All over the world people celebrate for the coolest and craziest things with the coolest and craziest events! We are a world full of partiers!
1. Snow & Ice Festival
Where: Harbin, China
When: Jan. 5 – Feb. 5
What: This is the world’s largest ice and snow festival, with sculptures 20+ feet high, full-sized buildings, and anything these imaginations can think up, including decorations of colored lights and lasers.
Where: Hindu countries (India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, etc), more jubilant ones in the North of India, more solemn ones in the South
When: Full moon of the 12th month in the Hindu calendar (usually late February, early March)
What: Also known as the “Festival of Colors,” this event celebrates the end of winter and the beginning of spring and one does so by invading the streets with Bhang Lassi, not alcohol but has the same effects, and powdered colors. This is an insane party and a great place to go with friends, though one should always be wary of intoxicated participants in the packed streets.
Where: Baza, Spain and Guadix
When: Sept. 6 and Sept. 9
What: Due to a strange legend it’s based off, thousands of people run through the streets, covering and getting covered in black grease to reenact the stealing of the “Virgen de la Piedad” statue 500 years ago.
Where: Venice, Italy
When: the 18 days before Ash Wednesday, ending the Tuesday before
What: This is a 13th century festival of masks and intrigue, everyone dressing in elaborate, colorful, and old-world costumes while attending balls and events that vary with every year.
5. Up Helly Aa Fire Festival
Where: Lerwick, Scotland
When: Last Tuesday in January
What: The world’s largest fire festival to mark the end of Yule with marches, visitations and a procession that leads up to the burning of a galley (Viking Ship) by the Guizer Jarl who is supported by his squad and 45 other squads.
6. Mardi Gras
Where: New Orleans, Louisiana, United States
When: Tuesday before Ash Wednesday (same day as Carnevale ends)
What: This is a crazy party on the streets of the USA’s most eccentric city, New Orleans, that consists of parades, music, everyone dressed in purple, green, and gold, thrown strings of beads and consumed street food. The French Quarter is known for its incredible, classic atmosphere, but spring-breakers enjoying their alcohol tend to gather here and on Bourbon Street after the parades. Please note that this is not the “traditional” Mardi Gras, and girls do not have to flash anyone.
Where: Munich, Germany
When: Last week in Sept. to the first weekend in October
What: This is the biggest beer festival in the world with an average 6 million people attending and $96 million in beer is served each day by girls dress in the traditional clothing.
Where: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
When: 4 days in March or February or both
What: This is a crazy party with massive floats, samba music, dancers, boldly colored costumes, balls and events around the city. This is the next-level version of Mardi Gras.
Where: Indio, California
When: in April, exact dates vary
What: This is a huge Music and Art festival, with a ridiculous number of performers over two weekends. Be aware, though, they have pretty strict rules about what you’re allowed to bring inside the gates. Good for all ages.
10. Dia de los Muertos
Where: Mexican locales in the U.S., Canada, Europe, and Mexico, though the biggest is in Mexico City, Mexico
When: Nov. 1
What: Also known as the “Day of the Dead,” Mexicans come together to celebrate All Saints day, to remember their dead, with wild skeleton masks and elaborate black, red and white costumes. Events depend on the location, but there will probably be food!
11. Running of the Bulls
Where: Pamplona, Spain
When: July 6-14, part of the Fermin Festival
What: This is a Spanish tradition for people to run through the sectioned-off streets ahead of a dozen or so bulls, quite eager not to be gored. Usually there are 200-300 people injured during this event, though most are concussions due to falling or running into someone/thing.
12. Burning Man
Where: Black Rock City, Nevada
When: End of August, beginning of September
What: This is where people go to “shed the conventions of society” by creating radical individualistic art, exploring the desert, and watching the “Man” burn!
13. Lantern Festival
Where: Pingxi, Taiwan
When: Usually a day in late February, early March
What: Think Tangled style. We all want to see the floating lights! Thousands of lanterns floating over the city into the night sky…This is a sight we all ought to see at least once a lifetime!
14. Chinese New Year
Where: Anywhere there is a Chinese community but largely in China
When: Last day of the last month on the Chinese calendar to the 15th day of the first month (end of January, through February)
What: To celebrate the new year and the coming spring, the Chinese celebrate with dragons, parades, fireworks, traditional clothing, flowers, lanterns, and an overall color of red. What a beautiful time of year!
15. White Nights Festival
Where: St. Petersburg, Russia
When: end of May to end of July
What: This three month festival is a long series of opera, ballet, and symphonic performances and premiers with big-name casts, performers, and composers turning out each year. The festival ends with the Scarlet Sails celebration on the shortest night of the year with an crimson-sailed ship surrounded by epic pyrotechnics.
So there’s a small peek at the world’s festivals you should definitely add to your bucket list. This isn’t a task one does in a single year, though, what with most of the events falling on those spring months. I hope you check some – or all! – of them out.