NYC Festivals

Festival Today Near Me

Festivals in NYC celebrate the richness of our city’s diversity. From parades to music and art exhibitions, these events are an opportunity to learn about another culture.

Enjoy traditional dance performances and food as you pay tribute to ancestors at this summer Buddhist celebration. Anyone is welcome to join in the Bon Odori circle dances.

Phagwah Festival

During the Phagwah festival, Indians celebrate spring by throwing colored water and powder on each other. The colors represent the defeat of a demon named Holika who attempted to sacrifice her nephew Prahalad but was doused with a special fire that destroyed her.

A carnival-like atmosphere is ushered in as willing participants are sprayed with a variety of coloured dyes, accompanied by the rhythmic beats of Chowtal, special folk songs and Pichakaree. This year, the Queens community parade returned after a hiatus during the COVID-19 pandemic.

It is the most prominent Phagwah celebration in North America and was established by Guyanese migrant communities living in Richmond Hill, Queens. The parade has incorporated new elements such as an advocacy component for gender equity, housing discrimination, and the end of sexual violence.

Indian New Year

In India, there are many different festivals for the New Year. This includes celebrations based on the Hindu calendar as well as the Gregorian calendar. These events are a great time to share good wishes with friends and family.

The Bengali New Year is celebrated on the first day of the Hindu month Vaishaka. It is known as Pohela Boishak and is a festive occasion with processions, parades, cultural programs, and melas.

Telugu and Karnataka celebrate Ugadi or Puthandu, the New Year of their solar calendar. They decorate their homes with rangolis made of marigold flowers and mango leaves. They also adorn themselves with tiaras and necklaces of precious gems.

Saint Patrick’s Day

Until the 1970s, the Irish celebrated Saint Patrick’s Day by attending Mass in the morning and then having a family celebration in the afternoon. The Lenten prohibition against meat was lifted for the day, and families would dance, drink, and eat traditional Irish food like corned beef and cabbage.

The parades we know today are a result of Irish-American culture. They began after Irish immigrants brought their Irish tradition to America following the potato famine in 1845. These new arrivals were resented for their religious beliefs and their thick accents, and parades helped to ease tensions. The New York City parade is the oldest and largest in the world.

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