Every year many countries around the world hold amazing festivals. From hot air balloons to water fights, from bull fights to mud wrestling. All these celebrations have few things in common like eating, drinking and dancing but many times highly uncommon things are found too. So if you fancy living it up then check out this list of 20 amazing festivals around the world that we recommend you should see before you die. Many of the dates are variable, so be sure to check online to find out the specific dates for your festivals!
Harbin Ice and Snow Festival – China
When: January 5 – February 5
This is the largest snow and ice festival in the world, and people build amazing things out of ice and snow and decorate them with lasers and lights.
Holi Festival – India
When: Late February/March, on the last full moon day.
Holi, also known as the Festival of Colors, celebrates the end of winter and the beginning of spring. It’s fun, safe, and free and includes throwing colored powder and water. Just remember to get your own colors. Also a different and very popular type of Holi is played in a small village Barsana, near Mathura in Uttar Pradesh, India where women playfully beat the men by bamboo sticks and wet clothes.
The Carnival of Rio de Janeiro – Brazil
When: February or March
It’s a nonstop party filled with samba music, colorful costumes and big lively parades full of beautiful dancers.
Mardi Gras – New Orleans, USA
When: Late February or Early March
Mardi Gras is French for Fat Tuesday, referring to the practice of the last night of eating richer, fatty foods before the ritual fasting of the Lenten season, which begins on Ash Wednesday.
Cities famous for Mardi Gras celebrations include Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Barranquilla, Colombia; Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago; Quebec City, Canada; Mazatlán, Sinaloa, Mexico; and New Orleans, Louisiana, United States.
Just two words would describe this festival: Beads and Booze. If you want to party like there’s no tomorrow, Mardi Gras is where you belong.
Pingxi Lantern Festival – Taiwan
People write their wishes on fire lanterns and release them into the sky, creating a beautiful spectacle of floating lights.
Carnevale Festival – Venice, Italy
When: February– March
One of the best parties on Earth, where people flock from all over the world to wear masks and elaborate costumes to hide differences among classes. Its been a Venice tradition since 13th century.
Songkran Water Festival – Thailand
This is the Thai New Year festival celebrated with world’s largest water gun fight. This is the water fight of your dreams, and the fun isn’t limited to water guns, water balloons, and bottles, as some people prefer buckets or even elephants. So move on to Thailand in April for a wet and wild adventure.
Oktoberfest – Munich, Germany
When: Last weeks of September to the first weekend in October
Only one word: Beer! Although held around the world nowadays but Munich’s original fair is the biggest beer festival in the world. In 2013, more than $96,178,668 worth of beer was served every day during the festivals.
Cascamorras – Baza, Spain
Every year hundreds of Spaniards cover themselves in grease to reenact the stealing of a famous statue of the “Virgen de la Piedad,” which took place over 500 years ago. Best of all, after the greasing, a great big party follows.
Tomorrowland – Boom, Belgium
This has quickly grown to become one of the world’s largest electronic dance music (EDM) festivals. Each year over 100,000 visitors flock to Belgium to dance the day and night away.
La Tomatina – Buñol, Spain
When: Last Wednesday in August
What started as a street fight in 1945 between teenagers using tomatoes from nearby vegetable stalls has turned into the largest tomato fight in the world. It happens every year in the small Spanish town of Bunyol and in about 1 hour the whole town gets covered in tomatoes.
Albuquerque International Balloon Festival – New Mexico, USA
The Albuquerque International Balloon Festival is the largest gathering of hot air balloons in the world. The Balloon Fiesta is a nine-day event, and has around 750 balloons.
Cooper Hill’s Cheese Rolling Festival – Gloucester, England
When: Last Monday of May
Held every year in Gloucester, England where hundreds of people gather to watch as locals chase a huge wheel of cheese off the top of Cooper’s Hill and tumble a couple hundred yards to the bottom where they are most likely picked up by paramedics to the hospital.
Dia De Los Muertos – Mexico
When : 31st October
Also known as “The Day of the Dead,” celebrates All Saint’s Day in Mexico, which remembers all those who have passed before us. A colorful display of costume and culture, surely not to be missed.
Running of the Bulls – Pamplona, Spain
One of the most popular events of any list, it is a time-honored Spanish tradition, which is such to raise your adrenaline levels, whether you’re running or watching.
Kirkpinar Oil Wrestling Tournament – Erdine, Turkey
Strong men wrestling while covered in oil. There is literally nothing else to say.
Boryeong Mud Festival – South Korea
Taking place every summer in the town of Boryeong, South Korea this international mud fight attracts millions of visitors from all over the world.
When it comes to strange festivals it’s difficult to beat the Japanese. Although this “naked festival” seems like little more than a bunch of guys running around in diapers (fundoshi) it’s actually considered to be fairly sacred by some people and can be traced back hundreds of years.
Rajasthan International Folk Festival – Jodhpur, India
Timed to coincide with “Sharad Purnima” the brightest full moon of the year in Rajasthan, Jodhpur RIFF features a series of spectacular concerts and events based in and around Mehrangarh Fort, voted “Asia’s Best Fortress” by Time Magazine. The city welcomes about 250 musicians and artists from all across the globe and concentrates mainly on folk music and dance.
Beltane Fire Festival – Edinburgh
The Beltane Fire Festival is a unique and wild procession of fire, drumming and revelry on Calton Hill, Edinburgh which celebrates the beginning of the summer season.