Sunday, October 26, 2014

Cultural Events and Tours In Georgia

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One of my favorite things about Georgia is that is it one big melting pot of cultures. And I am very thankful that my fellow Georgians are so passionate about sharing their religions, holidays, festivals, music and food with others in an effort to bridge cultural gaps. Every year there are a multitude of festivals and even tours which help educate families on cultures and religions from around the World.

*Note: I have only included the months the events take place in because the actual days change from year to year. Please visit the website links for additional detail, pricing and to confirm the event is still occurring.

Mexican and Hispanic
  • Fiesta Georgia - September - Fiesta Georgia is Georgia’s Hispanic Heritage Month kick-off celebration, featuring a daylong celebration of Latino culture with continuous live musical performances by international, national and local recording artists. Mariachi music, Mexican folk dancing, helicopter rides, youth soccer clinics, interactive sponsor displays with many free product samples, arts and crafts and authentic foods from several Latin-American countries all bring Fiestas Patrias to life at Fiesta Georgia.
  • Day of the Dead Atlanta History Center - November - Visitors of all ages will become immersed in a cultural celebration of family and friends. Visitors will learn about this ancient festival rooted in Mexican heritage that serves as a way to honor and memorialize the lives of their deceased loved ones while celebrating the continuity of life. Smiling faces, swirling brilliant colors, beautifully decorated altars designed to honor lost family and friends, delicious authentic Mexican food, and a variety of traditional music and dance performances are highlights of this celebration.
  • Atlanta Day of the Dead - November - Atlanta Día de los Muertos is a long-established Mexican celebration that brings together family and friends to remember past friends and family members. Atlanta Day of the Dead is an interactive, educational and cultural celebration of Mexican culture. The festival features live musical and cultural performances, traditional altars and activities for children, and more
  • Plaza Fiesta - Various events and festivals year round - Plaza Fiesta is the heart of the Latin American Community in Georgia. There are over 280 retail and specialty stores and Plaza Fiesta has everything you are looking for under one roof! From Quinceañera dresses, Mexican candy, the best tacos, burritos and Hibachi Grill buffet in Georgia. Plaza Fiesta is not only a mall; it's a gathering place for the community where entertainment takes center stage! With a busy calendar of events, you will find entertainment for the entire family every day. Along with one of the largest indoor play areas in Georgia, children will also enjoy the large arcade area with games for all ages!

  • Atlanta Jewish Film Festival - February - Throughout the month of February, theaters city-wide will premiere more than 60 films. Celebrate cinematic storytelling with contemporary narratives and documentaries exploring universal stories with Jewish themes. Featuring docudramas, romantic comedies, animated shorts, biographies and more, the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival is a treat for movie buffs and animation lovers alike. 
  • Nibble and Nosh Festival - August (Labor Day Weekend) - Every year the parking lot of Temple Kol Emeth is transformed into a mix of delicious tastes from local restaurants, sounds of live music from local artists, community vendors and children's games and inflatables that will keep them busy for hours! 

  • Atlanta Greek Festival - October - The Atlanta Greek Festival brings all the aromas, sounds, tastes and traditions of Greece to your doorstep. Your admission ticket becomes your passport as you enjoy all the Beauty of Santorini and the Fun of Mykonos. The Annunciation Cathedral and the Atlanta Greek Community are proud to host the Atlanta Greek Festival. 

Middle Eastern
  • Arab Festival - April - Visit the Alif Institute for a weekend of Arab music, dancing, arts and crafts, food and more.
  • Mid East Food Festival - May - Visit the St. John Chrysostom Melkite Catholic Church to experience Middle Eastern food, desserts, church Tours, music, dance, children's activities and cultural items.   
  • Mid-East Fest. St. Elias of Atlanta - September - Join St Elias Antiochian Orthodox Christian Church for a festival that includes Mid-Eastern food delicacies & desserts as well as church tours, an artists market, dancing and other cultural events.
  • Muslim Festival - October -  Enjoy Muslim foods, crafts, arts and more. 
  • BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir - Various festivals and free tours year round - A Mandir is a Hindu place of worship – a haven for spirituality and a place of paramount peace.  It is also a center vibrant with social, cultural, and spiritual activities. You can even sit in on a worship service.

  • Shaolin Institute Chinese New Year Festival - February - The Chinese New Year’s Festival is an ancient tradition which embraces and honors the importance and unity of family, is one of the most unique cultural events celebrated in the southeast United States, providing a fun and enriching experience for people of all ages.
  • Atlanta Chinese Lunar New Year Festival - February - The program include a free lion dance, dragon dance, folk songs and dances, arts & crafts exhibition and authentic Chinese new year food & gifts available to purchase.
  • Atlanta China Town - Various festivals and events year round - Atlanta Chinatown Mall, is filled with traditional heritage of the Asian cultures and is excited about sharing it all. Atlanta Chinatown Mall serves the Chinese, Taiwanese, Cantonese, Vietnamese, Laotians and Korean culture all in one small community. Escape into the artfully designed and charming courtyard garden and koi pond, a sure gathering place of conversation. They offer a spacious food court of (6) six restaurants and a bakery featuring authentic cuisines from around China, recipes passed down from generation to generation, as well as two dine-in restaurants.      

  • Korean Festival - October - Korean Fest would like to extend an invitation of a lifetime to join them in the festivities of the annual Korean Festival in Suwanee, Georgia. 

  • Japan Festival - September - The mission of JapanFest is to improve the understanding and appreciation of linkages between Japanese and Americans residing in the Southeastern United States through an annual salute to Japanese culture and friendship entitled JapanFest. This celebration will promote multicultural education, encourage social harmony, and ensure the cultural integrity of JapanFest by providing an appropriate mix of authentic contemporary and traditional programs on Japanese art and culture. Activities include a wide variety of performing arts, demonstrations, hands-on workshops, and exhibitions.
  • Japanese Maple Festival  - October-November - On select weekends enjoy Japanese dancing, live music, tea ceremonies, bonsai, food and more. 

Australian and New Zealand
  • Down Under Fest - May - The Down Under Fest has been designed to show you the unfamiliar aspects of the lands Down Under as well as the more legendary American favorites: Vegemite, Hugh Jackman, and G’Day!  Join us  as we celebrate the beauty, wackiness and uniqueness that make Australia and New Zealand the heart of what we like to call “Mateship.”The Down Under Fest   It’s a celebration with Australian and New Zealand artisans, performers, kid’s crafts, animals, food, boomerang throwing, athletes and more!

  • Savannah Irish Festival - February - Kick-off the Savannah St. Patrick's Day festivities with a celebration of Irish culture featuring Traditional Irish Music, Irish Dancing, and plenty of laughter.
  • Irish Fest Atlanta - October - Irish Traditions Atlanta aims to promote Irish Traditional Music in all its forms; restore the playing of the Harp and Uilleann Pipes; promote Irish traditional dancing with emphasis on set and céilí dancing; promote and foster traditional singing in both Irish and English; foster and promote the Irish language at all times; create a closer bond among all lovers of Irish music; and co-operate with all bodies working for the restoration of Irish Culture.

  • Savannah Scottish Games - May - The Savannah Games are the 4th oldest Scottish games in the Southeastern United States. The Games allow the visitor to enjoy the sounds, tastes, and visual images that Highlanders experienced as early as 100 AD.   Come join a grand celebration of Scottish culture with competition, entertainment, shopping, activities, and refreshments for the entire family!
  • Blairsville Scottish Festival - June - Join a weekend of fun and athletic games, ceremonies, Scottish dancing, live music, live demos, great food, workshops and more.
  • Stone Mountain Highland Games- October - Join the fun in the meadows of the Stone Mountain Park located in the Northeast suburbs of Atlanta GA. The meadows and meandering tree-lined paths will be transformed in the impressive mix of sights and sounds of a Scottish Highland Games presented in a uniquely southern style.

  • Savannah Black Heritage Festival - February - The Savannah Black Heritage Festival (SBHF) is a professionally produced, multi-disciplinary festival, and it is one of the many ethnic cultural arts events sponsored annually by the City of Savannah’s (GA) Department of Cultural Affairs.  The focus of the festival is to present performances, exhibits and activities that attract a broad cross-section of age, socio-economic and ethnically diverse residents in Savannah and its outlying areas as well as visiting tourists.
  • Roswell Roots - February - The City of Roswell celebrates Black History Month every February with the annual Roswell Roots festival. Roswell Roots is one of the largest and most comprehensive Black History celebrations in the state of Georgia and celebrates black history and culture by sponsoring a variety of art exhibits, history and cultural events.            
  • Pan African Festival of Georgia - April - This 3 day festival offers live performances, including jazz, gospel, hip-hop, theater, and African drumming; face painting, games, safety demonstrations, storytelling, and dance for children; and a wide variety of African American and Caribbean foods.
  • African Drum Festival - July - This weekend event is fill with music, dance and song from Africa and Diaspora. There are classes for the entire family.

  • Romanian Festival - October - Taste traditional food and enjoy the folkloric music and dances. The admission is free. Bring your friends and family to experience live traditional food cooking, museum tours, kids activities and more.

Native American
  • Mothers Day Pow Wow - May - Celebrate Mothers Day at this annual pow wow. This event will include Native Dancing, Singing, Dancing, and Drumming, Arts and Craft, Native Cuisine, Living Tipi Village, Warrior On Horseback, Aztec Dance Company, Native Storytellers and Flute Players, Wildlife Displays, Kids Activities, Audience Participation and Much, Much More.
  • Veterans Day Pow Wow - 
  • Cheehaw Native American Festival - April -  Native American Festival educates visitors on the history of the Native American people through dance, music demonstrations and vendor booths showcasing and selling Native American crafts and jewelry from throughout the Americas.
  • Ocmulgee Mounds Pow Wow - September - The third weekend in September welcomes the largest Native American gathering in the Southeast as more than 200 craftsmen, dancers, storytellers, living history demonstrators and others with ties to the area return to their ancestral home at Ocmulgee National Monument in Macon, Georgia.
  • Kolomoki Mounds Festival - October - The festival hosts a variety of Native American demonstrators, arts and crafts vendors, musical entertainment, dance performances, boat tours, delicious food vendors, a parade, and so much more.
  • Euharlee Veterans Pow Pow - October - Support Veterans and thank one in person at the Euharlee Veterans Powwow. Enjoy dancing, music and more.
  • Stone Mountain Indian Festival and Pow Wow - October - Celebrate the nation's first civilization with dance and drum competitions. Get lost in the ancient art of storytelling or enjoy authentic dishes and craft demonstrations. Teach a new dog old tricks with primitive skills workshops, including pottery, open-fire cooking and bow-making.
  • Oka'Chaffa Indian Festival - November - This event will included Native Dancing, Singing, Dancing, and Drumming, Arts and Craft, Native Cuisine, Living Tipi Village, Live Buffalo, Warrior On Horseback, Aztec Dance Company, Native Storytellers and Flute Players, Wildlife Displays, Kids Activities, Audience Participation and Much, Much More.

Religious Tours/Events

  • Tibetan Festival - November - A taste of Tibetan arts, history and culture along with activities for all ages. Since His Holiness the Dalai Lama blessed the Atlanta center in 2007 and again in 2010 Drepung Loseling has been working towards completing its vision of creating a "Little Tibet" in Atlanta and hundreds of visitors have enjoyed the past festivals. There are also yearly Tibetan Tours throughout the country, including Georgia. 
  • Monastery of the Holy SpiritVarious tours and events year round - The Monastery invites you to explore their site and visit the grounds to learn more about the monastic lifestyle. The Monastery is truly a destination for the entire family. Shop, sample gourmet food or walk with nature. 
  • Historic Temple Mickve Israel - Tours offered Monday - Friday - The Temple Mickve Israel is the only purely Gothic revival synagogue in the United States. Founded by a group of Sephardic Jews who landed in Savannah just a few months after General Oglethorpe, the congregation received a perpetual charter from Governor Edward Telfair in 1790. They represent the third-oldest Jewish congregation in the United States.
  • Shrine of The Immaculate Conception Church - Tours offered year round - Being the oldest Catholic Church in Atlanta, Shrine of The Immaculate Conception is a true representative of Christian belief and Atlanta history. It was named after Murillo's painting "Immaculate Conception". In 1861 Fr. Thomas O'Reilly was appointed pastor of the church. He went on to become one of the most famous priests in Atlanta. The church was rebuilt in 1869 in the neo-Gothic style
  • The Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-Day Saints Atlanta - Tours offered year round - The Atlanta Georgia Temple was the first temple built in the Southeastern United States (and in Georgia).
  • Al-Farooq Masjid of Atlanta - Tours offered year round - The Masjid is a central location for congregational prayer and community services. Our services include a 5 daily prayers, library, education center, private school, recreational areas, and areas for social events/activities.

Make sure you bookmark or pin this post because I will continue to add to it as I discover more festivals and tours.

Be sure to visit my Journal/Notebooking page for a FREE Christmas Around the World Journal PageGeography Journal Page and Holiday, Festival and Celebration Journal Page to help you enhance the cultural experiences. 

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