11 World Festivals You Must Experience

We travel for the experience. Seeing other cultures, partaking in their traditions, and exploring new places, is what traveling is all about. There are many festivals in this world, so it’s an exciting topic to discuss. Have you ever experienced any of these festivals? If so, I’d love to hear about it in the comment section below.

1. Up Helly Aa Fire Festival — Lerwick, Scotland

Source: Up Helly Aa

When: Last Tuesday in January

Where: Lerwick, Scotland

Why you should go: Up Helly Aa is Europe’s largest fire festival. They even burn a full-scale Viking ship!

2. Carnaval — Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Carnival, Woman, Costume, Orange, Red, Cariwest

Learn more at IPANEMA

When: End of February/Beginning of March

Where: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Why you should go: Carnaval is like a non-stop party. For an entire week, there is excitement on the streets, beautiful costumes, and excitement beyond measure.

3. Coachella — Indio, California

Coachella, Ferris Wheel, Big Wheel

Find out more: Coachella

When: April

Where: Indio, California, USA

Why you should go: Aside from camping out in the CA desert with your friends, Coachella is the place to see your favorite bands and Holywood celebrities.

4. Wanderlust Yoga Festival — a Beach…Somewhere!

Relaxation, Yoga, The Concentration Of, Meditation

Learn more at Wanderlust

When: There are several times/ locations.

Where: Check out Wanderlust for this year’s festival

Why you should go: Enjoy the serene scenery (in the past wanderlust has been located in places like Hawaii & California), while you center yourself among other yogis.

5. Dia de los Muertos — Celebrated by Mexicans in the U.S., Canada, Europe, and Mexico

Learn more at National Geographic Society

When: Nov. 1

Where: Celebrations are held by cultural Mexicans throughout the world, but a few of the bigger celebrations take place in Mexico City and Los Angeles.

Why you should go: Dia de los Muertos, or “The Day of the Dead,” celebrates All Saint’s Day, which remembers all those who have since passed on. A colorful display of costume and culture, Dia de los Muertos is a festival you must experience.

6. Lantern Festival — Pingxi, Taiwan

Lantern Festival, Taiwan, Feb, 2011

Learn more at Taiwan.net

When: February

Where: Pingxi, Taiwan

Why you should go: Watch the night sky light up with beautiful lanterns during the largest lantern festival.

7. Burning Man — Black Rock City, Nev.

Learn More: Burning Man

When: Aug/Sept.

Where: Black Rock City, Nev.

Why you should go: Take a break from the ordinary in the desert of Nevada where men and women go to purge themselves of conventional society.

8. Carnevale — Venice, Italy

Learn more here

When: Feb/March

Where: Venice, Italy

Why you should go: Carnevale, or “Carnival,” has been a Venician tradition since the 13th century. People flock from all over to participate in the masked celebrations, and experiencing one of the best parties on the planet.


9. Oktoberfest — Munich, Germany

Taste, Bodice, Reinheitsgebot, Section, Bavaria, Beer


When: Last weeks of September to the first weekend in October

Where: Munich, Germany

Why you should go: Though there are many smaller offshoots of Oktoberfest around the world, Munich’s original fair is the biggest beer festival in the world. In 2013, more than $96,178,668 worth of beer was served every day during the festival.

10. Mardi Gras — New Orleans

Mardigras, Festival, Philippines, Carnival, Party

Mardi Gras New Orleans

When: Tuesday before Ash Wednesday

Where: New Orleans

Why you should go: In many ways Mardis Gras’ reputation precedes itself and it’s just like Carnaval…in the USA. If you want to party like there’s no tomorrow, New Orleans is where you belong right before Ash Wednesday.

11. Albuquerque International Balloon Festival — Albuquerque, N.M.

New Mexico, Hot Air Balloon, Landscape, Mountains

When: October

Where: Albuquerque, N.M.

Why you should go: The Albuquerque International Balloon Festival is the largest gathering of hot air balloons in the world. Check out the festival and immerse yourself in the southwestern culture of the United States.

Tell me which festivals you have been to and which were your favorites?

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