Imagine arriving to your vacation destination; excited and ready to explore, and being told that while you'll still enjoy yourself, you've narrowly missed a city or country-wide celebration or arts festival that you would have loved to take part in - if you had known about it prior to booking your trip! In every corner of the world, there's celebrations commemorating historical events, religious holidays, new calendar years, music, art, food and everything in between. These events can be awe-inspiring for travellers, giving them a better look into that region's customs. Many people travel to new countries, cities and regions specifically to see these celebrations for themselves, while others stumble upon it during a trip that was already planned. Here, we run down a few Festivals & Cultural celebrations from around the world that are worth planning your trip around!
Brazil - Rio Carnival
Approximate Date: February or March
This world famous carnival happens right before lent and 5 days of street performances, regional parades, parties and balls happen alongside extravagant parades held inside the Sambadrome;
a large seated venue perfect for spectator view of each of the parades presenting over 200 groups of performers (known as "Samba Schools") who duke it out for top rankings and titles like "Carnival Queen". The sounds of Samba fill much of Rio in this beautiful display of colours, tradition and showmanship.
India - Holi Festival
Approximate Date: Late-February or March
This spring festival, also know as the "Festival of Colours" or the "Festival of Love", descends from an ancient Hindu celebration filled with family, friends, food, music and bright hues, as participants celebrate the turn of the season in the streets by dousing each other with vibrantly coloured powder. And don't be fooled into thinking you can stay clean during this festival; everyone is fair game!
Munich, Germany - Oktoberfest
Approximate Date: Late September to Early October
The world's largest funfair is known most for beer tents and traditional German food, but amusement park rides, games and family fun are also a part of the festival; held yearly at Theresienwiese
, a large open space perfect for such a celebration.
Miami, FL - Art Basel
Approximate Date: Early to Mid-December
This warm Miami Beach strip comes alive with contemporary and modern art, becoming home to multiple exhibits and showcasing the collaborative works of artists, curators, publications, and galleries from around the wold.
Beijing, China - Chinese New Year
Approximate Date: mid-January to late-February
This celebration of the Lunar New Year is also known as the "spring festival", and is celebrated throughout the country with food, nightly fireworks, music and traditional Lion Dances
that see one or two performers don a costume of the animal and mimic its movements. Tradition calls for thorough spring cleaning and gifts of money given in red envelopes, as the customs focus on ridding previous negative energies and bringing good fortune and success into the new year. Something everyone can appreciate!
Glastonbury, England - Glastonbury Music Festival
Approximate Date: Late June
The largest open-air music festival in the world boasts an impressive list of pop and rock icons who have headlined their stage. Starting out as a free festival in the spirit of Woodstock, the festival has grown and now with over 100,000 in attendance yearly, it's the perfect place to make friends with a fellow music lover.
The exact dates of many of these festivals change each year, so be sure to double check before booking your trip. Also, be sure to book far in advance as flights & accommodations are at a premium during these times, and may be unavailable if left until the last minute. And of course, stay well-prepared and well-packed in one of our Rise Gear bags
. Happy Travels!