When it comes to loving pets or animals in general, several indigenous cultures pay homage to and worship various creatures in the most delightful of ways. Here are 8 such festivals known for championing our fellow creatures and our relationships with them!
1. Tihar Festival (Nepal)
The Tihar festival is the Nepali equivalent of Diwali. Known as the festival of lights, people have a lot of the same rituals as in India. One major difference is the fact that the Nepalis dedicate the second day to the worship of dogs. As man’s best friend, the dogs are paid respect to with garlands and a lot of good food.
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2. Surin Elephant Round-Up (Thailand)
Surin’s Elephant Roundup Festival is an attempt to showcase and preserve the local way of life between humans and elephants. The event takes place in the Surin province of Isan, Thailand specifically at the Si Narong Stadium, which is the world’s largest domestic elephant village. This event has 20 decorated floats with food for the elephants. 300 domesticated elephants will enter a parade and in return be given a veritable feast. There are also cultural performances, entertaining shows and food for all the spectators to enjoy.
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3. Golden Retriever Festival (Scotland)
The Golden Retriever Festival celebrates the long breeding process that resulted in one of the most popular breed of dog. Known for their tracking skills, gentleness, intelligence, loyalty and lustrous golden fur, the Golden Retriever is truly an amazing breed. The festival brings together several such other dogs who can then mingle and make friends while also participating in fun activities.
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4. Banner Elk Woolly Worm Festival (USA)
Much like Groundhog Day, the worms decide the fate of the weather in this festival. Worms are made to race after which the winners are examined by experts to forecast the weather and the change of the seasons.
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5. Monkey Buffet Festival (Thailand)
Set up in the province of Lopburi, Bangkok, the Monkey Buffet Festival is held for the benefit of the monkeys. 4000 kilograms of fruits, vegetables, cakes and candies are set down in front of temples on tables, in a pyramid or just on a simple mat for the delight of the 3000 monkeys living in the area.
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6. Birds of Chile Festival (Chile)
The annual Birds of Chile Festival is held in Viña del Mar for families and bird-lovers as much as for ornithologists and bird-watchers. Talks by professionals, educational workshops and excursions to diverse habitats and ecosystems nearby are on the agenda.
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7. Rabbit Hopping Festival (Denmark)
The Rabbit Hopping Festival features small fur balls jumping over obstacles with great ease while their masters tag along on the leash. The rabbits are trained for 2-3 years before they can make it to the elite class. The festival is all in fun and nobody forces their rabbit to jump if they do not want to.
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8. Velas Turtle Festival (India)
Every year, around March, hundreds of people gather on Velas Beach to witness a true miracle of nature; the hatching of the Olive Ridley turtle’s eggs. Wildlife conservationists play an important role in preventing the eggs of the vulnerable species from getting crushed by placing baskets over them. When they finally hatch, turtle enthusiasts help usher along the little guys towards the ocean where they begin their new lives.
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