You’d think that New Year was well and truly done by now, but amongst our things to do around this world this April are two more New Year celebrations. There are also demonic spirits hiding up ladies’ skirts, and — we can’t forget — the yams.
Trelawny Yam Festival
Albert Town, Jamaica: April 1
Easter Monday is yam day in Trelawny, Jamaica! The yam festival celebrates the ubiquitous root vegetable by showcasing its usage in all sorts of dishes, as well an amazing variety of creative byproducts and other uses. Thousands of people take part each year, but it’s not something to titilate my tastebuds… Maybe you just have to be there.
Carnaval Des Soufflets
Nontron, France: April 6-7
How do you purify a town from evil spirits? With bellows of course! It’s important to blow those demons away, whether they’re hiding under your neighbours’ shirts or their daughter’s skirt.
That was the thinking of the monks of Nontron in the middle ages, and today… Well, it’s an excuse for a bit of fun. Get dressed up in a nightshirt and cap, add some clogs and a mask, and don’t forget your bellows.
Boun Pi Mai (Lao New Year)
Laos: April 13-15
It’s a bit late in the year, but Laos celebrates the new year right now! While the public holidays only stretch for three days, you’ll find most people across the country celebrating all week.
This is an important time for the mainly-Buddhist country: offerings are made and Buddha statues are removed from their altars and temples for cleaning. The spin-off is that water is also used to ‘clean’ passersby, so make sure your electronics are well-protected if you’re in Southeast Asia this week. And bring your own water pistols.
Pahela Baishakh, the Bengali New Year
Bangladesh: April 14
The New Years celebrations in Bangladesh are noisy, vibrant, and… commercial. The big sales are a cause for celebration for many punters, but Pahela Baishakh is an ancient celebration of the Bangla New Year. Everyone dresses up to enjoy the fairs, which sell a variety of toys and dolls (among other things) and you’ll be entertained by singers and puppet shows.
If you’ve got photos or a story to share about any of these events, we’d love to share them with the Indie Travel Podcast Community. Email us today, or send a direct message to us @admin.
What are you up to in April? Doing something better than this? Tell us in the comments, and make us all jealous.