Written by Kanak Sharma, a grade 9 student
FESTIVAL – an eight-letter word that comprises numerous gifts, various delicacies, sweets, memories but most of all an essence of our rich culture. Festivals in life are like spices in food. Since it is the festive season around the corner, thought to share with you some craziest festivals of the world that you might not know about.
People in Lobpuri, Thailand celebrate THE MONKEY BUFET FESTIVAL on the last Sunday in the month of November. This is performed by thanking the macaques in the Monkey City every year in central Thailand. The festival holds a great essence in Thai culture. As the name suggests, it is a buffet organised for more than 3000 monkeys who are provided with 8000 pounds of food and drinks. A week before the festival, the locals place cashew packets as an invitation to the monkeys. The big day starts with an opening dance by the performers dressed in monkey costumes. As strange as it sounds, it actually helps attract the attention of around 1500 monkeys that live at the Phra Prang Sam Yot Temple. To one’s astonishment, the macaques cherish these human attics to appreciate their ancestors with an out of the world feast (at least from a monkey’s perspective). The festival is not-to-miss-sight every year and attracts more than 10,000 tourists.
Next up on the list is the BABY JUMP FESTIVAL. Although it is believed that the festival dates back to the 17 century, its origin is unknown. Described as the strangest holiday by The Guardian, the week-long celebration takes place in the town of Castrillo de Murcia, Spain. The celebrations begin by placing the babies born in the last 12 months on mattresses outside their houses. Men dressed as ‘devils’ in red and yellow costumes jump over them with a whip and castanet in their hands. It is believed that the devil jump washes away the original sin. According to the Christians, all human beings carry the ‘original sin’ due to Adam and Eve’s disobedience to God. Apart from this, the devil jump makes sure that the infants have a safe life journey throughout. The festival is wrapped up on a Sunday just after the infants are being showered with roses and blessings.
A tradition since 1998, The KOREAN MUD FESTIVAL is celebrated annually in the month of July. Started as a marketing initiative, the gala grew wide locally and internationally. It now attracts approximately 2.2 million tourists to Daechon beach, the mud experiencing land in the city of Boryeong. The beach serves as land for day and night time activities. These include mud skiing, mud baths, mud pools which are followed by fireworks and a World skin beauty pageant. This Korean festival not only provides marketing benefits but also is a relaxing yet exciting day at the beach.
Last but not the least, is the British CHEESE ROLLING FESTIVAL that is organized locally for people in Brockworth. As the name implies, the feast starts by rolling down 9 pounds of cheese down the Cooper’s Hill at a speed of 70 miles per hour for 200 yards. Thereafter the participants run down the hill in order to chase and therefore win the cheese. Considered as the ‘world-famous event’ by the Guardian Newspaper the festival causes injuries, now the cheese is replaced by foam when rolled off the hill with the prize remaining the same as before. This British festival is becoming more popular as the years go by. It now attracts thousands of tourists and participants every year.
I am sure by reading this, you must be excited to visit one or the other venue of these famous festivals. Who knows, you may create one of your own!! As it is said “Life becomes a festival when gaiety and culture blend.”