Top Festivals In The World For An Unforgettable Vacation

Author: Saumya Khanduja on Sep 01,2021

No matter your favorite food, season, type of music, or religion, there is bound to be a festival to celebrate it. There are spiritual festivals, craft festivals, food festivals, music festivals, liquor-themed festivals, seasonal and other unique and strange festivals worldwide. Some of them, like the fainting goat festival in Tennessee or the Mud festival in South Korea, and the underwater music festival in Florida, are all very diverse, unique, and amazing festivals you have to witness! 


No matter what festival you choose to go to, you can be sure you will find happy vibes, bright colors, incredible food, and lots of great music, and happy, cheerful people around you. Some festivals might just be known locally, while the others are world-famous. 


We ransacked the globe to find the 12 top festivals in the world. Some of these festivals might be familiar to you, while the others you might hear for the very first time. 

This article hopes to inspire your travel plans and open your eyes to the diversity in entertainment, happiness, and celebrations worldwide. 


1. The Pingxi Lantern Festival, Taiwan 



The beginning of this fantastic festival dates back to the period of the Three Kingdoms in China, where one statesman created lanterns to send military signals. This practice spread through the villagers at the time, who wanted to let their families know they are safe by sending lanterns into the sky. 


Today, the Pingxi Lantern Festival is one of the brightest, heartwarming, and happiest festivals celebrated on this planet, taking place on the last day of the Lunar New Year. 


Stars come down, metaphorically, of course, on this day when the lighted lanterns are released. If you get the chance to release a lantern, make a wish and let it fly with the stars. 


2. Oktoberfest, Germany 



The world's most famous beer festival welcomes all beer lovers from around the globe to enjoy the festive vibes of this world-famous event. Oktoberfest is dedicated to trying out different types of beer, wearing traditional German outfits, and enjoying the overall happy vibes of the cheerful people. 


The festival lasts for 16 days, so you can have your time to try out all the beers you still have not tried out! 


Make sure you are paying a visit to Oktoberfest from late September to the first weekend of October, and be a part of the 6 million happy people celebrating their favorite malts. 


3. Tomorrowland, Belgium 



One of Europe's most significant and famous music festivals, Tomorrowland is one of the biggest jewels in Belgium’s history. 


This EDM festival is one of a kind, housing several world-famous DJs, over 15 stages, and an extraordinary venue. In addition, there are industrial sculptures, giant disco balls, and lots of confetti. 


Tomorrowland is a festival that you want to experience once in your lifetime. The festival offers great fun, wonderful music, and a world-class joyful atmosphere.


4. La Tomatina, Spain 



If you are looking for something cheerful, fun, and a little crazy, the La Tomatina festival is undoubtedly one you should not give a miss.


This gigantic Spanish tomato-throwing festival is held annually and one of the best and most controversial festivals in Europe. 

Of course, they have set rules to prevent visitors from hurting each other, some of them being not throwing any hard objects and tomatoes to be squished before throwing. It is an entirely new experience for anyone who comes there for the first time. 


This unforgettable festival is all about dancing, enjoying, and being part of the happiest vibes, all in the heart of Valencia, Spain


5. The Exit Festival, Serbia. 



Located in the North of Serbia, in a city called Novi Sad, the Exit Festival started as a protest against an in-power political party in the year 2000.


Today, almost 20 years later, the Exit Festival is one of the best music festivals around Europe that you can enjoy. 

The location for the festival at the medieval Petrovaradin Fortress is one of the most exciting places for a big music festival. 


Every year this festival brings in more and more visitors. With its unique location, you can only imagine the feeling of walking through medieval tunnels while dancing to your favorite tunes. 


6. Up Helly Aa Fire Festival, Scotland 



Celebrated every last Tuesday of January every year, the Up Helly Aa Fire Festival is one event you do not want to miss out on. This old traditional Scottish festival is dedicated to celebrating the Viking heritage. 


You will experience 24 hours of marches, shows and exhibitions, and food stalls at the festival. It is easy to lose track of time when you are a part of one of the top festivals in the world. 


Of course, the best part of this event comes in the evening, when all the participants are gathering around the replica of a dragon galley, walking around it, and singing “The Norseman’s Home.” After this, they start throwing fiery torches to loud crescendos of cheers. Do not miss the chance to experience this great fire festival, because it only happens one day a year. 


7. The Whirling Dervishes Festival, Turkey 



This fascinating annual festival is celebrated to commemorate the death of a 13th Islamic saint, Mevlana, also known as Rumi in Turkey. 


Even after 750 years, Rumi is the best-selling poet in Turkey and the United States.

Rumi believed it was possible to communicate with God with music and dance, and the Whirling Dervishes Festival is all about that! 


You can see the Whirling Dervishes, who are men in traditional white or colored skirts twirling with the music in the most mesmerizing way. This is one of the most breathtaking dances you will ever have a chance to see. 


8. White Nights Festival, Russia 



The name of the festival comes from the magical phenomenon taking St. Petersburg in awe. The sun is present in the night sky from May through July in the city, so it does not get dark. 


Russians celebrate this phenomenon by organizing a beautiful festival that includes ballet, opera, and classical musical performances. There is probably no better way to experience Russian elegance and beauty than by paying a visit to the country during this time. Apart from all the festivities, you will also experience the Scarlet Sail, incredibly illuminated boats, followed by the festive fireworks. 


9. Mardi Gras, Louisiana 



Mardi Gras festival in New Orleans, Louisiana, is one of those festivals you wish lasted longer. If you love parades, costumed performances, and wild, fiery concerts, this is the one for you! 


This is the festival where you can witness New Orleans packed with people in cheerful and colorful outfits with beads flying everywhere. 

One of the top festivals in the world, the legendary Mardi Gras festival is home to tempting foods from the nearby food stands and scintillating music, inviting you to dance all day long. 


The tradition of Mardi Gras marked its first presence in 1837 to celebrate Fat Tuesday before the Christian observes the Lent season before Easter. 


10. Holi, India 



Holi, also known as the festival of colors, is held in India and Pakistan during spring.


Families, friends, and loved ones gather to sing, dance, and spend time with each other while celebrating the concept of good conquering evil. The following morning is reserved for the carnival, where people color each other with dry-colored powder and colored water, making their vicinity electric with vibrant hues. You can enjoy dancing, food, some delicious sweet dishes, drinks and of course lots of fun. 


11. The Rio De Janeiro Carnival, Brazil



The Rio De Janeiro Carnival is probably the most celebrated event in the history of the world. It gathers nearly 5 million people every year, from visitors to performers. The carnival is full of thrills and surprises, where you can only find good energy, vibrancy, samba, and wild open-air performances. 


In these five days, everyone in Brazil is set loose. You can only imagine what the atmosphere of the carnival is going to be like. 


Expect parades, crazy costumes, balls, and loud samba to surround you and inspire you to dance, enjoy, let loose and have fun. 


Initially, the carnival was a religious celebration before the 40 days of Lent, which was the last day Christians could eat abundantly before Easter. Over the years, the festival has grown into an epic celebration that is talked about everywhere globally. 


12. Dia de Los Muertos, Mexico 



Dia de Los Muertos, commonly known as “The Day Of The Dead '' is far from being as scary as the name might imply. The holiday is all about coming together with your friends and family, remembering all your ancestors and deceased loved ones who are helping you on your spiritual journey.


When you visit Mexico during this time, you will witness colorful decorations, vibrant spirit, and unique traditional costumes like Ofrendas, which is unlike any other.


The festival includes all the participants building altars, preparing festive food, and gathering gifts for their deceased loved ones. So, if you are looking for a colorful and festive celebration, look no further than the Dia de Los Muertos!



With these top festivals in the world and thousands more just like these, choosing one to plan your vacation can be overwhelming. Use this article as your ultimate guide to some of the best festivals in the world and set your 2021 vacation plans accordingly. 



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