The long nights and cold temperatures of winter have finally ceased, and the sunny days and warm months of summer are upon us. With that, the desire to hibernate leaves and the excitement to feel the wind and sun take over. More than that, the desire to celebrate the summer season strengthens. Locally, we hear about large and small music festivals, summer vacations, and long days on the water. But those are not the only ways to celebrate the golden season. In fact, different cultures around the world celebrate summer in their own unique ways.
White Nights of Summer – Saint Petersburg, Russia
The White Nights of Summer, or “Beliye Nochi” to the natives, allows the streets of Saint Petersburg to come alive. Like some areas of the world, the people of the area endure a long winter and enjoy the (extra) long summer days that seem to never end. During the months of May through July, you can expect to experience: history, culture, concerts, ballet, opera, food, and drink. Around this time each year, the festivities peak for the Scarlet Sails. This event recreates a children’s story with tall sailing ships and a mock pirate battle. With all of the summer happenings, there is never a dull moment in this city when the sun is up.
Aomori Nebuta Matsuri Festival – Japan
The Aomori Nebuta Matsuri Festival is the largest festival in the country. An impressive 3.5 million people pile into the city of Aomori each year for the event. The tradition holds plenty of meaning to the people of the area. Nebuta means “to be sleepy” and the festival started to “drive away drowsiness.” It makes sense — who can say that a long, hot day doesn’t cause drowsiness? From August 2nd-7th, attendees can see illuminated and elaborately decorated floats parading around the city. Additionally, people will be asked to join in on the dancing and most will be wearing traditional dancing costumes. If you’re looking to immerse yourself into a culture, this festival may be just for you.
Inti Raymi Festival – Cusco, Peru
Inti Raymi, or “Festival of the Sun,” is a beautiful celebration for both the season and history of the area. During this summer celebration, 500 actors come together. While assembled, these actors pay tribute to an ancient Inca ceremony by authentically re-enacting it. The celebration lasts for 9 days and is filled with banquets, music, and thousands of people dressed in traditional costumes. This festival is rightfully held in the square of the Sacsayhuaman fortress. Make the journey if you are looking for a festival full of history and culture, and fully enjoy the destination.
If you found this educational, interesting, or it inspired you to enjoy another culture, visit our blog page for more interesting culture and language discussions.