It seems kind of bizarre at first, to consider that there are festivals celebrating an animal at many places around the world. Domesticated animals have been a large part of our human survival, and wild animals are either feared or cherished, so why not?
The renown Running of the Bulls is a part of the San Fermin Festival, which occurs in the Navarra city of Pamplona from July 6 to July 14 in 2012. Each morning runners race down the narrow half a mile stretch that goes from the Santo Domingo corrals to the bull ring where later that afternoon six bulls and six domesticated steer are killed as part of the daily bullfight. Originally born of the need to move the bulls from their country pastures to the city centre bullring, this event, also called Encierro, evolved into today’s Running of the Bulls. If you want to see how to personally participate in this event, read THIS
Touted as the world’s last great race, the Anchorage to Nome Iditarod is an annual event that pits men and dogs against the elements in Alaska. Even after airplanes, dog sled teams continued to provid much of the transportation of goods across the region during the long winter. However, with the growing popularity of snowmobiles, use of dog teams began to decline, and the Husky was not in much demand. People interested in keeping the tradition of dog sled teams alive as well as celebrating a segment of Alaska’s history started organizing the event in the 1960s. The mushers travel from checkpoint to checkpoint and their progress can be followed on with GPS mapping posted on the Iditarod website. The race is active now in mid-March so plan your trip for 2013!
Started as a whimsical conversation between friends (assuming there HAD to be alcohol involved) the sport of elephant polo started in 1982. Now there is an International Elephant Polo Association with its headquarters at the Tiger Tops Jungle Lodge in the Royal Chitwan Park in Nepal. The World Elephant Polo Tournament played there every year on the grass airfield of Meghauly, a short land rover drive and scenic boat ride from the lodge itself. It’s a colorful scene as local villagers flock from miles around to watch their favorite event of the year. The event has grown since 2001 to include dignitaries, royalty, the rich and the famous from Europe, Asia and New Zealand. A step to the final World Cup game will take place September 12-16. and the World Tournament will be Monday the 26th of November to Friday the 30th of November.
Additional festivals to check out
La Pourcailhade in Trie Sur Bäise, France is held August 15 with piglet races, pork sausage eating contests, contests (best pig costume—yours, not the animal dressed up) and lots of music and dancing.
The Palatka, Florida Blue Crab Festival always takes place on Memorial Day. Located west of St. Augustine, this festival is one for crab lovers. Good food and fun.
In honour of the Hindu monkey God, Hanuman, the residents of Lopburi, Thailand spread out a feast for the monkeys which live in their area. Over 600 monkeys descend to devour the vast array of fruits and vegetables, and what follows can only be termed as complete mayhem. Monkey Buffet Festival November 25.