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Sunday, April 24, 2011

4:52 PM

The World s Wackiest Holidays

The World's Wackiest Holidays
From the largest annual tomato fight in Spain, to Scotland's "Up Helly-Aa" fire festival, a look at those special days when people around the world go slightly nuts



Shetland Islands, Scotland: "Up Helly-Aa" Fire Festival
A tribute to the islands' Viking Past, Up Helly-Aa ("End of the Holy Days") culminates with the burning of a 32-ft. replica of a Viking longship.


Bobr, Belarus: Ivana Kupala Night
On the night of this pagan festival, celebrated on July 7, the Gregorian summer solstice, young women don wreathes and celebrants jump through fire and swim naked. The rites are connected to ancient beliefs about fertility and autopurification.



New Delhi, India: Holi, the Festival of Colors
Indian girls throw gulal (colored powder) on each other during a Hindi holiday which marks the onset of spring.



Bunyol, Spain: Tomatina
In late August, thousands of people pelt each other with over 250 lbs. of tomatoes in a span of 60 minutes in an event modestly described as the world's largest tomato fight.



Nobsa, Colombia: International Poncho Day
Designed to promote the work of local artisans who weave traditional wool ponchos, the parade and festival are a relatively new celebration.



Novgorod, Russia: Maslenitsa
In Orthodox countries, the week before Lent is marked with a series of celebrations, including a free-for-all boxing match in which there are no rules. In centuries past, the fight ended only when the participates were covered with blood and bereft of clothes.



Inazawa, Japan: Hadaka Matsuri, The Naked Festival
Hidden somewhere in the midst of all these men in loincloths is one fully naked man. Touching him is believed to bring good luck and happiness.



Lopburi province, Thailand: The Monkey Buffet
Every year, all of the province's approximately 600 monkeys are invited to eat fruits and vegetables during an annual feast held in honor of Rama, a hero of the Ramayana, who, it is said, rewarded his friend and ally, Hanuman the Monkey King, with the fiefdom of what is now Lopburi.

Lopburi province, Thailand: The Monkey Buffet
Organizers of the annual monkey buffet use more than 3,000 kg of fruits and vegetables for the festival.



Brockworth, England: Cheese Rolling Festival
In a dangerous tradition dating back to Roman times, competitors from all over the world run up a hill and then chase a 7 kg round cheese back down. The first who gets to it, keeps it.



Sabucedo, Spain: Rapa Das Bestas
Since the Bronze Age, Galicians have been taming wild horses. On the first weekend of the month of July, hundreds of wild horses are rounded up by expert stockbreeders, known as agarradores, then trimmed and groomed.



Reading, England: Festival of Falconry
Bird-of-prey handlers from Turkmenistan hold falcons at the first Festival of Falconry. Bird keepers from all over the world attended the event to highlight the popularity and importance of the sport worldwide.



Bedford Square Gardens, England: The Chap & Hendrick's Olympics
A series of tongue-in-cheek competitions for traditional gentlemen who are against the vulgarity of modern culture, this festival includes events such as mixing dry martinis, the three-trousered limbo and a pipe relay.



Dublin, Georgia: The Summer Redneck Games
L-bow, the official mascot of the Summer Redneck Games, poses next to the mud pit with the festival's ceremonial torch. Started in 1996 as a spoof of the summer Olympics held in Atlanta, the Games feature bobbing for pigs feet, hub cap hurling and the Redneck mud pit belly-flop contest.



New Delhi, India: Holi, The Festival of Colors
The word Holi comes from Holika, a scarf in Hindu mythology that prevented one of Lord Vishnu's followers from being burned on a pyre.


Ivrea, Italy: The Battle of Oranges
The origins of this festival are not well understood, particularly because oranges do not grow in the Alps of Italy, where the town is located. One legend has it that the Battle commemorates a popular rebellion of the 13th century, when the local poor deemed the largess of their feudal lord as inadequate, and threw it back in his face.



Boston, USA: Zombie March
For the third straight year, Bostonians dressed as zombies marched from Boston to Cambridge's Harvard Square in what organizers call a non-political, no-agenda good time.



Bunyol, Spain: Tomatina
Every year, over 30,000 tourists come to Bunyol for this festival. Rules of conduct keep the festivities from becoming a more dangerous brawl.



Eastern Island, Chile: Tapati Festival
A week-long festival begun in the 1970s in an effort to drum up more tourism, Tapati includes a triathlon in which native participates run around the lake of the Rano Raraku vulcano carrying a large bunch of bananas.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

10:06 AM

Wonderful Indian Temples Abroad Part 2

Sri Venkateswara Temple, Bridgewater, NJ, US


Mother Temple of Besakih, Bali, Indonesia


Murugan Temple, Sydney, Australia


Venkateswara Swami temple, Riverdale near Atlanta, Georgia, US


Sri Venkateswara Swami Temple, Helensburgh, Sydney, Australia


Velmurugan Gnana Muneeswarar Temple, Rivervale Crescent Sengkang, Singapore


Sri Meenakshi Devasthanam - Pearland, Texas, US


Ekta Mandir, Irving, Texas, US


Sri Venkateshwara Temple - New Jersey, US


Sri Lakshmi Temple - Ashland, MA, US


Sri Venkateswara Swami Temple, Pittsburgh, US


Shiva Vishnu Temple of South Florida Inc, FL, US


Shiva - Vishnu Temple of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia


Sri Murugan Temple, London, UK


Quad City Hindu Temple , Rock Island, IL, US


Sri Prasanna Venkateswara Swami Temple, Memphis, Tennessee, US


Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple or Sri Perumal Temple, Little India, Serangoon Road, Singapore




Arulmigu Sri Raja Kaliamman Temple, Johor Baru, Malaysia - The only Hindu Glass Temple abroad



Tuesday, October 20, 2009

10:07 PM

Wonderful Indian Temples Abroad

Lord Venkateshwara Temple, Birmingham, United Kingdom


Malibu Hindu Temple, Malibu, California, US




Shiva-Vishnu Temple, Livermore, California, US





Lord Vishnu Temple, Angkor, Cambodia

The largest temple of the world, raised during the reign of Suryavarman-II in 12th century, is, in fact, located in Angkor, a major archaeological site of Cambodia. It is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. It is also one of the two temples intact in Angkor, Cambodia. The other is a Buddhist Temple. The largest temple of Lord Vishnu in Angkor is built according to Khmer architecture, original to Cambodia.


Prambanan Shiva Temple, Central Java, Indonesia


Sri Venkateswara Swami Temple of Greater Chicago - Aurora, Illinois, United States


BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir - Toronto, Canada



Sri Siva Vishnu Temple, Washington DC, United States


BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, London (Neasden Temple), United States



Sri Murugan Temple Batu Caves, Penang, Malaysia

Saturday, September 26, 2009

6:32 PM

Ultimate SriLanka

The island of Sri Lanka lies in the Indian Ocean, to the southwest of the Bay of Bengal and to the southeast of the Arabian Sea. It is separated from the Indian subcontinent by the Gulf of Mannar and the Palk Strait. According to Hindu mythology, a land bridge to the Indian mainland, known as Rama's Bridge, was constructed during the time of Rama by the vanara architect Nala. Often referred to as Adam's Bridge, it now amounts to only a chain of limestone shoals remaining above sea level. According to colonial British reports, this is a natural causeway which was formerly complete, but was breached by a violent storm in 1480.The width of the Palk Strait is small enough for the coast of Sri Lanka to be visible from the furthest point near the Indian town of Rameswaram.[citation needed] The island consists mostly of flat-to-rolling coastal plains, with mountains rising only in the south-central part. Amongst these is the highest point Mount Pedro, reaching 2,524 metres (8,280 ft) above sea level.
The climate of Sri Lanka can be described as tropical and warm. Its position between 5 and 10 north latitude endows the country with a warm climate moderated by ocean winds and considerable moisture. The mean temperature ranges from about 16 °C (61 °F) in the Central Highlands, where frost may occur for several days in the winter, to a maximum of approximately 33 °C (91 °F) in other low-altitude areas. The average yearly temperature ranges from 28 °C (82 °F) to nearly 31 °C (88 °F). Day and night temperatures may vary by 4 °C (7 °F) to 7 °C (13 °F). During the coldest days of January, many people wear coats and sweaters in the highlands and elsewhere. May, the hottest period, precedes the summer monsoon rains. The rainfall pattern is influenced by monsoon winds from the Indian Ocean and Bay of Bengal: as the winds encounter the mountain slopes of the Central Highlands, they unload heavy rains on the slopes and the southwestern areas of the island. Some of the windward slopes receive up to 2,500 millimetres (98 in) of rain each month, but the leeward slopes in the east and northeast receive little rain. Periodic squalls occur and sometimes tropical cyclones bring overcast skies and rains to the southwest, northeast, and eastern parts of the island. Between December to March, monsoon winds come from the northeast, bringing moisture from the Bay of Bengal. Humidity is typically higher in the southwest and mountainous areas and depends on the seasonal patterns of rainfall, and places like Colombo experience daytime humidity above 70% all year round, rising to almost 90% during the monsoon season in June. Anuradhapura experiences a daytime low of 60% during the monsoon month of March, but a high of 79% during the November and December rains. In the highlands, Kandy's daytime humidity usually ranges between 70% and 79%.

5:28 PM

THE SEVEN WONDERS OF THE WORLD

Christ Redeemer, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil




The Great Wall of China,China



The Pyramid at Chichén Itzá, Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico



The Roman Colosseum,Rome, Italy



The Taj Mahal,Agra, India



Petra,Jordan



Machu Picchu,Peru