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How the most colourful festivals in the world are bringing people together

How the most colourful festivals in the world are bringing people together

March 5th, 2020

What do the Boryeong mud festival, Songkran water festival in Thailand, Holi festival in India, La Tomatina Bunol in Spain, and Chinchilla watermelon festival in Australia all have in common? While they take place in different parts of the world, they are all a combination of history, community, and fun. For travel enthusiasts, natives from that particular country or town, and adventurous souls in search of an extraordinary experience, these festivals of community-oriented fun are like a breath of fresh air in their routine life. Several people plan their trips around them because of the one-of-a-kind experience they offer. With February, March and April including the Chinchilla watermelon festival in Australia, the Songkran water festival in Thailand, the Orange battle in Italy and Holi 2020, world over people will be indulging in community fun. Given the digital age we live in, these festivals could be a defining experience for many, just as they were when they came into being.

But how did these festivals originate and why are they significant today?
In a nutshell, here is how a few of the festivals mentioned above came into being. The Orange battle in Italy dates back to the 12th century. It celebrates the overthrowing of a cruel count who oppressed the town’s new brides. The orange battle itself is a play out of how the entire village fought against the count’s army. Moving on, most people getting ready for Holi 2020 know it is the festival of colours but what do the colours represent in the Holi festival? Celebrated as the triumph of good over evil, Holi comes at the start of spring. During this festival, people wish their loved one’s happiness by throwing colour and water on them. If you’re wondering, is Holi a religious holiday as is the case with most festivals in India, the answer is no. However, people only begin playing with the colours after a prayer ceremony takes place in front of a bonfire. Expats in many countries celebrate the Holi festival as a way of embracing their culture even in a foreign land. However, did you know the Songkran water festival in Thailand is the most similar to the Indian festival of colours? On Thai New Year, people throw water on each other for prosperity and good luck, which initially began because of the tradition of washing sacred statues on this day.

Why are they important?
At first glance, all of the above festivals seem to centre on having fun. However, there’s no denying the cultural background they carry and the tradition they uphold. They preserve the identity and cultural history of a place, adding an element of the unusual. Along with giving you added reason to travel to new locations, they also invite you to pursue new experiences individually and as a group. For expats living in a foreign country, an upcoming festival can be the perfect opportunity to spend some quality time with their loved ones. If they cannot celebrate in their home country, the mere decision to celebrate with other expats from their homeland could give them the feeling of home. That said, these fun-filled, community-knit festivals may have become marginally commercialised over the years. But at the heart of it, they will always bear the essence of togetherness because they act as fertile ground for families to bond further, for strangers to become friends, and to bring people together.

Also read: Why Move To A New Country?