Cultural Events – Dreamfair https://dreamfair.org Art Fri, 26 Apr 2019 08:28:40 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.5.3 https://dreamfair.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/cropped-dreamfair-logo-32x32.png Cultural Events – Dreamfair https://dreamfair.org 32 32 Unusual Cultural Festivals from Around the World – Part 2 https://dreamfair.org/unusual-cultural-festivals-from-around-the-world-part-2/ Mon, 25 Mar 2019 10:10:16 +0000 https://dreamfair.org/?p=33 People like to celebrate important events all over the world, the reasons change, and the celebrations vary but a festival or a notable event brings communities together with one common purpose. And these get togethers are an important way to keep traditions alive and add to the culture of a people or place. 

La Tomatina

Our first port of call is Spain, and the town of Bunol to visit the famous La Tomatina. Held in August every year this food fight is an incredible spectacular. It is a way of disposing of over-ripe fruit that has not been eaten, more than a hundred metric tons to be precise.

Bunol is a sleepy little town, and once a year its nine thousand residents are joined by fifty thousand festival goers to have one gigantic tomato party. Recently because the town was being overrun the event is by ticket only and has been limited to twenty thousand people.   

There seems no cultural orreligious purpose behind La Tomatina, and the event is purely for entertainment purposes and just to have fun. And at the end of the day what is wrong with that?

Pamplona Bull Run

One of the most dangerous festivals/events that is held is the Pamplona Bull Run in Spain. The event is in honor of Saint Fermin and is held annually from the sixth to the fourteenth of July. Pamplona is the capital of the Navarre region of Spain, and this event brings thousands of visitors to the region every year.

The festival was brought to the attention of the world in the novel The Sun Also Rises, by Ernest Hemminway in 1926. But the origins of the bull run are thought to date back to the late 1500’s. The event celebrates the Spanish love of bull fighting which is an important part of their heritage. In olden times, bulls for fighting were bred all over the countryside by local farmers and then brought to Pamploma. Children would leap in front of the charging animals to show their bravery to their peers.

Today the bulls are held in a pen and in groups of six are then released in the old part of the city, then they cross the Town Hall Square and finally reach the stadium. Normally each run takes no more than three minutes and people are warned that the animals are loose by the firing of rockets.

The route is just under a thousand meters, and unlike days of yore, participants in the run must be eighteen or over. Many of the excited throng enjoy copious amounts of sangria or red wine probably to give them Dutch courage but this is when accidents happen.

To run in the festival, participants usually wear all white, with red sashes and neckerchiefs. This costume is not to goad the beasts, rather they are intended to make the runners as visible as possible to the onrushing bulls. This festival if not for the feint-hearted, but it is full of tradition and celebrates the bull as an integral part of Spanish culture.   

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Unusual Cultural Festivals from Around the World – Part 1 https://dreamfair.org/unusual-cultural-festivals-from-around-the-world-part-1/ Sat, 16 Mar 2019 08:03:17 +0000 https://dreamfair.org/?p=28 All over the world people like to celebrate their own cultures, this can be in the form of a music festival, perhaps an arts & crafts fair, or a food and drink extravaganza. Perhaps it is some sort of celebration of the time of the year, such as a Harvest Festival. We have traveled the globe in search of some of the more unusual festivals, fetes, and fairs to bring you the best of the best.

Songkran

Celebrated mainly in Thailand but also in other parts of Southeast Asia is an event called Songkran. In a way it is one big New Year party, in respect to the Lunar New Year. The event takes place in April but the actual dates do change.

The original celebrations of Songkran were mainly by children to their elders, children would bathe their parents and other family elder’s feet with water as a mark of respect. But today commercialism has taken hold and it is one big water party.

Songkran can easily last a week, and different parts of Thailand celebrate it on different days. So you can start off in Chiang Mai in the north throwing and spraying water at anything that moves, and finish off in the south a week later.

It is an amazing festival, and the whole nation takes a three day public holiday to celebrate it. People generally travel back home to enjoy the event with their families, so the roads and flights are packed with the migration of the population.

The Palio di Siena

And as they say, it is now time for something completely different. And we travel to Europe and the beautiful Italian city of Sienna. Buried in the stunning Tuscan countryside Sienna is a jewel of a city, its narrow streets and atmospheric crumbling buildings paint a typical Italian scene.

And at its heart is the magnificent medieval square the Piazza del Campo, and the Palio di Sienna is a fantastic horse race like no other. It features ten riders and their mounts and no saddles are allowed, the skill of the rider is to stay on the horse during this frenetic race.

The riders all wear medieval clothes, and the colors represent ten contrades or wards of the city. So each rider is representing his own district. The real reason for the race is to celebrate the Assumption of Mary, but it is also for local honor.

Three laps of the piazza are undertaken, and it is common to see riders being hurled off their mounts as they try to turn in the hectic circle. The whole thing is over in about one and a half minutes but it is truly a great spectacle to see. With large crowds waving flags and cheering loudly you are almost taken back to medieval times.

These two great festivals show the diversity of the world, and how different cultures celebrate differently and in their own way. That is the beauty of festivals such as this, it brings communities together to uphold tradition and culture.

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Five Most Unusual Cultural Events in Norway https://dreamfair.org/five-most-unusual-cultural-events-in-norway/ Sun, 03 Mar 2019 15:59:54 +0000 https://dreamfair.org/?p=22 There are so many different kinds of fairs and festivals around the world it is hard to possibly consider naming which are the best. So, one way of solving the problem is by looking at certain countries that celebrate festivals and fairs the most, and here we have chosen Norway.

For such a relatively small country, Norway has nearly a thousand festivals to choose from, which equates to one for every five thousand Norwegians. These festivals provide the people an opportunity to immerse themselves in cultural and artistic performances. Whether you prefer traditional events, performing arts, or music, here are five of the very best from Norway.

Forde Traditional and World Music Festival

Songlines magazine has voted the Forde Festival as one of the very best in the world for its genre. And it is the largest dance festival in the whole of Scandinavia. This festival was first held in 1990 and if you are into music and dance then it is the very place for you.

It focuses on traditional and world music and dance, and many countries are represented every year at this most famous of festivals.

The Peer Gynt Festival

Perhaps the most famous play ever to be written by Henrik Ibsen has to be Peer Gynt, and it was based on a traditional fairy tale. Set to music by Edvard Grieg it is often performed with the incidental music accompanying it.

Once a year in Vinstra, there is a celebration of this literary masterpiece, which is performed by the enchanting Lake Galavatnet. The lake is situated in the atmospheric Gudbrandsdalen Valley, and since 1967 this highly popular event has been replicating the literary work by Ibsen.

Riddu Riddu

The Sami peoples are sometimes called Lapp’s, but can include anybody that speaks the Sami language that live in Norway, Lapland, Finland, Sweden, and even the Kola Peninsula of Russia. As well as having their own language the Sami culture embraces music, played on traditional instruments. The songs that are most common are called joiks, which are highly spiritual but only contain a few lyrics. Every year since 1991 in Manndalen is a festival to celebrate the Sami culture and its music. The festival is to promote awareness of the Sami way of life and to help preserve its traditions.

Nordland Music Festival

The Nordland Music Festival is a collaboration of the best forms of music that Norway has to offer. The festival offers quality music together with the breathtaking scenery of Bodo. The festival embraces nature and everything that is connected with it, with all performances on outdoor stages.

Mela Festival

One of the biggest festivals in Norway is held in Oslo and attracts around three hundred thousand visitors each year. The Mela Festival gathers together world-class performers in performing arts, but also there are many musical and dance performances, whilst also focusing on the food culture of Norway. These five very different festivals express the diversity of Norway, its culture and its peoples. Each in its own right is groundbreaking and focuses on their own individual identities.  

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