Festival (Defined)

festival (noun) A time of celebration marked by special observances or an often periodic celebration or program of events or entertainment having a specified focus. Editor’s Note: “Defined” is an occasional series exploring the definitions of words via photography.--By Lloyd Young
Matt Cheatham and Kimberly Hernes share a kiss as people celebrate Mardi Gras on Bourbon Street in the French Quarter of on Feb. 27. (Dan Anderson/EPA)
A local man wearing a bear costume, made of hay and reed, is pulled by another man dressed as a gypsy as they march during the celebrations of the winter holiday 'Malanka' in the village of Krasnoilsk, western Ukraine, on January 14. 'Malanka' - or 'Old New Year Celebrations' is one of the most popular traditional festivals in Western Ukraine celebrated every year which is New Year's Eve in accordance with the old Julian calendar. During these two days of celebration, locals, young and old, wear traditional masks and carnival costumes and stroll from house to house singing carols, wishing households good luck, while at the same time playing pranks or performing short plays. (Oleg Petrasyuk/EPA)
Revelers dance at a pre-Carnival 'bloco', or street party, on Feb. 23 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Carnival officially begins tomorrow. Up to 70 cities and towns in Brazil are believed to have canceled festivities for Carnival this year amidst a severe recession in the country. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)
A man performs acrobatics on a bamboo pole at the annual Voodoo Festival on Jan. 10 in Ouidah. Officially declared a religion in Benin in 1996, Voodoo and the Voodoo festival attracts thousands of devotees and tourists for a day filled with ritual dances and gin drinking. Benins voodoo festival is held every year and is the West African countrys most vibrant and colorful event. (Stefan Heunis/AFP/Getty Images)
Yemanja devotees participate in a colorful celebration in honor of the Goddess Yemanja on Feb. 2 in Salvador, Brazil. Originally from the ancient Yoruba mythology, Yemanja is one of the most popular Orixas, spirits or gods, from the Afro-Brazilian religion of Candomble. Usually dressed in traditional white, the faithful gather at the beach of Rio Vermelho to leave offerings for their goddess, including gifts of flowers, perfumes or jewelry. (Victor Moriyama/Getty Images)
An actor performs during the International Light Festival in Gomel, some 310 km southeast of Minsk, on Feb. 11. (Sergei Gapon/AFP/Getty Images)
Kerry McClure poses for a picture during the Ginger Pride festival in Belfast, Northern Ireland on Feb 11. The week-long celebration of ginger hair featured food, drinks and entertainment. (Paul Faith/AFP/Getty Images)
People of Miao ethnicity gather in circles to dance and play folk instruments known as lusheng at a public square in Zhouxi township, Kaili, in southwestern China's Guizhou province on Feb. 16. The Lusheng Festival is a key annual event for the country's minority group. (Chinatopix via Associated Press)
A dancer reads a newspaper while waiting to perform during Virgin of Candelaria celebrations in Puno, Peru. As many as 40,000 villagers are expected to gather for the annual festival and show their respect for the patron saint of the communities along the shores of Lake Titicaca. (Rodrigo Abd/Associated Press)
Designs painted onto a buffalo during the 'Painting on Buffalo' festival (Tich Dien) in Ha Nam province, Vietnam, on Feb. 2. On the 6th day of the first lunar month, artists from all over the country participated in the decorating contest, attracting hundreds of visitors to the festival. (Luong Thai Linh/EPA)
A man watches festivities for the 475th anniversary of the founding of the Guadalajara on Feb. 14. This year the city celebrated its anniversary with the largest robotic light festival in Latin America. (Hector Guerrero/AFP/Getty Images)
A player with virtual reality glasses attends at the three-day Dreamhack 2017 gaming festival on Jan. 14 in Leipzig, Germany. The Dreamhack festival brings together thousands of video-gaming enthusiasts from across Europe for large-scale LAN competitions, cosplay and e-sports. (Jens Schlueter/Getty Images)
A disguised dancer takes part in the XIII Poetry Festival in Granada, some 45 kilometres from Managua on Feb. 15. Poets from America, Asia, Europe and Africa including Spanish Antonio Gamoneda, Mexican Manuel Cautle and Nicaraguans Gioconda Belli and Ernesto Cardenal performed a hate and violence "symbolic burial" as part of the Festival activities. (Inti Ocon/AFP/Getty Images)
Brajesh Kumar, 37 and his son Bhavik Kumar, 4, from London, look at 'At 7 metres, Ovo', by Ovo Collective, which immerses visitors in a unique light structure, as part of the Canary Wharf Winter Lights Festival 2017, in London. The festival will showcase 30 installations and immersive experiences by a range of internationally renowned artists illuminating the dark nights. (Matt Alexander/PA via Associated Press)
The Jarl squad begin to light torches at the culmination of Up Hell Aa on Jan. 31 in Lerwick, Shetland. The traditional festival of fire, known as Up Helly Aa, takes place annually on the last Tuesday of January. The climax of the day came with participants wearing costumes as they hauled a Viking long boat through the streets of Lerwick to the edge of town where up to 1000 paraders set the vessel ablaze by throwing torches into the galley. (Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
Nepalese Hindu devotees offer prayers during the Madhav Narayan Festival in Bhaktapur, Nepal, on Jan. 13. During this festival, devotees recite holy scriptures dedicated to Hindu goddess Swasthani and Lord Shiva. Unmarried women pray to get a good husband while those married pray for the longevity of their husbands by observing a month-long fast. (Niranjan Shrestha/Associated Press)
An Elvis fan arrives at Central station to board a train to take them to The Parkes Elvis Festival from Sydney on Jan. 12. The Parkes Elvis Festival is an annual event celebrating the music and life of Elvis Presley in the New South Wales town of Parkes. (Peter Parks/AFP/Getty Images)
Chinese people sit on chairs outfitted with ice skates on the frozen surface of Houhai Lake to during the Chinese Spring Festival holidays, in Beijing, China, on Feb. 2. China continues to celebrate the week-long annual Spring Festival holiday or Chinese Lunar New Year, which was ushered in on Jan. 28 and marks the Year of the Rooster. (Wu Hong/EPA)
Jugglers take part in the "Berrinche Cultural" festival in Granada, some 45km from Managua on Jan. 16. (Inti Ocon/AFP/Getty Images)
A local resident in traditional clothing participates in the Kamakura Festival in Yokota city, Akita prefecture, Japan, on Feb. 15. The Kamakura snow house festival is held in mid-February after the Lunar New Year and was traditionally held to offer hospitality to deities who supposedly come from far way. Inside the Kamakura snow houses, residents sit on blankets on the ice and offer rice cakes and warm fermented rice drink to visitors. (Everett Kennedy Brown/EPA)
A girl casts a line through a hole created in the surface of a frozen river during annual ice fishing festival in Hwacheon, some 120 kilometers northeast of Seoul, on Jan. 14. The annual three-week festival reportedly draws up to a million people to the frozen Hwacheon river, where the main attraction sees organizers drill some 14,000 holes in the ice into which anglers vie for a catch of river trout trucked-in from other areas of the northeastern province. (Jung Yeon-Je/AFP/Getty Images)
Men take part in a horse race across the frozen Cildir Lake during the Cildir Lake Golden Horse Festival in Cildir, Turkey. The Cildir Golden horse festival is a traditional turkish festival started to bring together horsemen from around the region to compete in traditional horse based events. The festival takes place on the towns frozen lake amid temperatures of -5 to -15 degrees. Participants compete in several events including horse-drawn sled racing, horse racing, traditional horseback archery and the team event of Jereed (horseback javelin). (Chris McGrath/Getty Images)
Cyclist David Cassidy of Bangor, Maine, celebrates after crossing the finish line in an 18-mile bike race at the Fat Tire Festival at the Sugarloaf ski resort in Carrabassett Valley, Maine, on Feb 11. Riders had to endure heavy snowfall and 2 degree Fahrenheit temperatures as parts of New England were hit with another winter storm. (Robert F. Bukaty/Associated Press)
Members of the 'Endiablada' brotherhood march during the traditional festival in Almonacid del Marquesado, Spain. Since medieval times, the 400 residents of Almonacid del Marquesado have celebrated the "Endiablada" (Brotherhood of the Devils) festival each Feb. 2-3. Members of the town’s all-male religious brotherhood dress up in what they consider devil-type characters, donning colorful jumpsuits and red miter hats. They each carry heavy copper cowbells around their waist, which they clang incessantly, and some run and jump to make as much noise as possible. Each man in the brotherhood also has his own wooden staff that they have inherited or carved, some of which include images of a devil. (Daniel Ochoa de Olza/Associated Press)
A member of Wang De's Chinese traditional molten iron performance team throwing molten iron against a cold stone city wall to create sparks like fireworks, commonly known as 'Da Shu Hua' in Nuanquan Town, rural Zhangjiakou city in Hebei province, China, on 10 Feb. 10. Wang is one of the four traditional folk artists in Nuanquan Town still practicing 'Da Shu Hua', the art of throwing molten iron to create fireworks in his town. The traditional act has become popular in recent years and thousands of people descend on the town to watch their performance everyday during the Spring Festival period. China celebrates the traditional Lantern Festival on Feb. 11, marking the end of the lunar new year celebrations and is traditionally celebrated by viewing lanterns and guessing lantern riddles. (How Hwee Young/EPA)
Women dressed in the fifties-style clothes attend a concert during the 23rd Rockin' Race Jamboree International Festival in Torremolinos on Feb. 4. (Jorge Guerrero/AFP/Getty Images)
Several games take place during the New England Pond Hockey Festival on Feb. 4 in Rangeley, Maine. Twenty teams with players from as far away as the Netherlands and Florida are competing this weekend. (Robert F. Bukaty/Associated Press)
A Hindu holy man holds a mirror as he smears his body with ash and vermillion paste in the courtyard of Pashupatinath temple in Kathmandu, Nepal, on Feb. 21. Hindu holy men from Nepal and India have started arriving at the temple ahead of the Shivratri festival, dedicated to the worship of Lord Shiva which falls on Feb. 23. (Niranjan Shrestha/Associated Press)
A woman member of the "Cholitas de Oro" dance group dances during the Virgin of Candelaria celebrations in Puno, Peru, on Feb. 5. Dancers in colorful masks and elaborate costume celebrate the Virgin of Candelaria, patron saint of communities along the shore of Lake Titicaca, in what's considered the largest Catholic festival in the Andes. (Rodrigo Abd/Associated Press)
Indian teachers dance as they celebrate Lohri festival at the Khalsa College for Women in Amritsar, India, on Jan. 12. On the Lohri day people fly kites and light bonfires in the night to celebrate the event. Lohri, one of the major festivals of Punjab, marks the culmination of winter and is celebrated in the month of January every year. (Raminder Pal Singh/EPA)
A hot air ballon in the likeness of Star Wars film character Yoda takes flight during the annual International Hot Air Balloon Festival at the former Clark US Air Force base in Pampanga province, north of Manila on Feb. 9. Some 29 balloon enthusiasts from around the globe are participating in the event. (Ted Aljibe/AFP/Getty Images)
A Sri Lankan fire dancer performs in a procession in front of the Gangarama Temple during the Navam Perahera festival in Colombo on Feb. 9. Monks, drummers, dancers and some 50 trained elephants, mostly from central part of the island, thronged into Colombo from various regions of Sri Lanka to participate in the city’s biggest two day annual Buddhist procession starting Feb. 9. (Lakruwan Wanniarachchi/AFP/Getty Images)
Japanese magician Hiroki Hara perfoms on stage during the Sanremo Music Festival 2017 at the Ariston theater in Sanremo, Italy, on Feb. 8. The 67th edition of the television song contest runs from Feb. 7 to 11. (Ettore Ferrari/EPA)
Nepalese Hindu devotees offer prayers by rolling on the ground after performing a bathing ritual on the last day of the month-long Swasthani Festival in the Hanumante River at Bhaktapur on the outskirts of Kathmandu on Feb. 10. Devotees mark the Swasthani Festival with fasting, and with women in particular undertaking rituals in the hope of a prosperous life for her family and conjugal happiness. (Prakash Mathema/AFP/Getty Images)
Berlin Film Festival director Dieter Kosslick (left) raises his fist to honor German-Turkish journalist Deniz Yucel (pictured in the background), who is in the custody of Turkish police, during the closing and award ceremony of the 67th annual Berlin International Film Festival, in Berlin, Germany, on Feb. 18. (Clemens Bilan/EPA)
A fire-swallower performs during the Carnival of Jacmel, 95 km from Port-au-Prince. The city, on southern coast of Haiti, renowned for its artcrafts, where during the carnival parade participants dance exhibiting the masks, mostly representing animals, made of papier maché, the tradition of the city. (Hector Retamal/AFP/Getty Images)
Worshippers wait for the priest to throw the sacred batons during the annual Naked Man Festival or 'Hadaka Matsuri' at Saidaiji Temple in Okayama, western Japan. With only a skimpy loincloth to protect their modesty, thousands of men brave freezing temperatures to fight for lucky charms thrown by a priest at Japan's annual Naked Man Festival. (Behrouz Mehri//AFP/Getty Images)
A woman rides a horse through a bonfire during 'Las Luminarias' Festival on Jan. 16 in San Bartolome de Pinares, Spain. In honor of Saint Anthony the Abbot, the patron saint of animals, horses are riden through the bonfires on the night before the official day of honoring animals in Spain. The tradition, which is hundreds of years old, is meant to purify and protect the animal in the coming year. (Pablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images)
Bassist Sr. Flavio of the Argentina rock band Los Fabulosos Cadillacs performs at the Vina del Mar International Song Festival in Viña del Mar, Chile, on Feb. 20. Believed to be one of the largest musical events in Latin America, the annual five-day festival was inaugurated in 1960. (Esteban Felix/Associated Press)
People look at the float of the carnival king as it parades during the 133rd edition of the Nice Carnival in Nice, southeastern France, on Feb. 21. (Valery Hache/AFP/Getty Images)
Jockeys take the start of a traditional camel race during the Sheikh Sultan Bin Zayed al-Nahyan Camel Festival, held at the Shweihan racecourse, in the outskirts of Abu Dhabi, on Feb. 10. (Karim Sahib/AFP/Getty Images)
Chinese performers preparing to attend a local folk performance to celebrate the upcoming Lantern Festival in a village in Wuhan, central China's Hubei province. China celebrates the traditional Lantern Festival which formally marks the end of celebrations for the Chinese Lunar New Year period, 15 days after it began, and is celebrated by viewing lanterns and setting off fireworks, among other activities. (AFP/Getty Images)
Villagers carrying a golden statue of an ancient Chinese general who, like Robin Hood, is celebrated for stealing from the rich to give to the poor, through a muddy field in the village of Juhe in China's Fujian province. The events were part of a centuries-old ceremony that takes place in the three-day lead up to China's Lantern Festival on Feb. 11. The holiday is a time for colourful ceremonies in Fujian, where the coastal province's population of Hakka people have passed down particularly strong folk traditions. (Johannes Eisele/AFP/Getty Images)
Noah Randall is helped into his child's Straw Bear costume before the annual Whittlesea Straw Bear Festival parade on Jan. 14 in Whittlesey, United Kingdom. The traditional event was revived in 1980 and features a "Straw Bear" and it's children being led through the streets of the English village of Whittlesey, near Peterborough, United Kingdom. The bear dances, while musicians break off into groups around the village square to perform with many different Morris, Molly, Sword, Mummer and Appalachian dancing teams. (Leon Neal/Getty Images)
A teenage girl of the Long Horn Miao ethnic minority group kisses her younger sister as they wear headdresses in their home before Tiaohua or Flower Festival as part of the Lunar New Year on Feb. 5 in Longga village, Guizhou province, southern China. The Long Horn Miao are recognized for their declining practice of wrapping a blend of linen, wool, and the hair of their ancestors around animal horns or a wooden clip to make headdresses. Many young women say they now wear the headdresses only for special occasions and festivals, as the ornaments, which are attached by the horns to their real hair, have proved impractical for modern daily life in a fast changing world. (Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
People wearing helmets get sprayed by fire sparks during the Yanshui Beehive Rockets Festival on Feb. 10 in Yanshui District, Tainan City, Taiwan. The Yanshui Beehive Fireworks Festival is an annual tradition held on the 15th day after the beginning of the Lunar New Year in Tainan Ciy over 130 years and ranked as the fifth most dangerous festival in the world. Located in Yanshui District, participants are geared up with motorcycle helmets, fire-retardant clothing and thick gloves, with hundreds of thousands of firecrackers going off at the same time. According to Taiwan's Tourism Bureau, the 'beehive fireworks' festival started in the late 1885 as a request to the gods to spare Yanshui from a cholera outbreak which was making its way through the villages. (Billy H.C. Kwok/Getty Images)
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