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Other Festivals

Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda Festival 2013

Boat Races in

The Inle Lake Region of Burma is not only aesthetically compelling, it is also historically important. The lake is the site of the deeply revered Buddhist site Phaung Daw Oo (variantly Hpaung Daw U) Pagoda which houses five gilded images of Buddha of different sizes that are no longer discernible …

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Festival of Colors: Holi 2014

Holi - Festival of Colours (Photo by TANAKA Juuyoh)

Holi is a religious festival strongly observed by India and Nepal. Countries with a diaspora of Hindus also celebrate Holi, particularly Malaysia, South Africa, Trinidad and Tobago, the United States, United Kingdom and Mauritius. Holi has a particularly strong significance for the people in the Braj (Uttar Pradesh) region in …

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Christmas 2013: A True International Holiday

Christmas Blooms in Singapore (Photo by summer photo hobby)

Christmas is one of the world’s most recognizable and celebrated holidays. Countries and cultures all over the world prepare for this time of the year and celebrate with much pomp and revelry. It is one of the holidays which have both religious and secular roots. Every year, Christmas falls on …

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Mwaka Kogwa 2013


When is bashing your neighbor a good way to start the year? Unless you are from south Zanzibar, then you probably would end up in jail hitting someone hard with a banana stalk as an expression of taking out grudges and starting the year on a clean slate. Americans are …

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Odd, Weird and Otherwise Downright Bizarre Festivals in Southeast Asia (and Nearby)

Southeast Asia is world-renowned for everything exotic: From its curry-based cuisine flaring hot with spices to unusual spiky and olfactory-offensive fruits like “durian,” the region has a fair share of them all. Throw in a sprinkling of festivals that defy even a semblance of normalcy, and you have one destination …

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Boryeong Mud Festival 2013

In most parts of the world, summer means beach. White beach. And blue waters. But in Boryeong, 200 kilometers south of Seoul, summer means mud, the biggest mud festival there ever is in Asia. Mud madness this year starts on July 19 and concludes on July 28. It’s a Mud …

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Rio Carnival 2014


No other festival in the world could claim to be more flamboyant, delectably riotous and over-the-top bacchanalian than the Rio Carnival of Brazil. Imagine not only hundreds, but thousands of barely-clad, tail-feathered samba dancers cavorting on and around equally lavish gigantic floats, and you get only half the picture. Throw …

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Thanksgiving 2013: Coming Together in Gratitude

Thanksgiving feast

Throughout different countries and cultures, people come together to give thanks for the blessings that they have received. One of the most common reasons for such gatherings is to give thanks for a bountiful harvest season. It is observed in many European and Asian countries whose main livelihood is by …

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Running of the Bulls 2013

The Sanfermines opening ceremony or "chupinazo"

For seekers of the ultimate adrenaline rush (or to put it bluntly, for those who wish to harm themselves), they should head to Pamplona, Spain, during the first and second week of July to participate in what has been known the world over as the Running of the Bulls. As …

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WOMAD Festival 2013

WOMAD Festival, Charloton Park, Wiltshire.

The World of Music, Arts and Dance is a spectacular universe unto itself. Dancers, musicians, instrumentalists, storytellers, thespians, fire-eaters, jugglers, sitar players, and even bit performers, all find a home – and a large audience – in WOMAD. Anything that is the expression of the spirit and manifested in tunes, …

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La Tomatina 2013

La Tomatina in Buñol

Festivals often honor deities, as in India’s Durga Puja, or commemorate a historical event, as in the Battle of Oranges in Italy. Sometimes, it comes out of necessity, as in the Running of the Bulls in Spain. Rarely, it arises out of the simple reason to institutionalize fun, as in …

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