Festivals Around the World That You Need To See

Discover vibrant festivals around the world, from Rio's Carnival to Japan's Hanami. Immerse yourself in unique traditions, joyful celebrations, and unforgettable experiences across cultures.

Blog post - festivals-around-the-world-that-you-need-to-see cover image
Digital NomadFamily TravelNews

By Agata



Festivals are a vibrant celebration of culture, history, and community that bring people together from all corners of the globe. From dazzling lights and joyous parades to colourful costumes and delicious foods, festivals offer a unique glimpse into the traditions and spirit of different cultures. In this blog, we'll explore some of the most remarkable festivals around the world that are worth experiencing. Join us on this journey through 10 unforgettable festivals that highlight the diverse ways in which humanity celebrates life.

Carnival in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Carnival in Rio de Janeiro is the epitome of exuberance and spectacle. This world-famous festival dates back to the 18th century and is deeply rooted in Brazilian culture. Held before Lent, Carnival features samba parades, extravagant costumes, and lively street parties. The Sambadrome becomes the stage for samba schools to showcase their elaborate floats and dance routines, captivating millions of spectators. The energy is palpable as the streets of Rio transform into a giant celebration of music, dance, and colour. For an unforgettable experience, immerse yourself in the revelry, join a bloco (street party), and embrace the festive spirit of Carnival.

Diwali in India

Diwali, also known as the Festival of Lights, is one of the most important and widely celebrated Hindu festivals in India. Marking the victory of light over darkness and good over evil, Diwali is a five-day celebration filled with joy, lights, and family gatherings. Homes are adorned with oil lamps, candles, and colourful rangoli designs, creating a magical ambiance. Fireworks light up the sky, and delicious sweets are shared among friends and family. The festival also involves prayers and rituals to honour the goddess Lakshmi, the bringer of wealth and prosperity. To truly experience Diwali, visit cities like Jaipur, Varanasi, or Delhi, where the festivities are particularly grand and vibrant.

Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany

Oktoberfest in Munich is the world's largest beer festival, attracting millions of visitors from around the globe. This 16- to 18-day festival, held from late September to the first weekend in October, celebrates Bavarian culture with traditional music, hearty food, and, of course, plenty of beer. Large beer tents operated by Munich's historic breweries serve a variety of local brews, while visitors enjoy pretzels, sausages, and roast chicken. The festival also features parades, folk dances, and amusement rides. To make the most of your Oktoberfest experience, don a traditional dirndl or lederhosen, arrive early to secure a spot in the beer tents, and toast to new friends with a hearty "Prost!"

Holi in India and Nepal

Holi, the Festival of Colours, is a joyous celebration of spring, love, and the victory of good over evil. Celebrated primarily in India and Nepal, Holi involves throwing vibrant coloured powders and water at each other, creating a kaleidoscope of colours. The festival begins with a bonfire on Holika Dahan, symbolising the burning of evil, followed by a day of fun-filled colour fights, music, and dancing. People of all ages join in the revelry, forgetting social barriers and embracing a sense of unity and joy. To experience Holi at its best, visit cities like Mathura and Vrindavan, known for their grand celebrations and enthusiastic crowds.

La Tomatina in Buñol, Spain

La Tomatina is one of the world's most unusual and fun-filled festivals. Held on the last Wednesday of August in the small town of Buñol, Spain, this festival involves a massive tomato fight. Thousands of participants gather to throw overripe tomatoes at each other, turning the streets into a sea of red pulp. The origins of La Tomatina are unclear, but it has grown into a popular event attracting visitors from all over the world. The festival begins with a ham being placed atop a greasy pole, and once it is retrieved, the tomato fight begins. To join in the messy fun, wear old clothes, goggles to protect your eyes, and be prepared for a playful and chaotic experience.

Chinese New Year in China

Chinese New Year, also known as the Spring Festival, is the most important traditional holiday in China. Celebrated at the turn of the lunar calendar, the festival marks the beginning of a new year with hopes for good fortune and prosperity. Chinese New Year festivities last for 15 days and include family reunions, elaborate meals, and various cultural activities. Streets and homes are decorated with red lanterns, banners, and fireworks to ward off evil spirits. Traditional dragon and lion dances add to the festive atmosphere. To experience the grandeur of Chinese New Year, visit major cities like Beijing, Shanghai, or Hong Kong, where the celebrations are particularly spectacular.

Mardi Gras in New Orleans, USA

Mardi Gras in New Orleans is a lively and colourful celebration known for its parades, masks, and beads. Held on Fat Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday, Mardi Gras is the culmination of the Carnival season. The streets of New Orleans come alive with elaborate floats, costumed performers, and jazz music. The French Quarter and Bourbon Street are at the heart of the festivities, where visitors can enjoy live music, delicious Creole cuisine, and the vibrant atmosphere. Parades feature "krewes" that throw beads, trinkets, and doubloons to the crowd, creating a sense of excitement and camaraderie. To fully enjoy Mardi Gras, join in the parades, wear a festive mask, and savour the local flavours.

Hanami in Japan

Hanami, or cherry blossom viewing, is a cherished tradition in Japan that celebrates the fleeting beauty of cherry blossoms. Typically held in late March to early April, Hanami involves picnicking under blooming cherry trees and appreciating the delicate flowers. Parks and gardens across Japan, such as Ueno Park in Tokyo and Maruyama Park in Kyoto, become popular spots for Hanami parties. Families, friends, and colleagues gather to enjoy food, drinks, and the enchanting scenery. The atmosphere is festive and serene, with traditional music and dance performances often accompanying the celebrations. To experience Hanami, plan your visit during the peak bloom period and join the locals in this beautiful and tranquil tradition.

Day of the Dead in Mexico

Day of the Dead, or Día de los Muertos, is a unique Mexican festival that honours deceased loved ones. Celebrated from October 31 to November 2, the festival blends indigenous traditions with Catholic influences. Families create altars, or "ofrendas," decorated with photos, marigolds, candles, and favourite foods of the departed. The belief is that the spirits return to visit the living during this time. Parades, music, and dances are also part of the celebrations, with participants often wearing elaborate skeleton costumes and face paint. Cities like Mexico City, Oaxaca, and Pátzcuaro host some of the most vibrant and heartfelt Day of the Dead festivities. To fully appreciate this festival, visit cemeteries, attend parades, and respectfully participate in the cultural rituals.

Edinburgh Festival Fringe in Scotland

The Edinburgh Festival Fringe is the world's largest arts festival, transforming Scotland's capital into a hub of creativity and performance. Held every August, the Fringe features thousands of shows spanning theatre, comedy, dance, music, and more. Performers from around the globe take over venues across the city, from grand theatres to intimate pubs and street corners. The festival's open-access policy means anyone can participate, resulting in a diverse and eclectic program. The atmosphere is electric, with spontaneous performances and street art adding to the excitement. To make the most of your Fringe experience, plan ahead by booking tickets for popular shows, exploring different genres, and embracing the unexpected discoveries that the festival offers.


From the dazzling parades of Carnival in Rio to the serene beauty of Hanami in Japan, these festivals showcase the rich cultural diversity and joyous spirit of communities around the world. Each festival offers a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in local traditions, celebrate with others, and create unforgettable memories. Whether you're drawn to vibrant street parties, historical rituals, or artistic performances, there's a festival out there waiting to be explored. Share your favourite festival experiences or the ones you dream of attending in the comments below!

More stories