In far northern latitudes, the summers are short and winters long. The Western Siberian town of Berezniki, Russia on the banks of the Kama River, hosts an annual Mosquito Festival in celebration of the insect closely associated with summer.
This year (2016) the traditional Mosquito Hunt (where contestants capture mosquitoes in jars the way American children capture fireflies) had to be cancelled. Unusually hot and dry weather this year has greatly reduced the mosquito population. There were however, enough mosquitoes to produce 43 bites on “The Tastiest Girl”, 9-year-old Irina Ilyukhina. By comparison, the 2013 Tastiest Girl recorded over 100 mosquito bites. Organizer, Natalya Paramonova, admits it is a “joke festival” that caught on. I’m not certain who the joke is on, but Berezniki has earned its 15 minutes of fame.