Jul 1 apan

Asian Geographic - - Front Page -

GION MATSURI

The fes­ti­val orig­i­nated more than a mil­len­nium ago as a cer­e­mony to ap­pease gods dur­ing the out­break of an epi­demic and fea­tures two float pro­ces­sions with elab­o­rately dec­o­rated floats that are up to 25 me­tres tall and weigh up to 12 tonnes. The prac­tice of se­lect­ing a lo­cal boy to be the di­vine mes­sen­ger to be pa­raded per­sists till to­day.

BREAD IN THE MOUN­TAINS FES­TI­VAL

The fes­ti­val is aimed at pre­serv­ing and show­cas­ing the best tra­di­tional Ar­me­nian dishes eaten dur­ing rit­u­als and hol­i­days. An im­por­tant food item fea­tured is bread, which sym­bol­ises the body of Je­sus Christ and there­fore con­sid­ered holy in largely- Chris­tian Ar­me­nia.

BALI KITE FES­TI­VAL (Back­ground Photo)

Hun­dreds of colour­ful kites in a myr­iad de­signs fill the skies of the is­land when lo­cal and for­eign teams com­pete in nu­mer­ous kite com­pe­ti­tions dur­ing this pe­riod. The big­gest events take place at the start of the fes­ti­val in July and the end, usu­ally in Au­gust.

Held since 2010 to com­mem­o­rate the town’s des­ig­na­tion as a UN­ESCO World Her­itage Site, the fes­ti­val show­cases lo­cal and in­ter­na­tional artistes in ap­prox­i­mately 100 events on dance, mu­sic, the­atre, pho­tog­ra­phy, art and film. Draw­ing some 200,000 peo­ple an­nu­ally, the themed arts and cul­ture ex­trav­a­ganza has fo­cused on mak­ing the arts ac­ces­si­ble and keeps about 80% of the events free. Pe­nang’s wall mu­rals, which have be­come one of the city’s most iconic draws, were com­mis­sioned by the fes­ti­val for its in­au­gu­ra­tion.

TAUNG BY­ONE NAT FES­TI­VAL

The rau­cous fes­ti­val hon­ours two of the most pow­er­ful mem­bers of Myan­mar’s pan­theon of 37 nats (spir­its), Min Gyi and Min Lay, who are be­lieved to be mil­i­tary com­man­ders un­der the reign of King Anawrahta. Many Burmese wor­ship nats, be­liev­ing that do­ing so will bring them pros­per­ity and luck while not do­ing so brings mis­for­tune. Dur­ing this pe­riod, be­liev­ers present of­fer­ings, make wishes and par­take in wild danc­ing along­side male medi­ums who dress up as women to be pos­sessed by the two afore­men­tioned spir­its.

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ALMATY AP­PLE FES­TI­VAL (Back­ground Photo)

Almaty means ʻthe place with ap­plesʼ and is where ap­ples are be­lieved to be first do­mes­ti­cated (as a lo­cal wild ap­ple species has been proven through DNA anal­y­sis to be the main an­ces­tor of the cul­ti­vated ap­ple). At the fes­ti­val ded­i­cated to this fa­mous pro­duce of the city, the high­light is of course the va­ri­ety of ap­ples and ap­ple prod­ucts from dif­fer­ent re­gions of Almaty on sale.

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