Posted by: traveljunkies | November 28, 2010

December events around the world

Courtesy of Wexas


Dewgal, Mali
During November Fula herders and their cattle close in on the Niger River, then, when the levels are right, thousands of cows are driven across to greener pastures and herders are reunited with their families – a time for much celebration and a great spectacle

Festival of the Oases, Tunisia
Several thousand desert nomads camp out among the undulating sand dunes south of Tozeur for this festival of events which include horse racing, whip-cracking, snake charming, knife-throwing and camel-spitting

Festival of the Sahara, Tunisia
Tunisia’s other desert festival is held at Douz, as seen in Star Wars, and nomads come to enjoy events such as dog-racing, camel-fighting and belly-dancing, as well as the dancing and music in town

Ncwala, Swaziland
This riotous festival of thanksgiving for the first harvest and the New Year involves a number of traditional activities such as slaughtering a bull and burning symbols of the year before, as well as much singing, dancing and making merry

Windhoek Carnival, Namibia
This carnival in the old German colony has retained a lot of the Bavarian traditions, with beer tents, barbecues, cabaret, masked balls and lederhosen-slapping drunkenness


Procession de San Lázaro, Cuba
Fifty thousand people head to El Rincón near Havana to the shrine of Lazarus, travelling in the most difficult way – whether on knees or crawling – for greater rewards and to exorcise evil spirits

Junkanoo, The Bahamas
Spectacular party where competing groups, or crews, set out at dawn, moving towards each other from all directions, resulting in singing and dancing chaos


Christmas Market, GermanyChristmas Market, Germany
Christmas markets pop up across Germany throughout December with one of the largest and most beautiful in Nuremberg, which has more than 200 stalls and around two million visitors

Hogmanay, United Kingdom
Edinburgh celebrates the New Year like nowhere else in the UK – mass processions fill the streets, concerts and parties play through the day and, at night, it’s a riotous mix of music, dancing, whisky and fireworks

Klausjagen, Switzerland
Historically an event from the Middle Ages when villagers chased out evil spirits, Küssnacht’s residents now chase Santa Claus, wielding whips and cow bells as they go

L’Escalade, Switzerland
Commemorating an attack on Geneva in 1602, this event sees processions through the old town, huge bonfires, fun runs and plenty of chocolate eating

Mevlâna Festival, Turkey
The Mevlevi, or whirling dervishes, perform elegant trance-like dance ceremonies over a week in honour of a 13th century Sufi poet, Mevlâna, one of the world’s great mystic philosophers

Stockholm Christmas Markets, Sweden
In Stockholm’s Old Town stalls selling cakes, crafts and gifts line the medieval streets, while in Skansen a candlelit procession starts in the evening and children dance around the Christmas tree


Chaumos, Pakistan
The Kalasha people in the valleys of Rumbur, Bumboret and Birir celebrate once they have stored crops for the winter with their biggest festival – which includes singing, feasting and the slaughtering of goats

Latin America

Día de Nuestra Seora de Guadalupe, Mexico
Celebrating Mexico’s patron saint, the Virgin Mary, tens of thousands head to the Basílica de Nuestra Señora de Guadelupe where she made several appearances centuries before

Festa de Iemanja, Brazil
Dedicated to Rio’s patron saint, Iemanja, the Goddess of the Sea, this festival rings in the New Year with traditional Rio raunchiness

Fiesta de Santo Tomas, Guatemala
Held in the lead up to St Thomas’ Day, Guatemala hosts one of the biggest events in Central America, combining Catholic and Mayan traditions with a series of unique dances, processions and live music

Quema del Diablo, Guatemala
Guatemalan tradition states that the devil resides in the corners of homes, under beds and amongst the garbage – so in the prelude to Christmas they clean their homes and throw an effigy of the devil on top of bonfires and hold firework displays, much like Guy Fawkes in Britain

Reveillon, BrazilReveillon, Brazil
Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro holds one of the best New Year parties anywhere on earth, with about two million people taking to the sand for one long night of Brazilian and international music, fireworks and continual partying

Courtesy of Wexas

North America

National Finals Rodeo, United States of America
Las Vegas hosts the top rodeo championships, with contests in bronco-riding, bull-riding, bareback-riding, calf-roping, team-roping, steer-wrestling and barrel-racing

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