Tag Archives: festival

today’s holiday: Bonden Festival (2015)


Bonden Festival (2015)

At the Bonden (or Bonten) Festival at Yokote in the Akita Prefecture of Japan, each district of the city has a team of young men to carry its bonden in a race to the Asahiokayama-jinja shrine. The bonden is a 10-foot (3-m) bamboo pole, draped with heavy cloth and topped by a platform holding a figure of the Animal of the Year. Those carrying the bonden gradually increase their pace until they are running, often pushing members of competing teams to the ground to be the first to the top. The team that arrives first wins the privilege of offering its bonden to the kami, or god. More… Discuss

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today’s holiday: Finnish Sliding Festival (2015)


Finnish Sliding Festival (2015)

Patterned after the traditional event in Finland that celebrates Shrove Tuesday before the beginning of Lent, the Finnish Sliding Festival, or Laskiainen, has been held in White, Minnesota, every winter for more than 50 years. It features two large ice slides, which are constructed at the edge of Loon Lake. People bring their sleds or toboggans for an exciting ride down the slide onto the frozen lake. Other activities at the weekend event include log-sawing contests, Finnish music and dance performances, and traditional Finnish foods such as oven pancakes and pea soup. More… Discuss

today’s holiday: Thjodhatid


Thjodhatid

Thjodhatid is a three-day “people’s feast” celebrated in the Vestmannaeyjar area (or Westmann Islands) of Iceland. The festival commemorates the granting of Iceland’s constitution on July 1, 1874; because of foul weather, the island people of Vestmannaeyjar weren’t able to attend the mainland celebration, so they held their own festival at home a month later. Most of the festivities take place on Heimaey Island. Enormous bonfires are built, and there are sporting events, dancing, singing, eating and drinking. People come from the mainland for this event, so the island is filled with campers. More… Discuss

today’s holiday: Tenjin Matsuri


Tenjin Matsuri

The Tenjin Festival in Japan honors the scholar and statesman Sugawara Michizane (845-903), who was deified as Tenjin after his death. The festival opens at the Temmangu Shrine with the beating of the Moyooshi Daiko, a drum about five feet in diameter. The drum-cart is followed by a masked figure who represents Sarutahiko, the deity who led all the other gods to Japan. Most important is the mikoshi—the decorated shrine in which the soul of Tenjin is believed to reside. In the evening, the parade moves to the river, with numerous boats carrying glowing lanterns. More… Discuss

today’s holiday: San Fermin Festival


San Fermin Festival

The festivities surrounding this well-known festival in Pamplona, Spain, honoring the city’s bishop, begin with a rocket fired from the balcony of the town hall. Bands of txistularis—with dancers, drummers, and txistu players (a musical instrument like a flute)—march through the town playing songs announcing the “running of the bulls,” an event that has taken place here for 400 years. Each morning, young men, dressed in typical Basque costumes, risk their lives running through the streets ahead of the bulls being run to the bullring where the bullfights will be held. More… Discuss

TODAY’S HOLIDAY: FLORES DE MAYO


Flores de Mayo

Flores de Mayo (“May flowers”) festivals take place throughout the Philippines during the month of May. Children create offerings of flowers and bring them to their churches in the afternoon. Parades make their way through towns and villages, with girls wearing traditional costumes followed by their relatives and friends singing Hail Marys. The festival ends on May 31 with fiestas everywhere. In big cities like Manila, Flores de Mayo is one of the largest festivals of the year, featuring May Queens and fancy dress balls.More… Discuss

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TODAY’S HOLIDAY: TUCSON INTERNATIONAL MARIACHI CONFERENCE


Tucson International Mariachi Conference

Mariachi is traditional Mexican folk music performed by a small group of musicians who typically sing and play some combination of the following instruments: guitar,vihuela (a small guitar-like instrument), guitarrón (a larger bass-like instrument), violin, and trumpet. Since the early 1980s, Mexican music enthusiasts have gathered in Arizona every April for the Tucson International Mariachi Conference. Attendees take part in cultural workshops, enjoy performances by top mariachi bands, and join in the fun at the Fiesta de Garibaldi, an outdoor street festivalMore… Discuss

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TODAY’S HOLIDAY: SHAD FESTIVAL


Shad Festival

Since 1981, the city of Lambertville, New Jersey, has celebrated the Shad Festival, honoring the annual return of the shad fish to the Delaware River to spawn. The festival also promotes the preservation of the environment and of the Delaware River ecosystem. The two-day street festival features an arts show, cooking demonstrations, and live music concerts. Local nonprofit and community volunteer organizations use the event as a fundraiser by selling food and other items. There are also demonstrations of how the local fishing community catches shad with nets.More… Discuss

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TODAY’S HOLIDAY: N’CWALA


N’cwala

In 1835, the Ngoni tribe left South Africa and moved into what is now the country of Zambia. The N’cwala festival celebrates the tribe’s satisfaction with its environs since that time, and also marks the beginning of the harvest. This is a festival of thanksgiving and people congregate in the village of Mutenguleni, including the paramount chief. Groups of dancers display their skills for the chief, who traditionally chooses one group as having outdone the others. The chief is also responsible for being the first to sample the season’s new foods and blessing it for the people. More…Discuss

 

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