If there’s one thing people everywhere can agree on, it’s that animals are pretty awesome. Whether they’re wild animals shrouded in mystery or the pets we snuggle every day and night, they deserve to be celebrated.
And that’s what these 5 international festivals set out to do.
It’s also a good excuse to travel more, and we all need that!
5. MONKEY BUFFET FESTIVAL
You’re not supposed to feed the monkeys running free in Thailand’s temples, but on the last Sunday every November, people make an exception in Lopburi: they set out towers of fruit, tons of food, and even cans of Coke to adorn banquet tables in the ruins of a 13th-century temple.
Once the sheet is removed, thousands of macaques arrive and feast.
4. KUKUR TIHAR
Tihar is a five-day Hindu festival in Nepal, and a big part of the celebration centers around giving thanks to other species. On the first day crows, the messengers of death, are worshipped. On the third day cows get their turn, but on day two, it’s all about the dogs.
Hindus believe dogs can warn people of impending danger and even death, and during the Kukur Tihar ceremony, people place flower garlands around the necks of both pet and stray dogs to show their respect. Red dots are placed on their foreheads in an act of worship, and dogs are also given plenty of treats.
3. WOOLLY WORM FESTIVAL
If you love the woolly worm, then you’re going to want to make your way to Banner Elk, North Carolina. Local folklore says the color of the fuzzy caterpillar can predict how severe forthcoming weather will be – the 13 segments on its body correspond to the 13 weeks of winter – with black meaning more snow and brown predicting fairer weather.
The third weekend in October, people gather for the Woolly Worm Festival, which includes a worm race, the winter weather predictions, and prizes for the winning “coach.”
2. TRANSHUMANCE FESTIVAL
Travel to Madrid to see thousands of sheep parade through the streets, along with men and women in traditional garb, singing and dancing in celebration of shepherding traditions.
1. PUSHKAR CAMEL FAIR
The Indian state of Rajasthan is home to the Pink City, Blue City, Yellow City, and hosts an equally colorful cultural event every November that celebrates camels.
On a full moon day, the large fair allows traders to show off their camels and other livestock while celebrating local culture and traditions. The camels also sport bright and brilliant attire as they participate in competitions and dance to lively music.
Well, my bucket list just grew!
Did yours? Let us know which of these appeal to you the most!