WHAT'S ON WORLDWIDE
Sunday 06 June 1999
Forget Manhattan. If you're in New York next Sunday cross the bridge for this year's Welcome Back to Brooklyn Festival. The borough that would be America's largest city if it were a separate municipality has spawned such celluloid stars as John Turturro and the rambunctious Rosie Perez. Live music, cuisine and crafts reigned over by this year's King of Brooklyn, actor Tony Danza. 12 noon-6pm at the Grand Army Plaza, Brooklyn.
Galungan, Bali's major feast, celebrates the death of a legendary tyrant called Mayadenawa. All of the (innumerable) Balinese Hindu gods are said to come down to Earth in order to participate in the festivities. Among them is the supreme deity, Sanghyang Widiand. For weeks in advance islanders can be seen doing creative things with long bamboo poles called penjor, which eventually line each village's streets, laden with gifts for the gods. For spectators, one of the most impressive features of this festival is the Barong dance - a mythical lion-dog figure who prances from temple to temple followed by crashing cymbals and drums. Galungan is celebrated nationwide but the most vibrant festivities take place in the temple of Pulau Serangan, accessible through a series of jungle-fringed waterways, just off south Bali, and in the central village of Ubud. The festival culminates on 19 June with Kuningan, where the Balinese perform a sort of "goodbye and thanks for coming" ritual for visiting gods.
Oiled wrestling on the scrub- covered island of Sarayici. Sarayici means "within the palace", as this island was once the Sultan's hunting reserve. Today it is famed for hosting the annual Kirkpinar festival, a slippery sporting spectacle attracting wrestlers from all over the country. Contestants slather themselves in olive oil and, clad only in a loin cloth made from goat or calf leather, compete for the Golden Belt and small cash prize.
Hampton Court, one of the UK's finest outdoor festival venues, hosts the seventh Hampton Court Place Festival bringing performances from Lesley Garrett, The English National Opera, Kiri Te Kanawa and Darcey Bussell. Other events include a Strauss gala and a finale concert and fireworks display on 19 June. Ticket holders are free to wander through King Henry VIII's old rooms and picnic in the East Front Gardens. Tickets are available either through Ticketmaster (tel: 0171-344 4444 - 24-hour credit card hotline) or in person at the Hampton Court Palace Box Office.
King Kamehameha Day. A time in which to honour the man who united all Hawaiian islands under one rule. Festivities in the name of the Great King last all month, and events on the island of Oahu include a prestigious hula competition at the Neal Blaisdell Centre, a floral parade in Waikiki and a lei-draping ceremony at the King Kamehameha statue in downtown Honolulu. On the island of Oahu, the lei (Hawaii's trademark garlands) are traditionally made from leaves, shells and the delicate orange 'ilima blossom which are threaded on to strands of bark from the banana tree.
Experience reading by the light of a firefly during Korea's Fire Fly Festival. As they can live only in pollution-free environments, fireflies are synonymous with clean places and this festival in Muju, in the centre of the country, celebrates the bright bug in an eight-day insect festival. Illuminating exhibitions include those by the Firefly Scouts and the Firefly Natural Science School, along with such traditional activities as wrestling championships and folklore performances.
Since 1498 when Portuguese sea captain Vasco da Gama landed in Calicut (modern- day Kozhidkede, south of Goa), Portugal's national saint has been honoured with a day of festivities. However, over the years the Feast of St Anthony has taken on local significance and today the festival acts as a sort of barometer rather than a commemoration of 450 years of colonialism and repression. It is said that if the monsoon has not arrived by feast day, families should lower a statue of the saint into their wells to encourage the skies to open. Songs are also sung in honour of the saint to request the arrival of the rains.
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