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Updated by Joanna James on Jul 13, 2023
Headline for Vibrant and Radiant Religious Festivals Celebrated in the World
Joanna James Joanna James
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Vibrant and Radiant Religious Festivals Celebrated in the World

People's religious faith defines who they are and the cultural identity of nations. Taking part in such native festivals is one of the best ways to respectfully acquaint yourself with local culture.




Adam Jones,Vesak Festive Adornments, Jaffna,CC BY-SA 2.0

Vesak has lately become one of the most celebrated religious festivals across the world. It commemorates Gautama Buddha's birth, enlightenment and passing that took place on the full moon day of May. πŸ™

Celebrated annually, this is the busiest day in Buddhist nations with devotees and their families and friends flocking to the major cities to take part in public religious events.

In Sri Lanka this means visiting illuminated temples and numerous free food stalls (dansal). According to Events and Festivals Blog, in Thailand on this day, Bangkok city's Governor leads the people in giving alms to monks and Buddha relics are transferred from the Grand Palace for the public to pay homage.

The entire landscape is decorated with Buddhist flags, lanterns and various combinations of coloured electric lights.




Steven Gerner,Holi Festival of Colors Utah, United States 2013,CC BY-SA 2.0

Held on the day after the March full moon, Holi is celebrated in India and Nepal. Holi has its historical origins when the playful Hindu God Lord Krishna, doused village girls with coloured water when they were bathing.

Holi celebrates the victory of good over evil, the arrival of spring and a day to forget and forgive. During Holi, remember to step out in some of your old clothes because it's guaranteed that you'll find yourself covered in layers coloured dye powder, being soaked with water while dancing to the beat of Bollywood hits.


Virgen Del Carmen

Virgen Del Carmen

By Felipe Cuevas Valdivia (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

It is celebrated on July 16th in coastal towns and villages of Spain. The festival celebrates the Virgin Mary of Mount Carmelo –patroness and protector of all sea-farers.

Held in mid-summer with barbecues on the beach and late nights, this Spanish festival like others combines religious devotion with endless partying. β›ͺοΈπŸ•


Kurama Fire Festival

Kurama Fire Festival

Chris 73, TaikoDrummersAichiJapan, CC BY-SA 3.0<

Every year on October 22nd, at dusk the tiny Japanese village of Kurama recreates a procession that occurred a millennium ago when the then reigning Japanese emperor transferred the Yuki Myojin -the imperial court's protector- to this town's Shinto Shrine.

This celebration consists of throbbing beats of taiko drums, portable shrines being carried up Mount Kurama and men shouldering five-metre high torches. As bonfires blaze beside, the long torches shower sparks over the procession's participants and spectators alike, making it a true awe-inspiring fire festival. 🎊🎎


Mevlana Festival

Mevlana Festival

User:Intension>Mevlana Konya,CC BY-SA 3.0

Annually, in mid-December, Dervishes of the Sufi sect of Islam assemble in Konya, Turkey. This is for a week-long commemoration of the death of Persian mystic saint Mevlana Jelaluddin Rumi, their order's founder.

The Dervishes dress in long white robes and pot-shaped brown hats and spin to the music of drums and flutes. During the dancing, their white robes balloon-out like ball gowns. The dancing continues until they reach a state of trance where they are said to be one with God.


Esala Perahera

Esala Perahera

A Perahera is a pageant where a sacred relic of the Lord Buddha is taken in procession for the purpose of allowing public homage.

The Kandy Esala Perahera is a ritualistic religious procession that is held annually. It spans over 10 days in July or August around the full moon day.

At this Perahera, the** sacred tooth relic of the Lord Buddha** is paraded on a majestically dressed elephant, accompanied by other elaborately dressed elephants, drummers, fire dancers, muscular traditional Kandyan dancers and bare-chested whip-crackers. πŸ˜πŸŽ‰

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