Friday, April 4, 2014

April-May Festival

April 13-Baisakhi Festival-Punkab,India

An ancient Punjabi harvest festival. Baisakhi an expecially important event for Sikhs, as it also commemorates the birth of the Khalsa-the dominant order of Sikhism-in 1699. Fairs are held throughout the countryside, while towns mark the day with processions accompanied by music, singing, and the chanting of scriptures and hymns. Celebrations are particularly thrilling in Amritsar, home to both the Sikh parliament and the Golden Temple (Harmandir Sahib), Sikhism’s most revered shrine. Apart from religious observances, visitors can expect a carnival like atmosphere highlighted by bhangra dances, folk music, and traditional games and sports.

April 17 – Yabusame Festival – Tsuwano,Japan

Originally a test of marksmanship for horse-mounted samurai warriors, this ancient Japanese archery festival showcases the skills of 13th century clad participants galloping down a 250-meter course on the grounds of a small castle. The entire spectacle is over in less than a minute as riders let fly three consecutive arrows and wait for the cheering crowd as the projectile produces a victorious ‘thunk’.


The biggest party in Mexico is a three-week affair set around the feast day of St Mark. As many as seven million visitors attend the fair annually, making their way to the central city of Auascalientes-some 500 km northwest of Mexico City-to join in the revelry. Bullfighting is a highlight, but for the  squeamish, the program includes mariachi bands, folk dancing, and concerts by the likes of Lila Downs and Tania Liberdad.

May 5 – Vesak Festival, Borobudur, Indonesia
The most auspicious day on the Buddhist calendar, Vesak (also spelled Waisak) marks the Budha’s birth, enlightenment, and entrance into final Nirvana. Celebrated by Buddhist communities worldwide, it is well worth taking in at Central Java’s Borobudur temple, a point of pilgrimage for hundreds of saffron-robed monks on this day.

May 10-Jun.17 Vienna Festival,Austria

Locally known as Wiener Festwochen, this cultural fete features plays, dances, concerts, installations, an film. Against the magnificent backdrop of Vienna city Hall, the opening ceremony is free to attend and honors seven finalists from all over Europe. Accompanied by the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra, they compete against each other in front of thousands of people. Additional shows for the night include the Mnozil Brass septet and percussion art by the Percussive Planet Ensemble (

May 13-14 Bun Bang Fai Yasothon, Thailand

Perhaps one of the noisiest festivals you’ll ever attend, this ‘rocket festival’ sees the pople of northeast Thailand launch gunpowder-filled bamboo cylinders into the sky. What began as a rain making ceremony is now a full-on pyrotechnics competition, with prizes for biggest rocket and longest flight time.

May 25-27 

Get up close and personal with the world’s largest fish at the Ningaloo Whale Shark Festival. With the arrival of the antipodean autumn, these gentle giants migrate to Western Australia’s Ningaloo Marine Park to feed off krill, providing the gateway town of Exmouth with highlight its tourism calendar. Various activities are staged on land, but the main draw, of course, is the chance to swim with the big fish (

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