Every year, the Erasmus Diversity & Inclusion Office celebrates diversity by paying attention to the cultural, national and religious holidays as celebrated by people at our university. Below you will find interviews with employees and students who talk about the special meaning of a holiday for them.
We asked Rector Magnificus Rutger Engels what celebrating diversity means to him at Erasmus University Rotterdam.
Chinese New Year
Something that is typical to me about Chinese New Year are the red pockets. These are the small red envelopes with money, which you receive as kids from your parents. You put the envelope under your pillow when going to sleep and it will bring you luck for the coming year.
Christmas is a Christian holiday commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ. Its traditions vary from country to country. In many nations, people decorate a Christmas tree, there are Advent wreaths and Christmas stockings.
Day of the Dead
Day of the dead, or Dia de Muertos in Spanish, is a Mexican holiday that focuses on gathering and praying for and remembering those who have died and support their spiritual journey. It is celebrated by creating altars (‘ofrenda’) for the dead and offering food.
Coming Out Day
Coming Out Day is an annual LGBTQ+ awareness day. It was founded in the United States in 1988 and is now observed globally to celebrate coming out and raise awareness about civil rights and oppressive views of society. Recently, “coming out” also expanded to gender identities.
The Moon Festival, or Mid-Autumn Festival, is a harvest festival celebrated by many people in Asia. It is held on the 15th day of the 8th month of the lunar calendar during the full moon, when families come together to eat dinner and share Mooncakes.
Raksha Bandhan is a Hindu festival that is celebrated annually, centred on the tying of a sacred thread around the wrist as a form of protection. This is usually performed by sisters on their brothers. Raksha Bandhan means the bond of protection, love or care.
Ramadan is observed by Muslims worldwide as a month of fasting. It lasts about 30 days. From dawn until sunset, Muslims fast and focus on doing good and charitable deeds.
Vappu is a student festival, celebrated annually on 1 May. It marks the beginning of spring. It’s also celebrated as International Labour Day and is one of the biggest festivals of the year in Finland alongside Midsummer's Day and Christmas.
King´s Day (27 April) is a national holiday in the Netherlands, marking the King’s birthday. All over the country, people take part in Koningsdag wearing orange or red, white and blue clothing, visiting flea markets (vrijmarkt), concerts and local gatherings.
Pesach or Passover (Jewish Easter) is an ancient feast that originated in the history of the people of Israel, commemorating the exodus of the Jewish people from Egypt.
Brazilian Carnival (9 Feb – 14 Feb 2018) is an annual festival, marking the beginning of Lent (40 days before Easter). Large and small parades crowd the streets for the public to watch or participate in. Carnival is the most famous holiday in Brazil.
New Year's Day
New Year's Day (1 January) is the first day of the year on the modern Gregorian calendar and the most celebrated public holiday. The New Year is often greeted with fireworks. Other celebrations worldwide include parades, family time or annual dips in water.