We are all familiar with local festivals and celebrations. However, just like travelling, you have to experience the sight, sounds, and festivals that the world has to offer. From sunny Spain, to throwing colors in India, below is a list of 10 global festivals that you should add to your bucket list!
1) La Tomatina, Spain
Who knew throwing tomatoes to each other would be this interesting! With lots of fun, dance and spirit, this festival is one that you can’t afford to miss. Held in the month of August, people from all over the world gather around Buñol near Valencia for a day of fun, throwing tomatoes, riding down tomato-streak slides and basically, letting your inner child run wild!
2) White Nights Festival – St. Petersburg, Russia
Held every June, White Nights Festival is an annual international arts festival during the season of the midnight sun (i.e. sun does not descend below the horizon enough for the sky to grow dark). Be prepared for a series of classical ballet, opera, music, performances by renowned artists and much more! It culminates with The Scarlet Sails Celebration and attracts more than 1 million visitors!
3) Boryeong Mud Festival – South Korea
People all around the world spend millions every year to buy cosmetic products. One of nature’s natural cosmetic products’ is mud! Every year during Summer, The Boryeong Mud Festival aims to raise awareness on the benefit of mud and the cosmetics. Be prepared for a day of mud slides, mud prison, mud skiing, music and fireworks!
4) Running of The Bulls – Pamplona, Spain
The Running of the Bulls is a part of the famous San Fermin festival, and is held in July. Have your adrenaline on overdrive by running in front of dozens of bulls across the town’s street. This isn’t for the faint hearted as there are people who get injured every year. YOLO anyone?
5) Holi Festival- India
Holi, or also known as the festival of colors is held in February. It’s a fun 16-dayfestival which starts with a Holika bonfire on the night before Holi where people gather, sing and dance. The next few days involves people playing with colors, throwing dry color powder to others and even a color water fight! Get ready to be immersed with a scene of color, dance, songs, and musical instruments!
6) Carnival of Venice – Venice, Italy
Held in the beautiful city of Venice in between February and March, this carnival has a rich history behind it. It is over 900 years old and everybody in town is free to do things that they desired without any guilt, thanks to the masks. From masked Venetians and tourists, to bands, jugglers and canals that are full of colourful boat, this festival makes you feel as if you are in a fairy tale.
7) Oktoberfest – Munich, Germany
Think Oktoberfest, think of beer! Held in October, this festival is a vital component in the Bavarian culture. With millions of people flocking to Germany during this period and millions more celebrating worldwide, it’s a festival of fun, costumes, parades, beer and more beer!
8) Songkran Water Festival – Thailand
The Songkran festival falls on some of the hottest days in Thailand, and people celebrate by throwing water on each other, using water guns, buckets, hoses- whatever they can get their hands on. Even the animals join in the fun and elephants can be seen walking around and splashing people with their in-built water jets. The traditional of water pouring is meant as a symbol of washing away all the sins and bad luck.
9) Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta – New Mexico, USA
Held in October, this festival involves letting go of over 750 hot air balloons to the skies, and some are illuminated at night. The balloons are of various shapes and is considered as the largest hot air balloon festival in the world! Once the balloons are let off, they paint the sky with their vibrant colors and hues making it a beautiful sight to look at. A sight to behold!
10) Up Helly Aa Fire Festival – Scotland
Held in January, the festival involves a series of marches and visitations, culminating in a torch-lit procession and the burning of a galley. This is followed by performing acts and dancing in the halls of Lerwick, Scotland. The procession culminates in the torches being thrown into a replica Viking longship or galley.