It’s been one hell of a year and you’re most likely exhausted from all the work and stress of daily life. Why not take some time off next year and plan a trip to one of these amazing festivals?
Some believe this to be the biggest festive holiday in the world. It’s easy to believe that since the Brazilians hold a massive celebration in one of their largest streets in Rio de Janeiro. Parties, balls and festivals are planned through this event as well as the popular Samba School Parade with three thousand performers dancing down the streets in colourful clothes.
Chinese New Year
The Chinese are a hard working lot but, when it comes to Chinese New Year, they go all out. It takes place on the first day of their calendar (around February) and keeps on going for fifteen days. They celebrate the fifteen days by wearing bright red clothes, setting off fireworks and handing out lucky money in red envelopes to their children. At the end of the event the Chinese close it off with a lantern festival where the people carry lanterns to the evening parade under a full moon and enjoy the well known Dragon dance. The Dragon is made from a hundred foot long silk, bamboo and paper design.
Day of the Dead
It’s not as bad as it sounds as the 1st of November is a day of remembrance for the dead in Mexico. People will gather to pray for their families and friends to return just for that single night to earth. Homes and businesses are decorated with skeletons, marigolds and candy to welcome the dead when they come to visit.
People dressed up as skeletons and paper machete skeletons are paraded through the streets and a special bread, Pan de los muertos (bread of the dead), is baked in the shape of a skull and crossbones with a small toy hidden in the bread. If you bite into the toy when it’s your turn for a bite you’ll have good luck.
Purim “Jewish Mardi Gras”
This festival is a day of remembrance for when the Jews were saved by Queen Esther from the evil Haman. This Festival starts on the 14th day of the Jewish calendar on the month of Adar. For those without a Jewish calendar it just means that it starts on the 20th of March.
The festival begins with a reading from the book of Esther, this is read publicly. Every time when Haman is mentioned great noise and tumult will be made as part of the festivities. After the reading the feasting will begin with gifts, charity to the poor and food everywhere. Oznei Haman (Ears of Haman) and Hamantaschen (Hamans three cornered hat) is the traditional food served on this festive day. Comedy plays, marching, beauty contests and costume dress-ups follow till then end of Purim.
La Tomatina: Tomato fight in Columbia
This festival is held in the town of Bunol where the people throw literally thousands of tomatoes at each other. This event was started by some locals and eventually turned into a fully fledged festival over the years. It is held on the last Wednesday of the month of August, just for the pure fun of it.
Fire Festival, Shetland
This festival is held annually in the middle of winter to mark the end of the Yule season in Scotland. This day sees many rural communities dress up in costumes and walk around the streets. The procession ends with singing and dancing in the halls through Lerwick.