With Christmas 11 days away! I thought I’d talk about some of the different festivals around the world. Celebrating events is something that every culture anywhere can relate to wether its religious beliefs, a landmark in time or spiritual. There are so many I want to experience on my travels that I wanted to write a ‘festival bucket list’. Here are 10 of the Festivals I definitely want to experience in my lifetime!
- Holi Festival in India/Nepal
“Holi is a spring festival, also known as the festival of colours or the festival of love. It is an ancient Hindu religious festival which has become popular with non-Hindus in many parts of South Asia, as well as people of other communities outside Asia.”
2. Chinese New Year in China
“Chinese New Year is an important Chinese festival celebrated at the turn of the lunisolar Chinese calendar. It is also known as the Spring Festival, the literal translation of the modern Chinese name. Celebrations traditionally run from the eve to the Lantern Festival on the 15th day of the first calendar month, making it one of the longest celebrated festivals. The first day of the New Year falls on some day between 21 January and 20 February.”
3. Up Helly Aa Fire Festival in Scotland
“Up Helly Aa refers to any of a variety of fire festivals held in Shetland, in Scotland, annually in the middle of winter to mark the end of the yule season. The festival involves a procession of up to a thousand guizers in Lerwick and considerably lower numbers in the more rural festivals, formed into squads who march through the town or village in a variety of themed costumes.”
4. The Carnival of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil
“The Carnival in Rio de Janeiro is a world famous festival held before Lent every year and considered the biggest carnival in the world with two million people per day on the streets. The first festivals of Rio date back to 1723.”
5. Mardi Gras, New Orleans in USA
“Mardi Gras is an annual Carnival celebration in the Southeast United States in New Orleans, LA.
The Carnival season, a variation of the traditional manner of preparing for the start of the Christian liturgical season of Lent, starts after Twelfth Night, on Epiphany (January 6). It is a season of parades, balls (some of them masquerade balls), and king cake parties. It has traditionally been part of the winter social season; which at one time was when parties for Southern Society women, débutante balls, were arranged.”
6. Pingxi Lantern Festival in Taiwan
“The Taiwan Lantern Festival is an annual event hosted by the Tourism Bureau of the Ministry of Transportation and Communications in Taiwan to celebrate the Lantern Festival.”
7. Songkran Water Festival in Thailand
“The Songkran festival meaning transformation or change. It coincides with the rising of Aries on the astrological chart, the New Year of many calendars of South and Southeast Asia. The festive occasion is in keeping with the Buddhist/Hindu solar calendar.”
8. Festival of the Sun in Peru
“The Inti Raymi (“Festival of the Sun”) is a religious ceremony of the Inca Empire in honor of the god Inti, one of the most venerated deities in Inca religion. It was the celebration of the Winter Solstice – the shortest day of the year in terms of the time between sunrise and sunset and the Inca New Year. In territories south of the equator the gregorian months of June and July are winter months.”
9. Diwali Festival of Lights in Nepal
“‘Deepavali (or Diwali, the “festival of lights”) is an ancient Hindu festival celebrated in autumn (northern hemisphere) or spring (southern hemisphere) every year. Diwali is one of the largest and brightest festivals in India. The festival spiritually signifies the victory of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, good over evil, and hope over despair.”
10. Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) in Mexico
“Day of the Dead is a Mexican holiday celebrated throughout Mexico, in particular the Central and South regions, and acknowledged around the world in other cultures. The holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died, and help support their spiritual journey.”
Looking at all those festivals around the world just makes me want to book tickets now and go experience those places!