When I was in Washington DC I discovered a beautiful little monastery hiding in the Brookland neighbourhood. The secrets of the interior are the subject of my post Catacombs and Old Byzantium I, but the grounds of this beautiful monastery were equally captivating. It was ablaze with colour, flowers bursting out everywhere, and graceful arches surrounding the carefully manicured gardens.
As I wandered along the winding pathways and covered arches, I noticed girls in brightly coloured dresses wafting across the lawns. The first group I saw looked for all the world like a wedding party.
However, as more and more groups appeared in their dazzling finery, I began to suspect there was something different going on. After a few conversations, I discovered that I was witnessing the centuries-old Latin American tradition of Quinceañera, a coming-of-age celebration, sometimes referred to as Sweet 15. Resembling a cross between the casual Sweet 16 and the more formal Debutantes’ Ball; the celebration usually includes a religious ceremony, a dance and a feast. The grounds of the monastery provided the perfect setting for each Quinceañera and her court to have their photographs taken.
Tradition is an integral part of any culture. The word comes from the Latin traditio, and means to transmit or hand over for safekeeping. It is something handed down from generation to generation, and can be a ritual, a holiday, socially meaningful clothes, even an object. Traditions can be widespread throughout a country or specific to just one family, and I thought it might make a fascinating travel theme.
What is your interpretation of tradition? If you’d like to join in, create your own post, title it “Travel theme: tradition” and put a link to this page in your blog post to make it easy for others to find your post. Don’t forget to check back in next Friday for a new travel theme.
What does tradition mean to you?