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Posts Tagged ‘ritual’

Preserving the Tribal Custom of the Ibans, Once the Headhunters of Borneo

  • Oshin Chin
  • 14 October 2012

Ibans are the native people of Sarawak and the dominant ethnic group in Malaysian Borneo. Today, their headhunting days are long gone, but they have succeeded in preserving many tribal customs, rituals and traditional beliefs. These are clearly visible during their harvest festivals, weddings and unique art and crafts such as Pua Kumbu, the Ngajat dance and the Iban tattoos.

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Photo of the Week: Kyoto Annual Archery Festival, Kyoto, Japan

  • Aaron Davis (Photo and Text)
  • 29 July 2012

Kyoto is a city that lends itself to festivals, and there are numerous possibilities for exploration during these many great festivals due to the honouring of traditions and ancient events. The surreal temple complex of Sanjusangen-do in Kyoto hosts a traditional annual archery festival with a 400-year tradition that includes young women turning 20 in the coming year.

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National Holidays: Experiential Travel at Its Best

  • Ethan Gelber
  • 4 July 2012

The (northern hemisphere) summer holiday season is now well and truly upon us, complete with major celebrations. Independent travellers with a particular penchant for direct, deep and engaging discovery – something sometimes called experiential travel – of new lands and cultures often wrap their travel plans around these happenings. Here are some of our favourites.

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Will It Be End Times in 2012? Ask the Mayans in Guatemala

  • Cynthia Ord
  • 21 November 2011

December 21, 2012, is the last day of the 13th baktun of the Mayan calendar, a day on which many believe that something big is going to happen. Rather than preparing for the apocalypse, why not plan a 2012 tour of the Mayan pyramids and prophesies in Guatemala? Explore the grand ruins of ancient Mayan civilisations. Meet a traditional living Mayan community of today and find out firsthand what they are thinking and doing as you take part in sacred rituals and ceremonies.

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Chamula, Mexico: A Step Back in Time with the Tzotzil Indigenous People

  • Heather Rath
  • 28 July 2011

An elderly woman wearing traditional dress accosts me as I focus my camera on the exterior of the church. She wags her bony finger at me and ominously hisses “No…no…no….” She unnerves me so much I quickly hide my camera. We are near San Cristóbal de las Casas in Chiapas, Mexico, in a town called Chamula, where the indigenous Tzotzil people earnestly protect their society and way of life.

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The Holy City of Varanasi, India: whl.travel’s Newest Destination

  • whl.travel
  • 13 April 2011

THIS ARTICLE IS AVAILABLE IN ENGLISH AND HINDI. India’s ancient and spiritual city of Varanasi, also known as Benares, is located at the heart of the Ganges Valley. Believed to have been founded by the Hindu deity Lord Shiva around 5,000 years ago (making it one of the oldest cities in the world), Varanasi is regarded as holy to Jains and Buddhists, and perhaps the most important pilgrimage site for Hindus, who visit it from all over the world. Now you can book Varanasi hotels and tours through whl.travel.

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Photo of the Week: A Jhakri (Shaman) of Darjeeling, India

  • Pravin Tamang (Photo and Text)
  • 6 February 2011

This photo shows a Jhakri – the local word for ‘shaman’ – who is taking part in the festival of Banbo, which takes place every year in Darjeeling in West Bengal, India. The proceedings are part of an ancient tradition that is enacted to bring good fortune to the area.

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Pasola: The Heart-racing Horse and Harvest Festival of Sumba, Indonesia

  • Cynthia Ord
  • 4 February 2011

The annual Pasola festival is a hallmark of culture on Sumba, one of the Lesser Sunda Islands of Indonesia. Wrapped in legend and of uncertain origin, it is a raucous event that attracts huge crowds of locals and visitors, all drawn to its curious combination of wild celebration and rigid ceremony pulled straight from ancient Indonesian lore.

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Zabíjačka! Braving a Pig-Killing Feast in Rural Czech Republic

  • Nick Young
  • 9 October 2010

I peered into the dark, foul-smelling room. Down on all fours, pacing back and forth in anxiety, the victim awaited his death sentence. About 15 paces away, standing in front of a dirty wooden shed, holding a sharpened knife and dressed in a bloody apron was the stoic old executioner flanked by his young wild-eyed henchmen. I hadn’t realised what I was getting myself into months earlier when I accepted my friend’s invitation to a “very special family event in the countryside.” Her devilish grin should have tipped me off, but the dea of a traditional Czech pig-killing feast, or zabíjačka, really intrigued me.

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Photo of the Week: The Pentecost Jump, Vanuatu

  • John Nicholls (photo and text)
  • 2 May 2010

Much has been written about the island of Pentecost (part of the Vanuatu archipelago) and its yearly ritual of death-defying land jumps performed in the south of the island in celebration of the yam harvest. The Nagol (or N’gol) ritual of land diving has been performed for hundreds of years, and also doubles as a male coming of age ceremony.

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