20 Amazing Festivals Around The World That You Should See Before You Die

Carnaval — Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Once a year some of the countries around the world hold magical and outrageous festivals. Some like the Brazilian carnival and Spanish bull chase are famous world wide while others few people know about. So if you fancy living it up then check out our list of 20 of the most amazing festivals from around the world that we recommend you should see before you die.

1. Carnaval — Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – Feb. 28 – March 4 (for 2014)

brazil festivals

Much like Mardi Gras in New Orleans and Carnevale in Venice, Canaval is a nonstop party, just with special addition of Brazilian flair. It’s filled with samba music, colorful costumes, and giant parades.

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2. Oktoberfest — Munich, Germany – Last weeks of September to the first weekend in October

oktoberfest festivals

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 festivals.

3. Snow & Ice Festival — Harbin, China – Jan. 5 – Feb. 5

snow and ice festivals

The Harbin festival is the largest snow and ice festival in the world, and it features carvings towering over 20 feet in height and full-size buildings made from gigantic blocks of ice.

4. Holi — Celebrated by Hindus Around the World – March 27 (for 2014)

festivals holi
Holi, also known as the Festival of Colors, celebrates the end of winter and the beginning of spring. It’s fun, safe, and free. Just remember to BYOD (bring your own dye).

5. Cascamorras — Baza, Spain – Sept. 6

Cascamorras — Baza, Spain

Every year hundreds of Spaniards cover themselves in grease to reenact the stealing of a famous statue of the “Virgen de la Piedad,” which took place over 500 years ago. Best of all, after the greasing, a great big party ensues

6. Carnevale — Venice, Italy – Feb. 14 – March 4 (for 2014)

Carnevale — Venice, Italy

Carnevale, or “Carnival,” has been a Venice tradition since the 13th century. People flock from all over the world to participate in the masked festivals, arguably making it one of the best parties on Earth.

7. Up Helly Aa Fire Festival — Lerwick, Scotland – Last Tuesday in January

Up Helly Aa Fire Festival — Lerwick, Scotland

This is Europe’s largest fire festival, complete with the burning of a full-scale Viking ship. Need we say more?

8. Tomorrowland — Boom, Belgium – June 27 – 29 (for 2014)

Tomorrowland — Boom, Belgium

Tomorrowland has quickly grown to become one of the world’s largest electronic dance music (EDM) festivals. Each year over 100,000 visitors flock to Belgium to dance the day and night away.

9. Mardi Gras — New Orleans – Tuesday before Ash Wednesday, March 4 (for 2014)

Mardi Gras — New Orleans

In many ways Mardis Gras’ reputation precedes itself — if you want to party like there’s no tomorrow, New Orleans is where you belong.

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10. La Tomatina — Buñol, Spain – The last Wednesday in August

La Tomatina — Buñol, Spain

As crazy as it may seem, these festivals are held every year purely for fun, meaning it isn’t tied to any ancient traditions. In 1945 a few locals began throwing fruits and vegetables during a parade — and ever since then the tomato-throwing festival has continued on.

11. Albuquerque International Balloon Festival — Albuquerque, N.M. – Oct. 5 – 13 (for 2014)

Albuquerque International Balloon Festival — Albuquerque, N

The Albuquerque International Balloon Festival is the largest gathering of hot air balloons in the world. Essentially it’s like Up — but better.

12. Cooper Hill’s Cheese Rolling Festival — Gloucester, England – May 26 (tentative for 2014)

Cooper Hill’s Cheese Rolling Festival — Gloucester, England

If you’ve ever wanted to watch hundreds of men run down a hill while chasing a wheel of cheese, then you’re in luck — because the Cooper Hill Cheese Roll not only exists, it’s quite the romp.

13. Cochella — Indio, California -April 11 – 20 (for 2014)

Cochella — Indio, Calif

Each year Coachella boasts the biggest names in music, not to mention an impressive showing of Hollywood’s biggest celebrities. Plus, you can spend the weekend camping in the desert with your friends.

14. Dia De Los Muertos — Celebrated by Mexican – Nov. 1

Dia De Los Muertos — Celebrated by Mexicans in the U

Dia de los Muertos, or “The Day of the Dead,” celebrates All Saint’s Day, which remembers all those who have passed before us. A colorful display of costume and culture, Dia de los Muertos is a day you don’t want to miss. These Mexican festivals are held throughout the world, but a few of the bigger celebrations take place in Mexico City and Los Angeles.

15. Running of the Bulls — Pamplona, Spain – July 6 – 14

Running of the Bulls — Pamplona, Spain

Let’s be real — who doesn’t like watching people make fools of themselves? The Running of the Bulls is a time-honored Spanish tradition, which is such to raise your adrenaline levels, whether you’re running or watching.

16. Songkran Water Festival — Chiang Mai, Thailand – April 13 – 15 (for 2014)

Songkran Water Festival — Chiang Mai, Thailand

This is the water fight of your dreams, so back up your Super Soakers, water balloons, and water bottles and head to Thailand for a wet and wild adventure.

17. Burning Man — Black Rock City, Nevada – Aug. 25 – Sept. 1 (for 2014)

Burning Man — Black Rock City, Nev

Burning Man is where humans go to shed themselves of the conventions of society. If you want a break from the ordinary and can actually party 24/7, then head to the deserts of Nevada.

18. Kirpinar Oil Wrestling Tournament — Erdine, Turkey – June 29 – July 5 (for 2014)

Kirpinar Oil Wrestling Tournament — Erdine, Turkey

Strong men wrestling while covered in oil. There is literally nothing else to say.

19. Lantern Festival — Pingxi, Taiwan – Feb. 23 (for 2014)

Lantern Festival — Pingxi, Taiwan

Watch the sky light up during one of the world’s largest lantern festivals. If you’re looking for a little magic, there is nothing more surreal than a sky ablaze with thousands of floating lanterns.

20. Glastonbury — Glastonbury, England – June 25 – 29 (for 2014)

Glastonbury — Glastonbury, England

Aside from the incredible music you’ll find at Glastonbury, perhaps the funnest part of the festivals is wading through the mud in your rain boots while camping with all of your friends. Glastonbury is dirty, loud, and wild, aka everything a music festival should be.

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If you know of any other great festivals that should be visited before you die let us know in the comments below.

Source: Buzz Feed – World Festivals You Won’t Want To Miss

142 thoughts on “20 Amazing Festivals Around The World That You Should See Before You Die

  1. Wonderful!!!
    I have been at :
    Oktoberfest (2010)
    Oktoberfest (2011)
    Oktoberfest (2012)

  2. Kandy Perahera in Sri Lanka. the festival where lord buddha’s tooth is taken around the city with decorated elephants

  3. You may want to visit Trinidad and Tobago for Carnival.
    The event happens on March ,3rd and 4th ,2014.

  4. Holi is celebrated by Hindus around the world, but you missed out to mention that it is largely celebrated in India as it has its roots in India, especially North India. You also made an error saying Holi is on March 27 for 2014. It is on March 16 this year (the prayer ceremony) and on March 17 people will come out playing with Holi colors also known as Dhulivandan. People who are interested in knowing more about India destinations and places and festivals can visit IndiaDestinationsBlogDotWordpressDotCom.

  5. “Fiesta Nacional de la Vendimia” in Mendoza, Argentina. Is a popular festival outdoors, where the end of the grape harvest is celebrated.

  6. Really? Burning man as 17th? What’s that number? He should be 1. or 20… This is actually the god of the god of festivals… Anyway, that article is not so bad 😉

  7. Africa needs to be represented in this!
    The AfrikaBurn festival in the Karoo, South Africa is definitely a must see:)

  8. Las Hogueras in Alicante Spain, very famous. Even more awesome. I will never forget that festival as long as I live. What an awesome week of my life. I believe it is the 3rd week in June

  9. Holi, is mainly celebrated in India and has its origin from India. Mention it. 

    And among all these only Tomato and Holi looks fun filled, fascinating and true joy

  10. Congrats! Nice report, but keep in mind that the CASCAMORRAS is not only a festival in Baza, above all IN GUADIX. GUADIX is CASCAMORRA’S CITY! AND THE FESTVAL’S ORIGEN!!

  11. Yes, the Mardi Grass in Sydney, Australia around March/April every year. Thousands of gays and lesbians parade through the streets and at the end of the march there is a BIG PARTY!

  12. Carnaval in at Salinas,Ecuador! a crazy thing to live everybody throwing you all kind of stuff, water, eggs, paint, sand, water balloons

  13. The Festival Internacional Cervantino, celebrated during October in Guanajuato, Mexico, is missing here. It is the most important art festival in Latin America and one of the greatest worldwide. It has been going on for 41 years; I’m surprised it’s not on the list.

  14. I hear Envision, an electronic festival is a pretty big deal.  It’s held in Costa Rica each year–this year in Drake Bay area on the South West coast.

  15. I am from Bolivia and I believe that the Carnival in Oruro, Bolivia is a festival that should be seen before one dies. It takes place on the last weeks of February or first weeks of March every year. There are more than 30 different traditional folkloric dances, about 300 groups with an average of 50 dancers, and every dance group has their own band marching behind. Dances are dedicated to the  “Virgen del Socabon.”

  16. Diwali, the festival of lights celebrated by Hindus in India and across the world. People light up their homes with Deep (clay lamps) to celebrate victory of good over bad and also to welcome Lakshmi, Goddess of wealth, to their homes!

  17. you should add Corona Capital, in mexico city.. going on 3-4 years already awesome! and the Ballon fest in Leon Guanajato. and the equinox at the sun piramid in mexico city! there more than these 3 

    greetings !

  18. San Antonio Fiesta 
    A Week long worth of parties in the beautiful downtown area  that attracts tourists from all over the globe.

  19. Number 11 and 19 are on my list to see. You could also add the Cowes festival at Isle of Wight in August and the Notting Hill Carnival, London at the end of August.

  20. Bonfire Night in Lewes, UK on 5th November. The whole country celebrates it with fireworks but Lewes does a whole night of full scale processions and at least 5 major bonfires and displays.

  21. SarahLowry  Junkanoo would be a great festival I agree, but would have been more fun to party with the locals later.  Sounded like they had a whole country party after the tourists went to bed!  It was fun during the day too though.

  22. Why the hell is cheese rolling down a hill on this list and the Calgary Stampede isn’t? That just doesn’t make any sense… At all…

  23. Pamplona is a disgusting event that should be banned. other than that, there are many events on this list that i would love to go to, starting with tomorrowland

  24. Great list! I’ve been to the Snow and Ice Festival in Harbin, and it was beautiful. Incredibly cold, but beautiful. If you show up a little bit before the start of the festival, it’s a lot of fun to watch them build and create the ice sculptures as well.  I’d love to check some of these other festivals out.

  25. Great to see such a cool list of 2014 events. I’ve attended a few of these in previous years – fingers crossed to tick more off the list soon!

  26. You missed some of the crazy Colombians Carnivals! This country have almost one massive festival every month of the year you should have pointed the Flowers Fair in Medellin or the Cali’s Salsa Fair or the Barranquilla’s Carnival! If you really want to see a party lifestyle all year round come visit us in Colombia!  http://www.apartamentosdelcaribe.com

  27. Holy, Halloween and Tamotina are my favorite festivals of all times and your article is also in this list.. very interesting post loved it..

  28. Never intended to go to the Oktoberfest, even though it´s only 70 miles away from where I live. This festival is measured in liters of beer they sell, to name but one reason why not to go!

  29. Definitely. Sao Joao festival in Brags, Portugal, in the week culminating on St John’s (Midsummer) Eve. Parades and processions, thousands of people going around hitting each other on the head with inflated plastic ‘hammers’ and garlic (?), partying and dancing at midnight and 2 am, and fireworks.

  30. What about Austin’s South by Southwest Music & Film Festival! I LOVE all those festivals you had listed…I need to go to Venice for that awesome Carneval!!

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