June festivals (part 1)
There are two weeks left of the month of May, many are starting to think about their upcoming summer holiday, so today we’ll start talking about the various June festivals that one could expect to encounter while on holiday in the first month of summer.
Duanwu Jie – Hunan province, China
Do you like dragons? How about boats? Well if you happen to like both those things and you find yourself in China, take a trip to Hunan province and watch the Dragon Boat Festival .
During the festival the country’s rivers fill with very colorful boats decked out to look like the mythical Asian dragons – from snouts to scales to the tail. The festivities start early on the waterside, and you should do your best to get there then as well to see incense and gongs brought out for the blessing of the now dragon-head-adorned prows. From the riverside you will also be ideally placed to see the narrow boats compete to the beating of drums.
The party continues after dark with firecrackers and many other traditional dragon dances, food, tea and Tsingtao beer.
Isle of Wight Festival – Newport, Isle of Wight, England
This is one of the largest music festivals in England. Started in 1968 when it gathered a crowd of 10,000 thanks to its only major act: Jefferson Airplane, on a stage made of two trailers.
It saw very quick growth the next year when the audience swelled to 150,000 who came here for Bob Dylan, whose presence in turn attracted The Who to play and The Beatles to hang out.
The festival had to be stopped after the 1970 edition because of a million hippies who broke down fences and ran amok so parliament passed an act banning large gatherings on the island.
Thankfully the festival has restarted in 2002 at a different location.