To mark the new year, 10,000 people perform in unique costumes along Philadelphia’s Broad Street at the city’s annual Mummers Parade. The festival dates back to mid-17th-century and is believed to be the oldest folk festival in the United States, with roots in Irish, German, English and Swedish traditions. One account says the event dates to when Swedish immigrants once knocked on neighbors’ doors asking for drinks while singing songs. When they came upon a house that offered them beverages, they’d shoot their firearms into the air to alert others to join them.
Photo credit: Tyler McHenry, Wikimedia Commons