People around the world have one thing in common. They love to celebrate festivals. Food, art, music, science; no matter what your interest is, there is bound to be a festival to celebrate it. There are cultural festivals, food festivals, craft festivals, seasonal festivals, religious festivals, and all kinds of unique and strange ones, like the Wife Carrying World Championships in Finland, mud festival in South Korea. Some countries such as the Philippines celebrate over 42,000 festivals a year more than the total number of festivals celebrated by all the other countries in the world.
If nothing else, in all these festivals you can be sure to find vibrant colors, mouth-watering foods, amazing vibes, lots of music, and many cheerful and energetic people. But not all festivals are celebrated equally. While some are known locally, others are so grand and extravagant that they become world-famous. We looked everywhere from North America to the far side of Aisa to find the most exotic festivals around the world for you to experience.
6. DIA DE LOS MUERTOS (MEXICO)
The Day of the Dead or more commonly known as “Día de los Muertos” is a Mexican holiday, celebrated to remember the deceased friends and family members. The festival may sound scary or seem to involve strange rituals, but in reality, it is nothing like that. This festival is more about celebration than mourning. On this day, people decorate themselves in colorful make-ups and vibrant clothing to embark on a festive journey that is so vibrant that it is unlike anything you have ever experienced.
Also, expect to see tons of traditional customs such as building altars called Ofrendas, honoring deceased using Calaveras and Aztec marigolds, and bringing favorite foods and drinks for the departed to their graves. Over the years, Día de los Muertos has become the national symbol as such is included in the school curriculum. In 2008, the festival was listed in the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO.
5. HOLI FESTIVAL (INDIA, NEPAL)
No other festival in the world is as colorful and vibrant as the Holi that is celebrated across South-East Asia (mostly in India and Nepal), Fiji, Malaysia, Jamaica, UK, and the US. Holi is called the festival of color, love, and compassion. The night before Holi, people gather to perform a ritual in front of the bonfire to pray for their inner evil to be destroyed. The festival is then celebrated by singing, dancing, and spending time with each other.
The next morning real show begins. People come together once more to celebrate Rangwali Holi by smearing and drenching each other with colors. There are no hard and fast rules to play the game of colors. Everyone from elders to children and poor to rich is fair in this biggest colorful fight making the entire environment sensational with vibrant colors. You can enjoy marching bands, traditional sweetmeats, drinks, and a lot more fun.
4. LA TOMATINA (VALENCIA, SPAIN)
Want to experience something fun, crazy, and cheerful? La Tomatina is everything that one can wish for to have those experiences. Held on the last Wednesday of August, La Tomatina is a tomato fight festival purely for entertainment purposes. The entire thing started when a real vegetable fight broke out in a parade in 1945. But then forward, it never stopped and eventually became one of the most enjoyable celebrations of all time.
There are some rules that you need to follow as a participant in the festival. Some of them being the prohibition of hard objects and requiring the tomatoes to be squished before throwing at each other. This is one of those festivals that can make your heart throbbing and blood rushing. For anyone who is attending the festival for the first time, this can definitely be an unforgettable experience.
3. HARBIN INTERNATIONAL ICE & SNOW SCULPTURE FESTIVAL (HARBIN, CHINA)
Not only is this festival one of the most unique festivals to enjoy in China during winter, it is also one of the extravagant festivals around the world. Harbin International Ice & Snow Sculpture festivals take place every year from the end of December till the end of February. This festival is home to some of the biggest and most astonishing ice and snow sculptures in the world exhibited in the Sun Island area along the Songhua River.
For anyone who appreciates good art and enjoys winter, this festival is nothing less than a fairy tale. With upbeat music and eye-catching lightworkers everywhere, the entire vibe of the city changes as if the celebration takes over the energy of the city. During the festival, a simple walk along the river with those amazing illuminated sculptures can leave you in awe.
2. CARNIVAL (RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL)
Whether this is the biggest festival in the world or not is debatable. But what is certain for sure is that Carnival is the most extravagant festival that you will ever see. This 5-day long festival is huge and draws the attention of more than 5 million people of which half-million people are tourists. The sheer number of participants, visitors, cultural activities, and age-old customs make it considered “the greatest show on earth” by many people.
The Rio de Janeiro Carnival is a spectacle full of surprises, thrills, good energy, samba, and wild open-air performances. During the festival, everyone is set loose and one can only imagine what it would be like to attend the event. With all the music and colorful celebration, the festival will immerse you with its energy and inspire you to dance, enjoy and have the fun of your life.
1. BURNING MAN (BLACK ROCK DESERT, NEVADA)
Just about every person who attended the Burning Man festival describes it as one of the most amazing and unforgettable experiences of their lives. The Burning Man Festival started in the summer of 1986 in San Francisco when one artist made a 9-foot tall wooden figure of a man, dragged it to Baker Beach, and lit it on fire. After that, the wildest parties were born. Over time, that wooden man sculpture grew to an amazing 79 feet, and the music only got better and the whole experience was taken to a whole new level. The event is described as contemporary art and self-expression experiment, and people who have been there claimed you must attend it to truly understand it.
Choosing the top 6 most exotic festivals around the world was not easy but there you have it. . Here is the thing about these festivals, no matter whichever festival you choose to attend, you won’t be disappointed because the experience you’ll get is going to be unforgettable.
So which of these are you most drawn to? Let us know in the comments section below.