July festivals (part 4)

July festivals (part 4)

Our look into July festivals is continuing today, the start of the month is upon us so let’s look at more potential destinations for your holiday.

World Bodypainting Festival – Seeboden, Carinthia, Austria

This is the world’s largest festival for the art of bodypainting, with bodypainted bungee jumping being one of the attractions. Actually in 2007, one of the bungee-jumpers was painted to look like Spiderman. Each year has a particular theme.

During the day, the festival is made up of a technical trade show and something of a group hallucination. These are a lead-up to the spectacular competitions at the weekend, alongside workshops for the bodypainters, models and photographers.

This is the world’s largest such gathering drawing in around 20,000 spectators to admire artists from as far as New Zealand, competing in a series of categories.

Everybody will be mesmerized by the glow-in-the-dark World Fluoro Award, as well as the Body Works photo exhibition and bodypainted ballet.

july-festivalsMwaka Kogwa – Kae Kuu, Makunduchi, Zanzibar

Now the idea of fighting with your neighbor with the stalk of a banana plant doesn’t exactly sound like a healthy pursuit, but in the south part of the island of Zanzibar it is considered to be a purification ritual.

This event takes place at the Shirazi (Persian) New Year, the Shirazi ritual arrived here with the Middle Eastern immigrants and was appropriated and absorbed by the Swahili people. The idea behind the beating each other with banana stalks is to take out aggression and settling scores this allowing the participants to start the coming year in harmony.

The actual ‘fighting’ is much more of a gleeful scuff, it’s a considerably more fun event than it used to be because the leafy cudgels split very easily.

The ceremony officially ends when the local healer torches a coconut-thatch hut, the ritual being meant to ensure that any house fires that occur in the New Year will not cause any fatalities.