People from all corners of the world are accustomed to different norms and beliefs and celebrate different things on particular days throughout the year. Such unique celebrations are a great excuse to have fun while dancing, singing and drinking with family and friends.
If you love travelling and partying, take a look at this list with the biggest celebrations and festivals that take place around the world that you should definitely check out at least once in your life:
1. Rio Carnival, Brazil
The Carnival in Rio de Janeiro is the most popular festival in the world. Since 1723 it has been considered to be the world’s biggest carnival and it’s held every year in February-March before Lent. Over the years it has gained much popularity and today about 2 million people attend the event every year. People who participate in the festival dress up in fancy costumes and feature their choreographed dances which represent different samba schools.
2. Holi, India
Holi is an ancient Hindu religious festival that’s also known as ‘festival of colours’ or ‘festival of love’. Even though it is celebrated in India, it is quite famous in other countries also where there are Hindu populations. Held in spring, the festival starts with a Holika bonfire the night before Holi where people gather together to sing and dance. The next morning the carnival of colours begins and festival goers chase one another with dry powder and coloured water. Strangers and friends, men and women and rich and poor alike, are brought together during this time despite their differences to participate in the the great ‘water fight.’
3. Running of the Bulls, Spain
Every year from the 6 to 14 of July people from all over the world travel to Pamplona, Spain to witness the Running of the Bulls. This is a practice that involves a group of raging six toro bravo breed bulls that are let loose chasing after the bravest runners in the world. This dangerous tradition began in the early 14th century when men would try to hurry their cattle using tactics of fear and excitement.
Decades later, this turned into a competition for the young who would race in front of the bulls and still come out safe. Hundreds of runners literally risk their lives participating at this event as many people have got injured and many have even died in the attempt.
4. Yi Peng Lantern Festival, Thailand
The Lanna festival, Yi Peng is part of the festival of lights in Northern Thailand that’s held to show respect to Buddha. On the event, sky lanterns are launched into the air as they are considered to represent a person’s bad luck or misfortune. Apart from the floating lanterns, there are also many parades, fireworks and displays of colourful lanterns on houses and temples. Yi Peng festival is held on the full moon of the 2 month of the Lanna calendar which is usually in mid-November.
5. Chinese New Year, China
The Chinese New Year is also known as the Lunar New Year or Spring Festival and is China’s biggest and most significant celebration of the year. It is observed by the Chinese communities all over the world and it marks the turn of the Chinese calendar. Traditionally the 15-day festival was meant to honour the gods and ancestors, but it was also a chance to sweep away ill-fortune and celebrate happiness, wealth and longevity. People celebrate with fireworks, family dinners, symbolic clothing and decorations.
6. Halloween, USA
Halloween or ‘All Hallows Eve’ is an annual celebration that’s observed in the USA and other countries on the 31 of October. The date is said to initiate the time in the liturgical year that’s dedicated to the remembering of the dead, and more specifically all saints and martyrs. On the day, people dress up in scary costumes and attend fancy-dress parties, tell scary stories and carve pumpkins into jack-o’-lanterns to celebrate the event, while children go round the houses of their neighbours asking for a trick-or-treat.
7. Oktoberfest, Germany
Oktoberfest, otherwise known as ‘Wiesn,’ is a 16-day folk festival that takes place in September-October time. On this day, people get the opportunity to drink large quantities of Beer as there is 7.7 million litres that is available to be served to locals and visitors alike. During the event, people can also enjoy a variety of traditional foods such as Hendl, Schweinebraten and Wurstl as well as witness many attractions.
8. La Tomatina, Spain
This is the world’s biggest food fight. La tomatina is a joyful and exciting festival that’s held in Bunol, Spain. People who take part in the event have a huge tomato fight that’s purely intended to generate fun and enjoyment. It is celebrated annually and held on the last Wednesday of August. In order to attend the event you’ll need a ticket, but you’ll have to book up quick as there are only 20,000 lucky people on earth who are able to purchase tickets each year and enjoy the event.
9. St. Patricks Day, USA
St. Patrick’s occurs on the 17 of March and is meant to honour the patron saint of Ireland, Saint Patrick as well as the arrival of Christianity in the country. This famous celebration is a public holiday in Ireland as well as in many other parts of the world such as Great Britain, Canada, the US, New Zealand and Australia. On the day, people get dressed in the colours of the Irish flag and fill the streets of New York in order to join the largest St Patrick’s Day parade in the world.
10. Carnival of Venice, Italy
The Carnival of Venice is another spectacular event that takes place in the heart of Italy. This is an annual festival that marks the end of the Christian celebration of Lent and it is celebrated with Venetians wearing masks. It is said that during this particular day people were allowed to do anything they desired without any guilt thanks to the masks. Today, the event is celebrated with jugglers and entertainers performing in the streets, colourful boats bobbing along on the water and elegant masked balls taking place in the evening.
See Also: The Story Behind Friday 13th
There are many things you can learn about a country’s culture just by taking part in any of these unique celebrations! So which one are you going to visit first? Let us know in the comments section below…