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Showing posts from July 11, 2011


   Have you ever heard 18,000 voices singing at once? This emotional experience can be felt during Estonia's Song Festival, which occurs once every five years in Tallinn. Once in five years, tens of thousands of Estonians gather in Tallinn in the summertime to take part in the Song and Dance Festival.
   The Song Festival is an enormous open-air choir concert held at the Tallinn Song Festival Grounds with the participation of hundreds of choirs and thousands of singers. The number of participants in the Song Festival can reach up to 25 or 30 thousand, but the greatest number of people is on stage during the performance of the joined choirs—there are usually 18 000 singers on stage at that moment, and their powerful song touches even the most frigid Nordic disposition.

    Not every choir in Estonia is able to perform at the Song Festival. Due to the popularity of the festival, there is stiff competition among the choirs, and the repertoire is rehearsed for years in advance. Only t…


Row, Row, Row Your Tub
   Most people associate ‘tubs’ with showering, bathing, and even having hot sex. For the folks in Ito City, Japan, tubs are instead used to race down the banks of the Matsukawa River.

   Back during the early part of the 20th century, the residents of Ito City would line up alongside the Matukawa River and wash their clothes using small wooden tubs. Sometime around the 1950s, they started using the tubs as boats, and then they eventually began racing down the river with them. The event was soon after, in 1955, officially designated as an annual race in the hopes that it would attract tourists. 54 years have passed and yet people continue to race annually, with over 200 participants — including men, women, children, and even ducks — having shown up in July for this year’s festivities.

   And you can’t just be somegeek off the street to make it big at the Ito City race, which is divided into categories based on age, gender, and country. It takes some real skill to suc…