5 international festivals around the world to add to your travel bucket list

Mar 6 2020, 8:26 pm

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International festivals have a way of bringing people together regardless of whether or not they are from the destination.

It’s a unifying experience where people of all cultures and backgrounds come together in celebration in an intimate and innately human interaction that often praises difference rather than punishes it.

They are also an excellent way of genuinely immersing yourself in a locale while being educated on the most cherished and treasured traditions and customs.

If you are looking for an authentic and unique experience for your next trip, here is our list of 5 international festivals around the world to add to your travel bucket list.

Diwali – India


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Diwali — also spelled Divali —  is the Hindu festival of lights, typically celebrated for five days. Diwali signifies the spiritual triumph of inner light over spiritual darkness, good over evil, and understanding over ignorance. It is customary for families to place clay lamps (deepa) in a row (avali) outside their homes to symbolize this battle, which is where the name of the festival is derived. The celebrations also typically feature brilliant fireworks displays. This festive and beautiful celebration is one of the most recognizable international festivals in the world, as well as one of the most popular Hindu festivals.

Yee Peng Lantern Festival – Thailand


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The Yee Peng — sometimes spelt Yi Peng — Festival in Chiang Mai Thailand is arguably one of the most picturesque and magical international festivals in the world. During the festival, you will see hundreds, if not thousands of brightly lit lanterns, as they rise and dance together in the night sky over the city. Around Chiang Mai, you will observe that houses and businesses will be decorated with colourful hanging lanterns and flags. Releasing a lantern is meant to signify your releasing of misfortunes and woes from the year before.

Carnival – Brazil


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While carnival celebrations are carried out across the globe, with its extravagant outfits, exorbitant festivities, and fun-loving atmosphere, Carnival in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, is one of the most widely renowned international festivals in the world. The city is passionate about its celebrations, and it seems as though the festivities get bigger and bolder with each coming year. Carnival is an annual festival held between the Friday before Ash Wednesday and noon of Ash Wednesday, which indicates the beginning of Lent.

Oktoberfest – Germany


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Known as one of the largest international festivals in the world for beer consumers, the history of Oktoberfest extends far beyond an excuse to drink. The festival began as a celebration of the marriage of Crown Prince Ludwig to Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen in Bavaria. Five days following their nuptials, a large festival was held outside of Sendlinger Tor, one of the gates leading into Munich. It has since become a massive tourist attraction. Additionally, it is an excellent opportunity for visitors to educate themselves about Bavaria, its people, and its traditions. 

In Munich, Oktoberfest spans 16 days, starting on a Saturday in September and always finishing on the first Sunday of October.

La Tomatina – Spain


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La Tomatina is an annual festival held in a small village near Valencia, Spain, called Buñol. Thousands of participants make their way from all over the world to participate in this food fight festival in which literal tons of over-ripe tomatoes are thrown in the street. The festival has become a popular destination for locals and tourists alike because of its fun-loving atmosphere. It may not be a festival with as much substance as others, but it’s a joyful celebration that brings people together, and there’s nothing wrong with that!

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Emily RumballEmily Rumball

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