The best festivals in the world!
All over the world, many major festivals and holidays are constantly held, attracting not only a huge number of local residents, but also many tourists. It is understandable, because it is difficult to think of a better way to fully experience the atmosphere and culture of the country than to visit a traditional holiday. Some of them are not only surprisingly large-scale, but also extremely unusual in themselves.
Mardi Gras, USA.
Mardi Gras is celebrated in the United States and many European countries, and, in general, in most cases, it is a fairly peaceful celebration of the world’s equivalent of Shrovetide-but not in New Orleans. Here, what was supposed to be a harmless religious holiday turned into one of the most noisy and colorful carnivals in the world. The celebration begins on January 6 and slowly gains momentum for two weeks, until it reaches its climax on Fat Tuesday.
Costume balls, parties, parades, and costume processions are held throughout the festival. The most interesting of them are the Bacchus parade, each platform of which is dedicated to some vicious entertainment-dating, drinking, cards or something else, and the Mardi Gras Indians parade, on the platforms of which you can see absolutely amazing costumes.
If you go to see a real Mardi Gras, on holiday days it is better to go not to the French Quarter, but to the Garden District and Charles Avenue. However, it is worth bearing in mind that all the good seats there are usually occupied six hours before the parade.
Carnival in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
The carnival in Rio attracts more than half a million visitors from all over the world every year and is rightfully considered the largest carnival in Brazil.
The carnival begins with a “coronation”, during which the mayor of the city hands over the reins to King Momo, chosen from all the inhabitants of Rio for his weight (in no case less than a hundred kilograms) and ability to dance samba, the main dance of the carnival. For the entire five days of the carnival, the city is indeed under the control of the new king — with the exception of the police.
The carnival itself is filled with loud music throughout the five days, lots of girls dancing samba in extremely open and extremely beautiful costumes, street festivals, beautifully designed parades, circuses and masquerades.
The carnival takes place just before the beginning of Lent and was conceived as a way to give people the opportunity to have one last noisy fun before the long days of abstinence and penance.
Kanamara Matsuri, Japan.
This holiday is another confirmation of the fact that Japan is a completely unusual country, which should not be evaluated in terms of generally accepted norms. The name of the festival “Kanamara” is translated into Russian as “iron penis” and, in general, does not have any secret meaning, but directly denotes the object of celebration. However, according to one version, this is just a celebration of fertility and childbirth.
The celebration begins in a small temple in the city of Kawasaki, located near Tokyo. The temple was built in the Edo era with donations from prostitutes and is intended for them to come and pray for protection from syphilis and other diseases that these girls were at risk of contracting.
The festival lasts for seven days, and on Sunday, the last day, a procession is organized, where a lot of phalluses of all colors and sizes are swept through the city (some of them are so large that it takes more than ten people to lift them), and nearby you can find a huge number of shops that sell themed souvenirs.
Semana Santa, Guatemala.
In Antigua Guatemala, you can see one of the most colorful and unusual Easter celebrations. The festival begins on Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent, and lasts for a week, during which processions and parades with figures of various saints are arranged on the streets of the city, covered with a carpet of flower petals and beautiful patterns of colored sand. Almost the entire city is draped in black crepe and the smell of incense wafts from everywhere. During the festival, performances are held to illustrate the sentencing and crucifixion of Jesus.
All the performances are so skilfully executed, and the scope of the holiday is so great that it can not fail to touch even convinced atheists.
Palio is one of the main holidays in Italy. This is a grand horse race that is held in the city of Siena twice a year — on July 2 and August 16.
The tradition of holding equestrian competitions in the city was born a long time ago, back in the XIV century. Their main feature is that they are not held at the racetrack, as usual, but right in the city, on the main square. Another feature is that these races are completely alien to the idea of fair play. Riders push, shove and build obstacles to their opponents, which increases the excitement among the audience by an order of magnitude (as, unfortunately, the frequency of accidents).
Contards representing different districts of the city compete in horse racing. Each of them has its own coat of arms and each exhibits one rider. The most successful of them were kontarda goose, which has already won more than 60 victories, and, contrary to the name, snails, which has won more than 50 victories.
But the races themselves, no matter how fascinating, last only a few minutes, and the rest of the time guests are entertained by performances of jugglers and acrobats, parades and rich feasts.