Everyone loves the festive season as it is the time to relax after a year of hard work. You might have heard about many peculiar customs and rituals of different communities around the world. We live in a unique civilization that spans many different people and cultures and we plan on exploring some of these fantastic cultural celebrations. Peoples around the world have their own way of celebrating festivals, but the theme of these celebrations is same across the globe – that is to share love and happiness among their friends and families. Here we have listed 7 amazing festivals around the world. For a moment free yourself and lets find out how they celebrate these joyful occasions.
1. Carnival, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Among the huge number of amazing festivals around the world, Brazilian Carnival is one of the most famous and well cherished festivals celebrated annually. The festival consists of a giant street parade filled with revelers, floats, mass embellishment and world famous samba music in which around 2 million people march with colorful costumes each day.
The festival starts 51 days before Easter and ends with the start of Lent. The parade take place in different cities of Brazil. In 2011, carnival in Rio de Janeiro alone drew 4.9 million people in which 400,000 were foreigners.
2. Chinese New Year
Chinese new year, also known as ‘Spring Festival’, is an important Chinese festival celebrated at the turn of the lunisolar Chinese calendar. The first day of Chinese New year falls someday in between January 21 and February 20. Starting from the first night’s eve, this festival ends on the Lantern festival which is the 15th day of the first calendar month making it one of the longest celebrated festivals.
Traditionally, the festival was celebrated to pay honor to ancient deities and family ancestors. Apart from China itself, other countries and territories celebrating this festival includes Mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Cambodia and Philippines where significant Chinese populations can be found. A family reunion dinner is held on the evening preceding the Chinese New Year’s Day.
3. Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, New Mexico, USA
This gathering is the biggest hot air balloon festival in the world which showcases the stunning sight of hundreds of colorful balloons in the sky. It’s a nine day event that takes place in Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA where over 500 hot air balloons are flown each year. The history of this balloon fiesta traces back to 1972 when radio station manager Dick McKee decided to use a hot air balloon for the celebration of 50th birthday of his 770 Radio Station.
4. La Tomatina – Spain
This is one festival that you probably never want to miss if you have any chance to get involved with it. It is held in the Valencian town located in the east of Spain on the last Wednesday in August. Dancing, singing and lots of tomatoes are the distinctive features of this festival. But the main attraction is a tomato fight where participants throw squeezed tomatoes at each other solely for entertainment purpose. Things can get a little messy as you can imagine.
The fight lasts for about an hour after which the whole town square is covered with tomato paste. The history of this festival is quite astounding. On last day of August in 1945, some young people went to the town to attend Giants and Big-Head figures parade. During the parade a participant fell off from the float and flew into a fit of range victimizing the nearby vegetable stall. The accident aroused the ferocious crowd and people started to batter each other with tomatoes until the fight was ended by local law enforcement.
Next year on the same day some young people deliberately repeated the fight. Thus the fight turned out to be an annual festival. For this reason La Tomatina is unique and outstanding event among the other amazing festivals.
5. Boryeong Mud Festival – South Korea
It’s the festival of mud. This mud festival is an annual festival which takes place in Boryeong, a town in the south of Seoul, South Korea. The festival was first started in 1998 since then it has attracted over 2.2 million people to this small city. The festival was devised as a marketing strategy by Boryeong mud cosmetics.
The mud used in this festival is borrowed from the Boryeong mud flats and trucked to the Daecheon sea beach. The mud is considered to be rich in minerals, bentonites, and germaniums. Today the mud festival is equally popular among Koreans, western tourists and the American military stationed in this part of the country. The festive area is supplemented with a mud pool, mud slides, mud prison and mud skiing competitions. A large stage is also erected for live music and other visual attractions.
6. Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival
If you are fond of ice and snow then this might be the dream festival for you. This ice and snow festival is all about recreational activities related to events that occur in the cold. This annual winter festival was originally celebrated by the Chinese in Harbin, Heilongjiang, China only, but now with the festival’s rise in popularity, it has became an international festival and competition.
Some of the world’s biggest ice sculptures can be seen in this festival. It starts on 5th of January and last for a month. The focal exhibition area includes Sun Island and the Ice and Snow World – both are full of splendid recreational objects and sculptures made of ice. The area is decorated with a vast array of vibrant lights and becomes a splendid view to watch at night.
7. Oktoberfest – Munich, Germany
This festival is all about beer and only beer. It was first originated in Munich, Germany and now celebrated all around the world. It starts in late September and last for couple of weeks. It is attended by millions of people each year.
The festival began with the royal wedding on October 12 1810 when the Crown Prince Ludwig was married to Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen. The citizens of Munich were invited to celebrate the occasion by the royal family thereafter and the celebration started to repeat annually.
Celebrating festivals and other occasions is a part of our life. It inspires us to live a happy life. So, don’t forget to take the time to party and have a time of your life.