My First Taste of Christmas at McDonald’s in Geneva by Dr Gulara Vincent | Day 6 | Advent Calendar 2016

Advent Calendar 2016

Day 6 | Advent Calendar

My First Taste of Christmas at McDonald’s in Geneva by Dr Gulara Vincent

‘Let’s go to Geneva for Christmas,’ my friend said.

It was late autumn 2004 and we were taking French classes. As our vocabulary was expanding, my friend had a bright idea of putting that knowledge into practice.

‘Why not France?’ Continue reading “My First Taste of Christmas at McDonald’s in Geneva by Dr Gulara Vincent | Day 6 | Advent Calendar 2016”

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Discovering Traditions: Novruz – Spring festival in Azerbaijan by Dr Gulara Vincent

Discovering Tradition

The 21st of March marks the end of Winter and the beginning of Spring. Today, I am happy to welcome back Gulara Vincent for this lovely guest contribution to Discovering Traditions, you can find her previous guest post here, and an overview of this blog’s guest posts here.


Novruz – Spring festival in Azerbaijan by Dr Gulara Vincent

Novruz is the spring festival dearly loved and widely celebrated in Azerbaijan (and many other countries too). When I was a child, it was not an official holiday. The Soviet Union disapproved of my country’s fire-worshipping and pagan festivities. People kept it going for seven decades though. In 1993, it became an official holiday in a newly-independent Azerbaijan.

Although Novruz is celebrated on 20-21 March, the spring festival begins a month in advance. First, all households had a massive spring clearing. We washed everything: bedding, windows, walls, expensive dishes displayed in cupboards, candelabras and floors. We also cleared rugs and carpets, mended clothes and made or bought new ones. New trees were planted and gardens were tidied up. Families visited their dead relatives’ graveyards to pay their respects. Continue reading “Discovering Traditions: Novruz – Spring festival in Azerbaijan by Dr Gulara Vincent”