Literally meaning “the time before Lent,” Uzagavenes is one of the most popular festivals in all of Lithuania. As the name suggests, it takes place a certain amount of time before Lent. Specifically, the seventh week before. But what exactly do Lithuanians do to celebrate this important time of the year?
Well, for a start, locals will perform a mock battle, between the Lasininis and the Kanapinis. These two sides are supposed to represent the war between Winter and Spring, respectively, with the latter obviously winning. Many people will dress up in audacious costumes, ranging from the Grim Reaper and the devil to goats, witches, and other wacky characters.
The Maiden Fair of Mount Gaina – Romania
Now before you jump to conclusions and assume this is a scene straight out of the horror movie “Midsommar,” let us calm your nerves a little. For a starter, this festival doesn’t even take place in Sweden, and secondly, it’s a completely harmless occasion, to be perfectly honest. Basically, in Romania, there are a lot of families who live in the mountains.
Specifically, in Mount Gaina, a festival called the Maidens’ Fair takes place around the time of the feast of Elijah. One of the main traditions of the festival is that each participant (all female, by the way), has to collect a dowry out of a carved chest. It’s not as gory as it sounds, trust us. Essentially, it is a massive arranged marriage, where all the young singles get married off.
Desert Festival – Jaisalmer, India
When we think of celebrations in the desert, we might automatically think of the vast Sahara or the Arabian peninsula. But no, India has deserts too, and one of its most talked-about festivals takes place in one of them. In Jaisalmer in North West India, a desert festival is organized every February, three days before the full moon.
It is a truly stunning occasion that sees local Rajashtanis sing traditional songs, wear classic garments, and tell stories that have been told for thousands of years. Tourists are just as welcome as locals to partake in the celebrations and don’t be surprised if you get offered the chance to ride a camel or an elephant during your visit.
Beer Floating Kaljakellunta – Finland
Now, before you get too excited, let’s make one thing clear here. This festival doesn’t entail floating in beer. But, it’s still pretty fun by the looks of it. In Finland, during the summer, many locals will take part in the event Kaljakellunta, which is known as “beer floating” in English.
The gist of the event is as follows – people will wear hardly anything, jump into a small float, and paddle their way down the Kerava or Vantaa rivers while drinking copious amounts of beer! We normally advise against drinking while driving. But drinking while floating? As long as you are surrounded by responsible individuals who will help you in case you fall into the water, then you should be just fine.
The Medieval Festival – Romania
In a country that is so proud of its battles with the Ottomans and all things Dracula-related, it should come as no surprise that Romanians like to channel their inner-medieval nature. And it’s not as if there is just one specific medieval festival happening in Romania. There are multiple ones happening at different times of the year.
With that said, some of the most popular versions of the event include the Transylvanian Citadels Medieval Festivals, the Bistrita Celebration, and the Roman Festival Apulum. These are just a couple of them. Just make sure to do your research so that you know for sure which festival is happening around the time of your visit.