Each year, every city in the world that can should have a multiday festival. More people meeting each other, digging new types of music, new foods, new ideas. You want to stop having so many wars? This could be a step in the right direction.
In this article, I have picked eight World Festivals which I believe are worth visiting. I am sure that no matter what your preferred choice of entertainment is, you will instantly fall in love with at least a few of the destinations I am about to list.
1. Carnival in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
If you want to experience something unique and fun and be a part of a massive celebration, then I must recommend you to add the Carnival in Rio de Janeiro to your list with festivals to visit. Although many countries have their own forms of carnival, this one is quite different and very entertaining. It definitely attracts the attention of some of the world’s largest media outlets. Flashy costumes, samba dancers, a huge dancing and singing crowd are just a few highlights of this fantastic celebration. I can assure you that even if your trip to Rio is short then just by attending the carnival, you will be able to learn plenty of things about the Brazilian culture. Watching the giant parades will make you feel overwhelmed and charged with the explosive energy of the Carnival in Rio de Janeiro.
2. Harbin Ice Festival, China
China is the host of the World’s largest ice festival- Harbin Ice Festival. Ice sculptures that can be as tall as 20 feet or even higher, tourists are guaranteed to have a wonderful time. Visitors will be astonished by the exquisite work of the artists who have sculpted entire castles out of ice blocks. The festival officially starts on 5 January, and it lasts one month. However, there are plenty of exhibitions and art events that start earlier and offer tourists spectacular art pieces. I definitely recommend you to visit Harbin Ice Festival and explore the ice sculptures during the night time if you have the chance to do so. You will be able to see a breathtaking winter scenery with snowy castles and large ice figures, so beautiful that it is hard to believe that you are not watching Frozen.
3. Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, New Mexico
This annual festival of hot air balloons has become so popular in the past few years that I could not restrict myself from including it in this list. If you have the chance to visit Albuquerque, New Mexico during early October, you will have the opportunity to witness a beautiful and colorful scene of thousands of hot air balloons ascending into the sky. The Fiesta continues for nine days, and you can enjoy different musical performances, see ‘night glows’ in which the balloons’ propane burners are ignited, but the hot air balloons are tethered to the ground. One of the most wonderful event at the festival is the Mass Ascension where hundreds of hot air balloons are launched in two waves and fill up the sky with bright colors.
4. Lantern Festival, Taiwan
The beauty of this Taiwanese festival is nearly impossible to be put into simple words. You have to be present there to feel the magic of thousand lanterns ascending to the night sky. The festival is held in the Pingxi District in Taiwan, and it is the biggest lantern festival in the world. During the last few years, the traditional festival has become more famus, and nowadays both locals and tourists participate in the launching of thousand of lanterns which are quite astonishing with their innovative, intricate and beautiful shapes and sizes. LED lights, laser shows, and colorful light bulbs have also become a part of this beautiful festival.
5. Holi, India
This celebration is also known as the Festival of Colours. It celebrates the win of good over evil and the end of winter and the beginning of spring. It is mostly observed in India and Nepal and also across countries with big Indian population. The best part about the festival of Holi is that people gather on the streets, in parks or in front of temples and start throwing dyes and water balloons at each other to express their love. The final result is thousands of people all covered in bright colors and a lot of shared laughter. The festive spirit of Holi is a beautiful way to celebrate the beginning of spring. This festival is held annually and if you are planning a trip to India around March, it is an excellent chance to join this free-spirited celebration.
6. Hanami (Cherry Blossom Festival), Japan
The Japanese people have the tradition of hanami, gathering in huge numbers wherever the flowering trees are found. Thousands of people fill the parks to hold feasts and parties under the flowering trees, and sometimes these celebrations go on until late at night. In more than half of country, the cherry blossoming days come at the same time as the beginning of school and work after vacation, and so welcoming parties are often organised with hanami. Usually, people go to the parks to keep the most beautiful places to celebrate hanami with friends, family, and company co-workers many hours or even days before. In cities like Tokyo and kyoto, it is also very common to have celebrations under the sakura at night. Hanami celebrations at night is called yozakura(夜桜, “night sakura”). In many places such as Ueno park, temporary paper lanterns are hung to have yozakura.
7. Bastille Day, France
The 14th of July is a very special day in all across the France as it celebrates and commemorates the storming of the Bastille. It is considered as a salute to the birth of French Democracy, Bastille Day is one of France’s biggest national holidays. If you are in France during this time of the year, you can head over to the Place de la Bastille where a great dance party takes place or you could go to Champs-Elysées to witness and enjoy the largest military parade. Fireworks displays lights up the French skies all over the country and you can witness this wherever you are in France. One shouldn’t miss the day’s biggest attraction – grand firework displays at the iconic Eiffel tower.
8. Oktoberfest, Munich
It started as a royal wedding celebration and now it is the largest folk festival in the world, drawing crowds of nearly 7 million people consuming nearly 8 million liters of beer annually. The Bavarin capital of Munich is among Germany’s most famous tourist destinations and is filled with castles, palaces, monuments, and beautiful architecture. Oktoberfest is the most popular of all traditional German festivals. During the two weeks of celebration of Oktoberfest each fall, the entire city is in Drindl and Lederhosen and great crowds join in on the drinking, eating, and merriment on the Wies’n. It is more than just drinking (though drinking obviously takes center stage), the festival grounds are loaded with rides, games, shops, and food stands.