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For people accustomed to their culture, the holidays of other nations seem amazing, and often strange. To understand the traditions of other people, you just need to try not to limit yourself only to your culture.
However, in a series of holidays and competitions characteristic of certain peoples, there are truly amazing and unusual ones, which will be described below.
It is worth considering that many competitions are so unusual and fun that they resemble more folk festivals, because victories in them are not so important, it is much more interesting for the participants to have a good rest and just talk.
Ivan Kupala is a folk holiday celebrated in the Slavic states. While this is normal for us, for most foreigners it is an exotic wonder. The festival is held on the summer solstice, when the night is the shortest of the year. Celebrations are accompanied by jumping over the fire, songs, games and indispensable fortune-telling. The holiday is a cult of light, sun and all living things, it is believed that on Ivan Kupala "dew is curative, the herb is curative, water is purifying." Popular beliefs believe that one cannot sleep on this night, since dark natural forces are especially active in it, therefore it is worth stocking up on special amulets.
Piglet Festival. It is held annually in the Philippine city of Malolos. Every year, locals dress up their pigs - girls get ball gowns and lipsticks, crowns are put on, and boys wear nautical suits, overalls or clown outfits. The celebration is due to the fact that this particular province is the main supplier of pork in the country.
Groundhog day. Celebrated annually on February 2 in the USA and Canada. On this day, thousands of people are watching the behavior of the groundhog crawling out of the hole, as it is believed that it will be possible to judge the proximity of spring by it. If the day is cloudy and the marmot cannot see its shadow, then this indicates that winter will end soon, otherwise, if the sun is shining with might and main, you should wait for late spring. The history of the holiday is rooted in Christian history, in which the Presentation of the Lord was celebrated on February 2. Then it was already believed that the weather on this day determines the future. In ancient Rome, February 2 was celebrated as the Day of the Hedgehog. The tradition of determining the weather on this day was carried over by immigrants from Europe. Today in America there are 7 of the most famous marmots of meteorologists. The holiday became known all over the world thanks to the release of the film "Groundhog Day". The accuracy of the forecasts does not exceed 40%, but this does not prevent the holiday from being cheerful and popular.
International Pancake Day. Celebrated in Kansas on February 16th. The first holiday of this kind took place back in 1950, although it has been held in English Alby for 500 years. The townspeople arrange races with pancakes in a frying pan, while overcoming the distance, the hostesses in indispensable aprons and dresses must also toss it in the frying pan. Those pancakes that have successfully reached the finish line are then eaten by participants and spectators.
Fire Festival. Celebrated on March 13 in Luxembourg. It is believed that the 13th day of the 3rd month is the most successful day for sorcerers, witches and other evil spirits, especially if it is also Friday. On this day, during the festival, many lights are lit, with which Spring and the birth of a new Sun are met.
Parrot day. Celebrated on the first Sunday in May in Haute-Garonne. During the celebrations, a procession is organized, led by the winner of last year's competition. To become the king of the holiday, one of 40 shooters, dressed in medieval clothes, needs to hit a parrot with a bow on top of a 45-meter mast. The winner was entitled to the title, as well as a silver double of the hit target and an abundant treat. The holiday is rooted in medieval shooting competitions, which were called parrot drinking, the fact is that this bird is the favorite of the Germans. Today the parrot is artificial, but this does not prevent people from celebrating and relaxing.
Festival of cats. It takes place in the Belgian Ypres annually on May 9. During the festivities, a large number of artificial cats are thrown from the central bell tower of the city into the crowd of people. And again traditions go back to the Middle Ages, when cats were considered a symbol of evil, and by killing them, it was possible to atone for sins. Now the true reasons for the celebration are forgotten, but dropping cats remains a fun way to have extra fun.
Rose Festival. Celebrated in Bulgaria on May 21. The fact is that this plant is especially revered, being one of the symbols of the country. This prompted the citizens of Karlovo and Kazynlak to organize the festival, which lasts until the beginning of July. The first such holiday took place in 1903. The festival begins in an open field, where a ritual of collecting petals takes place, which is then used to make wreaths. During the days of the celebration, performances of many ensembles, artists and photographers take place. The main event of the festival is the selection of the Queen Rose, which took place for the first time in 1975. On this day, a carnival takes place, in which guests and residents, dressed up in costumes from Roman and Greek times, carry last year's queen in their arms, showering those present with petals.
Herring Day is held in the Netherlands on the first Saturday in July, immediately after a new catch of this fish arrives at the port. A feature of May herring is that by the beginning of summer the fish fatten up the maximum size and fat content. The festivities also feature flags, which is why the holiday has another name - "Flag Day". Guests of the holiday can taste a local delicacy - herring of the new season, and the first ship with such a catch will receive a cash prize. The herring fleet returns at the beginning of the week, when the fish is gutted and cooked in a special way. The first keg of selected herring is presented to the monarch. The rest of the fish is served at herring banquets. Directly on the day of the festival, orchestras play in the city of Schefiningen, equestrian competitions are held on the quays, old sailing ships appear in the harbor, inviting those who wish to go on excursions. Surprisingly, until the 15th century, herring was not considered food for ordinary people at all. And only the fisherman Bakels came up with the idea of cooking fish in such a way that it does not taste bitter. Soon the new product became popular throughout Holland and then in Europe. A whole herring fleet was built, but the secret of production was carefully hidden.
The Feast of the Five-Petal Rose has been celebrated again in Czech Krumlov since 1986. This colorful and vibrant medieval carnival attracts many tourists. The city itself has a medieval look, it is here on June 17, in the atmosphere of romance of that time, that a festival is held annually. It is dedicated to the reign of the last owners of the local castle, the Rosemberg family. It is the rose that is part of their coat of arms. On the day of the celebrations, townspeople and visitors dress up in medieval costumes. In Krumlov, you can meet knights, monks, merchants who live their leisurely medieval life. The city also features a colorful procession with flags, torches and drums. A medieval fair is also organized, where you can buy both bread baked according to recipes of that time, and a set of weapons for a knight of any height and age. It hosts live chess matches, musket shooting, as well as lessons on the use of ancient weapons.