Festivals

The many types of festivals

What is a festival?

Typically, festivals involve people coming together in the act of celebration. In ancient times, people would gather together to bring harvests in, often working cooperatively to ensure there was enough food to see them through the winter. In many cultures, harvest festivals hark back to such a time before harvesting was largely mechanised. As more people were gathered than was usual and more time was available for people to mix, so such festivals started to take on a greater cultural significance, perhaps with the addition of music and dance. This is the ancestor of the modern arts festival. In addition, modern festival events include ones devoted to food and drink, perhaps to promote a certain food-producing region or product. The other major form of festivals is devoted to religion. Often, religious festivals coincide with public holidays.

What is the festival season?

In much of the western world, the summer period is associated with a long festival season that starts in May and continues through into September. These days, there are some huge festivals, like Glastonbury, Lollapalooza and Austin City Limits, that people attend in great numbers. Given that camping is usual at many festival events, the summer is the best time to hold them. Film festivals and venue-based ones tend to take place at other times of the year because they can be run indoors.

What are the major religious festivals in the world?

Some religious festivals, like Christmas, are fixed to a single point in the calendar. Others move, usually according to the lunar calendar. Passover is one of the most important religious celebrations in the Jewish tradition. It coincides with the Christian festival of Easter. For the Sikh community, the Vaisakhi festival is one of the most important. For Hindus, Diwali is among the most keenly anticipated. Eid al-Fitr is a significant festival for Muslims while Esala Perahera is celebrated within certain Buddhist communities, notably in Thailand.

Are there dangers in attending large festivals?

Some people worry about going to a large, outdoor festival. Usual precautions should be taken to safeguard your belongings. Only consume drinks you know cannot have been interfered with and stick with your friends, so you are not isolated. Many people enjoy large gatherings, and the experiences festivals offer without ever suffering from anything negative.

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To put it simply, religion is a social practice which uses multiple methods to explain humanity, the spiritual side of people, the universe and – in most cases – divinity. That said, there is no consensus as to what religion truly is. Some people take it to mean only organised religion where worship is conducted through ritual. Others see it as something that is bound up with their personal identity and which could not be shared even if they wanted it to. In the main, religions state moral positions that followers ought to stick to. Many religions also promote certain practices that are encouraged. These are often referred to as observances. Many types of religion have world views that cover all aspects of humanity, including the afterlife. Critics of organised religion usually point out how it has been used throughout history as a form of social control.
There are various definitions of music. Eastern and Western musical traditions are very different from one another, and it is hard to define a genre like jazz with the same meaning as, say, military music. That said, most musicologists accept that there are three essential aspects to music. These are rhythm, pitch, and harmony. On top of this, you could easily add other common elements such as timbre, the way a particular sound is perceived. To some people, music also has a visual element, and you can literally dance rather than simply move to its sound. From ancient times, both voices and musical instruments have been used to produce music and, these days, it is a folk art form as well as being a multi-billion dollar global industry.
Any body of text is really a form of literature. If you collected all your old shopping lists, then you could consider this to be literary to some, small extent, for instance. More commonly, however, the term literature refers to the written word as an art form. As such, certain texts tend to be excluded in this tighter definition. Instruction manuals, phone books and newspapers tend not to be considered to have much literary value. Therefore, novels, poetry anthologies and even biographies are more often thought of as genuine literature. In some cases, notable non-fiction works count as literature, too, such as history books. That said, the main literary works that are best-known around the world are normally works of fiction.
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