The strangest festivals in the world

Jeremy hunter has devoted 35 years of his life to photographing ancient magic rituals and festivals in sixty countries. We offer to your attention a small selection of his photographs from the project “Celebrate all year round”.

1. For centuries the peoples of the highland districts of Papua New Guinea fought for land, women and pigs. Witchcraft and the calling of spirits was considered a good weapon to repel the attacks of the invaders, members of clans have coated your own body figures out of clay and created a scary mask. It was part of a psychological attack against the invasion of their territory by other clans. Pictured is a resident of the village in the valley of Vanghi, near the town of mount Hagen.

2. Group dancing and singing is one of the rituals of clans in Papua New Guinea, with which the members of the community Express their unity and solidarity. The photograph is of the faithful dance of the snake, executable by the clan Apenda, Leh, near Morobe.

3. In the period from September to November 18-day Burmese festival Fung Dau, passing on Inle lake allows the indigenous Intha, “sons of the lake”, to worship the five Buddha images, created in the twelfth century. Four of them are transported around the lake to another monastery on the shore daily, with a huge Golden Karaweik (barges). The barge is accompanied by a boat that dancers with their movements mimic the growth of grass on the lake shore.

4. Mursi tribe, which has no leaders or leaders – live in the South of Ethiopia between the OMO river and its tributary the Mago. A distinctive feature of Morsi are special lip plates worn by the women. Anthropological studies show that these plates are considered an expression of social status. Plates are removed to eat and drink, but never in the presence of one of the men of the Mursi tribe. Plate this woman made of clay, is 14 cm in diameter – they’re the size of a large plate.

5. The Hajj to Mecca in Saudi Arabia is a journey that every adult Muslim must perform at least once in their life. But for millions of people in Bangladesh the cost of this pilgrimage is just unreal, so his alternative is to Biswa Ijtema. Pictured is a pilgrimage on the river Turag in Tonga, on the outskirts of the capital, Dhaka, on 24 January 2010. About five million pilgrims gathered here for the ceremony, which will last only 22 minutes.

6. Dancing with horns is a part of the ancient celebration of fertility, the date of which is determined by a rather complicated formula: it is always celebrated on the Monday after the first Sunday following the 4th of September. English folk dancing is believed to have been part of the pagan ritual of the hunt back to the tribe of the Saxons. They were first performed at the fair, Bertelli near Burton-on-Trent in 1226. Dancers wear six pairs of huge antlers, which date back to 1065.

7. And this festival of hunting deer tribe Aboakyer in winneba, Ghana, which is held in honor of the God of war the APA Sakuma. The close connection between hunting and sacred is the essence of traditional religious rituals and festivals worldwide. The idea of food as a guarantee of security lies at the heart of this festival.

8. In the monastic town of Labrang, in the Autonomous region of Eastern Tibet, life and local customs still remain the same as they were 500 years ago. During the Great Monlam festival, which marks the beginning of the Tibetan New Year, all the monk is going before the Living Buddha, who is embodied by the hundreds of spiritual messages. Reading these messages takes several hours, during which monks must remain squatting motionless on the ground, no matter what the temperature. On a day when he made this photograph, there was a snowstorm, and the temperature dropped to -27C.

9. In 2001 to 70 million pilgrims are estimated to have participated in 42-day religious pilgrimage and the carnival Maha Kumbha Mela in Prayag, in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. It was the largest similar celebration in the history of the world. During the festival, young boys dressed in sumptuous ceremonial costumes, temporarily turn into women, moreover, women living goddesses. Their feet do not touch the ground, and carry them on your hand or special stretchers by their fathers or guardians. The next festival of Maha Kumbh Mela will be held in 2013.

10. Festival of Alpine horns held annually in Nesselwang, Bavaria, which attracts musicians play this instrument. Alpine horn, which lasted for more than two thousand years, characterized by the peculiar sound of the bass-tenor register.

11. The largest ultra-Orthodox Hasidic Jewish community in Europe lives in the area of Stamford hill in North London. Every year they celebrate Purim festival, established in memory of the salvation of the Jews living on the territory of the Persian Empire. In the old Testament Esther is considered a heroine of the Jewish people, and, according to the Talmud, the name Esther comes from the Hebrew word nistar, that is “hidden”. So during this holiday, children often hide their faces behind masks.

12. In Oristano, Sardinia, paganism and Catholicism exist side by side. Every year in February was elected Componidori is the best rider in the region for the festival La Sartiglia. One day he ceases to be human and becomes androgynous incarnation of God the rider. If in the course of the day God is the rider falls off the horse, the fate of the entire region will be threatened over the next 12 months.

13. In Peru, La Virgen del Carmen is known as Mother Earth, and each year in July in Paucartambo, a remote town at an altitude of almost 3000 metres on the lower slopes of the Andes, the citizens have a Fiesta, which was founded as early as the 17th century. During the three days of the festival, the image of the Virgen del Carmen carry on the streets, while strange pagan animals (for example, the creature that looks like a bird) trying to attract the attention of celebrants.

14. Despite the religious origins of Mardi Gras, the Tuesday after Oil week, the last day before the beginning of Catholic lent, in the public mind it is closely connected with the carnival, festivals, dancing, naked flesh, bright costumes and headdresses. The photo was taken in Cayenne, capital of French Guiana.

15. In the Bay of Mont Saint-Michel in Normandy – one of the strongest currents in the world and one of the highest tides. In rare cases (usually around September), tide, and hundreds of pilgrims head for a walk along the Bay, as they have done already, at least 600 years to pay homage to St. Michael, “the Guardian of the gates of Paradise”.

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