Photo Of The Day: Papua New Guinea Sing-Sing Preparation

The tribes of Papua New Guinea are renowned for their intricate and colorful Sing-sing rituals: gatherings of neighboring villages for the exchange of traditional dances and music. In today’s photo, by Flickr user Susani2008, we have an intimate look at the elaborate preparation that goes into these unique events. The man pictured above is getting ready for his Sing-sing by applying wildly colorful face paint and an intricate feather headress. The colors and designs are intended to mimic the appearance and patterns of the visually stunning local bird population.

Taken any great photos from your own trip to Papua New Guinea? Or perhaps just from your last stop in Pasadena? Why not add them to our Gadling group on Flickr? We might just pick one of yours as our Photo of the Day.

[Photo credit: Flickr user Susani2008]

Photo Of The Day: Varanasi Ritual

photo of the day - Aarti offering in Varanasi
There are many common motifs in travel photography: sunsets, markets, funny signs that might include unique and amazing images, but are found all over the world. It’s the rare photograph that shows us something unusual, perhaps something completely new. Today’s Photo of the Day is by Gadling favorite and Flickr user arunchs is from Varanasi, India, capturing the evening ritual of Ganga Aarti. The Hindu religious rite involves an offering of lighted wicks, flowers, and other items to represent the elements, and is performed here on the banks of the river Ganges. It’s also interesting to see people in the photo wearing scarves and long sleeves for the chilly nights in Northern India, a country typically associated with scorching temperatures.

Share your unusual travel photos in the Gadling Flickr pool for a future Photo of the Day.

[Photo credit: Flickr user arunchs]

Photo Of The Day: Madrid’s Palacio Real

Today’s photo, by Flickr user APANCHA, takes place at the changing of the guard at Madrid’s Royal Palace (Palacio Real). The tight marching pattern of the soldiers, evenly spaced as they pass in front of the palace’s stately architecture makes for quite a show for photo-snapping tourists. There’s an intriguing geometry to the shot – the neat, upright marching of the soldiers almost seems to mimic the palace’s stately vertical columns behind them.

Taken any great photos during your own travels? Why not add them to our Gadling group on Flickr? We might just pick one of yours as our Photo of the Day.

Photo of the Day (11.16.10)

This Sunday marked the beginning of the Hajj, the world’s largest annual pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia. As the fifth pillar of Islam, the pilgrimage is a religious duty that must be carried out by every able-bodied Muslim that can do so. Saudi officials have reported that a record-breaking 3.4 million people are expected to come from all corners of the globe to perform the Hajj this year.

This astounding photo, titled “Headed to Mecca” was taken by Flickr user Theodore Kaye as a mother prepares to leave Osh, southern Kyrgyzstan for Mecca. I love that Theodore was able to be present for and capture the intimacy of this moment and took advantage of the lighting to make the image even more beautiful. The result of being in the right place at the right time, and knowing how to capture a great photograph.

If you want to see more of the Hajj, Boston.com put up an amazing series of images of this year’s processions. Also worth checking out is VBS.tv’s short documentary of an inside look at the pilgrimage. What’s your personal Mecca? Share it with us by adding photos to our Flickr group and it could be our next Photo of the Day.

Volcano grounds jets in Indonesia

Flights between Singapore and several Indonesian cities, including the capital Jakarta, have been grounded due to the latest eruption of Mt. Merapi. The volcano has been erupting for two weeks and has killed more than 130 people and displaced two hundred thousand.

Several airports have closed and while the ash cloud has affected international flights, domestic flights are continuing as normal. So far the suspensions of flights are up to the individual airlines, but major carriers such as Singapore Airlines, Japan Airlines, Malaysia Airlines, Lufthansa and Cathay have chosen to play it safe.

Merapi is one of the most active volcanoes in the Ring of Fire, a giant arch of tectonic activity around the Pacific. Back in 2006, an eruption displaced tens of thousands and prompted local villagers to try animist rituals to placate the volcano’s spirits.

[Image courtesy user Tequendamia via Wikimedia Commons]