Turkey gets ready to celebrate its annual Mesir Festival

Every spring for the past 500 years, Turkey has been celebrating the traditional Mesir Festival in the city of Manisa. Not only does the event encompass parades, concerts, and exhibits, but also the throwing of spices.

Mesir, also known as “power gum,” is a blend of 41 different spices made into a thick paste. The story of its origin is that the wife of the Ottoman Sultan Yavuz Sultan Selim and the mother of Süleyman the Magnificient, Hafsa Sultan, became very sick while she was in Manisa. Since there were no known treatments at the time, a concoction of herbs and spices was created, and actually ended up curing the ill woman. After that, mesir became a popular remedy for sick patients.

So how was the Mesir Festival born? Once demand for the cure grew, the mixture was wrapped in paper and thrown from the Sultan Mosque once each year. Now, thousands of people who attend the festival can stand at the bottom of the mosque and catch their own healing mesir paste. Other festival highlights to look forward to include skeet shooting matches, a canine beauty competition, a traditional mesir paste mixing ceremony, live music in the park, a Ukrainian art exhibit, and much more.

The Mesir Festival will take place this year on March 21-25, 2012. If you’d like to practice some traditional Mesir Festival singing to get you in the mood for the celebration, click here to listen to the official Mesir Festival song. For information on the celebration in general, click here.

10 sexy festivals from around the world

While sexy can mean different things to different people, sometimes there is just no disputing. From naked bodies covered in paint to scantily clad burlesque dancers to artistic bondage shows, there is a festival out there that will fulfill your idea of what sexy is.

New Orleans Burlesque Festival
New Orleans, Louisiana

The New Orleans Burlesque Festival takes place in New Orleans every year during mid-September. For three days, guests are treated to naughty striptease numbers, spicy parties, and, of course, tons of sexy burlesque dance shows. And you don’t only get to watch these hot acts, you get to learn them too, as the festival hosts an array of workshops, like the Stockings and Garter Workshop which will teach you how to sensually remove your hosiery, and Bumps and Grinds, where you will learn sultry, stage-worthy dance moves.German Fetish Ball Weekend
Berlin, Germany

Every year, the German Fetish Ball Weekend takes over Germany as the biggest international fetish gala and is the largest fetish and BDSM weekend in Europe. The weekend is packed with X-rated events from risque fashion shows, sexy performances, libidinous bondage shows, and parties where you will meet guests dressed in leather, lace, and less. This year, the event will take place from May 25-28.

World Body Painting Festival
Kärnten, Austria

The World Body Painting Festival is a body painting, face painting, and special effects festival that takes place in Austria each year. This sexy event incorporates art, fashion, music, entertainment, and parties with a BodyArt Fashion Show, hot DJ’s “dressed” in paint, and chances to gain skills in this unique art yourself. Have a great body painting photo? You can submit it to win Bodypainting Art Photo of the Year.

Sexy International Film Festival
Melbourne, Australia

Each November, the Sexy International Film Festival takes place in Melbourne, with promotional screenings also taking place in Perth, Paris, London, New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. The event features films from all over the world covering topics on love, relationships, and of course, sex. Expect a lot of lingerie, nudity, and titles like “Dame Factory”, “Scenes of an Adult Nature”, “Grandpa’s Wet Dream”, and “Black and White Sex”. Submissions for the 2012 festival begin in March. For information on purchasing tickets, click here.

Exotic Erotic Ball & Expo
San Francisco, California

While the annual Exotic Erotic Ball & Expo didn’t take place in 2011, it will be back for 2012. The festival has been going on for over thirty years and celebrates sexuality and freedom of expression with live music, exotic dancers, masquerade parties, erotic performances, and sexy games like Lesbian First Kiss. And if that’s not enough, there’s a wild after party that will keep you up all night.

Kinky Salon

While most people know Kinky Salon from their yearly Copenhagen event, the San Francisco-based company actually hosts events all over the globe that are devoted to a “safe and consensual exploration of sex-positive self-expression”. Attendees to the events can expect sexy art parties, exhibitionism, and carnal costumes. You can also check out the Kinky Salon Amsterdam, New York, and London.

Nudes-A-Poppin Pageant and Festival
Roselawn, Indiana

Nudes-A-Poppin’ Pageant and Festival is the biggest nude beauty pageant in the world. Since 1976, this event has been featuring showgirls, pole competitions, oil wrestling, and screaming ‘O’ contests as contestants battle it out to be crowned titles like Ms. Nude Entertainer, Mr. Nude North America, and Ms. Nude Rising Star. This year’s event will take place on July 21-22.

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

When thinking of sexy festivals, Carnival is usually the first one that people think of. While not as obvious in erotic nature as many of the other events mentioned, the sexy samba moves, burlesque-style costumes, and nude dancing make Carnival a carnal treat. Plus, it helps that Brazilians are some of the sexiest people alive. This year the event will take place February 18-21.

Seattle Erotic Art Festival
Seattle, Washington

The Seattle Erotic Art Festival was founded by the Sex Positive Community Center (now the Foundation for Sex Positive Culture) in 2002. Through the arts, the event promotes feedom of expression and a sex positive community. Attendees can expect sexy performances, erotic installations, libidinous films, workshops, and after-hours parties. This year, the festival is expanded to take place over two weekends, June 16-17 and June 22-24.

Tyrnavos, Greece

While many of these festivals tend to gravitate towards celebrating the female form, the Phallus Festival in Greece pays homage to the penis. This one-day fertility festival signals the beginning of Lent and honors the Greek God of wine, madness, and ecstasy, Dionysus. Attendees of the festival will have the chance to eat penis-shaped food, sit on penis-shaped furniture, kiss ceramic penises (and sometimes have them places between their legs), admire penis art, and wear penis accessories. A similar festival also takes place every year in Kawasaki, Japan.

[images via Kaylin Idora Photography, ChrisK4u, Exotic Erotic Ball, Wikimedia Commons, _Yuki_K_]

Understanding the sport of Wellie Wanging

No, it’s not what you think it is, although it still not your usual sport. Wellie Wanging, also known as Gumboot Throwing, is a sport in New Zealand that consists of throwing a Wellington boot, which is basically like a rubber galoshe, as far as possible within a set boundary. While it originated in Great Britain, the sport’s major event, Gumboot Day, occurs in Taihape, New Zealand. The celebration of gumboots began in 1985 and occurs each year on the Tuesday after Easter. While the sport may sound silly, people take it pretty seriously, and there are very specific official rules, such as “the use of wind assistance is allowed and, indeed, encouraged. Waiting for a suitable gust, however, is limited to one minute. No artificial or man-made wind is to be used” and “no tampering with the welly shall be allowed. Factory finish only. No silicone polish is to be applied”.

Want to experience Wellie Wanging for yourself? The 2012 Gumboot Day Festival will take place on March 10th. To get a better idea of the game’s technique and form, check out the video above.