The world we live in consists of an extremely diverse population which have developed their own unique cultural and political norms specific to their religion and beliefs. This diversity has lead to a variety of events, that allow us to experience cultures different from our own. Here are some that we have selected:
Monkey Buffet, Thailand
Unlike how it sounds, this Thai festival is created for monkeys, not of them (thankfully). It is held each November in the Lopburi Province north of Bangkok, where thousands of pounds of fruits and vegetables is laid out on tables for hundreds of monkeys to enjoy that live in that area. The festival also features some other monkey related elements such as masks, dances and costumes, the festival was established as a tourism stunt- one which obviously worked considering the number of people who visit the site each year.
This amazing annual sand sculpture competition is held on the Port Aransas beach in Texas and attracts more than 100,000 people on the last weekend of April. Not only does the festival feature master sculptors from around the world, but children and adults can show off their sand-sculpting skills. The three-day festival, which is one of the state’s largest artistic competitions, features a lineup of musical acts such as other activities and events, which is a weekend full of fun for the whole family!
World Bodypainting Festival, Austria
The World Bodypainting Festival is one of the only festivals of its kind on this planet, which takes place in Poertschach, Austria. It’s a weeklong fusion of bodies and beats; a unique combination of a musical event mixed with body-painting competition. Over 45 nations compete in this artistic experience, and as an attendee, you get to enjoy other festival events and activities, too.
National Cheese Festival, Spain
For all cheese-lovers, Spain’s National Cheese Festival in Trujillo, Caceres is a must-attend event. It features over 300 different types of cheese and the festival also has a variety of workshops, tasting sessions and demonstrations to offer. No wonder that it attracts more than 100,000 visitors.
San Fermin Festival, Spain
Surely, it is known for its famous ‘running of the bulls’ events where bulls are led through the streets of the Old Quarter by runners. This July festival in Pamplona is a celebration devoted to San Fermin, the patron saint of Navarra. The religious aspect of the event has been ignored or ‘overshadowed’ in the recent years, with the cultural highlight centering on the atmosphere. This is created by the mass of people gathering from all around the world.
Desert Festival of Jaisalmer, India
This secular Indian festival is held each February in the stunning desert of Jaisalmer. Originally created as a publicity stunt soon involved into quite an offbeat celebration of Indian culture. The three-day event features awesome events such as camel racing, turban tying and moustache competitions. The festival also impresses with a majestic opening ceremony and beautiful fireworks display, along with a variety of musical performances, street merchants and delicious food, which attracts hundreds of people each year.
Mardi Gras, Louisiana
This huge New Orleans celebration in the southeastern United States is one of the best-known events both in the country as well as worldwide. Commemorating Carnival season, the number of festivals and parades preceding and including Mardi Gras day do not disappoint, with world-known costumes, music events, parade floats and bead throwing. The event only gets bigger and bigger every year. With its hundreds of thousands of visitors each February, they make an estimated $1 billion economic impact!
Songkran Water Festival, Thailand
A celebration of the Thai New Year, Songkran Festival is generally three days long and is regarded as the country’s most important public holiday. The event also indicates the end of the region’s dry season. That also explains the giant national water-fight that has become the holiday’s main event. Citizens grab nearly anything they can get to engage in an all-out water war. While probably one of the coolest things to be part of while vacationing in Thailand, travellers should be aware that especially tourists are targeted with the ice-cold water.