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July Festivals

Buzz Poole
07/10/2012 - 06:17
Bastille Day celebration in Paris, via Wikipedia

Ten days into July already, over half of 2012 behind us. Where does time go? Before we know it, there will be ads for back-to-school sales, big Halloween displays, the Holidaze, and then 2013. I know, I know, I'm getting ahead of myself but the way the weeks peel away my mindset doesn't seem that outlandish. But I'll try to ground myself in the moment for the time being and share with you some interesting international events happening over the course of this month.

Another excuse for fireworks: Last week, here in the U.S. we set off fireworks and listened to lots of patriotic orchestral music in the name of Independence Day. In France and elsewhere, French National Day, a.k.a Bastille Day, will be celebrated on July 14. If you're not in France, but want to let your inner Francophile loose, fear not. Organized celebrations exist across the globe and in cities across America. 

Running of the Bulls, or Nudes: From now until July 14, the infamous San Fermin Festival is in full swing in Pamplona, Spain. Perhaps you know it better as the Running of the Bulls. Honoring the patron saint of Pamplona, San Fermin, it is thought that this tradition of moving the bulls from corrals to the bullfighting ring dates back to 1592, though some speculate that the event might have its origins in the thirteenth century. Today, the religious overtones have been replaced by rowdy, daredevil tourists eager to get their Ernest Hemingway on, resulting in plenty of injuries. Another result of the event is the PETA-sponsored Running of the Nudes, which aims to raise awareness about animal cruelty, using the motto: "Out with the old, in with the nude!"  

Down south: It's not summer everywhere, and in Argentina, where this month the Exposición de Ganadería, Agricultura e Industria Internacional, or La Rural, carves out two weeks to celebrate farmers and ranchers. The grills are fired up, the gauchos perform all sorts of machismo stunts, and the folklore of the country's rural areas makes its way into the big city. 

A festival for everything: In India, according to this website, July is a busy festival month. Nag Panchami honors cobras. If dangerous snakes aren't your thing, perhaps fresh fruit is. The national Mango Festival is rooted in Delhi, where hundreds of varieties of mango are enjoyed by one and all. 

Where were you twenty years ago?: The Olympic Games are just around the corner. The athletes have been training for years, if not nearly lifetimes, for competitions that will last just a couple of days, the finals coming down to races that might last less than a minute. There will be plenty of attention given to the Games over the coming weeks, but I am astounded by the fact that it is the twentieth anniversary of the legendary Dream Team, which dominated basketball in Barcelona. This oral history compiled by GQ is pretty amazing, in terms of both basketball and the cult of international celebrity.  

What other July events have caught your attention?

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