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The Best Festivals You’ve Never Heard of

Jul. 13, 2021

You may have noticed that the workplace is getting more and more diverse or that your classmates have a different cultural background than yourself. It’s about time we talked about more festivals from around the world. Our cultural heritage helps define us and understanding one another’s festivals is a great way to understand how other people see the world. By now you have probably heard of China’s Dragon Boat Festival but have you heard of the Yorkshire Pudding Boat Race? It’s about time you did!

1. Yorkshire Pudding Boat Race, Brawby, Yorkshire, England. It all started in 1999 when a bored man pondered the idea of sailing down the river in a giant Yorkshire pudding boat. Giant Yorkshire pudding boats are made from flour, water, and eggs. Now part of English folklore, Yorkshire Pudding Boats were said to have been originally baked to use as rescue boats in times of severe flooding. The recipe for one boat calls for 50 eggs, four bags of flour, 25 pints of milk, all beaten and baked, lined with industrial foam-filler and then finished with layers of yacht varnish to prevent them from going soggy. It might have you wondering if it become an Olympic sport any time soon. Don’t hold your breath.

HSK 3 quiz

HSK 3 quiz

2. Sterling Renaissance Festival operates in Sterling, New York, USA since 1976 and runs for seven consecutive weekends through July and August. It features music, comedy, and interactive theatre performances as well as the work of artisans and craftspeople. Although it is celebrated in Sterling, New York, the setting is the year 1585 in the fictional village. There is even a jousting field where full-contact jousting takes place, as well as displays of archery. In addition, patrons can ride the war-horses of the jousters! It is a great celebration of the Elizabethan era where you can relive the past and experience some of the cultures of ages past.

HSK 3 quiz

过节 guò jié festival, holiday

Example sentences:

rén  rén  dōu  xǐ  huān  guò  jié.
人    人    都    喜     欢    过   节。
Everyone likes festivals!

lǐ  xiān  shēng  zhǐ  yǒu  guò  jié  de  shí  hòu  cái  yǒu  shí  jiān  huí  jiā.
李   先     生     只    有   过   节    的   时    候   才   有     时    间   回   家。
Mr. Li only has time to go home during the holidays.

3. Donauinselfest in Vienna has long been home to musical geniuses, with luminaries such as Mozart being previous residents, but unless you happen to be Austrian, there’s a good chance you’ve never even heard of Donauinselfest, yet visitor numbers hit the 3 million mark over 3 days, making this one of the biggest music festivals on the planet. It’s a big deal. Held on an island in the middle of the Danube River, Donauinselfest boats upwards of 2,000 different performances over the course of the festival. The best part? Tickets are free!

HSK 3 quiz

庆祝 qìng zhù celebrate
Example sentences:

jīn  tiān  wǒ  men  yì    qǐ  qìng  zhù  tā  de  shēng  rì .
今   天    我    们    一    起    庆    祝   她  的    生    日。
Today we’re celebrating her birthday together.

wǒ  men   hé   bù   kāi   píng   xiāng   bīn   jiǔ   qìng   zhù   yí    xià    ne?
我    们      何    不    开     瓶     香       槟    酒     庆    祝     一    下    呢?
Why don’t we crack open a bottle of champagne to celebrate?

4. Boryeong Mud Festival (보령머드축제) takes place in Boryeong, South Korea. And just as it sounds, things get pretty dirty. The mud is taken from the Boryeong mud flats, and trucked to the Daecheon beach festival area, where it is used as the centerpiece of the ‘Mud Experience Land’. The mud is considered rich in minerals and used in some Korean brand cosmetics. Although the festival takes place over a period of around two weeks, it is most famous for its final weekend, which is popular with Korea’s western population. The final weekend of the festival is regularly the second weekend in July. You can expect everything from mud wrestling, mud sliding, mud swimming, mud fountains, mud pools, mud massage zones, and even a mud prison, all of which are guaranteed to have you looking like a muddy monstrosity within minutes.

HSK 3 quiz

5. Krampusnacht, in Germany and Austria
Every one knows Santa Clause, or as he’s called in Europe, Saint Nicholas. Of course he rewards children with sweets. But what happens to the naughty kids? They are punished, of course. That’s where Krampus come is. He is known for hitting disobedient children, giving them coal or even taking them away to his lair. He looks to be half-goat and half-demon In several countries, including Austria, Hungary, Slovenia, Germany and the Czech Republic, the night before the feast of St Nicholas is Krampusnacht. Many towns, particularly in Alpine regions, host parades of people dressed as Krampus in an event known as the Krampuslauf, or Krampus Run. Hide your kiddies! Or if they deserve it, don’t.

HSK 3 quiz

游行 yóu  xíng Parade, procession, demonstration

Example sentences:

rén  men  chuān  zhe  gǔ  zhuāng  cān  jiā  yóu  xíng.
人   们       穿      着     古       装     参     加    游     行。
People wore historical costumes for the parade.

mǎ  xì  tuán  de  yǎn  yuán  men  hé  nà  xiē  dòng  wù  yán  zhe  zhǔ  jiē   yóu   xíng.
马   戏   团   的   演      员    们     和    那    些   动    物    沿    着   主   街     游     行。
The circus performers and animals paraded down Main Street.

While most of the world is still postponing these evens, you should definitely put them on your calendar for the future. You never know what you might learn by traveling to a new location because there’s something special about traveling to experience new festivals. The atmosphere is different, the people are interesting, the destination somehow feels more alive, more energetic, more worth all of the hastles of getting to a place out of your comfort zone. And believe me, some of these will transport you far from it. What festival are you looking forward to the most?

You May Want to Learn More :
“5 Chinese Foods That Are an Acquired Taste”
“Different Manners (and Mannerisms) from Around the World”
”Tour the World of Chinese Drinking Culture”

HSK 1 quiz

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