Hello, everyone and welcome back to Dae-hou, World Contests. Today, we will be going around the world and finding what the most unique and active festivals in the world are. Now, I must admit, I have written about different festivals before, which you guys may think I am repeating myself. While that was mostly if you were wanting to travel to the location, in Dae-hou we will be focusing more on what happens and how different people take part. I also should mention that these are all subjective. there many some that you agree with, but also some that you don’t. I am just here to give one opinion and perspective. So, sit back, relax, possibly go take a look at the festival blog, and get ready because this Dae-hou begins now.
First, we are heading south of the border and visiting Oaxaca, Mexico for Día de los Muertos, otherwise known as “day of the dead”. Day of the dead happens every year in this part of Mexico on the day and night of Halloween (October 31) and is a festival where the locals celebrate the lives of their dead relatives and, according to legend, welcome them back to the earth for the night. Family members will set up little alters in the street for dead relatives who have passed on to the underworld, leaving the alter with candles, bread, flowers, or a favorite snack of the person who died. I believe that this festival, or at least some of the traditions, derive from Aztec and Mayan societies and rituals. During the night, locals will dress up in suits and paint their faces into elaborate calaveras, or sugar skulls, in order to welcome the dead into their night on the town. The streets are lined with venders selling candy skulls and skeletons. Children play tag in the graveyards among the spirits of the ancestors, and for one night, everything is alive. But that is why this festival only places 4th. While there are many dances, feasts, and many unique parts of this festival that you can’t find anywhere else, it only lasts for one night, which makes it relatively short lived.
Mexican people wearing calavera face paint at Day of the Dead
In third, we cross the ocean to Japan for the Sakura Festival. The Sakura Matsuri (さくら祭り) is a festival that celebrates the coming of spring in japan, when the Cherry Blossom, or Sakura, trees start to bloom. This festival is so iconic that when japan offered America a few Sakura trees at the end of World War 2, they brought the festival with them. You heard that correctly, the Sakura festival is one of the largest festivals in Washington D.C. all year, drawing thousands to the site to them bloom and fly in the wind. There is not a doubt, however, that there is nothing compared to the Festival in Japan, more specifically in Tokyo and Kyoto. I will fully admit, I do not know much about this festival (I know more about china than japan) but I think I know the gist of it. The multiple festivals last for about 2 to 3 weeks at a time at any one of the locations. Many times, this is a great time to just sit and relax, let yourself flow like the flowers in the wind. It is on my bucket list to take friends and have a picnic at one of these sites. While this is a gorgeous festival, many people just view it as watching a bunch of trees, so it would not appeal to everyone, but still enough for it to take bronze.
Next, to deliver the silver, we head to Mumbai to the Holi Festival. Ok, I am not getting to in depth about this festival, as I have already talked about it like 5 times on this site. If you do not know, it the festival of color in India that celebrates the god Krishna (I think that is him). Each color has its own meaning with giant masses of people gathering in the center of town to throw color bombs at anyone who passes. Imagine a color run, but on drugs and the clouds are pouring powdered color of which you cannot escape. Anyway, if you want to learn more about it, you can check out my What-if India or my festival blog. I get more in depth about that as well as the festival of janmashtami. Either way, this large crowd plus a bunch of colored powder could be dangerous to some people, such as if you have asthma like I do, which is why it goes in second place.
Hands with color powder at the Holi Festival
And lastly, taking first place in this Dae-hou is China with the Mid-Autumn Festival. The Zhōngqiū Jié (中秋节) in Chinese is one of the biggest festivals in china all year, only being passed narrowly by the Lunar New Year. What makes this stand out to me is that I got to take part in this festival this year. I took a Chinese class all last year and my teacher (who is from Taiwan) basically made the festival come to our little group of 19 students. We drink tea, made lantern, tried mooncakes (which honestly were awful. Quick thing if you are Chinese or Taiwanese, do any of you guys look forward to Mooncakes? I am genuinely curious.) and all sorts of themed activities. What makes this stand out are the themed days. Each day has a different activity or theme that is common throughout china. The last day of the Festival is the lantern festival, where people release lanterns into the skies and float them down the river. There are giant feasts all around the country. People are giving out Hongbao (red envelopes) wishing people “Gongxi Facai!” or “Good Fortune”. To me, this festival brings back fun memories from my first year in college, which is why I have to place it in First.
Mooncakes and tea found at the Mid-Autumn Festival
But what do you guys think? Did I hit a bullseye or do you think I missed the mark, not naming the perfect festival? Let me know in the comments. Also, don’t forget to like and follow me here on WordPress, or on any of my social medias (all the links are below). I post daily on the other sites and they are all different. Be sure to check them out to the fullest. Anyway, that marks the end of this Dae-hou. Thank you guys so much and as always, I will see you tomorrow!
Ni Mingtian Jian!
Photo Credit: Featured: http://www.travelhouse.com.cy/packages/cherry-blossoms-festival-japan/
Day of the dead: http://www.destination360.com/north-america/mexico/day-of-the-dead
Holi and Mid-autumn festivals: Found on previous blog post (https://multistoptravel.wordpress.com/2017/06/26/party-on-must-see-festivals-around-the-world/)