When it comes to travel, it’s about much more than just getting away and these days, there are a ton of good reasons to jet across the world. If you’re on the hunt for something truly unforgettable, then you might want to consider making a festival part and parcel of your international experience. Bringing together tourists, locals and global cultures, world festivals are some of the best way to experience the liberalism that travel can bring. Showing you a side of local culture that you’ve never seen, these local festivals might just change your opinion of their hometowns and bring a whole new meaning to travel in the future.
Known as one of the friendliest nations in the world, it’s little surprise that the Nepalese host one of the most upbeat festivals in the world. While the Holi festival is celebrated throughout India and across the world, it is the event in Nepal which really makes the headlines. Known as the festival of colors, Holi is a Hindu celebration (although all are welcome) to celebrate the triumph of good over evil as spring makes its way into the world. Locals take to the streets and, over the course of a few hours, throw brightly colored dyes in every direction. If you don’t like getting messy, this celebration isn’t for you; those who do take part end up leaving an entirely different color!
If you’re on the hunt for something a little more adrenaline-filled, then you might want to set your sights on Beyond festival. An adventure-travel festiva based in Moroccol, Beyond sets up its 250 visitors in a series of high octane activities, including sand boarding, camel convoys and desert runs. As if that wasn’t enough for you, there are also a series of masterclasses on offer, including the art of traditional Moroccan cooking. Topping things off, the festival provides adventurers with their very own four poster bed to collapse in after the activities; who said festivals were all about camping out under the stars?
Perhaps the messiest festival in the world, La Tomatina draws in hordes of people from over the world when it opens its floodgates each August. Known as the biggest food fight in the world, La Tomatina involves – you guessed it – a whole lot of tomatoes. Over the course of the festival, locals and tourists throw more than 100,000 pounds of tomatoes in the streets of Spain’s Buñol. If food fights aren’t your bag, there are also plenty of other activities to keep you occupied during the day, including live music, dancing and traditional cooking contests.
Ski bunnies and snow lovers set their sights on the Austrian mountain resort of Mayrhofen each April as the Snowbombing festival descends on its slopes. Including a lineup of some of the world’s top musicians and recording artists, the festival is one of the most unique in the world, taking place entirely in the snow. If you’re prepared to get seriously cold, you can even attend the Arctic Disco which takes place in a huge igloo nightclub. Searching for the night of your life? Snowbombing might just have you covered.
Art Basel, Switzerland
Culture lovers can’t get enough of the contemporary art on show at Art Basel, one of the world’s most important cultural festivals. Taking place in the Swiss town of Basel each June, the event brings together an eclectic mix of artists, collectors and buyers, all vying for the next big thing in art. If Switzerland is too far away for you to travel, never fear; the art show recently opened outposts in Miami and Hong Kong, conquering all outlets of the contemporary art world.
If you’re on the hunt for a great international festival, then there’s more out there than the well worn musical events. Across the world, there are a huge amount of artistic, foodie and athletic events taking over their local cities and in the process, putting a new pin on the world map. Showing you new cultures and traditions, traveling the world by festival can be one of the most memorable ways to take a trip. The events are out there for the taking; it’s up to you where you go next.