unusual festivals

Bull running festival:

The running of the bulls’ festival as part of the San Fermin is held every year on the 6th of July in Pamplona, Spain. The bull run festival or encierro (as commonly known in Spain) starts every morning at 8 from 6th to 14th July. For these 8 days thousands of people visit the city merely to get chased by six angry bulls. Another weird fact is that you don’t need to give any money or register yourself to take part in this bull running fest. You just need to be there on time and wait on the already known route. The things that differentiate the runners from the viewers are fences and the traditional dress that the runners wear consisting of white shirt and trousers with a red handkerchief around their necks.

The run starts from Santo Damingo (where the bulls are kept) to the bull ring where the bull fight happens the same afternoon. Once the right time comes, a rocket is fired to let everyone know that the bulls are freed. Another rocket is fired after a while to let the people know that the bulls are on their way. After the second rocket the runners and the bulls start running along the route. This 3-5 minutes run is significantly marked with dangers from start till the end but the people taking part in it are not usually much concerned. First aid personnel and security guards are present along the route but there is little they can do if a 700 kg beast gets out of control and chooses to be violent!!

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Sapporo Snow Festival:

The snow fest is held every year in Japan, over seven days (a week) in February. It is one of the most largest and popular winter events in the country.

It all started in 1950 when a group of high school students made Snow statues in Odori Park. Since then, it has become a commercial issue involving up to 400 snow statues every year. These statues usually features/ honors a person, any famous building or an event including some mesmerizing celebrities, castles and even the Star War’s Darth Vader.. Every year approximately two million visitors come to see these sculptures. Though the Sapporo city has plenty of snowfall during the month of February and quite a lot of local snow is used but what is unusual about this festival is that some of these snow statues and sculptures are made from around 30,000 tons of snow that is imported!!

Mud Festival:

The mud Festival, held every year in Boryeong, a small town near Seoul, South Korea takes place during the summers and last around two weeks (Usually in July).

It all started in 1997 and every year attracts approximately 3 million visitors to the quiet town of Boryeong. In 1996 a variety of cosmetics were made using the mud from Boryeong, the mud was claimed to be rich in minerals. To commercialize these cosmetics the festival was conceived. Several attractions are provided to the excited visitors which include mud skiing, mud pools, slides as well as a mud prison! The people attending the festival enjoy by rolling and splashing in the fresh mud and taking mineral rich mud baths from day till night.

La Tomatina:

La Tomatina is annually held on the last Wednesday of August in a small town near Spain. Hundreds and thousands of people from all around the world visit Spain to take part in this food fighting Festival.

Spanish people love tomatoes, not just for eating but also to throw them at each other during the festival, which lasts usually for an hour or so. As unusual as it might sound, but it is definitely real!.. This Tomato throwing ceremony is done mainly for entertainment purposes. The festival was initially banned but then was allowed again. More than a hundred tons of over ripe tomatoes are used during the festival. Around 11 am in the morning the trucks haul the thousands of tomatoes onto the street, but the festival does not begin directly. People wait for the water cannons to be fired which usually starts around 1 and after that all hell breaks loose!.. After generally an hour the place piles up with tomato debris. The authorities then become active and spray down the debris with the help of fire trucks. The visitors borrow the water hoses from the locals to wash themselves. The participants are not allowed to rip each other’s clothes and should squash the tomatoes before throwing them. Another rule says that the participants should stop fighting as soon as the second water cannon is fired.

Holi :

The holi Festival begins every march, though in some parts of the country commences a few days earlier.  Every year, Thousands of people across India take part in this “festival of color”. The festival commemorates the memory of “Lord Krishna” who is said to be reincarnated as “Lord Vishnu” who loved to play pranks on the locals by drenching them with colors and waters.

Bags of colored powder are especially prepared beforehand the festival. These colored powders were made from herbs and the festival was supposed to ward off the spring illnesses.  During the festival, the participants throw fistful of bright colors at each other along with the colored water. People enjoy by singing, rain dancing and throwing colors at each other. At the end of the day, the people are usually covered head to toe in the bright colors. The pictures of people covered in colors are used to signify the culture of India.

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