Aloha Festival, Hawaii (USA)
Each year, Hawai’i celebrates the Aloha Festival with a colorful and lively display of the islands rich cultural history. The festival spans six weeks on all six islands, but the premier event is Aloha Week in Honolulu.
Art and Cultural Festivals
Festivals are living and breathing museums of art and culture. By honoring and preserving centuries of tradition though festivals we are preserving the old ways for future generations.
Ati-Atihan takes place the third Sunday of January in the small town of Kalibo in Akalan, Philippines. The three-day festival features traditional songs, dance, and colorful dress► of the native people as part of this energetic festival dating back to the 13th century.
Party in a Volcano!
We have personally visited this rip roaring festival located inside a volcano at the ends of the earth. All we can say is despite the “warnings” of our Icelandic friends of excessive country music and Viking like behavior, we had a great time. Come prepared for the weather, it can get really wet. Unfortunately the festival has a bad reputation of sexual assault, so best to not drink too much.
Bali Spirit Festival, Indonesia
Yoga, Dance, Music, Bliss
Annually since 2008, the idyllic Indonesian island of Bali has played host to the Bali Spirit Festival combining dance, yoga, and music►. Ubud is a quiet, artsy town set back from the beach among picturesque rice paddies and ancient monkey forests.
Bastille Day, France
Oooh La La
Bastille Day is the name given in English-speaking countries to the French National Day, which is celebrated on the 14th of July each year. In France, it is formally called La Fête Nationale (The National Celebration) and commonly Le quatorze juillet (the fourteenth of July). It commemorates the 1790 Fête de la Fédération, held on the first anniversary of the storming of the Bastille on 14 July 1789; the anniversary of the storming of the Bastille fortress-prison was seen as a symbol of the uprising of the modern nation, and of the reconciliation of all the French inside the constitutional monarchy which preceded the First Republic, during the French Revolution.
Battle of the Oranges, Italy
Off with His Head!
Beginning Sunday, and for the days leading up to Fat Tuesday in March, an epic battle takes place over the streets of Ivrea in Northern Italy; an event steeped in history, The Battle of Oranges is the largest food fight in the country.
Bay to Breakers Race (USA)
A San Francisco Costumed Tradition
This year, San Francisco celebrates the 100th anniversary of the Bay to Breakers foot race combining sport and spectacle unlike anything else!
Beer Can Regatta, Australia
Beer Recycling Pirates on the High Seas
Every year in winter (depending on the tide), the people of Darwin, Australia build boats and other nautical vessels made completely out of empty beer cans and take to the sea. The event brings thousands to the shores of Midil Beach in this Northern Territory city, considered one of the most isolated spots in the world, eager to watch these fun races.
Beltane Fire Festival, Scotland
The May Queen, Green Man, Red Chaos and White Order welcome spring in this pagan ritual held in Edinburgh's Calton Hill. It's a modern reincarnation of the ancient Gaelic celebration of Beltane. "Beltane" means bright sacred fire in the ancient language.
Bluesfest, Chicago (USA)
I’ve Got the Windy City Blues
Each year, the City of Chicago Mayor’s Office of Special Events hosts the Chicago’s Bluesfest in Grant Park. Featuring some of the biggest and hottest blues artists, this free summer festival near the shores of Lake Michigan demonstrates why Chicago has been referred to as the “Blues Capital of the World”.
Bob Marley's Birthday, Jamaica
Every February 6th, in the midst of Jamaica’s February Reggae month, the town of Nine Mile, Bob Marley’s birthplace, celebrates the life and work of the iconic singer. This celebration attracts music fans and Marley lovers to the small town to enjoy Reggae music and a laid-back party vibe.
Boryeong Mud Festival, South Korea
Get Down and Dirty in the Name of Beauty
Korea’s small beachside town of Boryeong wanted to let the world know about the therapeutic qualities of the mud on its shores. So it decided to invent this dirty festival that showcases this muddy town. It’s becoming popular in its 14th year with over 2.2 million visitors last year!
Brighton Festival, UK
The Brighton Festival is an annual arts festival which takes place in the city of Brighton and Hove in England each May. It was founded in 1966, and was, until its demerger with Brighton Festival Fringe in 2006, the largest multi-art form festival in England. The 2006 festival organised over 200 events during 23 days which were attended by over 500,000 people.
Buddha Bathing Festival
Bathing Birthday Buddhas
This annual tradition honors the life of Prince Siddhatta, known to Buddhist devotees as Sakyamuni Buddha. According to legend, he was cleansed at birth by nine heavenly dragons emitting pure water. This purification led him to take seven steps, after each of which a lotus floor sprung from where his foot touched the earth, and declare his commitment to ending the suffering of all those residing in the Three Realms. So…what did you do on your first birthday?
Bun Bang Fai Rocket Festival, Laos
Rockets and Fertility
Burning Man, Nevada (USA)
Burn Baby Burn!
For just over a week each year, nearly 50,000 people gather in the Black Rock Desert, 127 miles outside of Reno, Nevada to live in a Mad Max-style community encouraging radical expression and self-reliance. Participants freely express themselves in every conceivable way including art projects, gifts, performances, themed camps, informational workshops, and music that attracts top DJs from around the world.
Calgary Stampede, Canada
The city of Calgary in Alberta, Canada hosts the annual Calgary Stampede. This 10-day event features the world’s largest rodeo, concerts, and more.
Calle Ocho, Miami (USA)
One Big Block Party
Calle Ocho is a block party of epic proportions held in the Little Havana neighborhood of Miami, Florida. The Kiwanis Club of Little Havana has been pivotal to hosting and promoting the event since 1977, which the official website heralds as “the world’s largest street party”
Camino de Santiago, Spain
The Way of Saint James
For more than a thousand years pilgrims have been walking on a religious quest across Europe. The traditional and most popular version of the walk is called the “Camino Frances” which starts in St Jean Pied de Por and winds around Northern Spain ending in Santiago de Compostela almost 800 kilometers later.
Cannabis Cup, Amsterdam
Puff Puff, Give Give
Each November, marijuana enthusiasts from worldwide gather in Amsterdam to vote on the best strain of grass at the High Times Cannabis Cup. Started in 1987, the competition has grown beyond the primary event to include music, entertainment, and categories including best new product, best glass, and best hash. The consumption of marijuana, be it smoked, eaten, or vaporized, is legal in Amsterdam and allows the Cup to exist.
Cannes Film Festival, France
The World's Most Prestigious Film Festival
For nearly two weeks every Summer, the town of Cannes on the French Riviera invites film professionals from around the world to take part in the Cannes Film Festival. Cannes has a tradition dating back to the 1930’s and prides itself on valuing the artistic quality of films vying for the Palme d’Or, or Golden Palm, which is awarded to the best film at the festival. Short and feature length films compete in official festival competitions and for industry exposure.
Samba into one of the World’s Greatest Parties
Colorful costumes, beautiful dancing, parades, and wild partying fill the streets of Brazil during the month of Carnival. Though Carnival is celebrated throughout the world, the party in Brazil has grown to epic proportions.
Castells de Tarragona, Spain
Each September, men and women climb on top of each other’s shoulders and reach for the sky as part of the “Concurs de Castells,” human towers competition, in Tarragona, Spain during the Santa Tecla Festival.
Cheese Rolling Festival, UK
The Cheesiest Festival in the World
The premise is quite simple: climb Cooper’s Hill, the steepest in town. Take a delicious local “Double Gloucestershire” giant cheese wheel and roll it down the hill. Add drunken participants and roll them down the hill after the cheese►. The person to catch the cheese wins (the cheese) and hilarity ensues. The cheese is fast, weighs about 8 pounds and has been known to roll at speeds of over 70 mph!
Cherry Blossom Festival, Japan
Ancient Cities Floating Upon Spring Blossoms
Around the end of March, beautiful cherry blossoms herald the coming of Spring in Japan. Witness ancient temples rising out of fields of pink and white flowers while having a picnic and breathing the fresh spring air. The flowers bloom on the sakura tree ►and can start appearing as early as January and sometimes last through May. In March, you are almost guaranteed to see the bloom.
Cheung Chau Bun Festival, China
The Cheung Chau Bun Festival in Hong Kong celebrates traditional Chinese culture. This Taoist ceremony draws tens of thousands of attendees from far and wide, filling the streets with tantalizing sights, sounds, smells, and flavors.
Chinese New Year, Hong Kong
Kung Hei Fat Choy
“Congratulations and be prosperous” is the translation of the traditional new year’s greeting of “Kung Hei Fat Choy”. The Chinese new year is based upon ancient calculations that predict the end of the winter season and the start of spring, which is the first day of the first month. This is the biggest and most celebrated Chinese Holiday at home and abroad. The celebration ends with the Lantern Festival 15 days later.
Cinco De Mayo, Mexico City
Cinco De Mayo (Fifth of May) commemorates the Mexican army’s unlikely triumph over French forces at the Battle of Puebla. This important victory held political significance to the U.S. and Mexico, but it is not Mexico’s Independence Day as it is often mistakenly regarded.
Cinetrip Sparty, Budapest
Rock the Sparty
Budapest is one of the world’s most beautiful cities and lies on the banks of the great Danube River. It is blessed with abundant geothermic activity and mineral rich waters. Some the resulting hot springs have existed since the fall of the Roman Empire and have a rich history and important role in this medieval city.
Where Superheros go to party
For 4 days in July, the San Diego Convention Center overflows with more than 100,000 comic and pop-culture enthusiasts for the largest comic book convention in North America: The San Diego Comic-Con.
Dia de los Muertos, Mexico
Celebrate the Living by Honoring the Dead
Diwali Festival of Lights, India
Days and Nights of Light
Beautiful festival in India during late fall usually called the "Festival of Lights". Diwali is the most important holiday of the year for Hindus and for Jains it is a celebration of the attainment of nirvana by Mahavira in 527 BC.
Edinburgh Fringe, Scotland
The Fringe Festival Goes Mainstream
El Colacho - Baby Jumping Festival
Leaping Lucifers the Spanish Baby Jumping Festival
One of the weirdest festivals in the world dates back to 1620 in Castrolillo de Murica, Spain. In this traditional celebration costumed devils jump over infant babies who are lined up on mattresses in the middle of the street. Patrons gather round to cheer, cringe and breathe collective sighs of relief as the babies are cleared from harm’s way. This bizarre event is the culmination of the annual El Colacho festival, which takes place over several days in late May/ early June and is thought to be a mixture of Spanish folklore and religion, though its exact origin is unknown.
Festival Filmmaking, Budapest
Make a movie at Sziget
Sziget, considered Europe's best festival is celebrating it's 20th anniversary and has teamed up with the Budapest Film Academy.
Festival in the Desert, Mali
African Dunes, Traditional Tunes
Festival of Lights, Thailand
Marvel at a Sea of Floating Sky Lanterns
It might be hard to imagine a more beautiful cultural festival. Thousands of sky lanterns (miniature hot-air balloons) are released in unison into the night sky of Thailand during the full moon of the nation's 12th lunar month. It resembles a sea of floating jellyfish on fire, some of them bursting into flames and falling like comets in the night.
Festival of Near Death, Spain
Fiesta de Santa Marta de Ribarteme
Fuji Rock, Japan
Rock Out Slopeside
The first festival was held on Mt. Fuji...during a typhoon! Many people under estimated the power of the storm and ended up with hypothermia. Miraculously, that didn’t stop the Red Hot Chili Peppers from performing through the peak of the storm.
Full Moon Party, Thailand
Full Moon Full-on Party
Each month, the Thai island of Koh Pha Ngan plays host to a full moon party of epic proportion►. More than 20,000 travelers flock to the island each month to enjoy a long night of dancing and partying in this picturesque setting.
Fusion Festival, Germany
An Abandoned Airfield Comes to Life with Art for All
In the northeast of Germany, the Fusion Festival brings the former Russian military airfield of Rechlin-Lärz back to life with a celebration of art and music.
Gay Pride, New York (USA)
The Most Fabulous Parade in the Galaxy
Gay Pride Week culminates with the spectacular Gay Pride Parade. While New York is a sparkling center of the Gay Pride events, cities worldwide have their own celebrations. The most famous celebrations are in San Francisco and Sao Paulo, Brazil (which is the rainbow heavyweight with over 2.5 million attendees).
Gion Matsuri, Japan
Kyoto’s Biggest Party
For the entire month of July, Kyoto’s Gion district erupts in culture as the most lively festival of the year takes place. The Gion district is famously known as the most exclusive of the Geisha districts in Kyoto. The festival is locally known as Gion-san, is not to miss and perhaps your best shot of getting a pic of the elusive Geisha.
Global Gatherings, UK
Gnaoua Festival, Morocco
Get Lost in a Trance at Gnaoua
This June will mark the 14th anniversary of Gnaoua World Music Festival in the coastal town of Essaouira, Morocco.
Hadaka Matsuri, Japan
Japan’s Naked Festival
The Japanese city of Okayama will host the Kounomiya Hadaka Matsuri (Naked Festival) on February 16th, 2013. Throughout Japan, Hadaka Matsuris often take place during summer and winter months in cities around the country. These festivals are said to have originated in Okayama and if you can make the trip you’ll find out why.
Trick or Treat
Halloween is a world-famous holiday celebrating the macabre and the supernatural, most vigorously observed in the United States. It happens every year on October 31st. The are many customs and traditions associated with this old holiday including carving pumpkins, trick or treating and costume parties. Halloween’s roots have been traced to an old Irish Celtic holiday and to the Roman Empire.
Harbin Ice Festival, China
Ice, Ice Baby
During January of every year the city of Harbin transforms into a winter wonderland► filled with castles, towers, and sculptures crafted from ice and snow. The festival was started in 1985 and lasts for around a month in the dead of winter. This festival along with Japan's Sapporo Snow Festival, Canada's Quebec City Winter Carnival, and Norway's Ski Festival make up the largest such events in the world.
Haro Wine Festival, Spain
Each year on June 29th the small town of Haro, Spain hosts the Haro Wine Festival and wine battle.
Highlands Sing-sing, PNG
Go Tribal and Sing-sing
Papua New Guinea is one of the world’s last wild frontiers. Impressive natural geography and isolation has resulted in a modern primitive culture with over 700 individual tribes and the largest number of distinct languages in the world. Many tribes from around the country gather in August to put on an impressive display of tradition in PNG’s third largest city, Mount Hagen located in the Western Highlands.
Scotland’s Party of the Year
After Christmas was banned in 16th century Scotland during the Protestant Reformation (a ban not lifted until the 1950s), Hogmanay became its most celebrated holiday. If you find yourself in Scotland for the four days around New Year’s, you are in for a very good time. Anywhere from 80,000 to 200,000 people make it out to Princes Street on New Year’s Eve for an epic party that culminates at midnight with a dramatic fireworks show above the picturesque Edinburgh Castle.
Holi Festival, India
The Most Colorful Party in the World
If you happen to find yourself in India, Sri Lanka or Nepal during the last lunar cycle of the winter called Phalguna (usually between February to March), you just might get caught in a rainbow battlefield. Every imaginable type of brightly colored dye and ink is thrown in an all-out war in the form of powder, dye or water balloons. Don’t wear any clothes you care about! It gets massively crowded and women are urged to use extra caution in the wild streets. It’s a very photogenic scene but be warned: I lost a camera to a paint-filled water balloon on the streets of Delhi.
Hounen Matsuri, Japan
The Penis Fertility Festival
Hungry Ghost Festival
The Hungry Undead
The Ghost Festival, also known as the Hungry Ghost Festival, or Yu Lan is a traditional Chinese festival and holiday celebrated by Chinese in many countries. In the Chinese calendar (a lunisolar calendar), the Ghost Festival is on the 15th night of the seventh lunar month (14th in southern China).
Iditarod, Alaska (USA)
The Last Great Race on Earth
This is arguably the greatest adventure race on the planet across some of Mother Nature’s most impressive landscapes. Dog sled teams of 12-16 and a “Musher” race over jagged mountain, across icy rivers, tundra, and the Bering Sea coast. This is all done in Alaskan winter weather, though warmer temperatures have threatened the race route that is dependant on snow.
Il Palio Race, Italy
If the Kentucky Derby is the most exciting two minutes in sports, this bareback horse race might be the most exciting 90 seconds.
Inti Raymi, Peru
Worship the Sun, Incan Style
The Inti Raymi Festival takes place just a few miles outside the popular tourist destination of Cuzco, Peru and recreates a traditional Inca Empire celebration coinciding with the Southern hemisphere Winter Solstice. Today, the scripted ceremony honoring the Sun takes place each year on June 24th and is the second largest festival in South America with over than 100,000 visitors.
Jazzfest, New Orleans (USA)
Celebrate the Birthplace of Jazz
The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, or Jazz Fest, has been celebrating the musical styles of New Orleans with a culturally rich music festival for over 40 years!
Kanamara Matsuri, Japan
“Festival of the Steel Phallus" Stands Up to the Hype
Kentucky Derby (USA)
“The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports”
On the first Saturday in May, the Kentucky Derby Festival culminates in a spectacular display of fashion and sport at Churchill Downs for a horse race that has been called “The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports.”► This first leg of the United States Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing takes place the first Saturday in May and is watched by millions worldwide.
Kiruna Snow Fest, Sweden
Ice and Night
Underneath the glow of the northern lights and over 100 miles north of the Arctic circle lies the town of Kiruna, Sweden which hosts Europe's largest snow festival. These are training grounds for space and home to one of the premier "Ice Hotels". Landing here feels more like arriving on "Planet Hoth" than Earth.
Kumbh Mela, India
The World’s Largest Gathering
This is the largest single gathering of humanity in the world. Every 3 years, Hindus gather in the tens of millions on the banks of the Ganges,► the river that according to legend, collected the drops of immortality that fell from the kumbh (pitcher of life) in ancient times. The gathering is centered in Allahbad, Hardiwar. Take a crowded bus or train from New Delhi (DEL).
La Tomatina, Spain
Flying Tomatoes in this Wild Food Fight
Laos Elephant Festival
The Land of a Million Elephants
In Sayaboury, elephants are sacred. They have been man's best friend since time immemorial. Traditionally used for work in the forest, these magnificent animals are now looking forward to meeting you at this sixth elephant festival, giving you the chance to discover the riches and marvels of the cultural and natural world surrounding them.
Los Diablos Danzantes, Venezuela
The Dancing Devils of Yare
The Dancing Devils of Yare (Diablos Danzantes del Yare) is the name of a religious festivity celebrated in San Francisco de Yare, Venezuela, every year on Corpus Christi day. The Sociedades del Santísimo (Societies of the Holiest) are the instigators of this devilish celebration. Its origins are traced back to the 18th century, and it’s noted as being the oldest brotherhood of the American continent.
Mardi Gras, New Orleans (USA)
Marrakech Film Festival
North African Star
Marrakech is as culturally vibrant and as visually stunning as any city we have ever visited. A perfect place for cinema junkies to spend time at this destination film festival.
Masquerade Carnival, Venice
Venice, Italy celebrates the Carnival season leading up to Ash Wednesday with a historic and elegant masquerade for the ages. Expect to be entertained by music, theater, and a water parade among other cultural events. Traditional masks play a central role► in this ancient celebration. There are three types of masks typified in the Italian masquerade.
Melbourne Cup, Australia
And They’re Off!
The Melbourne Cup thoroughbred race dates back to 1861 and is Australia’s premier horse race, rivaling the Triple Crown races in America.
Mendoza Grape Harvest, Argentina
Vino in the Shadow of Aconcagua
The Fiesta Nacional de la Vendimia celebrates Argentina’s annual grape harvest and the country’s wine industry. Argentina’s wine industry has grown to be the 5th largest in the world and the Mendoza region where the festival takes place, home to the celebrated Malbec wine, is at the center. Join the lively festivities this March and enjoy this beautiful region of the world.
Miss Columbia Beauty Pageant
The Most Beautiful Competition on Earth
Each November, the most beautiful women in Colombia compete in the Miss Colombia Beauty Pageant, or Concurso Nacional de Belleza, in Cartagena de Indias and a chance to be Columbia’s official entrant in the Miss Universe competition.
Molten Iron Throwing Festival, China
DaShuHua Tree Flower Festival
No money for fireworks, no problem for creative locals in Nuanquan, China who discovered a new way to make fire explode in celebration of the annual Lantern Festival.
Monaco Grand Prix, Europe
The Greatest Road Race on Earth
Monkey Buffet, Thailand
The monkeys of Lopburi, a central provence of Thailand, are considered to be direct descendants of Hanuman the mischievous monkey god who made Lopburi his kingdom.
Moon Festival, China
Moonbeams and Mooncakes
Naadam Festival, Mongolia
The Great Mongolian Games
Each July 11th-13th, Mongolia celebrates the national holiday of Naadam with a countrywide sports festival.
Naga Fireballs, Thailand
Great Balls of Fire
In Thailand and Laos, October’s full moon brings mysterious balls of fire that shoot up from the Mekong River and burst into the sky. This centuries-old phenomenon gained wider renown in the 1990s and now thousands of people gather for this unusual spectacle at the Bang Fai Phaya Nark Festival every Fall.
New Year's Celebrations
Happy New Year!
The beginning of the year is a time to clear out the old, bring in the new and celebrate. Not all calendars are the same but here are our picks of some of the best New Years celebrations.
Night of the Radishes, Mexico
A Radish-ing Food Festival
Oaxaca, Mexico has celebrated the Night of Radishes each December 23rd since 1897. This cultural food event puts elaborate radish sculptures on display for thousands of onlookers.
Night of the Witches, Germany
Dance Until Dawn on Witch Mountain
Walpurgis Night or Walpurgisnacht is a festival to experience yourself and a springtime tradition in Northern and Central Europe. Finland, Estonia, Sweden and Germany all have their own variations of this mysterious holiday. Much folklore lies around the date of May 1st as a known time for witches and wizards to convene with the devil in dance around the fire know as the Hexentanzplatz or “witches’ dance”.
Notting Hill Carnival, UK
London Gone Wild
The Notting Hill Carnival is an annual event that since 1965 has taken place on the streets of Notting Hill, Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, London, UK each August, over three days (the August bank holiday Monday and the two days beforehand). It is led by members of the West Indian community. The carnival has attracted around one million people in the past years, making it one of the largest street festivals in the world
Find Yourself in the Middle of Nowhere
Each summer since 2004, the small Nowhere Festival has brought the principles of Burning Man to Northeastern Spain. The location is kept a secret until just before the event, so keep checking the website www.goingnowhere.org to see where in the Spanish desert it will be this year.
Oil Wrestling Festival, Turkey
Turkish Delights: Oil Wrestling
The Kirkpinar Oil Wrestling festival near Edirne, Turkey delights onlookers with a sporting event that dates back to 1346. Participants cover themselves in olive oil and wrestle as part of what is said to be the longest running sports competition in the world.
Oktoberfest, Munich, Germany
For over 200 years, Munich, Germany has hosted Oktoberfest, a legendary modern-day bacchanal.
Paraty Mud Carnival, Brazil
The “Bloco de Lama”, A Mudslinging Carnival
Get your mud on at the Paraty Mud Carnival in Brazil! Officially named Bloco de Lama, this is part of the annual Paraty Carnival. Partiers adorn themselves with thick mud and chant “Uga uga uga! Ra ra ahhh!” along Jabaquara Beach and march into the historic district of town, where the rest of the carnival takes place. It’s quite a sight to see hundreds of mud people rocking out in this colonial beach town.
Pingxi Lantern Festival, Taiwan
This beautiful festival is one built upon ancient traditions. Pingxi is a remote mountain town and before modern communication and in times of war, villagers would send communication by sky lantern to let their families know they were safe after making the perilous trek through the surrounding mountains.
Pirate Festival, Cayman Islands
Shiver Me Timbers
Yarrrrr, the land and sea be taken over by pirates for Pirate Week in the Cayman Islands. This fun-filled November festival has grown in popularity, so get on the boat early or you’ll be stuck walking the plank.
Prague Spring Music Festival
Springtime in Prague
Every May 12th, the Prague Spring International Music Festival kicks off a music festival featuring up-and-coming and established classical musicians ►in this beautiful Czech town. Concerts take place in spectacular venues including the Rudolfinum Concert Hall, Municipal House, and the Church of St. Lawrence.
Pushkar Camel Fair, India
Two Humps Up!
Each year at the time of the Kartik Prunima full moon (usually in October or November) 50,000 camels migrate to Pushkar to be traded, along with thousands more horses, cows, goats, and sheep. For centuries, pilgrims and farmers have come from around India to this ancient holy city for the world’s largest camel fair.
Queen's Day, Netherlands
A Very Happy Birthday!
Each April 30th, throughout the Netherlands and around the world, the Dutch show their national pride and celebrate the birthday of their former Queen!
Rainbow Gatherings, Worldwide
Hippies Worldwide Rejoice
This year “someplace in the state of Washington” a Rainbow Gathering will form a temporary open and free community built on consensus in the early part of July. Upwards of 30,000 “non-members” are expected to participate in this year’s gathering. Though no official rules, structure, or leaders exist, participants arrive as early as a month beforehand to set up “Seed Camp” and prepare for the Forest Service permitted gathering.
Rainforest Music Festival
World Music and Culture Unite
This rainforest rock-out attracts over 30,000 attendees to the jungles of Sarawak, Borneo Malaysia. In addition to music there are daytime workshops on traditional crafts and culture.
Redneck Games (USA)
The Summer Redneck Games of East Dublin, Georgia may have began as a joke, but they have grown into one of the most fun and silliest festivals taking place this year.
New Years in Style
Bid farewell to the old year with style and grace on the famed shores of Copacabana beach. This might be the largest beach party in the world with a record 2.3 million attendees ringing in the 2013 New Years. The heart stopping fireworks, charming traditions and unbeatable setting on one of the world’s most enviable beach locations make Reveilion one of world’s most spectacular ways to ring in the “Ano Novo.”
Easter Mass Rocket War
Looking for a way to break tradition this Easter? Consider venturing to the town of Vrontados in Chios, Greece for the spectacular Rocket Festival. The parishes of Panagia Erythiani and Agios Markos fill the skies of this Northern Greek island with tens of thousands of handmade rockets in an unique Easter celebration.
Running of the Bulls, Spain
San Fermin, Run for your LIfe
Santa Fe Folk Market, (USA)
Support Local Craft and Worldwide Culture
Since 2004, Santa Fe, New Mexico annually hosts the largest multi-cultural artisan fair in the world. The festive market lasts 2 days, and features over 120 select artists from over 45 countries. Artists produce beautiful crafts from their native villages in Peru, India and Africa, and get to keep 90% of the profit.
Santacon - Santanarchy
Ho Ho Hos
The legend of Santa Claus comes from the mythology of the nordic Northern Europe. Today cultures all over the world celebrate the legend of a jolly old fat man with a flying sleigh and reigndeer who travels the world on Christmas Eve to bring presents to all good boys and girls.
Sapporo Snow Festival, Japan
Let it Snow!
Sapporo, Japan has hosted a great winter Olympics and is the capital of Hokkaido the northern most island. Every winter, about two million people come to Sapporo to see the hundreds of beautiful snow statues and ice sculptures. They line Odori Park,the grounds at Community Dome Tsudome, and the main street in Susukino .
Semana Santa, Guatemala
Semana Santa (which translates precisely to “Holy Week”) is the annual celebration around the week of Easter. Anyone who has spent time in a traditional God-fearin’ Latin American nation knows how seriously they take their holy holidays and Guatemala’s is no exception. However, the parades that take place in the cosmopolitan city of Antigua, a beautiful city square located in the heart of a verdant valley, are such sumptuous and regal affairs, they’re not to be missed by the less pious spectator.
Solstice at Stonehenge, UK
Begin the longest day of the year at Stonehenge
Thousands worship the Summer Solstice on June 21st at the ancient historical and mythological stone sculptures of Wiltshire County, England to watch sunrise at Stonehenge.
St. Patrick’s Day, Ireland
The Luck of the Irish
Visit Dublin, Ireland for the 4 days of its St. Patrick’s Day celebration and enjoy a lively display of Irish culture, tradition and partying. This national holiday recognizes the life of Saint Patrick, the patron Saint of Ireland, and has celebrated national pride for over 1000 years.
Star Trek Convention (USA)
Live Long and Prosper
Beam yourself up to the Star Trek Convention in Las Vegas this August. Creation Entertainment produces the four-day convention as a chance for the biggest fans to celebrate their love for Star Trek and meet their favorite actors, writers, and directors.
Street Parade, Switzerland
Uber Street Dance Party!
Zurich’s Street Parade will attract over a million people to dance in the streets at Europe’s largest techno-parade.
Sturgis Motorcycle Ride (USA)
Harley Riders Unite for the Mother of all Rides
The Sturgis Motorcycle Ride brings over half a million bikers to the Black Hills of South Dakota for a motorcycle rally spanning the first full week of August. Started as a small single race event in 1938, Sturgis experienced multiple waves of expansion before becoming the behemoth event it is today. The rally gained notoriety for its highly-entertaining races and stunts in the early years. Today, the rally brings out families in search of a ride and a good time. Check out this video of the 2010 event.►
Surf’s Up Down Under
Grab your stubbies, sunnies, board and some wax and paddle out to the hip Australian town of Newcastle. Whether you surf or not there are good times to be had at the annual Surfest where champion surfers battle it out in top-notch waves.
Taormina Film Festival
Mediterranean Film Festival
This Italian film festival held in Taormina, Sicily is consider to be Italy's premiere film event of the summer. It was first established in 1955 as the "Rassegna Cinematografica Internazionale di Messina e Taormina".
Offerings on the Edge
Each year, on the full moon of the 10th month of the Hindu calendar, thousands make the journey to the southern Indian city of Palani for Thaipusam for the chance to have a wish granted by Lord Subramanya. Singapore, Malaysia, and other countries with Tamil Hindi populations celebrate this bizarre holiday.
The Super Bowl (USA)
A New American Holiday
The champions of the National Football League will be crowned every year to a roaring crowd and millions viewing from home. The Super Bowl game transcends the sport of football and has become a part of American popular culture.
The Greatest Show on Earth
Carnival in Trinidad and Tobago is the most significant event on the islands. It is said that if the islanders are not celebrating it, then they are preparing for it, while reminiscing about the past year's festival. The heart of the musical celebration has been calypso; recently soca has replaced calypso as the most celebrated type of music. Costumes, stickfighting and limbo competitions are also important components of the festival.
UFO Festival (USA)
An Out of this World Festival
The Roswell UFO Incident of 1947 remains a huge mystery for devotees of UFO lore. Allegedly a UFO crashed near the town, leading to an elaborate government cover-up. The town of Roswell is world-renowned for its otherworldly vibe and has a 3-day festival each summer to celebrate the anniversary of the crash.
Valentines Pillow Fight (USA)
World’s Largest Pillow Fight
Saint Valentine’s Day was established in AD 496, named after a Christian martyr. The myth has flourished over time and interpretations of love, hearts and arrow-slinging winged babies called Cupid are the most well-known modern day myths. Religious controversy around the world has come with this holiday and the Catholic church banned it in 1960. Learn more about the history of Valentine's Day here (Youtube)►
Vegetarian Festival, Thailand
Delicious Food and Self-Mutilation
For 10 days during the ninth lunar month of the Chinese calendar (usually during October), all of Thailand celebrates the Vegetarian Festival. Locals of Chinese ancestry and tourists alike enjoy a wide variety of vegetarian Thai food, in hopes of good fortune and spiritual purification.
Viareggio Carnival, Italy
The Best Carnival in Europe
The Viareggio Carnival attracts international attention to the small Italian city for the largest Carnival celebration in Europe!
Victory Day, Russia
Celebrate the End of WWII with Russian Might
Every year in May, all of Europe celebrates Victory Day (or V-Day), the day in 1945 that World War II ended in Europe. Russia has made the day of remembrance a national holiday, and holds nothing back to remind the world the major role it played in the victory.
Water Festival, Thailand
Thai Water Fight!
The Songkran Water Festival in Thailand is a nation-wide water fight held in the name of spiritual cleansing and prosperity. The festival’s date formerly corresponded with the New Year of many Southeast Asian nations’ calendars. Now it’s set as a national holiday for April 13th-15th each year.
White Nights, Russia
Three Months of Sunlight and Fine Arts
Visit beautiful St. Petersburg, Russia between May and July and you can witness some of the finest classical art performances the world has to offer as part of the White Nights Festival. Russian and international stars perform great works of opera, ballet, and music in this cultural event.
Carrying your Spouse's Weight
The ancient tradition of wife carrying has many different names and appears to have originated in Sonkajärvi, Finland.
Yamayaki Grass Burning, Japan
Fire on the Mountain