt which only involves the grandkids. There are eggs sitting on the grass on the floor, however those eggs are only for the very very young kids. Each of us has a basket we need to find and as well as candy eggs and baskets there are golden eggs that contain different amounts of money. Since we are getting older, it is starting to get competitive because we all want the money. My grandpa always gives us some hints and sometimes our parents do too. After the hunt, we all open our baskets then get into teams and play croquet. After croquet, we all have a nice dinner together at the house.”

The informant does this every year on Easter weekend in Cabo, Mexico. Her whole family is involved, including aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents. Her grandpa helps hide the eggs and gives them hints when necessary. Her parents get all of her siblings small baskets, the other parents give their kids baskets as well, which are full of small gifts like bracelets and chocolate. She believes Easter egg hunting has always been a thing for Easter, and her family has been doing this for as long as she can remember.

The tradition is part of the widely held celebration of Easter, the Christian day on which Jesus Christ was said to have risen from the dead after his crusifiction. On this day, it is common for children to hunt for Easter eggs, which are colorful plastic eggs full of candy. This holiday is often spent with family and friends and is celebrated on the first Sunday after the full Moon that occurs on or after the Spring Equinox. Although the holiday is now a large part of the holiday economy and is very consumerist, it started as a celebration of the coming of Spring before it was Christanized. It is celebrated around the world as an important Christian holiday.

Muslim tradition : Eid

Nationality: American
Primary Language: English
Age: 21
Occupation: Student
Residence: Los Angeles, California
Performance Date: 9 April 2024

Tags: Muslim, Islam, Christmas, Ramadan, family, festival


Eid can be seen as an “Islamic Christmas”, a time where one can spend time with family and friends to celebrate the end of Ramadan and such. It’s actually tomorrow (April 10 as of this recording) but it usually lasts 3 days minimum, with people celebrating as long as they want or need to for about a week or two. It’s based on the Lunar calendar. People often go to each other’s houses, celebrating with prayer and joy, and the holiday is very familial in nature. Since it starts right as Ramadan ends, the goal is to break one’s fast every day, starting by eating a date, due to the belief that the prophet Mohammed also broke his own fast with a date. The phrase for this festival is “Eid Mubarak”, which approximately translates to “Happy Eid”, simply.


J is a student studying ANTH 333 in the University of Southern California. She regularly participates in Muslim traditions and cultural activities with her friends and family.


The comparison between Eid and Christmas is pretty interesting, as while both festivals/celebratory periods have virtually nothing to do with each other, the activities and festivities held in each are similar enough to where a comparison can be drawn. It’s evident to see through Eid and various other religion-based festivals that spending time with family to eat and have fun together is a universal experience that goes beyond location or religion-based culture.


‘Every year for 9 days my family celebrates a festival called Navaratri. My mom (especially where she’s from in South India, a town called Chennai) has a ton of dolls that she puts on steps in our house called ‘Golu’ to tell stories. The steps are basically a showcase of stories of all the Hindu gods. Some people have really small steps and not many Golus, but my mom loves to go all out… The festival involves Pujas to celebrate the goddess Durga who is practically the mother goddess Mahadevi. She is known for protection and motherhood. Durga is celebrated for 9 days and nights because we’re told she killed the demon Mahishasura.’ – HP

HP has grown up celebrating Navaratri ever since she can remember. She enjoys celebrating this festival, as it’s a time where her friends and family come over to eat and talk, celebrate and do a puja. They gather around to see all the dolls. When she was younger she loved to see the different stories her mom would create with the dolls and put on the steps. Every time she visits India, her mom always buys a new doll for the Golu, so throughout her life, she has accumulated many. She wants to carry out this tradition for the rest of her life and share it with her own loved ones and future family. Its a way to show creativity with faith.

A photo captured in HP’s home of the Golu and dolls during Navaratri

Navaratri is a festival full of culture, heritage, and faith. The festival encompasses many prayers, customs, rituals, and incorporates countless folk beliefs, gestures, and storytelling. This festival includes many folkloristic properties. The stories told from the Golu and to the family and friends who gather around spread and share the heritage and ancestry important in the Hindu religion. Furthermore, many storytellings of Hindu faith, such as about the Gods and Goddesses, are shared, allowing for the audiences to continue to spread these tales, just as HP has done with me. This festival allows for Hindu creativity to bloom and be on display for any and all visitors. HP reminiscing on her past Navaratri holidays show that importance and especially the endurance of this ritual in her life. Additionally, her desire to continue these festivities with her future family encapsulates folklore and its inevitable spread of culture and heritage.


On recounting familial traditions, my brother illuminated a practice our grandfather adheres to during Diwali, the quintessential festival of lights in Northern India. Amidst the festivities, a peculiar custom is observed: the search for lizards on the exterior walls of the home. These creatures, typically mundane and unnoticed, are sought after on Diwali night as harbingers of good fortune and wealth.


This ritual, as my brother narrates, unfolds each year without fail, where our grandfather would lead us on an expedition to discover lizards clambering on the walls. The belief holds that spotting these reptiles during the luminous celebration signifies impending prosperity. Intriguingly, this auspicious omen is exclusively tied to Diwali night — it is as though the lizards emerge from their concealment solely for this event, or perhaps our perception of their presence is heightened by the belief’s gravity. On all other nights, these lizards retreat into obscurity, going unnoticed by my brother and the rest of the family.


The practice of seeking lizards on Diwali night can be classified as a folk belief, deeply ingrained in the cultural fabric of the celebration. It’s a manifestation of the principle of sympathetic magic, particularly homeopathic, wherein the appearance of a creature is symbolically linked to prosperity. Just as Frazer discussed the symbolic use of objects in rituals to influence outcomes, the spotting of lizards is a physical representation of welcoming abundance. In Larry Danielson’s exploration of religious folklore, he notes that such traditions often emerge within communities, not through institutional decree but via the organic spread among individuals — a sentiment that resonates with our grandfather’s personal endorsement of this custom. The lizards’ nocturnal visibility on Diwali may be seen as a confluence of belief and tradition, where the collective spirit and heightened energies of the festival could cast everyday occurrences in a mystical light. The specificity of the timing underscores the contextual significance of the belief — it is not the lizards themselves but their association with the festival that carries weight. This belief, ephemeral as the festival itself, is a reflection of hope and the human tendency to seek signs of future prosperity in the world around us, an embodiment of collective optimism that momentarily transforms the mundane into the auspicious.

Loggers Jamboree Folk Tradition

Nationality: American
Primary language: English
Age: 58
Occupation: Insurance salesman
Residence: Mercer Island, WA


As a kid, MD’s grandpa took him to the Loggers’ Jamboree every year. His grandpa had been a logger for a long time, and this was a yearly tradition where local loggers got together to celebrate. There were tons of competitions, all of which MD’s grandpa participated in and usually won at. They had competitions where two men would get on a log with spiked shoes and they tried to roll each other off into the water. MD’s grandpa couldn’t swim, so it was kind of scary for MD to watch. There were also competitions where teams of two men competed to see who could chop down trees the fastest. They had old fashioned saws that had a handle for each man. They also had arm wrestling.


MD’s grandpa took him to the Loggers’ Jamboree every year from when he was 4 to when he was 8. These memories bring him a lot of joy. It made him feel like his grandpa was like Superman because he always won. MD didn’t have much to say on the meaning of the tradition besides that it was a way for loggers to connect.


Logging is both a niche profession and one that is traditionally associated with masculinity. As such, the Loggers’ Jamboree is a perfect way for this folk group to get together and share what they have in common. These competitions showcase that loggers value strength, persistence, and strategy, which are traits often tied to manhood. To be strong is often to be masculine, especially in folk groups full of traditionally masculine men. Whoever is strongest is the winner, further showcasing the importance of strength and persistence in the logging career. The tree-cutting competition seems to value cooperation and teamwork. After all, a long saw cannot be used by a single man–there must be two. Whichever team cuts the tree fastest is the winner, showcasing that speed and cooperation are equally important in logging. This seems to represent a value of brotherhood amongst loggers–they must be strong together. Since logging is a niche tradition, I would argue that the Loggers’ Jamboree is also a way to celebrate rare skills shared amongst a small folk group. Not everyone understand what it is to be a logger or the skills necessary to do the job, so celebrations of this field help reinforce the job’s value within the folk group. This is similar to the firefighters in Chapter 4 of Folk Groups and Folklore Genres: An Introduction (Oring, McCarl). This event wasn’t just closed to loggers, though–MD was invited, too. It seems that this logging celebration also celebrates the loved ones of loggers, inviting them to share in a niche culture and enjoy its games without its struggles.