There are many ways to travel the world; through luxurious resorts, in a pre-arranged tour and backpacking among others, but one way that I find particularly interesting is through festivals. Around the world there are many strange traditions and happy festivals being held, that give travelers the opportunity to explore the world through a more artistic way. From the UK to Africa and South America, there are millions of possibilities with countries holding a festival every day of the week. In our travel blog we have decided to review some of these festivals, whether popular or not to give our audience an idea of what could be exploring the world through the eyes of a festival.
It is all About Food
Some places have a strong fixation on food and they demonstrate it through their festivals. The Cheung Chau Bun Festival in Hong Kong is an excellent example. This one hundred-year old festival is set on the island of Cheung Chau and is held every year in May. In the past, after a three day vegetarian diet, thousands of men descended to the island’s lone village where a 60 ft ‘bun tower’ awaited for them. The idea was to climb the tower and pull off more buns than your competitors. Unfortunately due to an accident where the tower collapsed injuring more than 30 climbers this festival was cancelled in 1978. The new festival was re-established in 2005 with new safety rules like allowing only 12 people to climb the tower, all properly harnessed for security. At the end of the festival there is a parade with dragon dances that fill the streets.
Other popular festival is the “Noche de Rabanos” or Radish Night in Oxaca, Mexico. This festival is held every year during December and it is the focal point of Christmas celebrations. During this festival the idea is that visitors carve radish sculptures that range from small animals to human figures and events representations and the grand prize is around the 1,300 USD. It lasts only a few hours due to the vegetables limited lifespan, There are other two categories in which the participants compete: using dried flowers (flor inmortal) and corn husks.
Music Colors and Tradition
If you want some music, colors and tradition I highly recommend Colombia’s “Carnaval de Barranquilla.” Although not as big as Rio’s carnival, the Barranquilla Carnival has gained international recognition in the latest years for being one of the most traditional festivals in the world. Celebrated four days before Ash Wednesday at the end of February, this carnival offers visitors traditions that date back to the 19th century featuring street dancers, music performances and masquerade parades that practically paralyze the city. During the carnival you will see typical Colombian dances that include Cumbia, Porros, Mapalé and Fandango among others. The carnival was proclaimed by the UNESCO in November of 2003 as one of the “Masterpieces of the Oral Intangible Heritage of Humnanity.”
So next time you think about traveling check out some travel blogs and get informed about the festivals going around. This way of traveling will definitely give you another perspective of the place you are visiting.