Saturday, May 31, 2008

10 more reasons to party

What do Freemasonic "amateur theater," gavel raps, circumambulations of the lodge, and maybe even fish frys have in common with monkey feasts, beer drinking, betting on when the ice will crack, food fights and looking for a naked man have in common?

Ritual! Tradition! Celebration! Solstices!

Travel + Leisure magazine's site gives us a look at what it calls the world's strangest festivals in a new article accompanied by a photo slideshow.

The article tells us:
The famed French sociologist Émile Durkheim wrote that social life is made of "high peaks" (ceremonies, festivals, and holidays) and "low peaks" (ordinary life and routine). "High peaks can't last — they’re exhausting," says Sarah Daynes, an assistant professor of sociology at the New School in New York City. "Individuals come together, celebrate, and social life is extreme."
In Japan, on the coldest day of the year men strip down to a loincloth and run around cities, looking for a naked man. Whoever finds him first earns 12 months of good luck, or so they believe.

At the Tomatina Festival in Buñol, Spain, each year they have the world's biggest food fight, and no one remembers why.

In Lopburi, Thailand, a feast and tea party is held for the indigenous macaque monkeys who have overrun the town.

In Cuzco, Peru, each June 24 (near the winter solstice in the southern hemisphere) the Incan sun ceremony is re-enacted, with a man representing the Sun God being carried about on a golden throne.

On December 23 (near the winter solstice in the northern hemisphere, farmers in Oaxaca, Mexico carve their radishes into figures associated with Jesus.

In Iceland on March 1 of each year, the entire country does a pub crawl, drinking lots of beer, to celebrate the end of Beer Prohibition there in 1989. All other alcohol was only prohibited from 1915 to 1922.

Check out the slideshow for more freaky, funky festivals.

Pick a reason, name the season, and party hardy.

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