Festivals or Cultural Events can offer you extraordinary experiences and help you get to know a lot about a new country and their culture. If you are planning your vacation, do check if the countries you’re visiting are having any festivals. Here, I have compiled a list of 7 of the events that are definitely on my Bucket List ( have attended 3 of them) and should be on your’s too.
Holi, is a spring festival celebrated by Hindus. People play with colors as a celebration of the arrival of the Spring season. It is primarily observed in India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and countries with large Indian diaspora populations, such as Suriname, United Kingdom, United States, Mauritius, and Fiji. But due to its increased popularity it is being celebrated in Europe as well.This was one of my Favorite festivals as a Kid, because who doesn’t like throwing colored water on each other and getting stuffed with the “Mithai’s”?
Event Dates and Place – Spring(March), India.
2. Amsterdam Gay Pride
The Amsterdam Pride is an annual gay festival in the centre of Amsterdam, organized in the first weekend of August. With several hundreds of thousands visitors this event is one of the largest public events of the Netherlands. The pride is being organized since 1996 and Netherlands is the first country to legalize Gay Marriage. The festival includes a canal parade, a parade of boats of large variety on the first Saturday of August, which usually goes from Westerdok over the Prinsengracht, Amstel river, Zwanenburgwal and Oudeschans.
Event Dates and Place – First weekend of August, Amsterdam.
3. La Tomatina
La Tomatina is a festival that is held in the Valencian town of Buñol, a town located 30 km inland from the Mediterranean Sea in which participants throw tomatoes and get involved in this tomato fight purely for fun. Featured in the Bollywood movie “Zindagi na Milegi Dobara”, this place attracts a lot of young crowd from around the world.
Event Dates and Place – Last Wednesday of August, Buñol, Spain.
This Fest is a 16- to 18-day folk festival running from mid or late September to the first weekend in October, with more than 6 million people from around the world attending the event every year.The first Oktoberfest was held on Oct. 12, 1810, to celebrate the marriage of Prince Ludwig of Bavaria to Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen. The Munich’s mayor Dieter Reiter will tap the first barrel thus declaring the “Wiesn“ – as the Munich people call it – officially open.
Event Dates and Place – 16 Sep – 3 Oct, Munich (Note Different dates every year, dates given are for 2017)
5. Yi Peng Lantern Festival
The official Yi Peng Festival in Chiang Mai usually takes place over three days with religious events, cultural activities, street parades and the release of sky lanterns. This is the time when locals believe that the rivers are filled to their fullest and the moon is at its brightest – the perfect time to light your lantern and make a wish for good fortune in the new year.
The event always takes place at the same time as Loy Krathong which means if you are in Chiang Mai you can also see floating krathongs on the Ping River.
Event Dates and Place – November,Thailand
6. Sydney’s New year
Sydney New Year’s Eve is an annual event held every New Year’s Eve over Sydney Harbour, centering on the Harbour Bridge. Its main features are the two pyrotechnic displays, the 9pm Family Fireworks and the Midnight Fireworks, both of which are televised nationally by current broadcaster the Nine Network. Each year the event takes on a new theme and is regularly viewed by more than one million people at the harbour and one billion worldwide for the televised Midnight Fireworks.
Event Dates and Place – 31 Dec, Sydney.
7. Rio carnival
Just as the rest of the world starts to recover from new year celebrations, Brazil and Rio de Janeiro in particular is getting ready to revel in what is often regarded as the greatest party in the world.The Carnival in Rio de Janeiro is a world famous festival held before Lent (40 days before Easter) every year and considered the biggest carnival/party in the world with two million people per day on the streets. It has some deep catholic roots where some Christians abstain from consumption of meat.You can witness some amazing samba dancing skills as different samba schools compete on the Carnival night.
Event Dates and Place – Feb 24 – Feb 28 2017, Brazil