Where to Go This August: Tribal Festivals, Art Extravaganzas and Boat Races

Our top travel picks for the month.  
tomatina festival, Spain
No holds barred during the La Tomatina fight in Spain. Photo bu Steve Davey Photography / Alamy Stock Photo.
Tribal Ao Naga men perform a warrior dance during the Tsungremong festival Photo by STRDEL/AFP/Getty Images.

Tribal Ao Naga men perform a warrior dance during the Tsungremong festival.
Photo by STRDEL/AFP/Getty Images.

Head to Nagaland for Celebrating Tribal Thanksgiving

The Ao Tribe of Nagaland celebrates Tsungremmong or the ‘festival of blessing’ to thank the divine powers for a bountiful harvest. Young Ao Naga girls dress in beautiful Ao skirts and blouses, while the boys don traditional hats, tsungkotepsu (colourful shawl), and various ornaments crafted out of shells and wood. Family and friends join in for folk dances and music to celebrate. There is also a village feast. After the village gate is closed before the prayers and dances commence, festivities that follow are a beautiful sight of colours, music, and community spirit coming together. Read more here.

Where: Mokukchung, Nagaland’s Cultural capital

When: 3rd August

 

Experience a fusion of cultures and colours at Leicester Carribbean Carnival

Each year a celebration of music, food, traditional dresses, and cultures is presented in Leicester. A parade goes full swing, with costumed bands that play a variety of instruments. Men and women wearing Carribbean headgears and outfits colour the street. Watch out for the creative carnival floats that flood the street. This year the carnival will celebrate 32 years of coming to existence with a theme called ’It’s a Celebration’. We hear there are going to be some great music performances too. Find out more here.

Where: Victoria Par, Leicester

When: 5th August

 

Children release floating lanterns onto the Motoyasu river to pray for relatives victims of the Atom Bomb in front of the Atom Bomb Dome in Hiroshima. Photo by YOSHIKAZU TSUNO / Staff/ Getty images.

Children release floating lanterns onto the Motoyasu river to pray for relatives victims of the Atom Bomb in front of the Atom Bomb Dome in Hiroshima.
Photo by YOSHIKAZU TSUNO / Staff/ Getty images.

Pay Your Tribute on Hiroshima Day

Every year at the Peace Memorial Park the citizens of Hiroshima City gather to observe a peace ceremony for the souls who lost their lives in the devastating Hiroshima bomb attack 72 years ago. At the gathering the crowds sing odes and prayers to promote world peace. Do not miss the ‘Peace Message Lantern Floating Ceremony’ in the evening. Thousands of lanterns float over River Motoyasu, and the sight is mesmerizing as the sun begins to set. Onlookers are welcome to put peace messages on lamps and set them afloat. Know more here.

Where: Peace Memorial Park, Hiroshima City

When: 6th August

 

 

Boat Race, Kerala

On race day, the chundan boats are dressed up with embroidered silk umbrellas and gleaming golden flags that flutter in the breeze. Photo: Keren Su/The Image Bank/Getty Images

Behold the Nehru Boat Race of Kerala

Every year, on the second Saturday of August, the magnificent snake boat race takes place. Each boat holds about 130 men: four roaring helmsmen who steer the vessel, 25 singers to keep the rhythm, and at least 100 rowers. While the actual event doesn’t last very long, the energy is kinetic. Expect VIP stalls, hawkers, politicians, and heavily decorated boats being paraded in the backwaters. Get there early for a spot.

More here.

Where: Punnamada Backwaters, near Alleppy, Kerala

When: 12th August

 

 

Beer tent at the Gaeubodenvolksfest. Photo by LOOK Die Bildagentur der Fotografen GmbH / Alamy Stock Photo.

Beer tent at the Gaeubodenvolksfest. Photo by LOOK Die Bildagentur der Fotografen GmbH / Alamy Stock Photo.

Get Sloshed at the Oldest Beer Fest of Bavaria

Going to Bavaria in August would mean gulping down beer and getting on the carousels. If that sounds like your deal, let’s talk business. At Gaubodenvolks fest you can start off with beer from any or all of the breweries in the six giant tents. Beer rituals start with tasting and advance to full-fledged liquid lunches and dinners. The five-looped Olympia rollercoaster is the star of the show. Locals wearing beautiful traditional dresses parade through the length of the festival street. Know more about the fest here.

Where: Straubing, Bavaria

When: 11th August to 21st August

 

 

One of the many installations at festival in 2016. Photo Courtesy: Helsinki Festival/Facebook

One of the many installations at festival in 2016. Photo Courtesy: Helsinki Festival/Facebook

Voyage through Art at the Helsinki Fest

Every year Helsinki hosts a massive festival that brings together a variety of performing arts. You can be audience to dance and theatre performances, music concerts, circuses, and more. Experience the literary events, and attend cinema screenings where the fabric of the visuals is an assortment of creative art films from around the world.  Have a look at their website for a detailed plan of the fortnight-long fest here.

Where: Helsinki

When: 17th August to 3rd September

 

 

Explore the Cultural Side of Gujarat

Said to have its roots in Draupadi’s swayamvar (yes, the one in the Mahabharata), the Tarnetar Fair is a 3 day extravaganza held in Tarnetar village, Gujarat. The fest is a playground for young people to find their match – and they dress appropriately for the same. As a matter of fact, there’s even a dress code. Women in red skirts and men with colourful dhotis and turbans are on the prowl for a partner. Over the years, the festival has grown to include joyrides for kids, folk dances and music, and stalls selling handicrafts.

More here.

Where: Tarnetar Village, Gujarat

When: 25th to 27th August

 

A smoke ring created by a propane fire canon drifts over the head of Burning Man at sunset. Photo by Jim Rankin / Contributor/ Getty images.

A smoke ring created by a propane fire canon drifts over the head of Burning Man at sunset. Photo by Jim Rankin / Contributor/ Getty images.

Visit the Desert City of Nevada

The Black Rock Desert of Nevada transforms into a vast art forum by the end of August. Artists from all over come together to build an entire city and present myriad art creations. With no sponsorship, the forum is open for planned and impromptu participations from visitors.  All in all, the fest is a beacon to promote self-expression and the spirit of community living through art. Why is it called what it is called, you ask? Well, as you enter the venue an enormous statue of the mascot begins to come into sight. It is ignited on the last day – and that’s the Burning Man. Visit their website to know all about it.  They also have a mighty bunch of details covered about getting there.

Where: Black Rock City, Nevada Desert

When: 27th August to 4th September

 

Battle with Tomatoes on the Streets of Bunol

Who doesn’t know La Tomatina as one of Spain’s most gregarious festivals? If you think you can handle squashed tomatoes coming to you from all sides, head straight to the fest. Thanks to Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara we already know a lot about the tomato-hurling, along with the rules. Besides, the festival includes various music and dance performances, and also a contest for preparing paella. Take a look at their website for a review of things happening at the fest.

Where: Bunol, Spain

When: 30th August

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