The world is a playground full of mind blowing sights and fascinating cultures with plentiful festivals to showcase each unique country’s offering. Take a look at this list of the top ten global festivals – you simply must partake in at least one during your travels.
1. The Monkey Buffet Festival
This might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it’s a vegetarian affair where the monkeys do all the eating. In Thailand’s provincial capital of Lopburi in around Thanksgiving, a feast of 10,000 lbs of fruit and nuts are placed before 10th-century temples for the area’s 3,000 locally integrated macaques.
2. The Festival of Near-Death Experiences
In Las Nieves, Galicia, at The Festival of Near-Death Experiences in late July, they chant: “We bring you those who saw death”. Bizarrely, locals who have had a brush with death in the previous twelve months come together with fake coffins to give thanks for their survival. It’s so whacky that it has to be seen to be believed!
3. Kirkpinar Oil Wrestling Festival
In Erdine, Turkey, during June and July participants coat themselves with vast amounts of olive oil and, wearing just akisbet(leather shorts) they lock horns until a winner is declared.
4. Westman Islands Festival
There are plenty of winners at Iceland’s incomparable Westman Islands Festival, a 4-day event in August. There’s music, a ‘hook-up’ ball on the first night for those in search of love, plus a re-enactment of the 1973 Eldfell eruption, with 16,000 torch-bearers encircling the volcano rim.
This festival heralds spring and the season of love, wherever you venture out to! Whether you’re enjoying cheap holidays in Sri Lanka, northern India or Nepal, it sees Hindus joyously casting winter aside by hurling powdered dyes.
6. Albuquerque International Balloon Festival
This week-long event in New Mexico during October is packed with attractions, starting daily with “dawn patrol” flights and ending with the spectacular “Afterglow Fireworks” display.
This will likely fill you with awe of an entirely different nature. Greek for “Church Rocket War”, the picturesque town of Vrontados on Chios hosts an unusual tradition during Easter mass: two churches fire thousands of home-made rockets at their opponents across a 500-yard ravine.
8. National Pyrotechnic Festival
Mexico’s National Pyrotechnic Festival rose from the ashes of the feast of San Juan de Dios, patron saint of fireworks artisans. A bonkers nine-day festival of fire with free-running charges through fireworks, you’ll also see a spectacular release of 20,000 origami cantoya balloons.
9. International Festival of the Sahara
The camel forms the centerpiece of the International Festival of the Sahara in Tunisia. In the town of Douz in November, it showcases Bedouin culture and includes theatre, belly-dancing and camel-wrestling, culminating in the crowning glory, the camel race.
Head back to the US at the end of May for Napa Valley’s BottleRock music concert. Relax in warm sunshine with local wines, enjoy world-class cuisine and stunning Californian scenery.
From monkeys to powder paint fights to belly-dancing, there’s bound to get a festival that you can’t wait to get stuck into.
Images by FaceMePLS and Joe Ross, used under the Creative Commons license.
Leave a Reply