Today we take you on a fun filled colorful journey to witness some fun filled festivals around the world that are actually worth travelling for. While writing this blog and reading up on these festivals I was very much awed by the fact that so many of these festivals are similar to one another despite being celebrated so far apart across the world. Well in the end of the day the spirit of fun, frolic and goodness go with any festival be it in India or Brazil. This will also help you in planning you vacations to fall along these festivals, after having witnessed many of them I can completely vouch for the fact it is definitely worth the trouble and some extra bucks to get a peek at these festive brouhaha’s! Always a great Idea to book in advance!
1) La Tomatina, Buñol Spain-August
This weeklong festival with tomato fights, music, dance, parades and fireworks has become very famous with Indian after it was covered in the Bollywood movie Zindagi Naa Milegi Doobara. More then 30,000 people participate in the fight which is extremely harmless and uses over ripe tomatoes. La Tomatina uses up more then 40 metric tons of tomatoes each year! La Tomatina is held on a wednesday towards the end of August each year in Buñol in the Valencia region of Spain. Which also happens to be a wonderful time to travel to Spain.
2) Holi, India- March
Holi is the Indian festival of colors , celebrated during the month of March. Holi is celebrated to welcome the colorfulness of spring and also do away with any past grudges that one might have with one another. Another version of Holi the Lath Mar holi is popularly celebrated in Uttar Pradesh and is worth witnessing! Women beat up men with sticks while melodious songs are sung along side. Definitely not for the faint hearted! Every state in India celebrates its own version of Holi, but the fervor and excitement remains the same. With introduction of organic and natural colors its fairly safe to enjoy this festival but do seek local advise on pre skin care you will be amazed at how well it works.
Image Credits: blogs.oreganstate.edu
3) Yi Peng Lantern Festival, Thailand- November
Celebrated in November each year on a full moon day ( the dates are declared few months prior). Yi Peng began as a religious buddhist ceremony celebrated by the Dhammakaya sect. It is also known as Lanna in some regions of Thailand. Series of floating lanterns are launched into the air in the night resembling little jeweled stars. The Lanterns are delicately handcrafted with rice paper which hold a lit candle.
4) Carnaval, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – February
The Brazilian carnaval is the perfect representation of this country, always filled with colors, dance, music and lively people. The Carnival of Rio de Janeiro is the biggest around the world and takes place in February each year. You can witness fine Samba dancers, beautifully crafted floats and revelers. The Carnival of Rio bosts of a whopping two million attendees each day! The carnaval brings with it the biggest battle of the Samba school dancers. Rio de Janeiro is totally festive during the carnival and trust me nothing can stop you from getting carried away with the light mood, dance and fun.
5) Burning Man Festival, Blackrock Desert Nevada – August
A much recent festival initiated in 1986 as a way of radical self expression. The Burning man is a week long event held in the Black Rock desert of Nevada in USA every year. This festival shall remind Indian of Dussherra wherein a wooden effigy of Ravana is burnt to mark the end his evils. More then 50,000 people attend the Burning Man festival which has now transitioned into a non profit organization. The festival is about radical self inclusion, gifting, decommodification, self reliance, self expression to begin with. It is very interesting to read into the culture that governs the burning man festival.
6) Kumbh Mela, India – January to March
It is a festival which brings with it a renewed faith in God. An astounding 100 million people gather at the Maha Kumbh camp grounds at Allahabad in a complete make shift accommodation. This is one of the largest and most peaceful gathering ever. Most Hindus gather to take a dip in the holy waters of Ganges as a symbol of purification of their sins. The Kumbh mela is also held in smaller versions each year at Haridwar, Prayag, Nashik and Ujjain. The Maha Kumbh is one of the most highly photographed events and is visited by the worlds most prominent and noted travelers and photographers.
7) Boryeong Mud festival, South Korea- July
It is interesting to know that this fun filled famous festival was initiated in 1998 as a part of a marketing strategy by the Boryeong Mud Cosmetic company. the Boryeong soil is known to be rich in minerals and good for the skin! This two weel long festival held in July each year attracts more then 2.2 million visitors to Boryeong in South Korea. Boryeong is located about 200 Km south os Seoul. Witness huge mud pools, slides, prisons, skiing tracks and competitions! All excited to mud up yourselves!
Photo Credits: AP/Ahn Young Joon
8) Carnival of Venice – February to March
Venice and Venetian masks go together! Its rare to find a tourist who has travelled to Venice and not brought back the beautiful hand crafted Venetian Mask! The complete carnival is celebrated around varieties of masks depicting different moods, emotions and characters. It is interesting to see the position of prominence the mascherari ( the mask makers) hold in the venetian culture. People are commonly seen adorned in beautifully tailored garments for the Carnival. If you are planning on visiting Venice you must try making your plans around the month of February and March. The lively festivity of the Carnival of Venice simply ads to the romanticism of the city.
9) October Fest, Munich, Germany – October
What Vodka is for Russia Beer is for Germany, which makes it less surprising to have a 16 day long festival revolving around beer! As the name suggests the festival runs from September to October each year in Munich Bavaria Germany. It is estimated that more then 6 million people from across the world flock to this festival each year! It is mandatory that all beer being served at the Oktoberfest has more then 6% alcohol content. Moreover all the beers must have been brewed within the city limits of Munich to make it to the Oktoberfest. The women serving the beers are beautifully dressed in traditional German Attire and serve up to 7 million liters of beer during the 16 day long Oktoberfest.
Image from cityscouter.com
10) Albuquerque International Balloon festival – October
The Ballon Fiesta held in New Mexico each year sees the sky adorned with more then 750 beautiful hot air balloons. It is the largest hot air balloon festival in the world. Another festival started by a radio company which has now become an un separable part of New Mexico and the world tourism each year thousands of people make a trip to witness some of the most spectacular balloons go up in the air!