This past weekend, Vancouverites were given the opportunity to enjoy the large variety of cultures at the European Festival in Burnaby. Unfortunately, it was raining cats and dogs on Saturday, but Sunday made up for it with sunny, warm weather. It was perfect for a Sunday stroll at the European Festival!
Representatives of the European countries
Located in beautiful Central Park, you could find participants from all over Europe:
Armenia, Greece, Russia, Austria, Hungary, Serbia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Iceland, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Latvia, Slovenia, Croatia, Lithuania, Spain, Czech Republic, the Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark, Montenegro, Switzerland, Finland, Norway, Turkey, France, Portugal, Ukraine, Germany, Romania and the United Kingdom.
The festival took place at Swangard Stadium in Burnaby. Tents representing different European countries were set up all along the track. This was perfect since you could walk around without missing a country!
European customs and traditions
Traditional garments and beautiful jewelry were not the only things that you could find at the European Festival. Volunteers described their cultures, explained the traditions and customs they practice. They also explained what kind of meals they eat. (If you want to know more about the food, just scroll down, it was delicious!). There were German books up for grabs and delicious Swiss chocolate. You could write down well wishes for the Queen’s 90th birthday, and paint your own Easter eggs in the traditional Ukrainian method using beeswax and dye.
A lot of fun for the whole family at the European Festival
The festival wasn’t only a great chance for adults to explore the diverse cultures of Europe, it also served as a huge playground for children! There was ice-cream, a lot of games, as well as other activities such as jumping on trampolines, a miniature train ride, and inflatable human bubbles. In the middle of the stadium, volunteers from Blood & Iron provided the audience with interesting demonstrations of different styles of sword fights (no worries, no one was hurt!) as well as the history of this art. After the performance, children and adults joined a lesson on how to fight with a sword – for free!
Food, food, food – the best part of the European Festival
Now for the best part of the European festival: the food! You could smell all the different types of delicious food in the air, and it was really difficult to decide what to eat! There was traditional stuffed Russian cabbage, German pretzels, Greek pita, hock pig, and this is just the tip of the iceberg. You could also enjoy a nice cold Canadian beer or British cider with your meal. Unfortunately, there was no German beer (if you are interested in German beer, check out this blog post!).
Desserts at the European Festival
You could enjoy a piece of Russian Napoleon cake or Turkish Baklava. The most popular food was definitely Lángos, a deep-fried flatbread topped with apples. The line for this delicious Hungarian treat was as long as a trip from earth to moon and back. If you missed out on the European Festival, don’t worry, there will be another one next year. 🙂
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