Diwali is coming. Every house is decorated with lights, flowers and colours. It is the festival of light. The festival signifies the victory of light over darkness, good over evil. On Diwali night people dress up with new cloths, light up diyas inside and outside the houses.
But there are many other colourful and beautiful festivals in the world which we wish to participate at least once in our lifetime like diwali. Let’s check out the 20 festivals all over the world:
Holi, Hindu nations
Start with our very own Holi. The festival of colours. India is the birth place of this beautiful ancient festival. People throwing colours on each other in the form of Ghulal, Aabir or coloured water. The festival is celebrated in the season of love and colour, Spring.
The bonfire is an important part of that festival, it signifies the death of the evil spirit Holika. Altogether, people spread colours, love, joy and a positive spirit during the festival.
Lantern Festival, China
The Lantern Festival is a Chinese festival which is celebrated on the fifteenth day of the first month of the lunar Chinese calender. It marks the final day of the Chinese New Year celebrations. Usually, it held in February and March. It started since Hans Dynasty. The lanterns are designed with many complex designs. It symbolizes that people letting go off their past selves and getting new ones.
In Singapore and Malaysia the Mid-Autumn festival is also known as Lantern festival. This is a harvest festival and held on the 15th day of the Chinese and Vietnamese calenders which is in September or October.
Rio de Janeiro Carnival, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
The carnival in Rio de Janeiro is the world famous and the biggest carnival. Almost 2 million people gathered on the street per day. The festival held before Lent in every year. The Rio carnival parade is filled with colours, music, pomp and rhythm. The performers especially the samba dancers and revellers showed their moves. They clad in glitter, feathers, body-paints. Anyone can participate in the street festival.
Chinese New Year, China
China’s most significant and important festival. This is the longest festival in the Chinese calender. The celebration starts from the Chinese New Year’s Eve, the last day of the last month to the Lantern festival on the 15th day of the first month of the Chinese calender.
Chinese families gather for annual reunion dinner. They throughly clear the house in order to sweep away any ill-fortune and to make way for good incoming luck.
Carnival of Venice, Venice
The world famous festival is an annual festival in Italy. This is famous for its elaborate masks. The carnival ends with the Christian celebration of Lent. The carnival is 900 years old. Everybody is free to do anything in that time, thanks to the masks. Jugglers, bands, entertainers are everywhere and the canals are full with colourful boats. The nights are young during the carnival and fill with parties and masked balls.
Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, USA
The largest hot air balloon festival in the world is a nine day event and has over 500 balloons each day. This is a yearly festival of hot air balloons which take place in Albuquerque, Mexico, USA. The balloons are paint with vibrant colour. Once they are let off they paint the sky with with their colours and make it magical.
Up Helley Aa Fire Festival, Scotland
Every year this festival held in Lerwick, Shetland, on the last Tuesday of January. It marks the end of yule season. The festival involves a series of marches, culminating in a torch-lit procession and the burning of a galley. The procession of up to thousand guizers formed into squads and march through the town or village in a variety of themed costumes.
Harbin Ice & Snow Sculpture Festival, China
This is an annual winter festival and now is the largest ice and snow festival in the world. The festival includes world’s biggest ice sculptures. The festival starts on January 5 and lasts for one month. Every year people create fabulous sculptures out of ice and snow and then decorating them with lights and lasers.
White Night Festival, Russia
This is an annual international arts festival during the season of the midnight sun. Saint Petersburg City Administration organized this every year. The festival begins in May with the “Stars of the White Nights” at Mariinsky Theatre and ends in July. Russian singers, dancers, actors and musicians as well as famous international guest stars perform in the festival. It consists of a series of opera, classical ballet and music events.
Fuji Shibazakura Festival, Japan
The festival is actually organized by nature. Shibazakura is pink moss. This is a yearly flower festival near Mt. Fuji where one can see Shibazakura in different colours. All together around 800.000 shibazakura are blooming there. Usually, the festival held mid April to early June. But the dates change every year.
Winter Light Festival, Japan
The Winter Light Festival is celebrated in the Kuwana city of Japan. This is one of the several festivals organized different parts of the world to celebrate the end of winter and the beginning of the light season with light designs, art workshops, street food and live music. This festival signifies the end of the dark period of the year and the beginning of the days of light.
Kuwana city has a beautiful flower focused botanical park, the Nabano No Sato. It has a very special tunnel of light. November to March millions of LED lights powered by solar energy, lights up together sparkling over the grounds and waters, creating powerful images and sceneries based on themes.
Busan Fireworks Festival, South Korea
Busan International Fireworks Festival takes place in Gwangalli Beach, Busan, South Korea. Tens of thousands of fireworks and state-of-the-art lasers light up the sky in harmony with the theme song of the festival against a backdrop of the sea and 2 level suspension bridge, Gwangan Bridge.
Tulip Festival, USA
This festival held in many cities but mostly in North America. The tulips are considered a welcome harbinger of spring. The tulips are displayed throughout the cities.
Also in Srinagar, India celebrates this festival in the month of April. Indira Gandhi Memorial Tulip Garden is considered to be the largest tulip garden in Asia.
Lewes Bonfire, UK
This festival is a set of celebrations held in the town of Lewes, Sussex. This is UK’s largest and most famous Bonfire Night festivals. Lewes called the bonfire capital of the world. Always held on 5 November (unless the 5th falls on a Sunday, in which case it’s held on Saturday 4th). This featival marks the Guy Fawkes Night, the date of the uncovering of the Gunpowder Plot in 1605. Also it commemorates the memory of the seventeen Protestant martyrs from the town burned at the stake for their faith during the Marian Persecutions.
National Cherry Blossom Festival, Washington, D.C
The National Cherry Blossom Festival is commemorating the March 27, 1912. On this day, Japan Mayor Yukio Ozaki gifted Japanese cherry trees to Washington, D.C. Mayor. Ozaki gifted these trees to enhance the friendship between the United States and Japan. Large and colorful helium balloons, floats, marching bands from across the country, music and showmanship are parts of the Festival’s parade and other events.
Masskara Festival, Philippines
This is an annual festival held every third weekend of October in Bacolod, Philippines. The festival first started in 1980. In that same year on April 22, the inter-island vessel MV Don Juan carrying many Negrenses, including those belonging to prominent families in Bacolod City, collided with the tanker Tacloban City and sank. Almost 700 lives were lost in the tragedy.
The city artists, government decided to organize a festival to recover from this tragedy. The festival features street dance competition. Masked dancers gyrating to the rhythm of Latin musical beats.
Vivid Festival, Sydney
Vivid Festival in Sydney is a 23-day annual event of light, music and ideas. The festival features an outdoor ‘gallery’ of extraordinary lighting sculptures, a cutting-edge contemporary music program, some of the world’s most important creative industry forums and, of course, the spectacular illumination of the Sydney Opera House sails.
Halloween also known as Allhalloween means All Hallows Eve or All Saints Eve. On 31st October many countries celebrate the eve of the Western Christian feast of All Hallows’ Day. Halloween activities include trick-or-treating, carving pumpkins into jack-o’-lanterns, attending Halloween costume parties, lighting bonfires, playing pranks, decorating, telling scary stories, watching horror films, visiting haunted attractions and etc.
Dia De Los Muertos, Mexico
Dia de los muerto or Day of the Dead is a Mexican holiday celebrated throughout Mexico. On the day family and friends gather to pray for and remembers family members and friends who have died. The closed one of the deceased build private alters called ofrendas, honoring the departed using sugar skulls, their favourite foods and beverages and visiting graves with these as a gift.
In 2008, the tradition was inscribed in the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO.
Burning Man Festival, Black Rock Desert, Nevada, USA
It is an annual gathering of tens of thousands of people at Black Rock City. They create art and express their individuality. The event takes its name from its culmination, the symbolic ritual burning of a large wooden effigy that traditionally occurs on the Saturday evening of the event. The event is an experiment in community, art, radical self-reliance and radical self-expression.
Apart from the above festivals there are many beautiful, colourful and breathtaking festivals in our world. The best part of any festival is to gather in one place and enjoy the moment, forgetting national boundaries, religions and relish with our inner peace and happiness.