Afrikaburn, South Africa
Burn baby burn
Afrikaburn is Africa's "region burn" or mini Burning Man
offshoot and has grown into something of its own. AfrikaBurn is a community of participants who come together to create art, burning structures, costume, performance, theme camps, music, mutant vehicles and much, much more. All of this is created through the volunteer culture of the citizens of Tankwa Town in the Karoo once a year.
Air Guitar Worlds, Finland
Rock and Roll Fantasy
The Annual Air Guitar World Championship Contest, held at the Oulu Music Video Festival in Finland, invites the most animated and talented air strumming, finger tapping, pelvis thrusting air guitarists from around the world to show off their skills.
Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta (USA)
A Floating Festival
The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta is literally a floating festival celebrating balloon flight! It's hard to imagine a more colorful spectacle with 700 rainbow balloons taking flight over the southwest deserts of New Mexico.
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.
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.
Fancy Dress Fest
This boutique festival is bit more trendy and indie than the Isle of Wright festival. The Bestival won the UK festival awards for “best major festival” of 2010, so they must be on to something.
Heavy Metal's take on Woodstock. A weekend in early August is the UK's largest metal gathering. Bloodstock throws both indoor and outdoor events. The roots come from the first Bloodstock held indoors in 2001.
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.
Bog Snorkeling Championships
Up a Bog
Bog snorkelling is a sporting event that consists of competitors completing two consecutive lengths of a water filled trench cut through a peat bog, in the shortest time possible. Competitors must wear snorkels and flippers, and complete the course without using conventional swimming strokes, relying on flipper power alone. Wet suits are not compulsory, but are usually worn.
Boom Festival, Portugal
Things That Go Boom in the Night
The Boom Festival in Portugal blends music and other arts into one great festival. The Boom Festival only takes place every two years; so keep checking the website for details on the 2012 festival.
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!
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.
Burning the Clocks, UK
Burn back the clock!
Some people turn back their clocks for winter, in the town of Brighton they burn them! Burning the Clocks has been a Brighton tradition for almost two decades. The free celebration sees local residents parading the paper and willow lanterns they've made through the city, before passing them into a huge bonfire on the beach. The coming year is then ushered in with a dazzling fire show during which a massive fire sculpture is ignited, live music plays, and fireworks light up the sky.
BYOBW Big Wheels Race (USA)
One Weird Race on the World’s Crookedest Street
Easter Sunday might convey images of hot cross buns, Easter egg hunting and church. But not in San Francisco as every Easter Sunday, there is a race of epic proportions down the steepest and crookedest street in the city.
Camp Bisco, New York (USA)
The Disco Biscuits Present: Camp Bisco
Jam band The Disco Biscuits hosts the annual Camp Bisco festival in the small town of Mariaville, featuring a diverse musical lineup and an infamous party raging into the wee hours.
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.
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!
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.
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
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.
Electric Daisy Carnival, (USA)
A Festival to Rave About
Electric Daisy Carnival is America’s answer to European electronic music festivals. Since 1997, this music festival has been giving thousands a chance to dance into the night during the last weekend in June.
Electric Forest (USA)
Lightning in a Forest
The Electric Forest is held in an enchanted woodland near Rothbury, Michigan filled with lights, spirits and electric beats by some of the most talented electronic wizards of the wooden realm.
Fallas de Valencia, Spain
Fire in the Streets
Every March 15th-19th, the streets of Valencia, Spain erupt with fire as part of the Fallas celebration. The festival dates back to the Middle Ages when excess goods were burned in the equivalent to a Spring cleaning. Today’s rendition takes a more grandiose approach paying homage to Spain’s history and culture with spectacular displays of pyrotechnics.
Fantasy Fest, Key West (USA)
10 Days of Halloween: Trick or Treat
For the week building up to Halloween, Key West hosts the raucous Fantasy Fest► when the streets overflow with costumes and fun. Enjoy outrageous parades, masquerade balls, costume contests, drag queen pageants, live music, and even pirate-themed parties around every corner!
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
Frozen Dead Guy Days (USA)
Fun From Beyond – I’m Dead Serious
Each March, the town of Nederland, Colorado plays host to one of the most bizarre cultural festivals around- the Frozen Dead Guy Days!
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).
Gilroy Garlic Festival (USA)
Vampires you have been warned
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.
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.
Grape Throwing Festival, Mallorca
Stomp and Throw
In the quaint village of Binissalem, Mallorca the end of the grape harvest season brings with it a wild food fight of epic proportions. While this festival was once only open to locals, it’s growing in size as the world has spread about the all out grape throwing extravaganza.
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.
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).
Icarus Cup Free-Flying Festival
The Sky is Falling!
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.
Festival at Sea
Jam Cruise combines the luxury of a cruise line with a roving music festival. The festival sets sail the beginning of January from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida and takes festival-goers to beautiful locations in the Bahamas, Central America, and Mexico.
Kanamara Matsuri, Japan
“Festival of the Steel Phallus" Stands Up to the Hype
Welcome to the Party Republic
This is the biggest electronic music festival in Eastern Europe. This festival started as a big air competition and party for kitesurfers who enjoy the good wind and long, sandy beaches of the Black Sea.
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
Lantern Festival, Thailand
Light up the Night!
Locals believe that lanterns evoke the spirit world and there is no better place to witness this tradition than in Hat Yai, Thailand.
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.
Lightning in a Bottle (USA)
Southern California Lightning Storm
Lightning in a Bottle Arts and Music Festival is a 4-day electronic dance party set in beautiful Southern California over Memorial Day weekend in May.
The Godfather of American Festivals
Perry Farrell founded the first Lollapalooza in 1991 as a farewell tour for Jane's Addiction. It was also envisioned as a traveling roadshow featuring big names, while showcasing the up and coming. It even featured Shaolin monks and a freakshow.
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.
Lucidity Festival, USA
You Must Be Dreaming
This April, the second incarnation of Lucidity will fill the mountains of Santa Barbara, California with art and music as part of an “open-source” festival calling on the participants to help shape the experience.
Mardi Gras, New Orleans (USA)
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.
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.
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
Moscow High Heel Race
100 meters and dashing!
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.
Nature One, Germany
Go Wild – Freak Out
Germany’s Nature One festival is an epic open-aired electronic music festival where you can dance from sundown to sunrise the first weekend of August. The festival grounds are located at a decommissioned US missile base and have party areas such as the Century Circus, Open Air Floor and the Groovalistic Garden. A secondary “festival” takes place at the campgrounds where everyone seems to be a DJ.
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.
Onbashira Festival, Japan
Japanese men ride dangerously giant logs as part of the Onbashira Festival once every six years in Nagano for one of the most outrageous traditions on earth!
Oppikoppi, South Africa
Oppikoppi is the name of a music festival held in the Limpopo Province of South Africa, near the mining town of Northam. The festival started off focusing mostly on rock music, but gradually added more genres and now plays host to a complete mixed bag of genres. Anything from jazz, world music, house music, acoustic, comedy and all else in between can be heard on one of the multiple stages. Each year in August thousands of people flock to the farm to camp out in the bush and enjoy the music. The festival features mostly South African bands, although international acts are included in the lineup.
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.
Paris Techno Parade
Techno Tour de Force
The first Techno Parade originated in 1998 as a visual street demonstration of the power of electronic music. French DJ superstar Bob Sinclair has played an integral role in the parade since the beginning.
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.
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.
Rainbow Serpent, Australia
Shake, Rattle, and Slither
Rainbow Serpent Festival is a famous electronic music festival held in Beaufort, Victoria over the long Australia Day Weekend. The music is primarily psych-trance and minimalist techno, though dub, trance, and house music sneak into the lineup. There are over 100 acts to choose from to keep you dancing late into the night.
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.
Reggae on the River, (USA)
Roots Rock Reggae
In it's 27th year Reggae on the River is back in it's great location in Northern California. It's always been set on the banks of the gorgeous Eel River in Garberville California. However there is a new location at the Benbow Lake Recreational Area which is beautiful too.
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
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 .
Secret Garden Party, UK
Find Some Magic in a Secret Garden Party
The Secret Garden Party outside of Huntingdon, England brings an intimate arts festival to life in the East Anglia countryside. The festival experience builds on a combination of themed camps promising you’ll be “edified, enlightened, and enthralled” by camps including Flirt Factory, Dance Off, and Kissing Den.
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.
Spain's Crazy Festivals
Spain is a vibrant European nation that runs on a leisurely clock; afternoon siestas encourage late night dinners and even later nights of carousing until the sun comes up. A temperate climate and an extensive coastline is more than a little responsible for Spain’s laidback, jovial vibe. It’s also home to the surreal buildings of Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí, whose designs continue to fascinate and perplex.
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.►
Summer in Ibiza
Looking for a good time? Well hop on a flight to the Mediterranean Spanish Island of Ibiza.
Get Sziggy with it
The Sziget Music Festival has become one of the premiere summer music festivals in Europe. Sziget means “island” in Hungarian and over 100,000 eager festival-goers travel to Óbudai-sziget in the Danube to rock out and dance to some great music. Sziget has been described as "an electronically amplified, warped amusement park that has nothing to do with reality" or Europe’s answer to Burning Man.
Testicle Festival, Montana
Rocky Mountain Oysterfest
Off of route 90 in Montana you’ll find this balls to the wall festival where testicles have been celebrated Montana style for over 30 years. It’s all the balls you can eat and it can get rowdy and raunchy. People are friendly and expect to see a lot of skin from people of all shapes, sizes and levels of intoxication.
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.
Dance Party of Tomorrow
"Yesterday is History, Today is a Gift, Tomorrow is a Mystery"
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.
Up Hella Aa, Scotland
Fire them Up
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.
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.
Vienna Recordia, Austria
A World Record Festival
The annual Guinness Book of World Records competition takes places in Vienna, Austria each Fall inside the oldest amusement park in the world. Prater Park has hosted the event since 2004. The organizers welcome all as either a witness or participant. You must register in advance if you wish to make or break a world record of your own.
Voodoo, New Orleans (USA)
Vood-you Like to Go to Voodoo?
Voodoo Experience, or simply Voodoo, is a 3-day music extravaganza held on the weekend nearest Halloween (October 31st) in New Orleans, Louisiana.
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.
Wickerman Festival, UK
It's better than it needs to be!
The Wickerman Festival is an annual music festival held near to Dundrennan in Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland. Dubbed 'Scotland's Alternative Music festival', the festival celebrated its 10th Birthday in 2011.
Carrying your Spouse's Weight
The ancient tradition of wife carrying has many different names and appears to have originated in Sonkajärvi, Finland.
Winter Festival, New Zealand
Quirky Fun in the Snow
Winter sports enthusiasts and party lovers should not miss the American Express Queenstown Winter Festival in New Zealand. This June festival is the perfect way to kick off a snowy season in the Southern Hemisphere, perfectly combining sports and fun-filled activities.
World Bodypainting Festival, Austria
Body of Art
Since 1998, the world’s most colourful event has taken place every year in Austria. The “World Bodypainting Festival” is the biggest art event in the bodypainting theme and tens of thousands of visitors admire the wonderful work of the participants.
World's Strangest Festivals
Talk a Walk into the Bizarre
Human culture around the world has taken on many forms. What might considered bizarre in the West is normal to the East.
Yamayaki Grass Burning, Japan
Fire on the Mountain