There are so many incredible festivals around the world that it would be impossible to ever visit them all but there are some that appeal to me more than others.
Here are the festivals around the world that I most want to visit…
Up Helly Aa, Shetland, Scotland
Up Helly Aa is the Viking festival of fire and is definitely the coolest sounding festival I’ve ever heard of; Vikings, fire, dancing and a bit more fire!
It involves the procession of more than a thousand guizers in Lerwick who are all holding flaming torches and it is to mark the end of the Yule Season. At the end of their procession they throw the burning torches into a giant replica Viking boat to burn it to the ground.
My brother was lucky enough to visit Shetland during Up Helly Aa a few years ago and he absolutely raved about it. I think it would definitely be a festival to remember!
Holi Festival is a religious celebration of spring, which is usually observed by Hindus primarily in India and Nepal. The beginning of spring is marked by throwing coloured powders and water at everyone around them, as well as dancing, singing and other festivities. They believe it is a perfect way to welcome the colours of spring and a change in the weather. Doesn’t it sound amazing?!
I took part in some Holi Celebrations in Scotland last spring and it left me feeling exhilarated and full of energy and happiness for days and weeks afterwards. Plus, it was SO MUCH FUN!
I’d absolutely love to be in India to take part in the real celebrations where everyone takes part and forgets all their worries and problems for a day or two.
Yi Peng Festival, Thailand
Yi Peng is celebrated in Northern Thailand and is marked by decorating houses with colourful lanterns and locals and tourists mingle together to release lit paper lanterns into the night sky. Messages, prayers and wishes are often written on the lanterns before they are released.
All the pictures I’ve seen of Yi Peng festival make it look beautiful, peaceful and unbelievably tranquil. I think there would be something so magical about watching hundreds of paper lanterns drift off into the dark sky.
Yi Peng also coincides with Loi Krathong festival which involves the releasing of candlelit floats onto rivers and streams as an offering to the river spirits. Imagine being able to experience both festivals in one trip…wow!
Fringe Festival, Edinburgh
Edinburgh is home to the biggest arts festival in the entire world which takes place every August and attracts visitors from around the world to join the experience.
If you’re a regular around here you might recall that I spent two days at the Fringe Festival in Edinburgh last August but I loved it so much I’m desperate to go back this year. With so many exciting shows (a tonne of which are absolutely free!), street entertainment, a buzzing city with a population that more than doubles during the festival and so many great hotels in Edinburgh I’d be mad not to take advantage of the fact it’s only an hour away from my home.
Songkran is basically a GIANT water fight and who doesn’t love a good water fight?!
Songkran is celebrated as a new year tradition (sometime in April) and people go out onto the streets with water guns, water balloons, buckets of water and basically anything they can find to use as a water fight weapon.
What amazing festivals around the world have you visited? Do you think I’ve missed any great ones?