You only live once has become the mantra of people who’ve made a commitment to live their lives to the fullest possible extent. While there may be tons of great events going on in your own community, state or country, there is something extra special about going outside of your familiar surroundings and experiencing something totally new. Those who have caught the bug are constantly on the lookout for new and exciting festivals taking place in other parts of the world. Learning about the history behind the festivals or celebrations opens us up to a new way of thinking and it gives us a window into the lives of people from other cultures and their unique perspectives on life and the world in general. We’ve put together a collection of six of the most amazing celebrations around the world for your enjoyment, as well as for your consideration as a worthwhile place to visit for travel and vacation.
Oktoberfest, Munich, Germany
The first Oktoberfest celebration was held in 1810 in Munich, Germany. Since this date, the event has become a tradition and a part of Bavarian culture. The first festival was held to celebrate the marriage of Prince Ludwig as a commemorative event. A variety of interesting beers and authentic Bavarian cuisine flow at the festivals. Oktoberfest celebrations are held throughout the world, but what better place to attend than in the place where it all began? Munich is a city that is steeped in the rich traditions of the German people.
La Tomatina, Buñol, Spain
What would the present world be like today if we didn’t have tomatoes in our diet? Many of the dishes enjoyed throughout the world include some form of pristine or processed tomatoes and the people of Bunol, Spain hold a celebration that celebrates the almighty tomato with a barrage of fun events and entertainment. The celebration is held in August on the last Wednesday of the month, annually. The locals participate along with tourists who make the journey to get involved with the event. Be prepared to get covered in tomatoes because the entire town gets into throwing tomatoes at each other just for the fun of it. By the end of the celebration, the entire town is covered with tomato paste, so get a room with a good shower to clean up after the fun.
Carnival, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Perhaps one of the most colorful parades in the world takes place at Carnival in Rio de Janeiro. This is high on our list of recommended celebrations to attend because of the many events taking place at the carnival. It’s held just prior to Lent annually and is the largest parade in the world. You’ll enjoy the colorful costumes, the decorations and the skillful performance of the samba dancers and if you enjoy cutting the rug yourself, you’re free to join in. The participants in this event take their festival seriously and prepare all year to go up against the competition and put on a superior show.
Chinese New Year, China
China is host to Chinese New Year celebrations that will rock your world. The events take place during mid January through mid February. The date changes from year to year, but it’s well worth doing the research and locking down your reservations for the next celebration. This is one of the most highly valued events in Chinese culture. There are loud celebrations that are filled with games, dance, colorful and beautifully intricate costumes and of course, the amazing fireworks displays that the Chinese have build a reputation for designing.
Saint Patrick’s Day, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Saint Patrick’s Day is a holiday that originates in Ireland as a commemoration of the arrival of the Christian faith to the Island. With the large numbers of Irish immigrants to the United States, Boston and Chicago in particular, the event has become a national celebration that people of all ethnicity enjoy participating in. The city of Boston goes all out dying the rivers green and celebrating in grand party style.
The Carnival of Venice, Italy
The Carnival of Venice is a festival that takes place annually on the Tuesday prior to Ash Wednesday. The first celebrations can be dated back to the year 1162. This is a highly artsy cultural festival that calls for the wearing of Venetian masks, which is the overriding theme, and performances by multiple theater groups.