April festivals (part 2)
Let’s talk some more about Aprli festivals shall we?
Feria de San Marcos – Aguascalientes, Mexico
This is Mexico’s largest annual state fair that started back in 1828 as a simple agriculture and livestock show however, nowadays it attracts over a million visitors with its exhibitions, rodeos, free concerts and a plethora of other cultural events.
It’s a massive festival with the entire city pretty much shutting down, or at least parts of it shutting down, schools take holidays, businesses close, that sort of thing, because there is a host of impromptu street parties that go on through the nights.
The fair culminates in a colorful parade on the 25h of April, the feast day of St. Mark which features period dress, folk dances and flamenco.
Walpurgisnacht – Brocken, Germany
This festival takes place at the end of the month on the 30th and it take place on a mountain top in the company of actual witches and warlock.
Local mythology has it that witches and warlocks gather on Walpurgisnacht – which takes its name from Saint Walburga – at different places throughout the Harz Mountains and then fly off to Brocken – at 1142m altitude – on their broomsticks or goats. Once there they start recounting the year’s evil deed and then get into a wine-infused frenzy which is meant to represent copulation with the devil, or just people who love to drink alcohol, this is Germany after all.
Nowadays this festival is considerably less spooky with many non-pagans heading to the mountain, especially Thale, to enjoy and take part in a variety of events. The interesting thing about this festival is that there are similar events organized elsewhere in Europe. In the Czech Republic for instance the local variation is called the Burning of the Witches in which huge bonfires are lit and an effigy of a witch is thrown onto the pyres. This is also when old brooms are burnt because, why not?
Visiting any of these festivals will be that much easier with the help of some worldwide car rental services.