Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Biggest Festivals Celebrated in the Month of October

10. Tübingen Duck Race
Every year since 1999 over 7000 yellow rubber ducks are let loose in River Necker that courses through this historic town near Stuttgart in Germany. This is almost a third of the city population. The competition starts at midday and anyone with a rubber duck can participate; and if you left yours at home in the bathtub, ducks can be rented before the race. Spectators stick their name and number on the ducks, release the toy in the water and cheer along the riverbank as the mass of yellow bob up and down the designated stretch of the Neckar. A metal weight is attached to their underside so that they don’t topple over on the way. The ducks race from Alleenbrücke to Neckarbrücke is taken very seriously, because there is €10.000 worth of prizes to be won. 28 More after the break...
The duck race is on this Saturday, October 6.
 Photo Link
09. Oktoberfest
Oktoberfest is a celebration of Bavarian beer from Munich’s finest breweries. Each year, around six million liters of beer is consumed along with approximately 300,000 pork sausages, 600,000 roast chickens and 80 roast ox. Only beer from Munich’s six select breweries is sold in the 14 large tents, served by beer maids carrying armfuls at a time. Aside from beer there are traditional German amusements, folk costumes, traditional music and marching bands, fair ground rides and parades to name but a few. More pictures of Oktoberfest 2012.
 Photo by — Boston Globe
08. Pushkar Camel Fair
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The annual five-day Pushkar Fair is held in the town of Pushkar in the state of Rajasthan, India. The fair attracts hundreds of Rabadi herdsmen who buy and sell many thousands of camels here each year. The camels are decorated with colorful bits of clothes and papers for trading, and there are camel races and even camel beauty parades to take part in as well.
It is one of the world's largest camel fairs, and apart from buying and selling of livestock it has become an important tourist attraction and its highlights have become competitions such as the "matka phod", "longest moustache", and "bridal competition". In recent years the fair has also included an exhibition cricket match between the local Pushkar club and a team of random foreign tourists.
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07. Halloween
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Halloween is observed around the world on October 31, the eve before the Western Christian feast of All Hallows. Halloween is thought to have originated with the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, when people would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off roaming ghosts. Over time, Halloween evolved into a secular, community-based event characterized by child-friendly activities such as trick-or-treating and pumpkin carving. 
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Children go from house to house dressed at witches and ghouls, asking for treats with the question, “Trick or treat?” The word "trick" refers to a (mostly idle) "threat" to perform mischief on the homeowners or their property if no treat is given. In this custom the child performs some sort of trick, i.e. sings a song or tells a ghost story, to earn their treats.
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Because the holiday comes in the wake of the annual apple harvest, candy apples (known as toffee apples outside North America), caramel or taffy apples are common Halloween treats made by rolling whole apples in a sticky sugar syrup, sometimes followed by rolling them in nuts.

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Diwali or Dipawali  popularly known as the "festival of lights," is the most well-known of the Hindu festivals. The name "Diwali" is a contraction of "Deepavali" which translates into "row of lamps". Diwali involves the lighting of small clay lamps filled with oil to signify the triumph of good over evil. These lamps are kept on during the night and one's house is cleaned, both done in order to make the goddess Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth, feel welcome. The festival is celebrated through festive fireworks, lights, flowers, sharing of sweets, and worship. The festival of Diwali extends over five days, and because of the lights, fireworks and sweets involved, it's a great favourite with children.
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03. Naga Fireball Festival
Naga Fireballs is a mysterious event that takes place every year in Thailand. Locally known as “bung fai paya nak” the phenomenon which is seen in the Mekong river involves hundreds and thousands of glowing fireballs that rise out from the water high into the air. The balls are reddish and have diverse size from smaller sparkles up to the size of basketballs. They quickly rise up to a couple of hundred metres before disappearing.
Local people say that they have seen the fireballs throughout their lives and their parents and grandparents did as well, but in earlier times they did not pay much attention to this phenomenon. The festival related to the observation of Naga fireballs gained popularity in the 1990s and is named Bang Fai Phaya Nark festival. Since the 2000s this festival has obtained international fame and is actively promoted by the authorities of Thailand.
Traditionally it is believed that the balls come from the breath of Naga, a mythical serpent that haunts the river. While no plausible explanation exist, some believe that fireballs are actually pockets of methane bubbling up from the river that spontaneously ignite.
02. Okunchi Matsuri
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Regarded as among the most unusual festivals in Japan, the Okunchi Festival in Nagasaki dates back to the 17th century, when many Chinese lived in the city and when both Dutch and Chinese traders regularly anchored their ships there. For many years, the ruling shogun of Japan barred foreigners from other Japanese ports, and the few Dutch and Chinese ships that were allowed to stop in Nagasaki were the country's only point of contact with the non-Japanese world. The Okunchi Festival pays tribute to these traders by presenting both a Dutch dance and a Chinese dragon dance, along with processions, street fairs, and other entertainment.

The Dutch and Chinese dances are performed in an open area at the beginning of the many stairs that go to the Suwa Shrine. Two young women execute the Dutch dance, one of whom wears a false mustache and plays the part of a man. The two dancers bend at the waist, exchange coy smiles, and flirt with each other, to the amusement of the crowd. The Chinese dance features four dragons made out of cloth stretched over flexible frames. Each dragon conceals about a dozen dancers, who help it "dance" with snakelike motions by maneuvering the black rods attached to its body. The dragon dance reenacts the legendary battle between darkness, symbolized by the dragon, and light, symbolized by the sun—a golden globe atop a long pole. Needless to say, the sun always wins.

01. Mid-Autumn Festival or Moon Festival
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The Mid-Autumn Festival also known by various names such as the Moon Festival or Chinese Lantern Festival or Mooncake Festival or Zhongqiu Festival, is a popular lunar harvest festival celebrated by Chinese and Vietnamese people. The festival is held on the 15th day of the eighth month in the Chinese calendar, which is in September or early October in the Gregorian calendar, when the moon is at its maximum brightness.
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The Mid-Autumn Festival is a day of family reunions much like Thanksgiving. Chinese people believe that on that day, the moon is the roundest and brightest signaling a time of completeness and abundance. During the Mid-Autumn Festival, children are delighted to stay up past midnight, parading multi-colored lanterns into the wee hours as families take to the streets to moon-gaze.
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Special kind of sweet pastry cake is made in the shape of the moon, and filled with a sweet paste made from sesame seeds, lotus seeds or red beans. Lobster and salmon are particular favorites along with apples, pomegranates, roasted peanuts, pomelo, and chestnuts.


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