Events Calendar May 2016
Unity Day Kazakhstan
On 1st May, Kazakhstan celebrates its diversity. Kazakhstan is a multinational state with over 150 ethnicities and nationalities living within her borders. This holiday is an opportunity to get to know them better as representatives of Kazakhstan’s many different ethnic backgrounds celebrate their cultures in cities and towns across the country with concerts, parades and exhibitions highlighting their lives, traditions and national cuisines.
The celebration of Orthodox Easter in Georgia starts on Friday and lasts until the following Tuesday. Good Friday is a public holiday, as is Easter Monday. The celebrations culminate in an allnight vigil and processions that follow the cross through the streets. During Easter these processions take place all over Tbilisi and people attend special services with prayers and chanting, then gather together to share a festive meal.
May Day Great Britain
On the first Monday of May, English people celebrate May Day with street parades and fairs. Musicians, jugglers on stilts, minstrels and acrobats recreate the environment of a medieval carnival. Children dance around a tall maypole, each holding the end of one of the long ribbons that are attached to the top of the pole, resulting in a multicoloured plait as the dance progresses. May Day is celebrated in villages throughout the country.
The Bun Bang Fai Rocket Festival takes place in the north-east of Thailand and has become hugely popular amongst both locals and visitors. Handmade rockets are launched into the sky in order to punch a symbolic hole that will allow the rain to fall in abundance and bring a good rice harvest that year. Colourful dancing and parades accompany the festival.
National Mills and Cycling Day The Netherlands
It is no surprise that both these holidays are celebrated on the same day; cycling is not only one of the country’s main forms of transport but also of recreation. This holiday is an opportunity to set off along special cycling routes and visit working mills that are not usually open to the public. Windmills are one of the iconic symbols of the Netherlands, along with canals, tulips, Dutch cheese and herrings, and have been an integral part of Dutch life for centuries.
Buddha Purnima India
This is a sacred holiday for Buddhists and a public holiday across the country. Festivities take place everywhere, but the most spectacular and extravagant take place in the city of Bodh Gaya, the birthplace of Buddha. Everyone tries to get access to the temples to witness the colourful ceremonies. In most temples a statue of the baby Buddha is placed near a bowl of water and everyone is permitted to come and wash the statue in a symbolic act of purification and good karma.
Turning on the Fountains at Peterhof Russia
Every May, in a dramatic and enchanting display, the famous fountains of the Peterhof Palace near St Petersburg are turned on. This is popular with visitors and the park is usually very busy with those who have come to watch the theatrical display. It takes the whole day to turn all the fountains on, one by one, and the jets of water shoot into the air accompanied by classical music, fireworks, and the firing of cannons.
Erdbeerfest Strawberry Festival Germany
This friendly culinary festival takes place every year in Oberkirch in Baden Wurttemberg. This is the location of Germany’s largest wholesale strawberry market and the events include trade fairs and presentations, masterclasses, tasting, concerts, fashion shows, dances and theatrical performances. However, the real focus of the event is on this popular summer fruit and the variety of dishes that can be made with it.