In life’s daily grind, doing something fun seems out of the question. Don’t just think about it. Plan to go to a place that is in your bucket list, book your plane tickets (budget airfares are great), pack your bags and fly to an adventure of a lifetime!
As the French say, “joie de vivre!”
Get ready for a unique and fun adventure. Here is a list of the best festivals happening around some of the most enchanting, pulsating and exciting places across the globe for 2015.
Snow and Ice Festival – Harbin, China
January 5 to end of February or first week of March
The Snow and Ice Festival in Harbin is the biggest of its kind in the world. See huge replicas of world icons and creatures from history and mythology, sculpted from clear ice from the Songhua River. They look grand in their wintry white coat during the day and sparkle with brilliant colours from lasers and multicoloured lights at night.
Up Helly Aa – Shetland, Scotland
Up Helly Aa marks the end of the yule season in Scotland. It’s a fiery festival in the middle of winter, with a thousand men dressed in themed costume in an evening torch parade that ends with the burning of a Viking galley replica. All-night partying begins afterwards in all available halls.
Carnevale – Venice, Italy
February 7 – 17
Carnevale is a ball in Venice, attended by people wearing elaborate masks and fancy gowns, Baroque style. Join the masked procession, watch jousting the next day and attend the Gran Ballo delle Maschere (Grand Masked Ball) the following evening.
Carnival – Rio, Brazil
February 13 – 18
Throw your worries away and enjoy Rio’s all-out celebration before Lent. It’s all about having fun – a parade of huge and colourful floats, street dancing, scantily clad men and women, samba dancing competitions and band music.
Pingxi Lantern Festival – Taiwan
March 5 – 15
Make a wish, light a paper lantern and send it to heaven. See the dark sky glow golden from thousands and thousands of paper lanterns during the Pingxi Lantern Festival to mark the Lunar Year.
Holi Festival – India
March 6 – 7
Get doused in coloured powder and coloured and scented water during the spring festival in India. Holi is the day to forgive and forget, repair broken relationships and laugh and play, with water guns and water balloons.
Kanamara Matsuri – Japan
It’s a ‘strange’ spring festival in Kawasaki, Japan, honouring a black steel phallus, and the phallic theme is carried over in all the items sold during the day. A huge pink phallus also joins the parade. Haha! The event now is for a good cause, as the funds raised go to HIV research.
Songkran Water Festival – Chiang Mai, Thailand
April 13 – 15
Songkran marks the beginning of the Thai New Year. It is celebrated with an all-day water fight in the streets. While it seems chaotic, there are still rules – pregnant women and monks should not be targeted. Water play ends at sundown.
Running of the Bulls – Pamplona, Spain
July 6 – 14
Dare to run with the bulls? Six bulls, which will be featured in the bullfight later in the day and nine more steers are let loose to run through four streets in Pamplona for a total of 826 metres. It’s crazy, it’s fun and it’s scary, as the herd rush at a speed of 15 mph or 24 km/h.
Boryeong Mud Festival – Daecheon, South Korea
July 18 – 27 (TBC)
Want to roll in thick mud and have glowing skin? YES! That is what the Boryeong Mud Festival is all about – playing games, competitions and more on the mineral-rich mud of Boryeong, which is used in many cosmetic preparations.
Tomorrow Land – Belgium
July 24 – 26 (TBC)
For lovers of music, this event in Boom, Belgium is right up your alley, as this features most of the big and upcoming names in electronic and world music for two days.
La Tomatina – Spain
Swim, slide and pelt each other with fresh tomatoes. That’s the fun you’ll experience at the annual tomato fight festival in Spain. The fight lasts for exactly one hour.
Burning Man – Black Rock, Nevada, U.S.A.
August 26 – September 5
Being radical is the theme of the Burning Man Festival, whose highlight is the burning of an 80-foot tall human effigy in the temporary community that assembles for the festival. All attendees must participate and bring all their gear, including food, shelter, water and necessities.
Be apart of this amazing ‘once in a life time’ experience.
Oktoberfest – Munich, Germany
September 9 – October 4
Drink all the German beer you can imbibe and taste traditional German delicacies you can eat when you attend the annual Oktoberfest. But be sure to know your limit as German beer has a higher alcohol content than other beers.
Dia de los Muertos – Mexico
October 31 – November 2
Remember the departed in a different way in Mexico. It’s a great cultural experience seeing how they honour the dead with various rituals and offerings, particularly the creation of the individual “ofrenda” or offering, which can be an elaborate work of art.
Learn more about Mexico here. What are you waiting for?