If you're in to it, it's likely there's a festival on for it somewhere. Festivals make great destinations - your entertainment options, shopping, food, and sometimes accomodations are all wrapped up. Festivals take you to small towns where you might not otherwise stray from the main route to visit. They're great places to meet new people, to take pictures, to sit on the bleachers hearing live music...Don't worry, you don't have to go to Burning Man (though that's a helluva destination). You can find the festival for you, be it sheep, garlic, bagpipes, you name it - whatever it is, there's a festival for it and the makings of a terrific short trip or a journey across the planet.
The Kitchener Bitch just returned from the Michigan Fiber Festival with quite the selection of goodies.
The festival was just great. I love sheep and goats, not to mention angora bunnies, and itâ€™s nice to connect to the critters that beget so much yarny goodness.
For something a bit more exotic, how about the Festival of World Sacred Music in Fez? From Mondomix:
Most festival goers drove two hours out to the Volubilis ruins to share the songs of the Brotherhoods of Morocco and the music of Spanish group Curro PiÃ±ana. A small band of journalists took the initiative of going to Moroccoâ€™s oldest festival in the nearby town of Sefrou. The townâ€™s Cherry Festival was born in 1919 as a French initiative and has survived these 87 years thanks to the goodwill and co-existence between the Muslim, Jewish and Christian communities who lived there.
Closer to home, there's Flitzy Phoebie's post from the Asian American Water Festival. She describes what the festival is like back in its native Cambodia.
In Cambodia, this celebration also includes "Awk Ambok" (eating sticky rice with coconut juice and banana), "Sampeah Preah Khae" (worshiping the moon), and the "Bandaet Pratip Ceremony" (floating the lights). During this ceremony, Cambodians honor the Mekong river, which promotes fertile soil for crops. Similar ceremonies are held annually at the Chaktomuk River in front of the Royal Palace in Phnom Pehn.
From the Family Travel Forum, there's a post about how India, Japan, or China are perfect destinations for Fall Festival travelers:
Most communities celebrate Dussehra with great fanfare, which will take place on October 2nd this year. During the festival, professional dance companies and amateur troupes act out the Ramleela, or the story of Rama. Young men and small boys dressed as Rama (forces of good), his brother Lakshman, Ravana (forces of evil), and other players in the drama, proceed through the streets of the community as part of an elaborate float. Rama and Ravana engage in a battle and Ravana is defeated. Rama then fires an arrow into the huge effigies of the sons of Ravana, Meghnada and Kumbhakarna (lethargy and laziness, respectively), which are stuffed with crackers and explosives. The â€œVictory to Ramaâ€? is celebrated with a large explosion in the sky.
Wow. I gotta see that.
I'm all hopped up on festival madness because I've just returned from two days in Kalama, Washington where I attended the Days of Discovery, a festival celebrating the ties between the natives of Kalama and the Hawaiians. I dropped in on a few ukulele workshops, ate some amazing teriyaki chicken and a coconut dessert (I think it's called haupia, but I've probably got the spelling wrong). I shared a tent in the redwoods with a fellow uke player, watched some hula, listened to some fine live music and in general, bathed in aloha for 48 hours.
There's still a bit of summer left. Google for [your subject here] and [festival]. Then book a campsite or hotel room or one of these, and get thee to the festival!
Pam Mandel plays the ukulele and blogs about it - and other things - at Nerd's Eye View.