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Monday, May 23, 2016

International Summer Festivals

With less than a month left in school, summer can't be coming any quicker. While waiting for that lovely time, I began wondering how other countries celebrate summer and what festivities they have. This is what I found:

1. World Bodypainting Festival (Austria)  
This colorful festival takes place in Carinthia, Austria for one week in July. Tens of thousands of people from 40 countries around the world travel there to learn about the craft and enter an intense competition with some of the best bodypainters in the world. The festival is open to the public, so families often visit to see the bodypaint and the accompanying dance performances.

2. White Nights of Summer (Russia) 
"White nights" refer to the extremely long daylight hours in St. Petersburg. The residents of the city take advantage of the lack of night by holding festivities from May to July. One of these festivities is street markets selling ice cream and large, juicy watermelon called arbus. One of the most iconic events of this time is the Stars of the White Nights Festival, which takes place at the Mariinssky Theatre. This festival features daily performances such as ballet, opera, and classical music concerts.

3. Sonar (Spain):
Sonar is a multimedia music festival that takes place in the Museum of Contemporary of Museum Arts in Barcelona for three days in June. This festival features music, fashion, and films. The focus in sonar is in electronica music, but there have been performances from artists in other genres such as M.I.A., Bjork, and the Beastie Boys. There are also performances of more experimental genres such as "digital concert". Clearly, if you are a music lover, this is the place for you.

4. Tanbata (Japan)
Tanbata is also known as the Star Festival and takes place on July 7th. This festival has its origins in traditional Japanese mythology involving the stars Vega and Altair (known as Orihime and Hikoboshi in Japan, respectively). In that story, the two stars were lovers that were separated by the Milky Way, and they can only meet on that day. To celebrate this meeting, people write poetry or a wish onto paper streamers and hang them on either bamboo or a Wish Tree. 

Do you know of any other interesting festivals? Feel free to let me know in the comments!

Written by Jenna M., Homework Assistant 

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