Every year countries around the world celebrate whales by holding festivals. From talks by whale experts to workshops, kids activities, art displays, and entertainment, attending a whale festival can be a great way to learn about whales and the traditions that surround them.
These events are typically held during the season that whales arrive to the local region and this can be a good time to see them. Whales migrate through the vast ocean throughout the year, so those wanting to see whales in the wild need to be in the right place at the right time. For example Gray whales arrive in the coastal waters of British Columbia in March and Orcas (or Killer Whales as they are also known) spend much of their time here in the months of July, August and September.
Attendees at whale festivals can hear marine researchers reveal the mysteries surrounding Gray, Humpback, Killer, Minke and even Sperm whales. Whale watching tours are often offered by companies to get the adventurous out on the water to see the whales in their natural environment.
Whale Festivals being held around the world:
- Hawaii, USA: Maui Whale Festival (February)
- British Columbia, Canada: Pacific Rim Whale Festival (March)
- Brighton, United Kingdom: Whalefest (March)
- New South Whales, Australia: Eden Whale Festival (October)
- Hermanus, South Africa: Hermanus Whale Festival (September)
- Alaska, USA: Sitka Whalefest (November)
While many annual festivals have been held for over 25 years, the celebration of whales dates much further back than that. Aboriginal people have celebrated whales for centuries. In some communities, particularly in the far north, whales have been an important animal for subsistence. The respect aboriginal people have for whales can be seen their traditions and art. In British Columbia, the Orca or Killer Whale is used as a powerful crest by many clans and included in totem poles and jewellery. Due to the Orca’s strong family connections and their habit of mating for life, giving a gift including an Orca symbol can represent love or harmony.
Whales are often called the “guardians of the sea” and considered a symbol of unity and goodness. Attend a festival today and learn more about these majestic creatures that live in our oceans.