Cultural Festivals

12 of the Most Stunning and Breathtaking Festivals around the World

Chinese New Year
Chinese New Year
Where: China and across the world
When: Annually during the Chinese lunar new year (date varies)
What to expect: Chinese New Year is a big and festive event. Expect to see stunning fireworks, dragon and lion dances, beautiful lanterns, delicious food, and traditional Chinese clothing among many others.

 

Mardi Gras
Mardi Gras
Where: New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
When: Annually before Ash Wednesday
What to expect: A famous festival in New Orleans that involves big parades, masquerade balls, and other fun-filled activities.

 

Rio de Janeiro Carnival
Rio de Janeiro Carnival
Where: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
When: Annually before Lent
What to expect: The Carnival or Carnaval in Rio de Janeiro dates back to about two hundred years. Today, it is one of the most famous events in the world that attract huge crowds of revelers. Expect to see some spectacular and colorful floats, Samba parade and dancers, lot of music, food, and drinks.

 

Carnevale di Venezia
Carnevale di Venezia
Where: Venice, Italy
When: Annually before Lent
What to expect: A tradition that spans more than nine centuries. Expect to see a wide array of beautiful masks, gilded costumes, bands, colorful boats, masquerades or masked balls, and eye-catching costumes.

 


Saint Patrick’s Day
Where: Ireland
When: Annually on the 17th of March
What to expect: A festive cultural and religious holiday. Expect to see parades, lots of green, eating, and drinking.

 

Hanami
Hanami (Cherry Blossom Festival)
Where: Tokyo, Kyoto, and other places across Japan
When: Annually during cherry blossom season (late March to mid-April)
What to expect: Breathtaking cherry blossoms, hanami picnics and parties, traditional Japanese garments, and so much more.

 

Holi (Festival of Colours)
Holi (Festival of Colours)
Where: India
When: Annually in spring
What to expect: Holi is an ancient Hindu festival. Among the highlights of the celebration include the Holika bonfire during the night prior to the festival itself. Expect to see lots of colors as people play around with water guns filled with colored water and more.

 

Pingxi Lantern Festival
Pingxi Lantern Festival
Where: Pingxi District, Taiwan
When: Annually
What to expect: Experience a long-held tradition of releasing sky lanterns and witnessing the stunning and breathtaking sight as they light up the night sky. Expect to see beautiful lanterns, street folk carnivals and performances, lantern riddle contests, and more.

 

San Fermin (Running of The Bulls)
San Fermin (Running of The Bulls)
Where: Pamplona, Spain
When: Annually on the 6th to 14th of July
What to expect: San Fermin is a famous Spanish festival best known for The Running of the Bulls. Expect huge crowds, bulls, and a lot of fun-filled craziness.

 

Oktoberfest
Oktoberfest
Where: Munich, Germany
When: Annually from late September to the first weekend of October
What to expect: Oktoberfest is the biggest Volksfest or beer festival in the world. Expect lots of delicious beers, food, and events that feature the Bavarian culture.

 

Dia de los Muertos
Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead)
Where: Mexico
When: Annually from 31 October to 2 November
What to expect: Dia de los Muertos is a Mexican holiday that is also celebrated in many countries around the world. Traditional celebration includes remembering and praying for the dead and visiting graves among others. Expect to see decorated graves, offerings for the dead, and masks and costumes depicting the dead.

 

Up Helly Aa
Up Helly Aa
Where: Shetland Islands, Scotland
When: Annually during mid-winter
What to expect: A Yule tradition celebrated with parades and visitations. The main highlights of the event are the torchlit procession and the burning of a replica of a Viking galley.