The ways that societies celebrate this season changes around the world, but one thing everyone seems to share is a desire to celebrate the sun. Summer is a time to have fun, to be thankful that the crops are growing in the fields, which is a great excuse to copulate. Yet not everyone celebrates summer in the same way. Here are five fantastic and very different August summer festivals from around the world.
If participating in the largest tomato soup making contest in the world sounds like your cup of tea, then you should head to the Spanish town of Buño to celebrate La Tomatina. The festival traves its origins to the the end of the second World War when a fight broke out in the main square. During the fight people started throwing vegetables at each other. The fight was such a success that the participants decided to come back the next year with plenty of tomatoa. We should be grateful that they weren’t growing potatos and courgettes really, otherwise it would be a very different kind of celebration.
The Obon Festival, or Bon Festival as it is known in Japan is a 500 year old Buddhist custom that is held to celebrate the spirits of the ancestors. It also is a time where many tourists from all over the world come to visit different cities in Japan. The Bon festival is actually held at different times of the year, the Tokyo Bon festival is tone of the larger ones is held in late July. Although the day of the event isn’t a national holiday many business are closed to celebrate. Some of the hotels in Tokyo offer transportation to and from the festival for their guests, they can also accommodate people traveling in larger groups The Hachigatsu Bon festival is the only one that is held in August. During the festival, relatives of the deceased clean the graves of their ancestors. The highlight of the Bon festival is when night falls and families set small floating lanterns out to sea.
Bearing a name that looks like an Annagram, it is no surprise that the 21st century Lollapalooza Festival has a reputation for plenty of drugs and hallucinogenics. Though this is probably exactly what makes Lollapalooza one of the largest music and comedy festivals in the US. Since 2003, the Lollapalooza Festival has been held every year in Grant Park, Chicago.
Gay Pride Amsterdam
Every year hundreds of thousands of people converge on the European capital of debauchery for a bit of gay pride. The highlight of the festival is Canal Pride, when a lot of men with huge smiles on their faces ride a long thin object up a tight canal. The event is actually one of the biggest public events in the Netherlands.
Notting Hill Carnival
Since 1966, the streets of Notting Hill have been shaking to a Caribbean beat as hundreds of thousands of tourists and locals converge on Notting Hill Carnival. Despite the fact that the beaches of England have never seen a palm tree, everyone manages to have a good time! The event is a huge success and one of the largest street festivals in the world.