Vieringen • Feiern
elebrations mark rites of passage in the lives of individuals, families
or communities. The words “celebration” and “celebrate” convey ideas of pride and joy over milestones reached, over accomplishments
and hope-filled beginnings. Marking a person’s finalization of life with celebrations is common in many cultures, tradtionally
not in the cultures of the Lowlands. It is not completely unknown in
the West, however, as can be seen for instance in Irish wakes. It is
only recently that celebrating a person’s life rather than mourn their death has reached the Lowlands as well. Celebrations
come in a great number of formats, ranging from quiet, solitary introspection
to boisterous mass parties, aside from upper-class and state celebrations
with pomp and circumstance in which ordinary people may make up the backdrop.
On the old-time village level, celebrations were and still are related
with agricultural events and other seasonal milestones, also events like
raising barns and completing other sorts of edifices. More general
are celebrations of holidays, baptism, coming of age, wedding
anniversaries. The topic of celebrations is closely related to that of customs and rituals.