Posted on 13 December 2010.
Festivals are usually a reflection of the culture and traditions of a region. They encompass all the joy and fervour of the people who live there and often are a symbol of their religion and their beliefs.
Here are ten of the most unusual festivals across the world:
1. Holi – the festival of colors in India.
It is normally celebrated in early March, to herald the beginning of spring. There are many stories which explain the origins of this festival, but the main aspect of the festival is playing with colours. People wear their oldest clothes and gather together to throw colour on each other. There is a great deal of merriment and laughter and it is believed to be an occasion when old enmities are forgotten and a spirit of brotherhood prevails all around.
2. Monkey Buffet Festival in Lopburi, Thailand:
This festival has brought this small region in Thailand on the tourist circuit. In honour of the Hindu monkey God – Hanuman, the residents spread out a feast for the monkeys which live in their area. Over 600 monkeys descend to devour the vast array of fruits and vegetables, and what follows can only be termed as complete mayhem.
3. Hadaka Masturi at Inazawa in Japan:
Popularly known as the Naked Men festival, this is normally held in the cold month of January. Thousands of men clad only in loincloths and sandals wash themselves in freezing cold waters, in the hope of purifying themselves. The festival is a fun occasion, and holds significant spiritual undertones.
4. La Tomatina – at Valencia in Spain:
38 kms outside Valencia in a small town known as Bunol, an annual tomato festival is celebrated and is the delight of young and old alike. Can you think of anything which can be more fun than throwing overripe tomatoes in a crowded street? Complete with water cannons and greasy poles, a great time is had by all those taking part.
5. Cheese Rolling Festival – Cooper’s Hill in England:
At noon on the Spring Bank Holiday Monday, a round of double Gloucester cheese is rolled down the hill at Cooper’s Hill in Gloucester. The fun begins when people try to chase the cheese and as is to be expected – stumble and fall.The terrain is uneven and the competition tough. Due to many injuries and huge crowds, the festival has not been held this year, but the residents hope to revive it sometime soon.