Everyone likes to celebrate, no matter where they are in the world. It doesn’t matter what is being celebrated, so no one passes up the opportunity to be a part of a happy moment. Festivals, on the other hand, are a perfect way to view a destination in a unique and exclusive way, and they cater to a wide range of interests. If you’re interested in the arts and music, food and drink, holidays, or worship, there’s a party somewhere just for you.
Every nation has one big annual festival that promises to be more important than all others, and many people come from all around the world to attend these festivities. The pandemic, however, has played spoiled-sport and wiped out all travel plans and festivals this year. The world’s major festivals are being observed with a more muted fervour, and while the pandemic did provide us with virtual travel, there’s nothing about being able to rejoice with others in person.
The best thing about attending festivals in various countries is that you not only get to have new and memorable experiences, but you also get to learn about their culture, history, and people! And, let’s face it, seeing the world is just as interesting as the thrilling journeys you take on and the unique encounters you have as you learn about other cultures.
There are enough festivals around the world to keep us busy all year, from literary peaks to euphoric trance, and deciding which one to join on your next trip can be difficult. Don’t worry, though; we’ve got you covered! We’ve compiled a list of some of the best festivals from around the world so you can start prioritising and organising your dream virtual travel vacation faster.
1. Diwali, India
Diwali is regarded as one of India’s most popular festivals. This festival of lights represents a number of aspects, including the victory of good over bad and the triumph of hope over sorrow. Diwali is celebrated in a variety of ways throughout the world. Although the primary focus of the celebrations is the illumination of lamps and the popping of crackers, there is much more to this festival. Diwali is a festival that brings people of all faiths, castes, and communities together.
2. St. Patrick’s Day, Ireland
St. Patrick’s Day is observed all over the country, but no one pays more homage to Ireland’s patron saint than the people of Dublin. The holiday is a multi-day celebration that entails more than just drinking your weight in alcohol, though it is a big part of it for most people. Dress up in all your green, take a stroll around the neighbourhood, watch the parade, and then party the night away with some locals in a cosy pub. If you like a good party, don’t miss out on this one!
3. La Tomatina, Spain
The La Tomatina Festival is held in the Spanish town of Buol. A few small trucks enter the area, carrying kilos and kilos of tomatoes with them. They let the tomatoes fall to the ground, signalling the start of the celebration. Whether you’re prepared or not, you will CERTAINLY get dirty. There will always be the good, friendly locals who will pull out their hose and squirt the crowd with water to clean them up. Bringing goggles is strongly advised.
4. Rio Carnival, Brazil
The Carnival in Rio de Janeiro, which takes place every year before Lent, is the world’s largest carnival, with two million visitors on the streets on every given day. The traditional Rio carnival parade is packed with revellers, floats, and adornments from the city’s many samba schools. The streets come alive with mini-festivals organised by locals, where formality and structure are thrown out the window in favour of music and dancing.
5. Snow and Ice Festival, China
Harbin, China, is turned into a winter wonderland in January and February, with seismic ice sculptures decorated with lights and lasers attracting thousands of artists and art lovers. If that isn’t enough to pique your interest, there’s even the Ice Lantern Art Fair, dog sledging, and our personal favourite, “winter swimming watching.”
6. Holi, India
It would be a shame not to have India’s most famous festival on this list. This festival of love, springtime fun, and good triumphing over bad is made up of a rainbow of colours and Hindu rituals. The spectacle is mainly seen in India and Nepal, but it is also seen in other countries with significant Hindu populations. Starting with a nighttime bonfire where people assemble to sing and dance, the next day is a carnival of colours where everybody frolics around tossing coloured powder, squirting water guns, and colourful water-filled balloons, uniting friends and enemies, wealthy and poor, children and adults.
7. Songkran, Thailand
Held in April each year, Songkran in Thailand is a national water battle that commemorates the Buddhist New Year. Originally, water was used to bless this auspicious day by being sprayed over Buddha idols, but these days, the drenching isn’t just for deities, because it’s used to purify anybody who doesn’t take shelter. Songkran, on the other hand, has evolved over time into a public three-day water fight. Walking down the street without being soaked in water is almost difficult.
8. Gion Matsuri, Japan
Gion Matsuri, widely regarded as Japan’s summer festival, is over 1000 years old. In the month of July, it is commemorated in Kyoto. The Yamahoko Float Procession, which features floats that resemble uniquely intricate works of art, is a highlight of the festival. The three festive evenings leading up to the ‘Yoiyama’ (festival eve) parade, a spectacle with ethereal-looking lanterns and an all-around environment of celebration of free-flowing sake and food stalls, are also worth seeing.
So, there you have it – eight of the world’s most incredible festivals that you can visit on your next tour. In the meantime, if you want to see the areas where they’re celebrated, you can still opt for virtual travel tours to soak in the sights and sounds and be everywhere. However, we’re certain that once the present crisis has calmed down, the festivities will continue with the same zeal and joy.