A wise man once said, “If you want to truly witness the colors of life, you must be a part of the exciting and interesting festivals around the world.”
From the world’s biggest parade to drinking the best beers and ales to throwing tomatoes, discover the most bizarre ways people in different parts of the world celebrate and party.
In many ways, festivals are the true holidays, a break from the daily routine, a magic experience crammed into a span of a few days.
While some festivals will be part of your culture and tradition, others are things that everyone must attend at least once in their lifetime.
1. Carnaval – Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
The umber lifestyle, serene beaches, and the Rio nightlife have always come next to the Carnaval in terms of main tourist attractions of Brazil. But the Carnival with its 2 million annual visitors is by far the most popular attraction.
Enjoy this electrifying festival with expert bronze samba dancers, and an exhilarating street party crowd while leaving behind sophistication and elegance.
2. Snow & Ice Sculpture Festival – Harbin, China
Even if you’ve seen much of the festivities around the world, if you haven’t witnessed the galore of the Snow & Ice Sculpture festival in Harbin, you are missing the best part.
Started about 10 years ago, this has become the main winter draw of China, and the world’s biggest snow and ice festival. Witness the world-record sized sculptures as high as 160 feet tall, made of ice in the ‘Ice City’ of China.
You’ll be amazed by the time and attention these skilled artisans put into their work, carving the gigantic blocks into delicate and beautiful sculptures.
3. La Tomatina – Bunol, Spain
Witness the world’s biggest food fight in Bunol, Spain through the “La Tomatina” festival. A tradition that accidentally started in the year 1945, La Tomatina festival has become one of the greatest attractions in Spain.
The chaotic festival attracts, every year on the last Wednesday of August, over 50,000 world visitors for the ultimate tomato fight. The crowd swells the population of this small village from 9,000 to a whopping 30,000 for 24 hours.
4. Oktoberfest – Munich, Germany
Imagine a sixteen-day festival of Bavarian beer, food, music and dance attended by a whopping six million people every year. Yes! We are talking about the world’s largest fair, Oktoberfest, held in Munich, Germany.
The event since its inception in 1818 has been the most sought-after festival. Originally began as a marriage celebration of the King Ludwig, the event was cancelled 24 times in the past years due to disease and war, but the craze for this fest has been ever evolving. Unlike a typical country fair, you have beer tents, big dark beer lagers and fun beyond imagination.
5. Tomorrowland — Boom, Belgium
Tomorrowland is the world’s largest electronic music and dance festival and takes place in Boom, one of the most picturesque city in Belgium. This world festival is so popular that in 2013, its tickets sold out in just a second after their release.
Started in August 2005, the festival is attended by over 2 million music lovers from across the globe who come to dance day and night in this one-of-a-kind music world festival. The biggest names in the music industry perform live on stages designed by the very best.
6. Lantern Festival — Pingxi, Taiwan
At least once in a lifetime, you must witness the world’s largest lantern festival held in Taiwan every year in February.
Originally a ceremony to ward off the evil and disease from the town of Pingxi, and let others know that the town is safe, the Lantern Festival has grown into a world festival mentioned by many tourism media such as the American Discovery Channel.
Every culture has a festival of great significance. While it is not possible to see all of them, you should at least aim to attend the six world festivals mentioned here.
Aanchal is a writer by profession, dance instructor by coincidence, and high on life by choice. When she is not traveling, you will find her sharing her experiences on Imonholidays.