If you are one of those explorers who love to learn new things and experience different cultures, then you are just like me! I am always glad to share some information about the places I have visited or plan to see in the future.
I also enjoy learning about different countries and pick more destinations to add to my bucket list. I believe that festivals are a great way to explore new places and immerse yourself in a culture which is not necessarily close to your own. Meeting the locals and participating in the events they organize can be extremely fun and educational.
In this article, I have picked ten World Festivals which I believe are worth visiting. I am sure that no matter what your preferred type of entertainment is, you will fall in love with at least a few of the destinations I am about to list.
Harbin Ice Festival
China is the host of the World’s largest ice festival. With ice sculptures that can be as tall as 20 feet or even higher, tourists are guaranteed to have a great time. Visitors will be amazed by the exquisite work of the artists who have sculpted entire castles out of ice blocks. Officially, the festival starts on 5 January, and it lasts one month.
However, there are plenty of exhibitions and events that start earlier and offer tourists spectacular art pieces. I definitely suggest you visit Harbin Ice Festival and explore the ice sculptures during the night time if you have the opportunity to do so. You will be able to see a beautiful winter scenery with snowy castles and large ice figures, so astonishing that it is hard to believe that you are not watching Frozen.
This festival is held every March in the United Kingdom, and it is an event that gathers some of the best British- and Irish-trained racehorses. Since the meeting is usually held around the same time as Saint Patrick’s Day celebrations, the Cheltenham Festival is extremely popular with Irish visitors. There are several Grade I races held over four days.
Usually, there are huge amounts of money-bets during the Festival Week. Players can gamble on races such as Cheltenham Gold Cup, Queen Mother Champion Chase, Champion Hurdle and Stayers’ Hurdle. Also, a significant number of bookmakers and online casinos licensed to operate in the UK offer a great variety of promotions. If you are keen on sports bets or you just want to see numerous of the best racehorses in the United Kingdom and Ireland, you should definitely visit the Cheltenham Festival.
Carnival in Rio de Janeiro
If you want to experience something different and fun and be a part of a massive celebration, then I recommend you to add the Carnival in Rio de Janeiro to your list with festivals to visit. Although many countries have their own forms of carnival, this one is unique and very entertaining. It also attracts the attention of some of the world’s largest media outlets including The Guardian and The New York Times.
Flashy costumes, samba dancers, a huge dancing and singing crowd are just a few elements of this fantastic celebration. I assure you that even if your trip to Rio is short, by attending the carnival, you will be able to learn plenty of things about the Brazilian culture. Watching the giant parades will make you feel excited and charged with the explosive energy of the Carnival in Rio de Janeiro.
While we are on the topic of carnivals, I cannot miss mentioning the Mardi Gras festival. The carnival is also known as Fat Tuesday or Shrove Tuesday. The celebrations and the parades are held the week before the fasting during Lent. The most colorful and extraordinary Mardi Gras celebrations are held in New Orleans.
The festival can show locals and tourists a great time by bringing music, vibrant colors and a lot of fun to the streets of the city. In addition to partying in a New Orleans style, you will also have the opportunity to see how the city has recovered from the Hurricane Katrina. The last days of the Carnival season at New Orleans are the best time to visit the city and party on the day before Ash Wednesday.
Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta
This annual festival of hot air balloons has become so huge in the past few years that I could not contain myself from including it in this list. If you have the opportunity to visit Albuquerque, New Mexico during early October, you will have the chance to witness a beautiful and colorful scene of thousands of hot air balloons ascending into the sky. The Fiesta continues for nine days, and you can enjoy various musical performances, see ‘night glows’ in which the balloons’ propane burners are ignited, but the hot air balloons are tethered to the ground. One of the best events at the festival is the Mass Ascension where hundreds of hot air balloons are launched in two waves and fill up the sky with bright colors.
The beauty of this Taiwanese festival is impossible to be put into simple words. You have to be there to feel the magic of thousand lanterns ascending to the night sky. The celebration is held in the Pingxi District in Taiwan, and it is the biggest lantern festival in the world. During the last few years, the traditional festival has become more popular, and nowadays both locals and tourists participate in the launching of thousand lanterns which are astonishing with their innovative and intricate shapes and sizes. LED lights, laser shows, and colorful lightbulbs have also become a part of this beautiful celebration.
This holiday is also known as the Festival of Colours, and it celebrates the win of good over evil, the end of winter and the beginning of spring. It is observed in India and Nepal and also across countries with big Indian population. The best part about the celebration of Holi is that people gather on the streets, in parks or in front of temples and start throwing dyes and water balloons at each other. The final result is hundreds of people all covered in bright colors and a lot of shared laughter.
The festive spirit of Holi is a great way to celebrate the beginning of spring. The festival is held annually, the night before Holi. This year The Telegraph paid special attention to the festival. If you are planning a trip to India around March, it is an excellent opportunity to join this free-spirited celebration.
Boryeong Mud Festival
This Festival is being held annually in the city of Boryeong in South Korea during the summer. This fantastic fest has gathered so much attention in the last few years that now hundreds of people gather every summer in Boryeong to participate in the Mud Festival. Mud pools, mudslides, mud prison and mud skiing competition are among the attractions which are held every year at the seafront area of Daecheon. The yearly celebration began as a way to promote the incredible mud of Boryeong which is used in many cosmetic products. Nowadays, people gather around and enjoy the fun atmosphere of this messy festival. You can also join the celebratory events and maybe even enjoy the benefits of the Boryeong Mud.
This music festival has gathered so much popularity in the recent years that tickets are being sold months before the event is held. Numerous famous music artists entertain a huge crowd of people every year in the Inland Empire’s Coachella Valley in the Colorado Desert. This annual celebration of music has become something more than a simple festival.
People gather with their friends, enjoy good music and even express their fashion taste during the week of Coachella Festival. The popularity of the annual gathering has various celebrities flock at the events held at Coachella. If you are a fan of rock, indie, hip-hop or electronic dance music, Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival is perfect for you. Who knows, you may even spot a few celebrities in the crowd.
What was once the celebration of the Bavarian King Ludwig’s wedding, has now become the world’s biggest beer festival. People from all around the world gather every year, around the end of September, to celebrate Germanic traditions. The beer festival is held in Munich, Bavaria and it offers huge entertainment to millions of visitors every year.
Not only can people drink a ton of Oktoberfest beer but they can also enjoy amusement rides, side stalls, and games as well as traditional food. The Bavarian Festival has become so popular that more than 6 million people from different parts of the world attend Oktoberfest every year. The beer fest has become so popular that many cities across the world have also started holding annual Oktoberfest celebrations.
If you love traveling the world and you would enjoy exploring different cultures, you can definitely add these ten festivals to your bucket list. Each of these locations offers a great amount of fun. I truly believe that there is nothing better than expanding your knowledge of different countries and cultures and explore things which cannot be seen in your everyday life.
These ten festivals celebrate different aspects of life, but they all have one thing in common – they gather people from different parts of the world and make them feel united. I hope that you will have the opportunity to visit at least a few of these places and enjoy an unforgettable experience.