Naghol Land Diving
Pentecost Island, Vanuatu
The Gods must be kept in good humour, and to their appeasement serves the ritual of jumping from the tower tied only by jungle vines around the ankles. Visually it reminds onlookers of the widely popular bungee jumping. Men have been jumping here as long as anyone knows to ensure a good harvest and also to prove their manhood and courage. The ritual was traditionally held once a year, just after the rainy season, with the participation of men and boys from the age of around 8 years. Thanks to the power of advertising and tourism, however, these jumps now continue as a kind of tourist attraction over a longer period, from April till June, every weekend.
April 4 – 9
Winter sports and a music festival with thematic parties in Mayrhofen in Austria. Enjoy a number of diverse events ranging from musical performances, a masquerade parade, sauna, and ski and snowboard competitions against a background of snowy Alpine panoramas. Among the performing artists this season will be: The Prodigy, Andy C, Bastille, Fatboy Slim, Jungle, Skepta, Slaves, Jamie Jones, and Netsky Live. The whole event can be also bought as a package.
Beltane Fire Festival
The ancient festival of Beltane originates in Celtic traditions. Beltane celebrates the beginning of summer, light, and the abundance of life. It is a very happy event with lots of food, drinks, music, and dances around a huge bonfire; and if you have guts, you can take off your clothes for the evening. Traditionally the cattle raced around the fires, and the bravest people jumped over the flames. Fire represents the power of the sun, and is symbolic of the most powerful phase of midsummer.
Chiang Mai, Thailand
April 13 – 15
Traditionally, this is a Buddhist ritual of cleansing the statue of Buddha with scented water to ward off evil spirits in anticipation of the Thai New Year. Gradually it has developed into a three-day water fight, where an effective weapon can be anything from a balloon filled with water to water spray. Originally the New Year was a holiday set by the lunar calendar, but since 1940 it has been celebrated on January 1st. Songran is still an important celebration, a time when the old ends and the new begins and it is one of the biggest parties of the year, with a lot of fun.
Czech Republic and several other European countries
Originally it was an odd pagan celebration, a day when peopple set fires on high ground to protect against evil spirits and demons, also doubling as the feast of fertility. It is believed that this particular night, from April 30th to May 1st, is magical. Different caves are opened to offer hidden treasures for the brave ones. You can try your luck. Similar feasts go on in Slovakia, Ireland, Wales, Sweden, Finland, Poland, and Germany.
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