What is a Festival?
Most people associate the term “festival” with a celebration centered on the god Shiva. In mythology, festivals are a time for revelry that can lead to unwanted physical contact. This often includes bullying among children, sexualized melees among youth, and frottage between adults. In the West, the word festival has many distinctly Western connotations, including the notion of “a great time.”
Most festivals have religious roots and are intertwined with other traditional activities. Religious festivals, for example, mark the end of the year and celebrate a celebration of the change of seasons. Historically important events are often celebrated as well, such as the victory of the Ancient Egyptian Pharaoh Ramesses III over the Libyans. Other festivals are commemorative of agricultural or royal harvests. Some festivals are celebrated annually, while others take place only once or twice a year.
Some festivals focus on creativity, like the famous Midsummer celebration in the northern hemisphere. In the southern hemisphere, Midsummer is associated with the celebration of the summer solstice. This festival is particularly significant in Sweden. Other types of festivals, such as winter carnivals, involve sports, creative activities, or a combination of the two. There are many subcategories of festivals, each with its own unique characteristics.
In the eastern Orthodox Christian tradition, the Epiphany festival is celebrated on January 6. It commemorates the appearance of Christ to the Magi of the East, most likely followers of the Persian prophet Zoroaster in the sixth century bc. It also marks Christ’s baptism in the Jordan River. In fact, it is referred to as “the day of the light” due to its association with the passage in John 1:4 of the Bible.
Food festivals are another popular form of festival. These festivals often highlight the output of a region. Examples of such festivals include the National Peanut Festival in the US and the Galway International Oyster Festival in Ireland. Beer festivals are also popular, with Oktoberfest being the most popular in Germany. Other countries celebrate the wine produced by a particular region. In the UK, the Download Festival takes place in Donington Park, Leicestershire. There are also numerous music festivals around the world, including the Aspen Music Festival.
A feast or festival is a day or period of time set aside to celebrate an important event. These celebrations are usually ritual in nature and are often connected to a religious or seasonal observance. Some festivals are even associated with athletic events and are therefore considered “festivals” by many people. A scholarly investigation of the feasts and festivals of various societies will provide a wealth of information about modern people. So, what is a festival?
Egyptians celebrated many different kinds of festivals. Many of these festivals are associated with seasonal renewal, such as the sacrificial festival of Min. The statue was placed on an inclined pedestal, symbolic of ma’at, which represented the primordial mountain. The procession included ritual dances and hymns. The pharaoh and his queen then entered the shrine for a sacred wedding rite. It is not clear what exactly the rituals involved.