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Top 10 Must Do Festivals Around The World

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Each and every year, countless festivals take place around the globe, celebrating a wide range of religious observances, incredible artistic feats, unique cultures and more. Check out our picks of the top 10 must do festival around the world!

Holi, India

Often held in late February or during March, Holi is a Hindu celebration marking the last full moon of the lunar month, the end of winter and the start of spring. Known the world over as the festival of colour, the celebration is famed for the highly pigmented powder that festival-goers throw over each other.

Holi Festival India
Holi, India. Image Credit: Steven Gerner.

Boryeong Mud Festival, South Korea

Attracting between 2 and 3 million visitors each year, the Boryeong Mud Festival was first held as a promotional event for a line cosmetics that made use of the area’s mineral-rich mud. Today, the festival takes place over 2 weeks and includes a program of activities including mud wrestling, mud races, mud facials, workshops and more.

La Tomatina, Spain

Said to have begun as a simple vegetable fight between locals, La Tomatina now attracts punters from across the globe eager to take part in the tomato throwing action. Held on the last Wednesday in August, the festival sees more than 150,000 tomatoes thrown on a single day, leaving the Spanish town square coloured red.

La Tomatina Festival Spain
La Tomatina, Spain. Image Credit: Graham McLellan.

Up Helly Aa, Scotland

Marking the end of the yule season, Up Helly Aa has become a celebration of all things Nordic. Taking place on Scotland’s Shetland Islands, the festival includes a torch lit procession of revellers costumed in Viking garb through the town of Lerwick, ending with a traditional Nordic longboat being set aflame.

Rio Carnival, Brazil

Celebrated by upwards of 2 million revellers each year, Rio Carnival sees its fair share of singing, dancing and extravagant floats. Taking place 40 days before Easter, the 5 day South American celebration often sees a unique blurring of gender and social boundaries, such as cross dressing and interaction between classes, take place throughout the length of festival.

Rio Carnival Brazil
Rio Carnival, Brazil. Image Credit: nateClicks.

Oktoberfest, Germany

Started in the early 1800s, Oktoberfest has evolved to become the world’s largest beer festival, attracting more than 6 million attendees to its beer halls each and every year. Taking place over 16 days between late September and the first weekend of October, the festival offers plenty of thirst quenching drinks, delightful German treats and a whole lot of fun.

Pingxi Lantern Festival, Taiwan

Marking the end of Chinese New Year, the Pingxi Lantern Festival is celebrated with the release of between 100,000 and 200,000 lanterns into the sky. Festival-goers write their desires and ambitions on the paper lanterns before sending them up into the heavens to light up the sky of the regional area.

Pingxi Lantern Festival Taiwan
Pingxi Lantern Festival, Taiwan. Image Credit: Jirka Matousek.

Running of the Bulls, Spain

Taking place over a course spanning just over 800 metres, the Running of the Bulls sees festival goers run ahead of several bulls let loose in a section of Pamplona’s streets. Taking 4 minutes on average to complete, the event is held as a part of the annual San Fermin Festival.

Sapporo Snow Festival, Japan

Started by 6 high school students after World War II, the Sapporo Snow Festival now sees hundreds of ice sculptures displayed over 7 days in February. Referencing interest areas such as animals, buildings, cartoons and religious icons, the sculptures attracts around 2 million visitors each year.

Sapporo Snow Festival Japan
Sapporo Snow Festival, Japan. Image Credit: David McKelvey.

International Sand Sculpture Festival, Portugal

The largest festival of its kind, Portugal’s International Sand Sculpture Festival plays host to a collection of sand installations crafted by sculptors from across the globe. Taking place annually between May and October, the festival has featured themes such as mythology, Hollywood films and the animal kingdom in past years.

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