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Festival scenes from across the nation
1.       tunci
7149 posts
 15 Apr 2011 Fri 11:19 am

Festival scenes from across the nation

15 April 2011, Friday / FATMA TURAN , İSTANBUL

The Camel Wrestling Festival in Selçuk, İzmir

                                   The Camel Wrestling Festival in Selçuk, İzmir

The summer months are approaching. One dimension of the increasing numbers of activities on the agenda are the festivals. But actually, many of the festivals pass in a whirlwind of protocol speeches and music, without much focus on what give the festivals their names.
 

Many regional festivals that take place in the summertime are centered for the most part around the sale of locally grown or made items, as well as visits by famous artists, or a series of speeches from local and governmental officials. And municipalities are known for spending generous amounts on these festivals

Summertime in Turkey means festival time. From the İstanbul Shopping Fest to the Kuzugöbeği (meadow mushroom) Festival, days full of excitement await us. In some regions there are peach festivals, while others celebrate the plum, and so on. Sometimes it seems there isn’t a single fruit or vegetable around which a festival hasn’t been planned. In addition to these though, we hear of festivals for things which would have never occurred to us either. Some of these are festivals such as the Cow, the Sheep Shearing and the Seedless Pomegranate Festivals.

Many regional festivals are centered for the most part around the sale of locally grown or made items, as well as visits by famous artists, or a series of speeches from local and governmental officials. And municipalities are known for spending generous amounts on these festivals. In fact, sometimes money which might have otherwise been spent on roads, water, or electric services for those regions are spent on paying guest stars to the festivals. In fact, many regional festivals offer the same things, no matter where you go: Local leaders make their speeches, locally grown items are sold. But where are those activities which are actually linked to the name of the festival itself?

Festivals are not serving their purposes

There are some people who see festivals as real opportunities. Some make political speeches, others create conflicts, some speak out against statements made against their parties, etc. The Sheep Shearing Festival held a year and a half ago in Şırnak led to some interesting scenes. There was a parade during which posters and flags were unfurled and speeches were given that were reminiscent of election campaigning. In fact, one Turkish deputy attending the festival even responded publicly to something said at an earlier date by Prime Minister Erdoğan, noting “If you don’t keep the promises you have made to these people, the people will cut off your head.”

At last year’s Çıldır Lake Festival in the city of Ardahan, which was attended by thousands of people, 16-year-old Emre Yılmaz drowned in the waters of the same lake after which the festival was named. In fact, a young man had also lost his life in the same lake at the same festival the year before.

Some festivals are true to their names though

One of the few festivals that actually seems to hold true to what its name promises is the Kuzugöbeği (meadow mushroom) Festival. At this festival, which takes place annually in Fethiye, visitors are informed on and get to taste the famous meadow mushroom, but also other mushroom types. This particular festival is attended by many from Turkey as well as from abroad, and there are even seminars offered on how to gather and use mushrooms, as well as their medical benefits.

World festivals

Festivals that take place in other countries are quite different from those in Turkey. Oftentimes, foreign festivals are based on beliefs. There are special masks, costumes, and traditional festival clothing that is worn to these festivals. One of the most interesting examples of these takes place annually in Spain and involves people leaping over a baby placed in the middle of the street. This event known as “El Colacho” in Spanish, or the Baby-Jumping Festival, takes place the first week of every June, and has been going on now for 400 years. The reason: to protect all Spanish babies from all sorts of evil. Another interesting foreign festival is England’s Cheese Rolling Festival. Hundreds of people compete to see who can catch large rounds of “Gloucester” cheese which are rolled down a steep slope. The aim is simply to see who can grab one of these 4-kilogram rounds of cheese, although when you keep in mind that the cheese can reach speeds of 130 kilometers an hour, it’s actually not all that easy of a task!

Another festival example to consider is from China, where every spring thousands of Hong Kong residents, as well as guests, compete to attain bread hung on 18-meter-high poles made of bamboo and metal outside the famous Pak Tai temple. The bread is steamed, sweet and sacred. On the final night of this interesting festival, athletes scramble to the tops of these poles to see who can gather more bread. One final festival to consider: the Red Turnip Festival in Mexico, which has been going on since 1897, and involves local greengrocers creating various statues out of red turnips.

 
 

 

                                     

2.       scalpel
1472 posts
 15 Apr 2011 Fri 12:56 pm

 

Quoting tunci

Festival scenes from across the nation

15 April 2011, Friday / FATMA TURAN , İSTANBUL

The Camel Wrestling Festival in Selçuk, İzmir

                                   The Camel Wrestling Festival in Selçuk, İzmir

 

 

 

                                     

 

I support Faytoncu´s camel {#emotions_dlg.lol}

BTW I noticed there´s no woman in the picture. Oh,I think there is one on the top left of the picture wearing  a white pullover...to her left is a white haired man eating pumpkin seed! {#emotions_dlg.bigsmile} 

 

3.       MeDanone
73 posts
 15 Apr 2011 Fri 05:15 pm

And they say Turkey is not European. They got festival for farm produce. Come on! Yeay to Turkey! A crossroad to cultures. Woo hoo!

4.       tunci
7149 posts
 15 Apr 2011 Fri 07:58 pm

The Camel Wrestling Festival in Selçuk, İzmir

Since the early days of nomadic caravans crossing the Middle East, camel wrestling has been a form of entertainment and a source of tribal pride for the inhabitants of Turkey. These days, the most popular competitions occur in Selcuk, which is home to the country’s professional camel-wrestling league. During the winter months (when, due to mating season, the males are most ornery) camel owners from across Turkey march their prize bulls through various town streets to the sounds of percussive music and bells. The bulls are bedecked in elaborate tapestries and harnesses. Their owners wear their finest scarves and hats. As the prize fighters enter the dusty arena, a cow camel is paraded around them. The bulls snort. They growl. White froth gathers at their mouths and noses and once the cow has left the arena, they charge at each other.

Camels—even six-foot tall territorial bulls—are not nature’s most aggressive creatures, however. They use their long necks, legs, and bodies to wrestle each other around. Colorful muzzles prevent biting. All in all, camel wrestling is a rather gentle sport. Matches are refereed and end within 15 minutes, though they rarely last even that long: usually the losing camel admits defeat by either falling to the ground or running off into the cheering crowd.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Edited (4/15/2011) by tunci

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