As we enjoy some holiday festivities, Mango Writer Jillian Rodriguez walks us through some cool celebrations from around the globe.
Miley, you had it all wrong: the party is not just in the USA. Around the world, some of the best celebrations on Earth are taking place – and we’re not there. We triple checked our mailboxes, and we didn’t receive an invite. So, we’ve bought ourselves a piggy bank and as soon as we can, we’re inviting ourselves to the some of the world’s greatest celebrations. Care to join?
1. Chinese New Year
Across the globe, countries celebrate the New Year in unique ways. In America, many think of New York’s famous Time Square ball drop, and around the world, people ring in the New Year with fireworks, festivals, and celebrations. We love our New Year’s Eve, but the Chinese New Year is in a league of its own. Based on the lunar calendar, the Chinese New Year is the longest running festival of the Chinese year, and spans from the first day of the month until the full moon – usually around the 15th of the first lunar month. The Chinese New Year is celebrated with parades, family gatherings, cleansing, and stunning lantern festivals. We want to go to there.
Also known as the festival of colors, Holi is traditionally a Hindu festival that has made its way across the globe as a celebration of spring’s arrival. Most popular in South Asia, Holi is celebrated on the full moon of March, according to the Gregorian calendar. We love Holi because it celebrates the triumph of good over evil, the coming of spring, and the joy of colors. Some people even celebrate Holi by chasing and covering each other in bright, festive colors. In case you haven’t noticed, Mango loves color; and we’d really love to a reason to throw color-filled water balloons at one another.
Every fall, we gaze longingly at photos from Germany’s famed Oktoberfest; the world’s largest, and most beer-filled, fair. Lasting a full seventeen days, Oktoberfest began with a royal wedding and celebratory horse races in 1810, and has since evolved into a world-famous event featuring Bavarian food, massive amounts of German beer, and over six million annual guests. We can’t wait to attend, but this one’s going to take some training.
4. Yi Peng Festival
Held on the full moon of the second month of the Lanna (northern Thai) calendar, the Yi Peng Festival originated with Buddhist monks paying homage to Buddha. The celebrations (we’ve heard those held in Chiang Mai are legendary!) feature thousands of floating lanterns, made with rice paper and candles, released into the sky. Like something out of a fairy tale, a lantern-filled sky is accented by hanging paper lanterns and parades of people marching through town with elaborate, hand-made lanterns. Even better: the Yi Peng Festival usually coincides with Loi Krathong, a celebration that releases floating lanterns onto the water. Excuse us while we book a fall trip to Thailand.
5. La tomatina
And we end this tour of world festivals with la tomatina, an event in which people literally throw tomatoes at one another. With the recent launch of Mango Premiere, the idea of hurled tomatoes makes us cringe, but we still couldn’t help but include this awesome annual event. Taking place in the Spanish town of Buñol, this summertime tradition has brought people together for the ultimate food fight since 1945. With unknown origins and increasing popularity, this chaotic event lasts about one hour and boasts over one hundred metric tons of tomato casualties. Held on the last Wednesday of August, the weekend leading up to the fight is filled with music, contests, dancing, and parades. La tomatina even has its own website, so start stocking your fridge now. And apparently, buy safety glasses. They don’t mess around.