Each country has its own traditions and customs and religious, cultural and sporting festivals and events. Traveling also means opening up to other cultures, which sometimes involves celebrating. Surely you have already heard of one of these original and totally unique festivals. Here are 11 famous festivals of the world you must attend:
1. Songkran, The Water Festival in Thailand
Usually taking place in April, Songkran is the Buddhist New Year in Thailand. In this tradition, the Thais mark their respect by pouring a little water on the hands of the elders and on the representations of Buddha.
Gradually the tradition evolved into an open-water battle that happens for up to three days (or more). The atmosphere is generally good-natured, and this festival is now famous across the world.
2. Burning Man, in the Nevada Desert in the United States
Every year in August, nearly 70,000 people gather in the middle of the Black Rock Desert in Nevada, United States, to party and live an unusual experience. The apotheosis of the festival is the pyre of the “Burning Man”, a gigantic human effigy which gave its name to the event.
You can find people wearing creative costumes, strange vehicles, and wacky sculptures. There are no limitations to personal expression and creativity.
3. The Orange Throw at the Ivrea Carnival in Italy
This carnival event takes place near Turin on the Sunday, Monday and Mardi Gras preceding Ash Wednesday.
No less than 500 tons of oranges are then launched on the main squares of the city by “launchers” mounted on tanks representing the different districts of the city.
4. The Full Moon Party, Koh Phangan in Thailand
It is a very touristic party that takes place every month on Haad Rin beach, on the island of Koh Phangan, at the time of the full moon. The alcohol is flowing there, and this party is not very traditional, but it is a festival not to be missed for all the partygoers on the planet. Some Full Moon Parties bring together more than 20,000 people in the high season!
5. La Tomatina, Buñol in Spain
It’s a strange tomato-throwing battle that takes place in Buñol, near Valencia, every year in August. The origin of this festival would come from a real battle between young people who, in 1945, had come to use the tomatoes of a vegetable seller located nearby as projectiles.
Since then, this event has turned into a very good-natured tourist festival.
6. Bay to Breakers, San Francisco in the United States
Bay to Breakers is a 12km running race that takes place in San Francisco Bay in May. But custom dictates that many participants dress up or run completely naked. The atmosphere is always very friendly.
7. Boryeong Mud Festival, South Korea
Originally, this festival which takes place in South Korea promotes a local natural mud with many cosmetic virtues.
Today, the main attraction for visitors is not the virtues of this mud rich in germanium and other minerals, but rather the large inflatable structures, slides and other mud-filled baths where people can have fun like children! And to get clean, the sea is ideally located right next to it, so you’ll have no excuse to not get muddy!
8. Holi (the festival of colors) in India
India is also a travel destination worth considering for its many outstanding festivals and events held there every year. Moreover, there are practically every month some of which make the world reputation of this country. Like, the famous festival of colours, more commonly known as Holi.
This Hindu religious festival is celebrated in the four corners of the immense Indian territory towards the beginning of the spring season. Generally, between February and March, more precisely, during the full moon for two days of festivities. It is certainly one of the Indian festivals that you must absolutely discover at least once in your life. Moreover, no matter your destination in India, you will certainly have the opportunity to attend at this time of the year.
9. The International Fireworks Festival in Seoul, South Korea
You will also have the opportunity to discover a plethora of festivals and events, each as remarkable as the next while travelling on South Korean territory. Indeed, the capital of South Korea, Seoul, is also an excellent travel destination since several of them take place there every year.
It is precisely the case with the spectacular International Fireworks Festival, which is held there every year towards the end of October. In fact, it is an international competition bringing together the best pyrotechnicians in the world to try to win the prize of this festival. If you plan to attend, you will have the chance to admire their prowess and remarkable know-how. An incredible spectacle awaits you every year in Seoul, making South Korea your next travel destination in October.
10. Attempt the Great Wall of China Marathon in Tianjin
It is in the city of Tianjin that one of the most difficult marathons organized on Chinese territory is held every year. It continues to attract more and more participants, both local and foreign runners. Especially since this annual race takes place on a portion of the famous Great Wall, one of the main tourist attractions of the Middle Kingdom. If you want to attend or try it, you can plan your stay in China in May. More precisely, the start of this unique marathon usually takes place on the third Saturday of May.
However, it should be noted that runners must be in excellent shape given the difficulty of the course. Indeed, you should know that more than 5,000 steps await participants, sometimes steep ascents and descents. What’s more, only a small section of the Great Wall intended for this race has been rehabilitated. While the rest of the route (about forty kilometers in total) is in its original state with sections that can be tricky to navigate.
11. Coachella, USA
Coachella has taken place every year in the Californian desert since 1999. Every year, this festival attracts nearly 200,000 people. It is a festival with no particular musical style and presents various artists as long as they are big names. However, the general atmosphere of the festival is embodied in the bohemian chic style characterized by the outfits of the festivalgoers, the long lace or veil dress is appropriate. The values that Coachella wishes to embody, and the elements offered around the concerts, such as the visual arts, environmental awareness or meeting the artists make it a real festival with a bohemian atmosphere.
Coachella has been bringing together the biggest names on the international music scene for years. In addition, Coachella offers the opportunity for artists of national importance to perform on its stage. It was the case with French artists such as Dj Snake, Jain, Étienne de Crécy or even C2C and more recently, Aya Nakamura.
Our Final Word
Traveling throughout the world, we find that each country is unique and that includes their celebrations. Kati and I recommend checking out at least a couple of the 11 famous festivals of the world that you must attend.