Traveling is a very rewarding experience, from sightseeing to enjoying different cuisines, a culture can be easily sensed whenever one travels abroad. And although the biggest tourist hubs cater to milking traditions in order to make some cold cash, the best way of experiencing the local lifestyle is by interacting with locals. And what better way than bonding by an amazing festival?
We have made a calendar so you don’t miss out on some of our favorite festivals worldwide. These will never leave your memory and definitely cause a repeated visit.
January: Carnival of Venice
As a revival of it’s roots in the Renaissance period, the carnival of Venice was relived in 1979 as a main effort to celebrate Venice’s history and culture. The festivities take place yearly, exactly 40 days before Easter. Highlights are the beautifully crafted venetian masks, which hold different meanings.
The festivities begin on the Friday afternoon with La Festa delle Marie, a procession through the city, and other attractions that follow in the next 12 days.
February: Rio Carnival
The carnival in Rio is one of the biggest celebrations in the world, where Brazilians push aside their love for soccer and start rooting for their favorite samba schools. In Rio’s carnival, you will be able to see beautiful parades with millions worth of raunchy costumes, floats and hypnotic drum music.
March: Annual Witch Gathering in Mexico
Contrary to what you may take from its name, this is a lighthearted festival. From parades to typical food, travelers have plenty of reasons to visit Catemaco in Mexico. During March the parades and processions extend through the streets, special dances and gatherings, as well as charms to protect you from curses and enemies.
April: World Marbles Championship – England
Do you want to lose your marbles fast, then you should flock to t Sussex pub– the Wembley of marbles – where around 140 competitors vie for championship honors inside a 6ft concrete circle. The event invites everyone to compete in this nostalgic sport, which attracts people from the U.S and Continental Europe. There is even rivalry between the best two German and British teams, so don’t be surprised if you see some marble hooligans.
May: Cooper’s Hill Cheese Rolling – England
Do you love cheese? To the point that you would roll down muddy hills in order to prove your love? If so, you can come to the Cooper’s Hill Cheese Rolling. The festival attracts over 5,000 people worldwide, in order to put their love for cheese and injuries to the test. The premise is simple; A seven-pound circle of Double Gloucester Cheese is rolled down the hill, the first person who catches it or arrive at the bottom gets to take the cheese home.
June: Sonar Multimedia Festival – Barcelona
Sonar is an electronic and advanced festival which takes place in Barcelona, Reykjavik, Stockholm, Mexico, Tokyo, Osaka and Cape Town. The festival hosts from the biggest names in music to the most alternative names in arts installations. The festival happens yearly by day and night in different locations of Barcelona, therefore accommodations and tickets should be booked in advance.
July: Running with bulls – Spain
This is a controversial festivity for adrenaline seekers. The running of the bulls is one of the main attractions from Pamplona ‘s Fiesta de San Fermin. Nationals and Tourists gather around the city in order to drink and party. You can also watch some bullfighting or if you have the nerve to participate at the main attraction, which consists of running as fast as you can from life threatening bulls.
August: La Tomatina – Spain
The messiest festival in Spain takes place in the small city of Bunol, where approximately 40,000 international and national tourists show their love for tomatoes. Trucks of squishy ripe tomatoes supply the local battlers, all attendees rejoice in laughter as the main square of Calle del Cid becomes a nasty sauce. After the whole fight, get ready to be hosed down by the local fire brigade.
September: Burning Man – U.S
One of the most unique festivals in the world, the burning man feels like you have entered another dimension. It takes place in the somewhat isolated Black Rock Desert. The festival which still remains as a non-profit organization, encourages attendees to explore their uniqueness, and detachment from their conventional capitalistic ways. If you intend on visiting it, make sure to research about the festival’s guidelines.
October: Amsterdam Dance Event
One of the biggest events in Amsterdam, where several venues invest on big names to set themselves apart from the fierce competition. The event usually starts on a Wednesday and stretches all the way until Sunday throughout the whole city. Make sure to purchase tickets in advance, as the main parties are sold out months before.
November: Dia de Muertos – Mexico
The Dia De Los Muertos ( Day of the Dead) can be celebrated in two special locations in Mexico, Mixquiq and Janitzio. Locals prepare a feast with many of the favorite dishes of lost loved ones. Pan de Muertos or “Bread of the Dead” is a traditional bread which is baked and eaten during this celebration. Mementos are set out of favorite things of the the ones who have passed away.
Visiting the cemetery is a popular tradition. At the cemetery, the tomb or burial plot is decorated. The cemetery visit is spent in a picnic environment. The air is filled with music from Mariachi bands while the scent of a wide variety of foods wafts through the air. Fireworks are also common.
The largest celebration by the Kalasha people in Pakistan, who resist Islamic religion that surrounds them. While men bake goat shaped bread, women sing songs to the demigod Balomain, who is believed to pass through the valley, staying for four days to enjoy the festival and collecting prayers to take back to the creator, Dezau – what better recommendation for a festival than from a god himself? The festival also sees the mass slaughter of goats. If you do visit during Chaumos you are expected to take part in the festivities, which may include buying your own goat to sacrifice. In Bumboret the festival is closed to Muslims. You will need a temporary registration form to enter the Kalasha valleys; these are available free of charge from Chitral town’s superintendent of police.