ARY Special

10 amazing festivals across the world!

Every country has its own rituals, customs and traditions. Festivals mainly originate from each country’s native culture as well as tourist attractions. Following is a list of ten amazing festivals that are held across the world:-

1. Boryeong Mud Festival

The Boryeong Mud Festival is held 200 km south of Seoul, South Korea in a town called Boryeong. This summer festival makes good use of the mud there which is rich in minerals. This mud is used to make cosmetics and the Boryeong Mud Festival is held to promote these cosmetics. A stage is set up in the middle of the place for live music, activities and competitions. Every year, 2.2 million people flock to Boryeong in order to enjoy and indulge in the mud! Mud pool, mud slides, mud prison and mud skiing competitions are some of the activities that tourists and locals relish. Mud body painting is also quite popular during the festival.

2. Shandur Polo Festival

The local Shandur Polo Festival is also very much common among the people of Gilgit-Baltistan who are in love with the sport. Shandur is the highest polo ground, located at an altitude of 3,700 meters above sea level. To play the sport here is a difficult task due to the low availability of oxygen, at such a high altitude. A match of polo is held between teams of Gilgit and Chitral. A great number of tourists and spectators from different areas of country especially from Hunza, Skardu and Chitral come to attend this event. The event is usually held every year from 7th to 9th of July.

3. Holi

One of the most popular events in the world, Holi is an event primarily celebrated in India yet has become popular in parts of South Asia as well. Holi is a celebration of Spring and true to the nature associated with Spring celebrations, is  colorful event. Dry color powder mixed with water is thrown on everyone, who is fair game on Holi day. Elders and children, rich and poor alike indulge in Holi. Friends, families and distant relatives are visited and sweets are exchanged. Holi is held in India on the last moon day of the lunar month Phalgun (February/march).

4. Chinese New Year

The Chinese New Year is also celebrated with much zeal and zest throughout China and in countries that have sizable Chinese populations as well as Chinatowns throughout the world. The first day of the Chinese New Year falls between January 21 and February 20. Colours, lion dances and family reunion dinners mark the Chinese New Year festival. Houses are swept, doors are decorated with paper cuts and couplets regarding fortune and prosperity.

5. Pingxi Sky Festival

The Pingxi Sky festival is held annually in February/March at Taiwan. The event is a glorious display of colored and decorated hot air lanterns into the sky. Wishes and desires are scribbled down onto the lantern and released into the sky, in the hope that they would come true. 100,000 to 200,000 colored lanterns are released into the sky in magnificent fashion, three times an hour from 6:30pm to 9:30pm.

6. Songkran water festival

The Thailand water festival officially runs for three days starting on April 13th and finishing on April 15th. The main attraction of the event is dousing complete strangers as well as friends and family with water. Arguably the largest water fight in the world, it takes place in Thailand, Chiang Mai, Phuket as well as other tourist areas. Buddhist statues are cleaned and washed in anticipation of the event. This is celebrated as the Thai New Year.

7. Diwali

Diwali is a colorful, lively event celebrated with fervor by Hindus around the world (as well as Sikhs and Jains). On the day, houses are cleaned and decorated specially. Lanterns are lit and colorful fireworks light the sky at night. Hindus dress up in their most colorful and best outfits and distribute sweets among one another. The event occurs in Mid October-November and is a celebration of victory of light over darkness.

8. Halloween

Halloween is one of the most celebrated festivals held across the globe. Referred to as All Saints Eve as well, the festival is associated with the theme of horror. Peopl carve pumpkins into jack-o-lanterns and dress up in costumes. Apple bobbing, costume parties and telling horror tales are part of the festival. Dressing up as ghouls or creatures, children go door to door seeking candies. Halloween is celebrated on October 31st of each year.

9. The Running of the Bulls

The Running of the Bulls event is one of the most bizarre yet celebrated festivals across the world. held in Spain each year, hundreds of people run ahead of enraged bulls numbering usually about two dozen. This practice has caused injury to about 200 to 300 people every year due to stampede and falls.

10. Nowruz Festival

held in iran, it is the most popular festival in the country. Welcoming the new year, Nowruz festival is celebrated feverishly and by purchasing new clothes ahead of the new year. Houses are cleaned and decorated in style. Seven food items are preferred that day and they are: Seeb (apple), Sabze (green grass), Serke (vinager), Samanoo (a meal made out of wheat), Senjed (a special kind of berry), Sekke (coin), and Seer (garlic). Sometimes instead of Serke they put Somagh (sumak, an Iranian spice). After the end of celebrations, people hug and kiss each other, wishing one another happy new year.

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