Every so often, some chud posts a vid of a Muslim festival & tries to make it look like a violent riot. It's RTed thousands of times.
In response, here's '12 Months of European Traditional Festivals That Would Scare The Shit Out Of You If You Didn't Know What's Going On'.
JANUARY / UP HELLY AA - On the last Tuesday of the month, the good people of Lerwick in the Shetland Islands get shitfaced, pull out flaming torches and burn a Viking longship.
It ain't even an ancient pagan festival, it's just something formalized in the 19th century.
FEBRUARY / BATTLE OF THE ORANGES - Every year, towards the end of the month, the folk of Ivrea in Piedmont, Italy pelt the shit out of each other with oranges, to remember when, in 1194 when a lord tried to rape a local girl & she CUT OFF HIS HEAD.
Oranges hurt when thrown, BTW.
MARCH / BOURANI (DICK FESTIVAL) - Despite the attempts of the Orthodox church to suppress it, in Tirnavos, Thessaly, the locals continue to honour Dionysus with 'Bourani', or the Phallus Festival.
Basically, they eat dick-shaped things, ride dick floats, & whack each other!
APRIL / WALPURGISNACHT - More fire and booze, but this time in Germany, where people go up to the Harz Mountains in Saxony (particularly the Brocken), get shitfaced and dance around fires, celebrating the (traditional) night of the witches' sabbath.
MAY / FESTIVAL DI SERPARI (SNAKE FESTIVAL) - Every May 1st, the village of Cocullo in Italy's Abruzzo region honours its' patron saint, Dominic, by covering his statue in snakes and carrying it around the town, before releasing the snakes.
It very probably does have pagan roots.
JUNE / BABY-JUMPING FESTIVAL - Every year, the fellas of the village of Castrillo di Murcia in Spain's Burgos place the babies born during the previous year in a line, dress up as the devil, and jump over them, cracking whips.
Supposedly cleanses them of sin. Supposedly.
JULY / SANKT HANS - At the very height of Summer - midsummer actually - Danes light bonfires with a straw witch on them.
This is to remember the witch persecutions of the 16 and 17th centuries - and not altogether unfondly.
AUGUST / PALIO DI SIENA - Whatever you heard, the Palio di Siena isn't just a horserace. It's a no-holds-barred, brutal fight to the finish. Lots of horses and riders have been killed. It's... problematic. Kinda.
It's run each year twice - on July 2 and August 16.
SEPTEMBER / ANTZAR EGUNA (Day of the Geese) - In early September, in the Basque Country town of Lekeitio, young men jump off boats trying to PULL THE HEAD OFF A DEAD, GREASED GOOSE. I shit you not.
Again, deep, deep pre-Christian origins.
OCTOBER / CONCURS DE CASTELLS - Every October, teams from across the region of Catalonia in Spain gather and create massive human towers in an effort to outdo one another.
All it takes is one guy to get an itchy nose...
NOVEMBER / GUY FAWKES NIGHT, LEWES - Here in England, in the Sussex town of Lewes, the whole town gets together and, well, burns the Pope (and, to be fair, other VIP figures) as part of their Guy Fawkes Night celebrations.
DECEMBER / PERCHTENLAUF - Depending where you are in Austria in December, 'Perchten', or representative devils of the ancient mountain goddess Perchta, will process around villages, chasing out evil spirits.
If you ain't ready for them, quite the shock.
Hope you enjoyed that, and next time you see people observing a religious Muslim or traditional festival, ask yourself - is this altogether that weird?
Because I'm telling you, there's a lot weirder closer to home. /FIN
You can follow @MikeStuchbery_.
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