Festivals. A location where people seeking to have an enjoyable experience can dance, pay attention to great music, celebrate, party, have a great time, and relax. They happen around the world for most different reasons. Some celebrate religion, some the brand new year, some art, some the harvest or the entire moon – whatever the reason why, every month, somewhere on earth, you’ll find people descending on a spot to celebrate and share a common experience.
Now, in the event that you don’t like crowds then these events probably aren’t for you personally. But in the event that you feel like getting wet, dirty, staying up late, dancing, or simply want to take pleasure from the energy of thousands of people, check out many of these festivals:
1. Up Helly Aa (January)
The Shetland Islands in Scotland were once territories owned and inhabited by Scandinavian Vikings. Dating back again to the 1880s, Up Helly Aa is a celebration of this heritage. It’s an enormous procession and fire festival that occurs in Lerwick, Scotland in the center of winter. Men decorate as Vikings and parade around the city carrying torches, with the procession ending in the burning of a normal Viking longship.
Participants have to have been residents of Shetland for 5 years before they are permitted to participate, and the lead Viking (referred to as the Guizer Jarl) is chosen years beforehand. With limited space for visitors, that is definitely a once and an eternity festival to wait!
Date : Last Tuesday in January. Cost : Free! Fun Fact : The Viking procession can involve up to at least one 1,000 torch-bearing locals, rendering it quite the spectacle! MORE INFORMATION : uphellyaa.org
2. Harbin Ice and Snow Festival (January)
The Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival occurs each year in Harbin, China. It’s the biggest ice and snow festival on the planet, attracting almost 20 million visitors every year.
The festival lasts around one month (weather permitting) and attracts artists from all over the world to compete and showcase their works. Each year there exists a new theme, with over 200,000 cubic meters of snow and ice used for the festival.
Date : January 5. Cost : There are often multiple parks, with admission to each costing between 135-330 RMB per person. Fun Fact : The festival’s works are recognized for breaking records, such as a recent 48m-tall (157ft) sculpture!
3. Carnival (February)
Carnival is a huge party held before the Christian holiday of Lent. Originally, Carnival was a food festival since it was the last time people could eat abundantly before Lent. Legend says the term “Carnaval” was produced from the Latin expression ‘carne vale‘ which means ‘farewell to the meat’ (which, if you ask me, will be a sad affair.)
Carnival in Brazil may be the most famous on the planet and attracts the a lot of people with their dancing, parades, and floats, music, and drinking. The largest Carnival occurs in Rio de Janeiro. In Brazil, social conventions are turned ugly in this event and anything goes. It includes a well-earned party reputation.
Date : Begins the Friday before Ash Wednesday (February/March) Cost : Tickets for the parade in the Sambadrome start at $35 USD. Fun Fact : During Carnival, over 2 million folks are in the streets celebrating each day! Tickets/More Info : liesa.globo.com
4. Mardi Gras (February)
Much like Carnival in Brazil, Mardi Gras in New Orleans occurs before Lent. Parades, music, drinking, costumes – NOLA has everything! Over 1.2 million people go to the city every year to be a part of the festivities, 3 x the populace of New Orleans itself!
Actually, Mardi Gras may be the most-attended annual event in the complete country! The first Mardi Gras occurred in 1699, and the party has been going strong since!
Date : Shrove Tuesday/Fat Tuesday Cost : Free! Fun Fact : Anyone riding a float in the parade is necessary for legal reasons to wear a mask. This rule was made so that folks of different social classes could mingle without the pressure/stigma. MORE INFORMATION : nola.gov/city/mardi-gras
5. Holi (March)
Holi is a Hindu holiday celebrated on your day following the full moon in early March and glorifies good harvest and fertility of the land. Moreover, Holi also celebrates the triumph of good over evil, at least according to a legend relating to the god Krishna.
Holi can last up to 16 days, based on where on the planet you celebrate it. There is music, food, and, of course, throwing paint on one another. For the most traditional Holi experience, go to the temple towns of Mathura and Vrindavan in India. However, you will find Holi celebrations all over the world with a captivating Indian community.
Date : Begins your day following the full moon in February/March. Cost : Free! (If you might spend a few dollars on paint). Fun Fact : Bhang, a favorite drink created from cannabis, is a favorite beverage during Holi. Drinkers beware! MORE INFORMATION : Festivities happen all over India (and all all over the world). To see when and where events are occurring near you, consult with your hostel/hotel staff.
6. St. Patrick’s Day in Dublin (March)
St. Patrick’s Day could be celebrated all over the world, but nowhere pays homage to the Patron Saint of Ireland much better than Dubliners. The vacation is a multi-day festival that’s a lot more than just drinking your bodyweight in Guinness (though that’s definitely an integral element!).
Decorate in every your green attire, wander the town, watch the parade, and revel the night time away in a cozy bar with some locals. If you’re a fan of an excellent party, that is one never to be missed!
Date : March 17. Cost : Free! Fun Fact : The colour connected with St. Patrick’s Day was originally blue, but green eventually took over because of its association with Ireland as “the Emerald Isle.” MORE INFORMATION : stpatricksfestival.ie
7. Songkran (Mid-April)
Thai New Year is probably the most fun events I’ve ever gone to. For three days, Thailand basically shuts right down to party. Songkran is three-day water fight that engulfs the complete country, you can’t walk two seconds out of your property without getting wet. No-one is safe. The young and the old participate equally and there is nothing beats having just a little old lady say sorry and dump a bucket of cool water you.
The most fun I ever endured was riding in a tuk-tuk and having a mobile water fight with the people in the lane over.
Date : The date was originally set by astrological calculations, nonetheless it is currently fixed on April 13th-15th. Cost : Free! (If you might spend a few dollars on a water gun). Fun Fact : Over 4 million tourists will flock to Thailand to participate. Will you be one of these? MORE INFORMATION : tourismthailand.org/home
8. Bay to Breakers (May)
Bay to Breakers can be an annual footrace which occurs in SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA, California on the 3rd Sunday of May. A quintessential SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA experience since 1912, the race is a seminal event in the town. The entire course is 7.46 miles long. The footrace is more of a justification to drink and clothe themselves in weird costumes on the way.
It’s an extremely large event and is similar to a moving party when compared to a footrace. Also, be prepared to see a large amount of people running in the nude. Registration is essential and starts at $69 but a lot of people just party around the town watching the racers! You don’t have to register to try that
Date : The 3rd Sunday of May. Cost : $69 to be a part of the state race, with early bird discounts can be found in the event that you register well beforehand. Fun Fact : Some individuals decorate as salmon and run the course backwards simply for fun! MORE INFORMATION : baytobreakers.com
9. Fez Festival of World Sacred Music (May/June)
This massive music festival is held in Morocco. It had been were only available in 1994 and made to bridge the gaps between cultures and bring folks from different religions together. While this won’t be considered a festival on everyone’s list, if you’re thinking about religion and music then that is one of the primary festivals on the continent.
Date : May/June. Cost : 215-3,700 MAD (depnding on what you would like tickets to). Fun Fact : The function has been praised by the US for promoting dialogue between cultures and religions. MORE INFORMATION : fesfestival.com
10. Glastonbury (June)
Every summer in June, Pilton, England becomes the stage for just one of the biggest music festivals on the globe. Glastonbury is most beneficial known because of its contemporary music but also features dance, comedy, theater, circus, cabaret, and several other arts. About 150,000 people come to the area for a couple days of music, mud, and mayhem. The fields become giant tent cities as everyone camps out seeking to have a blast!
Date : The last weekend of June (though every 5th year is usally a “fallow” year without festival. 2018 was the newest fallow year). Cost : Tickets cost around £238 Fun Fact : Despite having 150,000 tickets and 900 acres of land, the function still sells out within an hour! MORE INFORMATION : glastonburyfestivals.co.uk
11. Swedish Midsummer (June)
Swedes just like the world to be well-ordered, so Midsummer Eve is always a Friday between your 19th and 25th of June. People often start the day by picking flowers and making wreaths to put on the maypole, that is a key component in the celebrations.
Local Swedes leave into nature, dance around a maypole, eat plenty of fish, drinks plenty of beer, and stay up to take pleasure from the longest day of the entire year. After all, sunlight doesn’t set until about midnight. (The Swedes likewise have an excellent festival to celebrate spring too.)
Date : The Friday between June 19th and 25th. Cost : Free! Fun Fact : Among the traditional foods eaten through the festival is pickled herring (usually with schnapps). It’s not the best but it’s worth trying once! MORE INFORMATION : Every municipality and city could have their own festivities, so speak to your hotel/hostel staff for more information!
12. La Tomatina (August)
For just one hour, 20,000 people take part in a tomato fight in Bunol, Spain over the last Wednesday of August. Thousands of participants come from worldwide to fight in this giant food fight. The whistle blows and the tomatoes of La Tomatina fly. It’s fun, it’s dirty, it’s the meals fight we all wished for as a kid. Just be sure to bring some goggles!
Once you have your fill of tomatoes, you go wash off in the river and join the dance party around where in fact the sangria and food flow!
Date : Last Wednesday of August. Cost : 30 EUR. Fun Fact : Over 120,000 pounds of tomatoes are used for the festival – and it only last one hour! MORE INFORMATION : latomatina.info
13. Burning Man (August)
Towards the end of August, thousands of people leave in the Nevada desert for 6 days of alternative living. Burning Man brings about the arty, the choice, and the eccentric. In this crucible of creativity, each is welcome. It’s 6 days of camping (bring plenty of water!), art, and music. Towards the end, a huge wooden man is defined burning (hence the name). That is probably the most popular events in the whole planet and “Burners” as participants are known are actually in to the event. It part festival, part social experiment. And in the event that you can’t make it to Nevada, there are mini-burns all over the world too!
Date : Begins on the last Sunday in August. Cost : Ticket start around $390 (plus additional fees for parking). Fun Fact : The first sculpture burned at Burning Man was only 8 feet tall. In 2014, it had been 105 feet tall! MORE INFORMATION : burningman.org
14. Oktoberfest (September)
Though really in September this bi weekly beer festival in Munich attracts folks from worldwide using its beer halls, lederhosen, giant steins of beer, and huge pretzels. Over 6 million people flock to Munich every year during the period of the two-week festival, causeing this to be a literal non-stop party!
No-one I understand ever lasted the complete two weeks however the three or four 4 days you is there is definitely the haziest you will ever have.
Date : From late September and lasting for over 14 days. Cost : Admission is free but you’ll need to purchase beer (around 11 EUR per liter) and for reservations if you need to visit a particular tent. Fun Fact : Over 7.5 million liters of beer was consumed at the 2017 Oktoberfest! MORE INFORMATION : oktoberfest.de/en
15. Day of the Dead (November)
With paper mache skeletons and candy skulls, Mexico’s carnival-esque Day of the Dead is probably the world’s most familiar festivals. Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, isn’t a Mexican version of Halloween. Participants devote a day to cleaning their family graves, decorating them with candles and flowers, having picnics and dancing to mariachi bands. It’s an odd mix of remembrance and festivity. It’s a festival that celebrates life and respect for deceased members of the family. It’s beautiful, festive, and fun.
Date : October 31-November 2. Cost : Free (if you may choose to buy some face paint). Fun Fact : The vacation has its origins in pre-Hispanic civilization, dating back almost 3,000 years!
16. Hogmanay (December)
New Year’s Eve celebrations happen all over the world, but few places rival Edinburgh and its own Hogmanay festival. I’ve gone to plenty of celebrations and festivals all over the world, and Hogmanay is probably the most fun parties I’ve ever gone to.
Each December, over 100,000 people be a part of the two-day celebration. Hogmanay involves a Viking procession (similar to Up Helly Aa), bonfires, fireworks, concerts, and an enormous carnival. It’s nonstop fun. It can get crowded and you’ll have to buy tickets to the shows. Make sure you book beforehand (together with your accommodation).
Date : December 31st Cost : 30 GBP for the road party. Additional fees for concerts. Fun Fact : The Loony Dook is a portion of the celebration where everyone dresses up in funny costumes and jumps in to the freezing water of the Firth of Forth. MORE INFORMATION: edinburghshogmanay.com
All over the world no matter what month of the entire year, you’ll find people celebrating. I’ve gone to a lot of these festivals and my goal is to see all of them. Not merely are festivals fun also, they are a terrific way to do something differently compared to the normal sightseeing we do whenever we visit places. Next time you are searching for something wild, crazy, and festive, plan your trip around these celebrations of life.