World festivals that will make you go wow – Part 1!
Granted, India has some of the best and most colourful festivals in the world, but there are some world festivals that will surprise even the most hard-core Indian! Well-known among them are the La Tomatina Festival of Spain, St. Patrick’s Day in Ireland, Oktoberfest in Germany, Running of the Bulls, again in Spain, and many others. Here we will take a look at the lesser known, but still absolutely stunning world festivals that deserve appreciation. Let’s start off with the beautifully colourful balloon festival!
Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta—New Mexico
This annual festival of hot air balloons takes place in early October in Albuquerque, USA. This nine-day event has around 750 balloons and is the largest hot air balloon festival in the world. One of the biggest events of the fiesta is when all participating balloons are launched in the air at once in two waves, filling the sky with colour and the ground with cheer. This fiesta takes place at the Balloon Fiesta Park, located on the northern edge of the city.
The Rio de Janeiro Carnival—Rio de Janeiro
Dating back to 1723, the Rio Carnival is a world-famous festival held before Lent at which more than 2 million people are seen on the streets of Rio every day. Usually, a Rio Carnival parade is filled with revellers, floats and adornments that lend this energetic festival dynamic colour and vibrancy. Exciting street festivals take place during the carnival and locals and tourists alike revel in the bonhomie. Singing and dancing forms a major part of this festival and is the best time to let your hair down and celebrate life!
Pingxi Lantern Festival—Taiwan
This beautiful lantern festival is held in the Pingxi district of Taiwan during which one can witness thousands of sky lanterns light up the night sky. Originally started to let others know that the town was safe, these lanterns are today decorated with images and wishes relating to the owner and let off into the sky. The festival has one main lantern and several smaller lanterns carried by children or placed on temples.
Songkran Water Festival—Thailand
Celebrated during some of the hottest days in Thailand, people make merry by throwing water on each other using water gun, buckets, hoses and sometimes even elephants! Sometimes people even mix some menthol or chalk in the water and smear that paste on each other’s faces for good fortune. Traditionally, this festival was celebrated to wash away everything bad and the water is sometimes mixed with fragrant herbs. Doesn’t this version of our Holi sound great, too?
Carnival of Venice—Venice
This is one carnival that takes masquerades to an all new level. Dating back over 900 years, the Carnival of Venice sees some gorgeously elaborate masks and Venice bubbles over with surreal enthusiasm as masked Venetians make their way onto the streets. The carnival is filled with bands, jugglers and other entertainers and the canals are full of brightly coloured boats. And it doesn’t end there; the nights of the carnival resonate with the sounds of music and parties and masked balls, making this carnival a true delight for all the senses.
All of these world festivals take the ordinary and transform it into something so extraordinary that it will blow your mind away. Which of these festivals do you plan to go to in the future?