October 8, 2016: Festivals play an integral role in relieving ourselves from the monotony of life. They create an environment of cultural harmony. All these festivals are exquisite as well as weird. Few of them celebrated in the month of October are-
i. Nagasaki Kunchi
It is one of the most popular festivals of Japan. Dragon Dance is the most popular tradition of this festival. Each district participates once a year. The festival ends when the empty mikoshi returns to the shrine after the god has departed.
ii. Naga Fireball festival
This festival is all about the mysterious appearance of fireballs above Mekong River in Thailand. Tradition says that fireballs come from the breath of Naga, a mythical serpent that haunts the river. Though, some people believe that fireballs are actually bubbles of methane from the river.
It is the largest Volksfest across the world celebrated annually at Munich, Bavaria, Germany. The festival was first celebrated as a royal event. Now, every year approximately 6,000,000 litres of beer is consumed along with some pork sausages, roast chicken and roast ox. Apart from all the eating and drinking, there are parades, traditional music and German amusements, folk costumes,etc.
iv. Tübingen Duck Race
Every year, people of Tübingen, Germany participate in the annual duck race. Anyone with a rubber duck can participate. All you have to do is stick your name and number on the duck, attach a metal to the underside and release the duck. Winner gets a €1,000 holiday voucher. So if you want to see thousands of rubber ducks floating downstream, Tübingen is the place for you.
Vijayadashmi or Dussehra is celebrated on the tenth day of the Hindu autumn lunar month of Ashvin. The first nine days are celebrated as Maha Navratri. Dussehra signifies the slaying of Ravana by Lord Rama.
vi. Phuket Vegetarian Festival
Also known as Nine Emperor Gods festival, it is a nine-day Taoist celebration, observed in the South-east Asian countries. It is believed that once, a Chinese opera group got sick while performing on the island. They started praying to the Nine Emperor Gods to cleanse their body and spirit and restricted to the vegetarian diet. Soon the group made a complete recovery. This festival is not for the faint heart. The celebration consists of self-mortification acts including puncturing of cheeks.
Diwali is one of the most auspicious festivals of the Hindus. People light small lamps with oil to celebrate the victory of good over evil. It celebrates the homecoming of Lord Rama after he defeated Ravana, King of Lanka, and rescued his wife, Devi Sita.
Halloween is celebrated an evening before All Hallow’s day, on 31st October. The festival is thought to be originated from the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, when people would wear costumes to wander off roaming ghosts. Today this festival has transformed into a child-friendly celebration with trick or treat.
by Diksha Arya of Newsgram. Twitter: @dikshaarya_53