Cultural travel is fast becoming one of the most popular holiday styles for Australian travellers. More and more Aussies are embracing the idea that a cultural understanding can heighten the holiday and lead to unforgettable memories and new friends. A personal travel manager can be your guide for a cultural escape to some of the most unique traditions and events around the world.
Poetic Duelling in Cyprus
While poetic duelling may sound dangerous, it’s a far cry from pistols at dawn. Poetic duelling is a tradition in Cyprus where would-be poetic entertainers set out to battle one another in impromptu song and poetry. Poetic duelling is commonplace at weddings, feasts, fairs and public demonstrations, with the lively tradition usually accompanied by musical instruments. For travellers seeking a true insight into poetic duelling, a trip to Cyprus during the Kataklysmos festival is the safest bet. The annual festival is held for five days, fifty days after Easter throughout coastal regions of Cyprus with the biggest and best celebrations taking place in Larnaka. At the peak of the festival, a procession of locals and onlookers make their way to the seaside and sprinkle one another with water.
Jultagi in South Korea
Tightrope walking is something that can be seen around the world in most travelling circuses. In South Korea, tightrope walking takes a different approach in this 1300-year-old tradition. Jultagi is a spectacular sight as nimble and extremely acrobatic Korean performers run, jump and flip on a tight rope to tell gripping tales and stories. Traditionally, the tightrope walking performer engages in dialogue with a clown who stands below prompting and taunting the tightrope walker. For travellers unable to make it for the South Korean public holidays, the Korean Folk Village in Seoul practices the spectacle year round to curious tourists and travellers.
Scissors Dance in Peru
In the villages of the South Central Andes of Peru, travellers can marvel at an age old Peruvian tradition – the Scissor Dance. The dance takes its name from the polished iron rods wielded by each dancer during the ritual. The two dancers or ‘cuadrillas’, and a violinist face off against one another striking the blades in a highly choreographed dance that can last up to ten hours. The dancers must move in sync with the music and make sure the blades hit to maintain the rhythm of the violin. Throughout the gruelling dance the moves become increasingly difficult as the two dancers battle it out for superiority. The dancers wear outfits embroidered with golden fringes, multi-coloured sequins and small mirrors. Unfortunately for the dancers they are forbidden from entering a church due to the traditional belief that their dancing ability derives from a deal with the devil.
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Image courtesy of PromPeru.