The Best Festivals in the World

Man riding Menorquin horse during festival in Spain

Festivals offer a singular and fascinating experience, from the sparkling lights of Japanese Lantern Festivals to the rhythmic beats of Brazilian Carnival. These best festivals provide something for everyone, whether you’re searching for a cultural awakening or an exhilarating night out.

Festival Do Fío: Music, Art and Dance in Brazil

You can experience the beautiful and exciting festivals that Brazil has to offer. The Festival do Fo, a renowned music, art, and dance festival that takes place yearly in Rio de Janeiro, is one of the most thrilling events.

This festival provides guests with a one-of-a-kind experience by focusing on the history, music, and culture of Brazil. The city’s renowned beaches, museums, and cultural centers are all accessible to festival attendees, who also get to enjoy breathtaking performances by both national and local performers.

Workshops on traditional Brazilian dancing and drumming are also offered, as well as food samples of local specialties. This is undoubtedly an event that you won’t want to miss if you’re seeking for an amazing cultural encounter in Brazil.

La Tomatina: Tomato War in Spain

Do you know what La Tomatina is? In the Valencian town of Buol, Spain, there is an annual food fight event. Every August, thousands of eager participants from all over the globe congregate in this tiny Spanish community to take part in one of the messiest festivals ever.

On the last Wednesday of August each year, the streets are lined with more than 20,000 people prepared for the great tomato battle.

  • At 11 am a powerful water cannon from a truck signals the start of La Tomatina, with an abundance of onlookers waiting and wondering what will happen next. Participants fill their hands with tomatoes and begin flinging them at one another – it’s absolute chaos!
  • At 1 pm another water cannon signals the end to La Tomatina, with participants quickly retreating to the river which runs through Buñol to remove any evidence of their activities. Though certainly chaotic and quite messy, La Tomatina is a unique event that can’t be found anywhere else in the world!

Oktoberfest: Beer and Fun in Germany

Without including Oktoberfest, a discussion of the world’s top festivals would be incomplete. Every year, more than 6 million people attend Oktoberfest, the biggest beer festival in the world, for a great celebration of beer and fun. During the course of 16 days in October, thousands of people attend Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany, dressed in traditional Bavarian attire.

  • The festival dates back to 1810 when Crown Prince Ludwig of Bavaria married Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen and declared that a public celebration would be held to commemorate the occasion. Beer has been served at the event since then, but it was only in 1896 when food was included to make it even more festive.

Today, the event grounds include a variety of shows, food stalls, souvenir booths, and rides and attractions like roller coasters. Of course, as they are among the most well-liked attractions at Oktoberfest, you won’t want to miss out on the famous beer tents serving the best beers from Germany! So if you’re searching for an amazing experience full of fun and frolics – go no further than this legendary festival!

Holi: India’s Festival of Colors

India and the rest of the globe both celebrate Holi, also known as the Festival of Colors. Holi, which derives from ancient Hindu mythology, commemorates the god Radha Krishna’s unending love for his worshippers. Millions of followers gather to observe this historic occasion by having fun with color and water.

The night before the first day, an effigy of Holika is burned to start the festival.

  • The colors used for Holi have some significance too; they have been known to signify joy, love, prosperity, fertility and good health. So no matter what part of the world you are located in, join in this vibrant celebration and experience a slice of India.

Mardi Gras Celebrations in New Orleans

Mardi Gras discussions are incomplete without mentioning the Louisianan city of New Orleans’ festivities. This yearly celebration is renowned for its brilliant colors, exquisite costumes, and distinctive regional food flavors. Around a million people visit the city each year to take part in Mardi Gras.

During Mardi Gras, parades with marching bands, horse-drawn floats, and tens of thousands of people enliven the streets. Expect the passing revelers and floats to shower onlookers with items like miniature toys, plastic beads, and chocolates.

At night, performances from some of music’s biggest stars light up stages throughout the city for live audiences who are in for a real treat! No matter where you’re from or what type of music you prefer – there’s something for everyone at Mardi Gras.

The Cheung Chau Bun Festival in Hong Kong

Exploring the best festivals around the world is a great way to experience different cultures and have fun! One of these remarkable festivals is the Cheung Chau Bun Festival in Hong Kong. Held annually on the island of Cheung Chau, this vibrant festival is a must-see.

The Cheung Chau Bun Festival features parades with children’s floats, a traditional bun tower climbing competition, and eating vegetarian foods. Crowds of hundreds come to witness this spectacle and enjoy the festivities. Tourists from all over the globe also come to visit and experience the unique cultures and traditions.

The bun tower, which stands upward of 10 meters high, is constructed out of bamboo poles and wrapped in colorful cotton wraps full of buns. Onlookers wait in anticipation to watch brave participants as they climb to the top of the tower to collect as many buns as possible.

The festival also has special performances such as lion dances, parades with floats celebrating gods from Chinese mythology, folk music performances, and much more. There’s something for everyone here at the Cheung Chau Bun Festival.

Up Helly Aa Fire Festival in Scotland

Venturing to the far reaches of the North, we come to Up Helly Aa Fire Festival in Scotland. It is one of Europe’s largest fire festivals and has been running since 1880. Taking place from January to March in various communities in Shetland, this special event draws crowds from far and wide.

At night, the festival culminates with a torch-lit procession and culminates with a traditional Viking longship – an impressive sight to behold! During the day there are competitions like greasy pole climbing, unusual sports such as kettle-hoisting and tossing the caber and a variety of music for everyone to enjoy.

Not only is this unique festival full of cultural traditions, but it also serves as a reminder of Scotland’s rich history. It even includes reenactments of Viking battles so that participants can experience first hand what it was like hundreds of years ago.

From January through mid March every year, Up Helly Aa promises a unique experience that will be remembered for years to come.

Songkran Water Festival in Thailand

Nothing quite compares to the traditional New Year celebration in Thailand known as Songkran. The festival is celebrated from the 13th to 15th of April, and is known to be the world’s wettest and wildest water fight. It is an event that you won’t soon forget.

The Songkran Festival has its roots in Buddhism, with the purpose of washing away sins and bad luck from the past year. It is celebrated throughout Thailand, with similar water festivals in neighboring countries like Laos and Burma. Prepare for a water-filled three days of fun.

On the first day, revelers typically make merit at temples by pouring scented water on Buddha images and elders to ask for blessings for the year ahead. This is followed by a street parade that sees families walking around their villages with statues of Buddha atop elaborate floats while dressed in their finest traditional Thai garments. From there, it’s all about getting wet! People fill buckets or pails with water and douse each other on the streets while dancing to popular music that plays in loudspeakers throughout town. Even though it may seem chaotic at times, this festival is more than just a massive water fight; it serves as an important reminder of community, family, and tradition for Thai people everywhere.

From the awe-inspiring ancient traditions of the Diwali Festival in India to the musical extravaganza of Rio Carnival in Brazil, there are amazing festivals all over the globe for you to explore. Whether you travel for the fun and exuberant atmosphere, or for the chance to experience and appreciate a different culture, these top festivals have something to offer everyone.