Fellow Obscuraphiles take note: August is upon us, and with it a multitude of awesome experiences in which to partake!

What follows is a chronological smattering of the bestest, most beautifulest, strangest the month has to offer.  From full grown men dressed in nothing but foliage to a festival of savory “treats,” a commemoration of humanity at its most brutal to a celebration of slithery creatures, there’s something for everyone… 



Denver, Colorado, USA : Opening of National Geographic’s “King Tut” exhibit at the Denver Art Museum. Exhibition begins August 1, 2010 and will remain open through January 9, 2011.

Aomori, Japan:  Toro floats depicting demons, spirits, and mythical warriors are lit and placed on the water, accompanied by fireworks, costumed dancers, drumming, and revelry.  August 2-7, 2010.  

Clinton, Montana, USA:  The mission of the Testicle Festival is to spread the delights of the “Rocky Mountain Oyster” to the widest audience possible.  Held at Rock Creek Lodge August 4-8, 2010.

Testicle Festival - Rock Creek MT - Atlas Obscura Blog

Behold! Rocky Mountain Oysters at their finest. (source)

Akita, Japan: The Kanto Matsuri has its origins in promoting physical health and a good harvest.  Huge paper lanterns are sent into the night sky, fending off evil spirits.  August 5-7, 2010

Cachoeria, Brazil: The BoaMorte, or Good Death, Festival is reminiscent of secret female societies in African traditions, blended with Catholic traditions in colonial Brazil.  Today the festival marks the African diaspora while marking the passage from the physical to spiritual worlds.  August 5-16, 2010.

Hiroshima, Japan:  The Peace Memorial Ceremony commemorates the bombing of Hiroshima with a moment of silence followed by lighting lanterns in the evening to help send off the victims’ spirits.  Every August 6th, annually.

Hiroshima Peace Festival - Floating Lanterns - Atlas Obscura Blog

A beautiful light display marks one of the most memorable days in human history. (source)

Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA: On Exotic Animal Racing Day, Canterbury Park’s racetrack is dominated by jockeyed ostriches, zebras, and camels racing the wind.  August 8, 2010.

South Queensferry, Scotland: According to local tradition, the Burry Man roams village streets just outside Edinburgh bringing good fortune to all those who give him whiskey and money.  This year the Burryman Parade will be on August 13th, 2010.  

The Burry Man in his natural habitat. (source)

India: Naga Panchami Snake Festival pays respect to the creatures at the time of year when snakes emerge from underground only to be doused in monsoon water, ultimately seeking refuge in human homes. Celebrated nation-wide on August 14, 2010

Kyoto, Japan: Daimonji Gozan Okuribi marks the end of O-bon with gigantic, fiery depictions of kanji on neighboring hillsides.  August 16, 2010

Hong Kong:  Yue Lan, or the Festival of the Hungry Ghosts, entails symbolically “feeding” the souls of the dead who didn’t have a proper funeral.  In accordance with the lunar calendar, this year’s celebration will fall on August 23, 2010.

Nejapa, El Salvador:  Participants in the annual Fireball Festival literally hurl fireballs at each other in commemoration of 1922’s wicked volcanic eruption.  Held annually on August 31.


What are some of the events you’re most anticipating this August?  Please let us know in the comments if we overlooked any obvious contenders! 


Happy exploring!