St. Joan Bonfires
Well, looks like its June 24th so we might as well build a giant bonfire and start jumping through it so that we have good luck next year. Wait, what?
This celebration is held in the Spanish city of Alicante, where it originated in 1928. Until that time St. Joan’s day was celebrated the same way most of Europe does, by burning old furniture in small pyres. While it’s unclear where this originated from, we know that Jose María Py decided to combine the burning of old dressers with bull fights and parades. However, the most interesting aspect of the celebration is by far the tradition of having teenagers and children jump through the fire. This is supposed to cleanse them and represent a transition to a new state of life. Although it makes sense, we have to wonder if no one wondered if the risk is worth the symbolic meaning. Then again once you have bull fights it might be a slippery slope.
If it’s Christmas and you’re in Northern Europe don’t be surprised if you walk down the street and see a giant goat staring back at you, it’s just the Yule Goat. Wait what?
This tradition goes back all the way to pre-Christian beliefs which associated Thor with a goat that he would ride into town. However, the meaning behind the goat has changed over the years. At first the animal would appear if kids were bad around Christmas and take them away. Then it became a keeper of tradition that ensured everyone celebrated Christmas, and finally it became the bringer of gifts.
So, if you see a giant goat it might be there to kill you because you were naughty or it might want to give you a gift. But in all seriousness if you do see a goat on the street, don’t worry, around Christmas young men dress up in goat costumes and walk from house to house asking for donations.
Unusual Beauty Pageants
You always wanted to judge one of those Miss Universe contests? How about the next best thing, a beauty contest for crustaceans or maybe a pig festival sounds better? Wait, what?
Every year in Ocean City, USA you can enjoy seeing the world famous a crab beauty contest, followed by a crustacean athletic competition. The whole contest started off as a joke, but became very serious as more and more people started joining in the festivities and entering their lobsters into the competition.
However, if you don’t like to see your sea-food parade on a scene, maybe the French Pig Festival would be more to your liking. This competition actually allows people to join in the fun as there is a contest for best pig outfit as well as a competition for best looking piglet.Written by Jack Mendoza – Copyrighted © www.weirdworm.com Image Sources
- - The Danube Race for the Cross: http://storage0.dms.mpinteractiv.ro/media/1/186/3927/2324818/1/dscf6928.jpg
- - Polterabend : http://www.jugendclub-merkers.de/2008-Dateien/Polterabend.jpg
- - Wife Carrying contest- Finland: http://www.instablogsimages.com/images/2007/10/09/wife-carrying-contest4_1822.jpg
- - St. Joan Bonfires: http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_VfwO17R16Co/R-BA02ZYbpI/AAAAAAAAAaI/C3sTYOdG3pc/s400/FireJumper.jpg
- - Yule Goat: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/7e/Gavle_christmas_goat_2006.jpg
- - Unusual Beauty Pageants: http://hallmonitor.lohudblogs.com/files/2008/05/berrypigcrop.jpg