In every county or culture, there are many religious, political and cultural celebrations throughout the year. Some are exciting events full of excitement and dance, while others are full of music and tasty traditional cuisine. Along with these more traditional events are the large manufactured celebrations like Woodstock and Burning Man, iconic festivals which are the ultimate party destinations. Here are the top 10 parties and celebrations founds around the world, along with a brief history of their origins.
1. Chinese New Year: The celebration of Chinese New Year is certainly not a new one, but in many places in China and abroad it has become the most exciting party of the year. In many areas of mainland China, celebrations are held with a week of vacation, incredible rich foods and fireworks.
2. Full Moon Parties in Thailand: Every time the moon is full on the island of Ko Pha Ngan, over 20,000 visitors from around the world head to the Haad Rin Beach to party for the entire evening. Makeshift bars and clubs dominate the sandy shoreline and DJs from around the world come to perform.
3. Burning Man Festival: This week-long Nevada festival is one of the largest and most thrilling events of the year anywhere on earth. Starting in 1986 as a small event, today attendance is capped at 50,000 people who party for the entire week in makeshift camps. There is an emphasis on art, expression and spirituality at the event, along with a disapproval of cash being used.
4. Oktoberfest in Munich: Every year for two weeks at the end of September and beginning of October is the Oktoberfest, a huge celebration featuring German beer and cuisine. The headquarters and biggest party location is without a doubt in Munich, Bavaria. Only beers brewed within the city of Munich according to special regulations can be served, and millions from the surrounding areas and even from around the world visit to frequent the various tents serving beer and food along with live music.
5. Queen’s Day in Holland: Called Koninginnedag by the Dutch, this incredible holiday is by far the biggest celebration day in all of the Netherlands. Each year on the 30th of April the entire country gathers to celebrate the official birthday of their queen. Concerts and massive flea markets are held in city squares, where bands perform and even the most conservative Dutch citizens let their hair down to have a party.
6. Holi: Hindus from around the world celebrate the 16 day festival of Holi, but in India the party takes on a unique perspective. In particular in the district of Braj, in India, revellers celebrate the holiday by surprising other citizens with coloured powder and coloured water. Tourists from around the world come to participate in this holy day that is truly an enjoyable and celebrate occasion for everyone.
7. St. Patrick’s Day in Boston: Although St. Patrick’s day is an Irish tradition; many people claim that it is actually the American city of Boston that celebrates best. A giant parade, the mass student population partying for days straight and an emphasis on live music and beer makes this a great place to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.
8. Mardi Gras in New Orleans: Before the pre-Easter season of Lent begins, the population of New Orleans, Louisiana enjoys one of the most hedonistic parties on earth. The famed Bourbon Street is packed to capacity with revellers from around the world.
9. Carneval in Rio de Janeiro: Much like Mardi Gras, the Carnival festival of Brazil is a chance to party before the strict regulations of Lent begin. The highlight is the two day parade where scantily clad women perform dances and the entire city is alive with excitement.
10. Glastonbury Festival: The town of Pilton, England may not be a household name, but every summer almost 200,000 people head there for a 3-day festival of music and arts. Over 900 acres of land occupy the festival space, making it one of the largest public events on Earth.
If you need any tips or advice before you plan your trip to one of the many celebrations around the world, take a look at this guide on “Getting ready for festival travel” – it covers everything from booking your flights to how to pack for a festival.