When it comes to some of the world’s top ten festivals these are the winner’s. There are festivals to suit everyone’s fancy, or fantasy. Whether you visualize yourself dancing all night to the beat of drums, or wearing a medieval costume there is a festival that will fulfill your wildest dreams.
If it is a snowman or ice that you would like to try your hand at carving, then coming up January 13 is the Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival in Harbin China.Tucked away in the chilly northeast region of China, thousands of extremely bundled up and curious folk will encroach upon this frozen yet unique festival that has been taking place since 1963. Amazing and intricately carved masterpieces of art in the ice will be showcased.
With February around the corner, many corners of the world will be celebrating the pre-lental festivals, more popularly known as Carnival. The most famous of course being Venice Carnivale in Italy where many will adorn in mask and medieval attire celebrating this week before Ash Wednesday. In Brazil and the Caribbean, the Carnival festival becomes somewhat more skimpy in attire. In some place’s the party can go on for an entire week with non-stop music and dancing. So get out your feathers and bikini’s and head to Brazil or Trinidad if you are craving the frenzy and excitement. For those who prefer to remain on the North American continent of course there is none other than Mardi Gras in New Orleans. This year the big event will take place on February 12 as many of the other Carnival festivals will as well.
If you are looking to fill your bucket list with more off the beaten path festivals then here are a few definitely worth the adventure. The Holi Festival in India, Nepal and Pakistan takes place March 8-9, once the main attraction of a well known reality show, The Amazing Race. Everything from the colors, to the powder that the people adorn themselves with will stir the senses and want you craving more. This ever so vibrant festival brings people across India together in prayer and ceremony, and food of course, that sees beyond the boundaries of religion or the economy. This could be one of those experiences that will forever touch you and ask for more.
Come April in the Netherlands, Queen’s Day which will take place April 30. The official name of this festival is Koninginnedag, the national holiday commemorating Queen Beatrix’s birth. So what if her Royal Highness was actually born in late January?! By having the festivities in pleasant April, the proud Dutch are able to throw on their loud orange attire and toss back a few drinks without having to worry about weather. The great climate also makes for ideal conditions for a countrywide flea market you just have to see to believe.
At the end of February in Taiwan here is the festive holiday Known as the PINGXI SKY LANTERN FESTIVAL. Here thousands will embark on the mountainous trek to Pingxi for this incredible festival. The launching of the lanterns began as a form of communicating during a war, however now it has evolved into an easy going celebration where everyone buy’s a lantern, then they write down their wishes and place them inside and release them off into the heaven’s for their dreams to become a reality.The festival culminates when everyone releases all the lanterns simultaneously. There will certainly be magic in the air.
During the month of April in Thailand from the 12-15 there is Songkran. This is their traditional New Year that is an event filled with fun for everyone. Here they pay homage to Buddha and clean their houses and sprinkle waters on the elders out of respect. If you decide to venture into town you can expect a lot of dousing and some water balloons to add to the fun.
Come summer in August in Spain there is the La Tomatina in Valencia. Hopefully you are a fan of Tomatoes since your clothes will surely turn bright shades of red this festival is probably the largest food fight in the world, so expect to get splattered with lot’s of tomatoes.
So this year could be the year to add to that bucket list. Whether it is a party you are after, or something more spiritual the world is a host of festival feast awaiting.