Summer Festivals Celebrated Throughout the World
Volume 4 Issue 1
November 6, 2023
Image Provided by Aesthetics Wiki - Fandom
When summer was just around the corner, various countries started to welcome the most beloved season. Here are some places where the summer season has a grand entrance!
KRAKOW, POLAND – WIANKI FESTIVAL
This Polish festival began with an ancient pagan fertility festival. Wianki Festival originated in Krakow but is celebrated all over Poland. Wianki translates to the wreath and represents the future, good fortune, being in love, and fertility. Along the Vistula River, the Poles have special wreath-floating events, festivals, concerts, bonfires, traditional food, firework displays, and vodka drinking. Polish women also wear, and deposit garlands weaved with symbolic herbs in a river. Hiding in boats lined up along a river, boys try to catch their girlfriend’s wreaths.
BARCELONA, SPAIN – THE NIGHT OF FIRE FESTIVAL OF SANT JOAN
This Spanish festival celebrates the longest day of the year and the beginning of summer. On the night of Sant Joan, celebrations commence when the sun is at its highest in the sky, symbolizing fertility. Representing wealth and strength, bonfires and fireworks take place all over Barcelona. Sant Joan has three symbols: water, herbs, and fire.
Water symbolizes the cleansing of sins. As a result, locals often dive into the Mediterranean Sea for a late-night swim.
Herbs symbolize remedy and healing. Since it is believed that thyme, rosemary, and verbena contain aphrodisiac properties, many eat these herbs on the night of Sant Joan.
Fire represents abundance, purity, and fertility. On the night of Sant Joan, Barcelona lights up with bonfires and fireworks to eradicate bad- luck.
JAPAN – AOMORI NEBUTA MATSURI FESTIVAL
One of Japan’s largest festivals, the Aomori Nebuta Matsuri Festival (August 2 - 7), takes place in the Aomori, a prefecture on Japan’s island of Honshu. The Aomori prefecture is notable for its natural landscapes, like volcanic mountain ranges. It is also Japan’s largest apple producer. This festival originated amongst the Aomori people to eradicate the drowsiness that came over them on warm summer days. During the Japanese festival, large floats made from wood and paper are decorated and lit up from the inside. Complemented by taiko drums, flutes, and hand cymbals, these large floats parade throughout the Aomori prefecture. There is no fee to attend the festival as attendees take part in dancing as they wear the traditional Haneto dancing costume.
ST. PETERSBURG, RUSSIA – WHITE NIGHTS OF SUMMER
May through July, the “White Nights” are celebrated when the sun does not fully set, leading to sun-filled days. Russians refer to this festival as Beliye Nochi. During the White Nights, people come out on the streets and visit special concerts, festivals, ballet, opera, and certain restaurants/bars that stay open all night. Additional celebrations include bridges being raised over the River Neva, best seen from an evening cruise, swimming in Lake Ladoga, and walking through the “Summer Gardens” or Letnii Sad. On June 22nd, millions of Russians gather for the Scarlet Sails as a tall ship sails to recreate a well-known children’s story with a fake pirate battle, all taking place on the River Neva.