Alternative spring festivals

The sighting of the first blooms is also a welcome knell for the myriad of spirited festivities. Here’s a roundup of the rebirth celebrations in some of the world’s most exotic destinations.

Sami Easter Festival
When: 1 to 4 April
What: An array of all things quintessentially Sami, held in Kautokeino, Norway. Arguably the biggest cultural event of the year, the festival is also a time where the ethnic diaspora returns home to visit their families. Look out for the world championships in reindeer racing, the Sami film festival which is housed in an ice cinema, and the Sami Grand Prix, the community’s equivalent of the popular Eurovision Song Contest.

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Naghol
When: 2 April to 27 June, usually on a Saturday
What: This land diving ritual that takes place on Pentecost Island is the inspiration behind bungy jumping, and is thought to guarantee fruitful yam harvests and male fertility. Men and boys attach vines to their ankles and leap off four-to five-storey tall wooden towers, and successful males enjoy a homecooked feast after their victorious attempts. Aside from the daredevil dives, there will also be traditional music and dance recitals.

Thrissur Pooram
When: 9 April
What: One of the largest temple festivals in Asia, the yearly gathering is hosted at the Vadakkumnathan Temple in Kerala and popular with Hindus and non-Hindus alike. Expect a majestic parade of elephants donning elaborate finery and performing choreographed routines, various rounds of fireworks display, and the mesmerising pilgrimatic rituals. 

Excerpt from the April 2015 issue of epicure.