Aside from engaging in adventure travel, adventure-seekers including plain tourists kept rolling into festivals featuring religious, seasonal, cultural and historical themes considered as among the most sought-after events in the history of mankind throughout the world.
The reasons of course are obvious. Festivals are the best time of the year when, and the appropriate venue of the country where, devout congregations worship; the carefree merry-makers making as much fun as they can; the shrewd businessmen taking advantage of the well-wishers’ spending mood and; the government and non-government agencies grabbing the opportunity to serve their constituents through fora, exhibits and other civic actions.
Practically, the Gods and deities are honored, the cultural and historical events are recognized and the coming of seasons and start of harvests are celebrated generally by street dancing and other fun-filled activities in all countries comprising the continents of Asia, Africa, North America, South America, Europe and Australia but not, for obvious reasons, in Antarctica.
In Asia, the world famous Ati-Atihan, which literally means TO BE LIKE AETAS OR MAKE-BELIEVE ATIS, Festival kicks-off on the 13th and ends on the 20th of January, 2013 in the capital City of Kalibo, Province of Aklan situated in Panay Island, Philippines. Done to rejoice the arrival or gift of the Santo Niño (Infant Jesus) by the Spanish-commissioned Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan to the native Queen of the neighboring island of Cebu in 1521, the Ati-Atihan is dubbed as THE FILIPINO MARDIS GRAS. Considered as the wildest among the Philippine fiestas, the week-long festivity culminates with a street dancing with celebrants painting their faces and body parts in many different ways to make themselves look like the Aetas or Atis referred to in history books as the indigenous natives of the island. Wearing attractive and colorful costumes and donning indigenous weapons, the participants dance on the rhythms of the drums with the tourists joining the hyperactive merriment on the streets thereby resembling that of the Mardi Gras Celebration in Rio de Janiero, Brazil.
Other festivals held in the first month of the year throughout the world are shown in the cool graphic guide below:
[Source: Flight Centre]