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Unveiling the Flavors and Traditions: A Cultural Kaleidoscope of Onion Festivals Around the World

  Onions are popular in many countries around the world, and many countries have onion-related festivals. The activities of the Onion Festival in various countries are both similar and unique. Different traditional customs and modern culture complement each other like a cultural kaleidoscope.
  Onion festivals in various European countries are held in autumn every year, concentrated between September and November. Depending on the onion harvest time, the festival time is generally earlier in the south. The Onion Festival in Bern, Switzerland has a long history and is said to have started in the early 15th century.
  Many Europeans believe that keeping onions in the house can strengthen the body and ward off evil spirits. The practice is said to have originated from ancient Egypt and Rome. Onions have been found as burial objects in some ancient tombs in Egypt, and onion patterns are also painted on the walls of some ancient Egyptian buildings. According to legend, ancient Roman knights liked to hang an onion outside their armor, believing that onions could bring good luck, courage and strength. Ancient Roman gladiators smeared onion juice on their bodies to relieve pain and heal wounds. It is said that the ancient Romans also used onions to treat snake bites.
  People in the Ivanovo region of Russia also celebrate the Onion Festival. Local ladies like to weave small onions of various colors into tassels as decorations on hats and shawls. Onions paired with Russian national costumes have a unique flavor.
  Assisi in the Umbria region of Italy holds the Canara Onion Festival, which lasts for about 10 days in early September every year. The theme of Italy’s Onion Festival is naturally Italian food. During the festival, people have the opportunity to taste a full range of Italian dishes made with onions, including appetizers, pastas, main courses, side dishes and even desserts in local specialty restaurants. Visitors can try different Italian onion delicacies every day, such as traditional Umbrian onion sausages, grilled onions, onion soup, onion bagels, etc. After eating and drinking enough, you naturally need to move for a while. At this time, visitors can participate in the “onion hunting” activity and wander around the small town to look for onions with specific markings that the organizers have carefully hidden everywhere.
  The most eye-catching event at the Madunice Onion Festival in Slovakia is the onion parade. Several villagers will put on “onion suits” and look like onions, followed by two villagers wearing traditional national costumes and walking on stilts, dressed as giant farmers and peasant women. The giant farmer and the peasant woman represent the farmers who work hard to grow onions. They can’t help but smile when they look at the “giant onions” in front of them. The parade also includes the “Onion Queen” float. The “Queen” is a doll, and her costume is made from onions by an ingenious peasant woman.
  There are also many places in the United States that celebrate Onion Day. Although the Onion Festival in the United States does not have as long a history as the Onion Festival in Europe, the activities are more colorful. Onions are the official “state dish” of Georgia, USA. Locals love onions and attach great importance to the annual Vidalia Onion Festival. During the Vidalia Onion Festival, people flock to the Vidalia Airport to watch aerobatics. The Vidalia Onion Festival also has its own mascot, a puppet named “Yummy Onion.” During the festival, volunteers dressed as “delicious onions” can be seen everywhere. They are either busy taking photos with tourists or acting as tour guides. There is also an onion museum locally, where visitors can learn more about onions.
  Music plays a starring role at Florida’s Pine Island Onion Festival. At the Walla Walla Onion Festival in Washington state, it’s sports that take center stage. The annual onion bowling competition here attracts many contestants. In this event, players throw large onions like bowling balls, and the scoring rules are the same as in bowling games.
  On the Hawaiian island of Maui, far away from the mainland of the United States, there is also an onion festival held for the local specialty Kula onions. The highlight of the festival is the raw onion eating contest. Because of the special local climate and soil, Kula onions have an apple-like sweetness and crispness, and there is no problem eating them raw as fruit.
  The Philippines also has an onion festival in Asia. Bangabang City in Luzon Island is known as the “Onion Capital of the Philippines”. At the annual Onion Festival here, locals dressed in traditional national costumes parade with singing and dancing, and there is also a car street obstacle competition. During the parade, people added various onion elements to the beautiful traditional costumes of the Philippines. Some wore onion-shaped hats, some wore onion-colored clothes, and some simply held an onion doll… The most popular part of the festival The attraction is the beauty contest. The theme of each beauty pageant is slightly different. For example, in some years, “Miss Onion is the most beautiful”, in other years, Mr. Onion is the most handsome, and in some years, “The Most Beautiful Onion Couple” is selected.
  Onion festivals in various countries have some common elements, such as exhibitions and sales of folk products and handicrafts, selection of the largest or heaviest onions, and onion-eating competitions. Sports activities are also common to onion festivals in various countries. The traditional 11-kilometer cross-country run at the Weimar Onion Festival in Germany attracts many runners every year, while at the Madunis Onion Festival in Slovakia, the reserved event is the football match between local amateur football clubs competing for the “Onion Cup”.