Girls’ Day (Hinamatsuri) in Japan

On March 3rd, Hinamatsuri (雛祭り) is celebrated in Japan. This is a day when families with little girls wish "health and happiness" for them. Hina refers to the kind of dolls traditionally put on display for the celebration. Matsuri means "festival" in Japanese. Putting them together, Hinamatsuri means something like, "Hina-doll Day". However, Hinamatsuri is commonly referred to as "Girls' Day" in English. Continue reading

France’s ‘Comfort Foods’

If 'comfort food' means a dish associated with a sense of home or contentment, then it could be argued that most foods in France fit that label. Indeed, following the stereotype, French people regard food as altogether convivial, pleasurable and nourishing. In winter however, an emphasis is on warm, filling foods. Continue reading

The Tradition of Weddings in France

Weddings in France are celebrated in much the same way as the western world. First of all, French law requires that there be a mariage civil (civil marriage) before any religious ceremony. Though there exists now as many religious weddings as there are religions in France, traditionally the weddings are Catholic. Continue reading