World's Wackiest Holidays

Think relying on a groundhog's shadow to predict the end of winter makes little sense? Check out even stranger celebrations from around the world.

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Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade
Macy's Thanksgiving Parade

Macy's Thanksgiving Parade

Giant balloon puppets like Spiderman debuted at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade back in 1927. Today, the 87th annual event is one of the oldest Thanksgiving Day parades in the US. 960 1280

Michael Nagle/Getty Images  

Here Comes Santa!

Here Comes Santa!

Santa Claus rides on his sleigh down Central Park West during the annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade in NYC. St. Nick’s arrival at the parade's grand finale signals the official season's start to Christmas in NYC. 960 1280

Reuters/Gary Hershorn   

Houston's H-E-B Holiday Parade

Houston's H-E-B Holiday Parade

Participants strike a pose in Houston's annual Thanksgiving celebration, which we’ve voted among the top Thanksgiving Day parades. Now 64 years strong, the parade gets a makeover in 2013, with renewed focus on everything from fashion, food and heroes; to culture, sports and talent. 960 1280

Sean Boyd/Houston Holiday Parade  

McDonald’s Thanksgiving Parade

McDonald’s Thanksgiving Parade

Make it a long weekend in Chicago, while checking out "Chicago's Grand Holiday Tradition," now in its 80th year. You just may see Teddy Turkey strut his stuff; he's been the parade mascot since 2009. 960 1280

Marit & Toomas Hinnosaar, flickr  

America's Thanksgiving Parade

America's Thanksgiving Parade

Giant balloons float above the street during Detroit's annual America's Thanksgiving Parade, which shares the title of second-oldest Thanksgiving parade (alongside the Macy's parade). Plus, check out our own Andrew Zimmern's Detroit-inspired pumpkin pie.
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Paul Warner, Getty Images  

Carolinas' Carrousel Parade

Carolinas' Carrousel Parade

Yep, that is "Carrousel" with 2 r's. Founded in 1947, this parade through Charlotte, NC, is the fourth-largest in America, with an estimated 100,000 spectators. In 2013, though, it didn't look like the parade would happen, until a corporate sponsor stepped in and saved the day. 960 1280

Charlotte Fire Deparment, flickr   

Philadelphia Thanksgiving Day Parade

Philadelphia Thanksgiving Day Parade

So what is the nation’s oldest Thanksgiving parade? Head to Philadelphia to find out! The 1.4-mile 6ABC Dunkin' Donuts Thanksgiving Day Parade started in 1920, sponsored by a popular department store of the day.  960 1280

Gilbert Carrasquillo, Getty Images  

America's Hometown Parade

America's Hometown Parade

Upping the ante, America’s Hometown Parade, in Plymouth, MA, bills itself as “America’s only historically accurate, chronological parade.” Inspired by the Pilgrims’ establishment of Plymouth Colony, the parade foregoes giant balloons of popular characters for parade features based on the history of the US, from the 1600s up to the 2000s, with a Santa Claus float at the end. 960 1280

Michael Springer, Getty Images  

Elaborate decoration seen along a street in preparation for the upcoming Chinese New Year celebration Singapore's Chinatown neighborhood. 960 1280

REUTERS/May Naji  

Divers perform a dragon dance during an event to celebrate the Chinese Lunar New Year at an aquarium in Beijing. The Lunar New Year begins on February 10 and marks the start of the Year of the Snake, according to the Chinese zodiac. 960 1280

REUTERS/China Daily  

A girl holding red lanterns used for decoration runs in a park ahead of Chinese Lunar New Year celebrations in Beijing. 960 1280


Participants dressed in festive regalia take part in the annual Chinese New Year parade in Washington, DC's Chinatown neighborhood. 960 1280

Getty Images/Alex Wong  

Members of a dragon team perform during the Chinese New Year festival and parade in San Francisco. The city's Chinese New Year parade is the largest of its kind in the world, attracting hundreds of thousands of spectators. 960 1280

Getty Images/Justin Sullivan  

A woman rides a float decorated with brightly colored lanterns during the Chinese New Year festival and parade in San Francisco. 960 1280

Getty Images/Justin Sullivan  

Children practice drumming before the start of the Chinese New Year festival in San Francisco. 960 1280

Getty Images/Justin Sullivan  

People offer prayers to the deities during a midnight ceremony in Chinatown at the Chua Thien Hau Temple in LA. Every year in the Chinese lunar calendar is associated with an animal, and positive characteristics associated with that animal are believed to be bestowed upon people born in that year. 960 1280

Getty Images/David McNew  

"Wow, that’s amazing." Chinese ethnic dancers react backstage as they watch a performance during the Chinese New Year in Bangkok. 960 1280


People place gifts and money in the mouth of a dancing dragon during the Chinatown Lunar New Year Parade in NYC. 960 1280

Getty Images/Chris McGrath  

Parade participants prepare to march in the Chinese New Year Golden Dragon Parade in the Chinatown neighborhood of LA. 960 1280

Getty Images/J. Emilio Flores  

Artists and dancers take part in Chinese New Year celebrations in Plaza de Oriente, opposite the Royal Palace in Madrid. 960 1280

Getty Images/Raul Urbina  

Young performers have fun and pose for the camera before the start of the Chinese New Year Twilight Parade in Sydney. 960 1280

Getty Images/Lisa Maree Williams  

Gearing up. Chinese girls practice before a performance during Chinese New Year celebrations in the Chinatown neighborhood in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. 960 1280


Show time! A crowd watches a lion dance performance during Chinese New Year celebrations in NYC's Chinatown district. 960 1280


Performers reenact an ancient Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) ceremony in which emperors prayed for good fortune and harvest. The ceremony is part of an annual Chinese New Year celebration at the Temple of Heaven in Beijing. 960 1280

Reuters/Jason Lee  

Participants perform a dragon dance during a Chinese New Year celebration in Vina del Mar, Chile, about 75 miles northwest of the capital city of Santiago. 960 1280


Chinese New Year  17 Photos

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