15 Best Festivals Around The World that You Must Know about

Festivals not only give us a reason to celebrate but bring us closer to our loved ones. Festivals are the best way of enjoying some good moments with your loved ones and making memories. Remember, how your family reunites to celebrate the festivals with each other. All these festivals are key to strengthen the bond of love.

Do you know, how many festivals are there in the world? Well, No one has ever counted till date. We have listed the most beautiful and best festivals that are celebrated around the globe. Let’s have a look.

Best Festivals Around the World

Here is the list of best festivals around the world that are very popular. These amazing and unique festivals have their own stories of celebration.

1. Yi Peng Lantern Festival

Yi Peng Lantern Festival

Thailand’s most famous and unique festival which had started with the ancient Lanna Kingdom. Yi Peng is a sky lantern festival that is primarily celebrated in northern Thailand and it coincides with the nationally celebrated Loi Krathong festival. It is celebrated on the full moon day of the second month of the Lanna lunar calendar and the dates change accordingly every year.

Thousands of rice paper lanterns called Khom Loi are release into the air, which decorates the sky with the charming warm glow of these lanterns. Sending the lanterns in the sky is symbolic to sending the bad luck and many people also make a wish while the lamp is launched into the sky. These lanterns are lit and released into the sky with the hope of doing away with all the misfortunes and it is believed that if the lantern disappears from sight then misfortune is taken away from their lives. In ancient times, this festival was celebrated to pay homage to the Goddess of water.

2. Carnival of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Carnival of Rio de Janeiro

The world’s most famous festival is the annual Carnival of Brazil. This festival is synonymous with live music and vibrant colors. The carnival celebration is a week-long celebration which takes place in Brazil between the Friday afternoon before Ash Wednesday and Ash Wednesday at noon, that marks the beginning of the Lent season which is the forty day period before Easter. It is the most celebrated holiday in Brazil that has become a cultural manifestation over the years and is generally an extension of the Afro-Brazilian culture which could be traced to the Portuguese age.

Every year the carnival draws approximately 5 million people. The carnival was first celebrated back in 1830’s like a continuation of the Portuguese tradition of celebrating and indulging in revelry on the day before Lent begins. During the 1800’s street musicians and dancers were introduced in Rio de Janeiro’s carnival in addition to the themed costumes and the tradition of electing the king along with living music and street performances.

3. Holi, India

holi india best festival in the world

Holi also known as the festival of colors, is a widely celebrated festival in India. Holi is a primarily a Hindu festival which is celebrated during the spring season. The festival signifies the victory of good over evil and marks the arrival of the spring season. It is also celebrated as a thanksgiving festival among farmers for a good harvest.

There is a symbolic legend to this festival and is celebrated in honor of Hindu god Vishnu and his follower Prahlada who was known as the son of king Hiranyakashipu in chapter seven of Bhagavata Purana, he was the king of demonic Asuras and had earned a advantage that gave him five special powers that entitled him that he could be killed by neither a human being nor an animal, neither indoors nor outdoors, neither at day or at night, neither by a weapon and neither on land or water or in air. He grew arrogant because of these powers and considered himself to be equivalent to the almighty and hence demanded everyone to worship him. His own son Prahlada, disagreed and was a devotee of lord Vishnu. This constantly infuriated his father and Hiranyakashipu subjected his own son to cruel punishments but that did not affect him. Finally, he asked Holika who was Prahlada’s evil aunt to trick him into sitting on a pyre with her and during this Holika was wearing a cloak which made her immune to the harm from the fire. But, as the fire roared the cloak flew away and had covered Prahlada, who survived the fire while Holika burned in it. This demise of Holika is celebrated each year on Holi.

4. St.Patrick’s Festivalbest festival around the world

St. Patrick’s Festival is a cultural and religious festival widely celebrated in Dublin, Ireland on 17th March which marks the traditional death date of Saint Patrick who was the foremost patron saint of Ireland. Their day is celebrated more raucously in other places than the one that takes place in Dublin.

The customary traditions of this festival include wearing green clothing and shamrocks that were significant to explain the holy trinity, public parades, live music and dance which is famously known as a ceilidh. The Irish also enjoy some sips of whiskey on this day as the Lenten restrictions on eating and drinking are officially lifted for the day. This day became an official public holiday in Ireland after the 1903 Act by the United Kingdom Parliament that was introduced by an Irish member of Parliament.

5. Spring Festival

The biggest holiday feasting with dragons, fireworks, symbolic clothing, flowers, and lanterns is China’s most famous festival which is also known as the Chinese New Year Festival. Spring Festival is celebrated at the turn of the traditional lunisolar Chinese Calendar. It is a holiday in Greater China and marks an important traditional Chinese holiday.

The celebrations are followed by a reunion dinner which is named as “Nian Ye Fan” that is held on New Year’s Eve and during this time family members gather for the celebration and the traditional dishes of meat and fish are feasted upon. Red packets which are commonly known as the red envelope is a monetary gift that is given around holidays and special occasions are distributed during the reunion dinner.

6. Mardi GrasMardi Gras

Mardi Gras is famously known as the Fat Tuesday in New Orleans which is the USA version of Carnival. Mardi Gras is a French word for ‘Fat Tuesday’ and hence it is known by both names worldwide. The festival celebrated in New Orleans stretches the entire period from twelfth night to Ash Wednesday. This festival is synonymous with the celebration of life and resembles the same as it involves the use of masks and costumes that often take shape of fairies, animals, people from myths, or medieval costumes.

The celebration is known to be the best in New Orleans as this festival is celebrated in many places around the globe. It begins with the social events that take place in November, private balls are held on Thanksgiving day and New Year’s eve along with the parades and private balls that are open throughout January and early February. This festival is famous for the fact that many women show their breast during this festival which has been documented since 1889.

7. Oktober fest

Oktober fest

Oktoberfest is celebrated in Munich, Germany. This festival spans just over two weeks and is held annually in a meadow just outside Munich’s city center. Locals enjoy eating, drinking and dancing during this festival. A variety of fairground rides can also be enjoyed. The festival dates back to 1810 and was first held in October of 1810 in the honor of the wedding between Crown Prince Ludwig of Bavaria and Princess Therese of Saxony – Hildburghausen.

For five full days, the burghers of Munich were invited to eat, drink and be merry enjoying the parades involving kettle drums and music, shooting displays and a horse race around a meadow on the edge of the town. Such a good time was the decider to stage the race every year. The structure that was erected to keep Ludwig and Therese out of the sun in 1810 may have been a tent, but the vast tents that are contemporarily used are more solid affairs with colorful facades, long wooden tables, and benches, and frequently on more than one level which has the capacity to hold up to 10,000 visitors.

The opening of the festival is marked by the grand parade of colorful carriages, floats, and people in a variety of costumes winding its way through the streets of Munich. The costume and Riflemen’ s procession takes place on the first Sunday of October, a week later there’s the open-air big band concert.

8. Songkran Water Festival

Songkran Water Festival

The Songkran Water Festival is the Thai New Year’s National Holiday, which is celebrated every year from the 13th to the 15th of April every year. It is a renowned festival throughout the world for its festive water celebration. Songkran in Thai means to ‘move’ or ‘change place’ and at some point in Thailand’s history, Songkran had integrated the water festival which historically occurred on the day when the sun changes position in the zodiac. It is said that the Thai people believe that water is spiritually purifying, it cleanses you of any bad luck or misfortune that would dwell upon you from the past or present and blesses you with fortune and good luck for the future and the happiness that would follow for the year ahead.

The festival originated with locals collecting water that was poured over Lord Buddha’s statues throughout the country as a symbol of purification. This water was then used to bless village elders and family members by trickling it over their shoulders. However, with time Songkran has developed into a kingdom- wide water fight but that doesn’t suggest that the religious undertones have faded.

During this festival, Thai people make New Year resolutions and cleanse themselves from all the bad that took place in the previous year.

9. La Tomatina

top festivals in the world

Image Source: Wikimedia

La Tomatina is a food festival which is held in the Valencian town of Bunol, in the east of Spain. This festival is held on the last Wednesday of August each year in which thousands of people throw tomatoes and get involved in a tomato fight to enjoy the festival. It is said to be the ‘ World’s Biggest Tomato Fight’ where more than one hundred metric tons of over-ripe tomatoes are thrown in the streets. This is one of the best festivals around the world which is celebrated in mass.

At around early morning hours many trucks haul the bounty of tomatoes into the center of the town and the festival begins when one brave soul has climbed to the top of a two-story high, greased up the wooden pole and reached the coveted ham at the top. In practice, this process takes a long time and the festival starts anyway while the brave soul is halfway the process. After the tomato fight is over amongst people the cleansing process begins which involves the use of fire trucks to spray down the streets, with water that is provided from a Roman aqueduct.

10. Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival

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Harbin festival is celebrated in China and is the World’s largest ice festival. It is an annual winter festival that takes place with a theme in Harbin, China. Ice sculptures surround the entire space and those structures can be as tall as 20 feet or even higher. The exquisite artwork of the artist who sculpts the entire castle out of ice blocks are really talented and the major drivers of this festival.

The festival starts on the fifth of January and it lasts for one entire month. The participants in the festival are mainly known to be Chinese in nationality but due to the widespread knowledge about the festival, it has attracted many international tourists over the years and is now celebrated with people from all over the globe. The exhibitions and events are astonishing and it feels like one has landed into the world of the famous movie ‘Frozen.’

11. Cheltenham Festival

Cheltenham festival is celebrated every year in March and the host country is the United Kingdom. The event gathers the best of British and Irish trained horses to race to an extent which is relatively rare. The festival takes place at Cheltenham racecourse in Cheltenham. There are huge amounts of money that are bet during this festival on various horses.

Players gamble on Grade one races such as a Gold Cup, Queen mother, Champion  Hurdle, and Stayer’s hurdle. This place is a major attraction due to its atmosphere especially the ‘Cheltenham roar’, which is a reference to the enormous amount of noise that the crowd generates as the starter raises the tape for the first race of the festival.

12. Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta:

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta is a festival that is annually celebrated in New Mexico and has become one of the most famous festivals in the world in the recent past. This festival of hot air balloons paints the sky with colorful balloons that lift from the Balloon Fiesta Park.

It is the world’s largest balloon festival which takes place at such a huge scale. It is celebrated for nine days in the month of October but the dates keep changing every year. One can enjoy various musical performances, witness the night glows in which balloons propane burners are ignited.

13. Boryeong Mud Festival:

The Boryeong  Mud Festival is an annual celebration that takes place in the city of Boryeong which is situated in South Korea. The first  Mud festival was celebrated in 1998 and since then it has gained popularity and become a major attraction amongst tourists after 2007 attracting millions of visitors every year to this town which is located only at a distance of 200 km from Seoul, South Korea. Mud pools, mudslides, mud prison, and mud skiing competition are among the few major things that take place at this festival.

14. Coachella

Source: Wikimedia

Coachella is a music festival which is annually held at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, California. It has gained a lot of popularity over the years and the tickets for this festival are sold months before the event. Various music artists, as well as music lovers, come to this festival each year.

The music lovers gather along with their friends, enjoy good music and even express their fashion trends during this festival. The main stages in this festival include Coachella stage, Outdoor Theatre, Gobi Tent, Mojave tent, and Sahara tent.

15. Burning Man Festival

The Burning Man festival would sound like a familiar festival to Indians because of the festival of Dussehra but this festival is not exactly like Dussehra. It is an annual festival which is celebrated in the western United States at Black Rock City.

This festival was started in 1986 when Larry Harvey and his friends Jerry James assembled an eight foot tall makeshift wooden figure and they had dragged it to San Francisco’s Baker Beach on the Summer Solstice and lit it to fire and the curious crowd of around twenty people watched it burn to ashes. This marked the beginning of the world’s weirdest, wildest festival party.

Read More, Best Places to Celebrate Christmas in Europe

These are the best festivals around the world which are most popular and celebrated in mass. If you are planning to visit any country, do keep in mind about their famous festivals. Enjoy these festivals with localities of those places and make unforgettable memories.