Odd Holidays Celebrated Around the World
At your local Sterling Rebounderz, we are used to celebrating birthdays, good report cards, and graduations. We tend to celebrate children-related milestones. Together, you, your family, and Rebounderz can share a moment of joy and celebration. Though we are used to light-hearted celebrations, Rebounderz also is aware of the other, more unusual celebrations in the world as well.
In this blog, we will be discussing some of the unusual celebrations of the world, where they are celebrated, and why?
Lopburi Monkey Buffet in Thailand
In Thailand, monkeys are a common species that inhabit the area. The groups of primates living in the nearby trees are gluttonous however, and constantly antagonize residents and tourists. Because of this, in 1989, the villagers decided to through a giant monkey buffet to help feed the monkeys. Every year, on the last week of November, the villagers present an array of fruits, nuts, and vegetables for the local monkeys. Though the buffet started out as a way to feed the monkeys, today, Lopburi celebrates the monkey buffet every year and adapts the offers year by year. For example, in recent years, villagers have even left drinks of Coca-Cola for the primates to gulp down!
Bonza Bottler Day in Australia
Bonza Bottler Day is an Australian holiday in which people celebrate the correlation between month numbers. For example, they celebrate when number of the month and the day of the month coincide, such as June 6th, May 5th, October 10th, etc. “Bonza” is a word that Australians use to denote when something is ‘great’ and “bottler” is also slang for ‘something excellent.’ Together, Bonza Bottler Day is basically a celebration of something great that is to come from that specific day — whatever that may be!
Groundhog Day in North America
Americans will recognize this holiday! On February 2nd, everyone awaits to see whether a designated groundhog in Punxsutawney, PA sees its shadow. It is believed, that is the groundhog emerges from its burrow when it cloudy, Spring will come early but, if it is sunny, and the groundhog sees his shadow it will mean that there will be six more weeks of winter. Every year, thousands of Americans and Canadians gather around a television to see what the groundhog interprets. Though this tradition may seem silly to countries outside the US and Canada, millions still wait for the interpretation of the official groundhog to determine when the seasons will change.
Straw Bear Day in England
There is an ancient English festival that takes place every January 7th, after Plough Monday (another English festival). Both celebrations are used to signify an end of winter and the beginning of the agricultural year. During the Straw Bear Day, a man or boy is completely covered in straw and is followed by a parade from house-to-house. The “bear” must then dance in exchange for food, beer, or money. The celebration is often acknowledged as the kick off to the agricultural year and celebrates the end of winter.
La Tomatina in Spain
Kids will know what a food fight is. It typically a food fight starts when one kid flings something from their lunch to another kid. Throwing food is incredibly addictive, which means that if two kids are throwing food at each other, this means that the whole lunchroom will shortly follow.
In Bunol, Spain, the common food fight is taken to a whole other level. On the last wednesday of August, nearly 30,000 people hurl locally grown tomatoes at each other for a total of 90 minutes. During this frenzy, everyone in the townsquare arms themselves with squishy, red tomatoes.
It isn’t fully understood where the tradition came from, but historians know that it started somewhere between 1944 or 1945. It is thought that the celebration is in honor of the town’s patron Saint Louis Bertrand, or possibly a form of anti-religious protest. Either way, today, La Tomatina is no longer a religious holiday, but just one to celebrate with friends and family.
Bean Throwing Day in Japan
Bean Throwing Day, or Setsubun, is a Japanese holiday that occurs on the first day of spring. During this celebration, families must go and throw beans around homes, shrines, and temples. Why? To scare away evil spirits, of course!
It is believed in the Japanese culture that roasted soybeans are lucky or “fortune beans.” By spreading the beans around your home and spiritual places of worship, all evil can be cleansed to make way for the new year.
Night of the Radishes in Mexico
The Night of the radishes is an annual contest and festival that takes place in Oaxaca, Mexico on December 23rd. On this day, participants carve rashishes into figures depicting historical scenes, such as the nativity, Moses and the 10 commandments, etc. This tradition is said to have started around 1897, when Oaxacan farmers would sell their produce in Christian markets. It is believed that the farmers would carve the radishes in order to make them more appealing to the clergy and other religious peoples. This marketing ploy was not only successful, but sparked an interest in vegetables, carving, and art. Today, the Night of the Radishes is an official holiday in which carvers compete to produce the best radish carvings.
The Nenana Ice Classic in America
The Nenana Ice Classic is a spring ice-melting lottery in Nenana, Alaska. During the contest, contestants must guess the exact time and day that the winter ice will crack on the Tanana River. The first initial crack is meant to signify the changing of the seasons from winter to spring.
But how does it work?
For the competition, a giant wooden tower is set up, called a “tripod.” The tripod is set on the ice of the river and a clock is tied to the shore. When the ice melts, the tripod is pulled down and stops the clock. Once the clock is stopped, it will show the official time spring has started. The closest guess to the actual time the ice was cracked is the official winner. Since so many people participate in this competition, the rewards can accumulate greatingly. In fact, in 2008, the winner of the Nenana Ice Classic won over $300,000.
It is suspected that this tradition began in 1917 when railroad engineers placed bets of the Tanana River cracks. Today, over $10 million in prize money has been given away to one lucky winner.
Though we here at Rebounderz are used to trampoline birthday parties, our trampoline arenas are available for anything you would like to celebrate from good report cards to your own Bonza Bottler Day! Trampolines naturally lighten up everyone’s mood and are a great way to celebrate — well, anything! Come visit your local Sterling Rebounderz today to start jumping.