Coachella. Burning Man. Tomorrowland. Sziget. Comic-Con. E3. These are all major events built around popular genres of music that attracts hundreds of thousands of attendees from all corners of the globe and you have probably heard of them before. There are similar events that appeal to smaller and more specific audiences: rock festivals, jazz festivals, folk events, world music jamborees, a big vegan festival in the UK, and a tribal gathering in Hungary with a heavy dose of psychedelic trance (and substances). These are much smaller and much less known they cater to a niche audience, and the mainstream media mostly ignore them (well, not the vegan one it’s trendy). And then, there are these events that you only ever hear of and consider attending if you are totally into them.
The Kanamara Matsuri Festival in Japan
The “Kanamara Matsuri” has a translation that’s strictly for adults as is the whole event, held each year in the first week of April. Held each spring at the Kanayama Shrine in Kawasaki, Japan, the event celebrates a pretty prominent sign of male vigour and fertility. The same symbol is used in each and every accessory of the festival carved vegetables, decorations, even candy.
The legend behind the festival talks of a demon hiding inside the private parts of an attractive young woman, biting the prominent parts off her lovers on their wedding nights. The woman sought the help of a local blacksmith who fashioned a prominent organ out of steel. This broke the demon’s teeth and this victory over the evil one was commemorated by building a shrine to hold the iron-hard item.
Busójárás in Hungary
The carnival season in the weeks leading up to the Christian celebration of the Lent has its share of strange traditions and celebrations, ranging from the masked parade in Venice to the throwing of beads and indecent exposure in New Orleans. In Hungary’s Mohács, a small town close to the Southern border of the country, this time of the year is celebrated by the locals putting on scary masks and roaming the streets making as much noise as they can for six days each year.
Legend has it that the locals who fled the town during the Ottomans’ attack were encouraged by a swamp man to dress up in demon costumes to drive out the Turkish troops – the scare tactics worked like a charm, driving out the superstitious soldiers from the town before sunrise.
Air Guitar World Championships in Finland
Finally, back to music sort of. How many of you have played along with Kirk Hammett, Steve Vai, Slash or even Brian May on your air guitar in the privacy of your home? Well, if you are really good at it, you may want to head to Finland next summer to show the world your worth, at “The Annual Air Guitar World Championship Contest”.
The Air Guitar World Championship was first held at the Oulu Music Video Festival in Oulu, Finland, in 1996 and it created a tradition. The current air guitar World Champion is Rob “The Marquis” Messel from Portland, Oregon, who also holds the title of the US air guitar champion.