What are the world’s craziest, most beautiful, scariest and weirdest festivals? Want an interesting bucket list? This list will give you an idea of what’s out there. Here’s where to start:
Hot Festivals and Carnivals
1. Rio Carnival
This is a pretty famous festival that takes place mostly in February. Check out the article specifically dedicated to this festival at ‘Crazy Rio Festival.’
The Rio Carnival is considered to be the biggest carnival in the world, with 2 million people crowding the street every day of the festival. The first Rio carnivals date back to 1823. The typical Rio carnival parade is filled with revelers, floats, and adornments from numerous local samba schools.
There are so many components to the festival that you’ll be guaranteed a crazy-good time. There’s a parade, fancy balls, and some serious street parties.
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2. La Tomatina Festival
Someone on YouTube was debating with me that La Tomatina is just a big waste of food. You could feed starving kids in Africa, this person suggested. Well, I didn’t know what to say. You could indeed feed starving kids all over the world, but then I thought about the 24 foot swimming pool in my backyard. Am I hoarding water for my own pleasure? Mea culpa.
What about Halloween? How many millions of edible pumpkins are desecrated for the sake of decoration?
Or Christmas Trees? Sure, they aren’t eaten, but instead of growing them, couldn’t we grow crops for the hungry on that land?
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This case is somewhat difficult to argue since no one is exactly sure how the festival started, but suffice to say that you’ll get good fun in exchange for your uneaten tomatoes. Participants throw tomatoes at each other and ride down those tomato-streaked slides, having the time of their lives. Although only a limited amount of people are allowed to participate and there are strict rules to make sure that everyone stays safe, you could one day experience this one of a kind festival if you plan ahead.
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3. South Korea’s Boryeong Mud Festival
The Boryeong Mud Festival is an annual festival that takes place during the summer in Boryeong, a town around 200 km south of Seoul, South Korea.
A South Korean cosmetics company manufactured a line of beauty products that featured mud from the Boryeong mud flats as a main ingredient.
Since the company couldn’t be bothered to spend money on commercials, the Boryeong Mud Festival was born so potential customers could feel the benefits of the special mud firsthand. In case you attend and get bored of the mudslides, mud prison, mud pools, and mud skiing, you can enjoy live music, acupuncture, and the festival’s culminating fireworks display.
4. Holi in India
Originally, it was a festival that commemorated good harvests and the fertile land. People of the Hindu faith believed Holi to be a time of enjoying spring’s abundant colors and saying farewell to winter.
There are other sources that claim the festival originated in legends of Hiranyakashipu. The traditional bonfire and play with color celebrate the triumphs of good over evil and light over dark.
It can also be regarded as a celebration of the colors of unity – an opportunity to forget all differences and indulge in unadulterated fun. It has traditionally been celebrated in high spirits without any distinction of cast, creed, color, race, status or gender. It is one occasion when sprinkling colored powder (‘gulal’) or colored water on each other breaks all barriers of discrimination so that everyone looks the same and universal unity is reaffirmed.
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5. Burning Man, United States
Burning Man is a yearly celebration in Nevada’s Black Rock desert, where up to 50,000 people gather to create art and express their individuality.
The festival takes its name from the ritual burning of a large wooden effigy, which is set alight on Saturday evening. The event is described as an experiment in community, art, radical self-expression, and radical self-reliance. People who have gone to the Burning Man gatherings claim that you need to attend the festival to truly understand it.
6. Songkran Water Festival
Thailand celebrates its new year on some of the hottest days in its calendar. People thus enjoy throwing water on each other, using water guns, buckets, hoses – whatever they can get their hands on – in order to cool off and have some fun.
In a further attempt to cool down, some people use menthol mixed water help them cool down in the extreme summer heat.
7. Amsterdam’s Gay Pride Parade
This is probably one of the ten best things to do in Amsterdam.
The parade generally takes place between 5 and 7 August, and it can be a lot of fun! Make sure you go for a piece of pie at ‘De Taart van Mijn Tante’ on Ferdinand Bol Straat, and the Albert Cyup Market on the corner. Have fun!
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8. Oktoberfest of Germany
Germany’s traditional autumn festival is held in Munich every October, and it features beer-drinking and merrymaking – lots of merrymaking.
If you go to Oktoberfest with the right people, you will have the best time of your life and will always want to come back.
9. London’s Nottinghill Carnival
This is perhaps the 2nd largest festival after Rio Carnival in Brazil in this category. It is quite similar to that, but with an English flair. You have Samba, a beautiful parade, live music, and alcohol raining.