It’s been scientifically proven that when humans are involved in a celebration it improves their health as well as social bonding. And with such an amazing response to our last article, our team decided to bring forth another list, this time revealing the most unique festivals in the world that you should keep on your bucket list.
The annual Harbin International Snow and Ice Festival is the largest such festival in the world. Artists arrive in Harbin to design their own awe-inspiring ice sculptures, attracting millions of visitors every year. The festival was resumed in 1985 after a brief hiatus and, every year, it goes on till the winter ends. It not only showcases sculptures but also comprises an entire park with full-fledged activities and even ice buildings.
Messi might belong to Argentina but within Spain, the notion of getting ‘messy’ is stretched to another level. Cascamorras is a festival where people literally apply grease on their bodies and fight, celebrating for 3 days during late summers.
It’s celebrated by thousands of men across Guadix and Baza in Spain, with their agenda being to compete to gain possession of a statue of the Virgen de la Piedad.
A fire festival in Scotland, Up Helly Aa sees people marching with fire while wearing eccentric costumes. The festival was first held in 1876, with the current scenario being inspired by the historic tradition of tar barrelling. A‘Jarl Squad’ comprising torch bearers– drawn from an elected committee–leads the procession around town, with other squads performing skits, music, dance and other recreational activities.
The world’s largest beer festival, Oktoberfest runs for around 16-18 days, with around 6 million enthusiastic people across the globe traveling to Germany each year to participate in this celebration. The festival was first celebrated in 1810 and since then, every year, more than 7.7 million Oktoberfest beers are consumed during the festival. It is not only the beer that makes it a happening event, but also the other enjoyable activities.
How long has it been since you last saw a hot air balloon flying right above your head? Well, the world’s largest and grandest hot air balloon festival at Albuquerque will allow you to witness more than 500 hot air balloons altogether. Held in the month of October, the balloon fiesta is a nine-day event which was started in 1872 with only 13 balloons.
This is an unusual festival where a 9 lb round of Double Gloucester Cheese is rolled down a hill and competitors race down after it. The cheese rolls at around the speed of 112 km/hr and competitors chase it, while running down the most deadly hill of England.
It isn’t necessary that celebrations should always involve external stimulus and social contacts with people in very chaotic scenarios. The Wanderlust is one such gathering, where people meet to cleanse themselves internally through Yoga. Held in February, the festival includes yogic activities held at wonderful beaches, where people sit mesmerized in music, eat sustainable and healthy food, and involve themselves in guided adventure activities.
An annual event hosted by the Taiwan Tourism Bureau, it is an occasion to see thousands of sky lanterns filling up the sky like clouds of lights. The event has also been highlighted as one of the “Fantastic Festivals of The World” by the Discovery Channel. Initially held as part of traditional folklore, the festivity now entices thousands of tourists to flock to Taiwan every year.
Imagine walking down a lane having an amazing colorful roof above you and, in the on looking up, you find thousands of umbrellas floating in the sky. This is a usual scenario in Portugal at the Ágitagueda Art Festival, which continues for more than 20 days a year. A visual paradise for photographers, the festivity creates magic, with local musicians blending the street chaos and vibrant colours with their original melodies.
Every year, a flower park turns into a lighting extravaganza when the Nabana No Sato botanical garden celebrates winter in an elegant style with more than 7 million LED lights glowing across the park. Winter Light Festival, with its famous tunnel of light, is a festival full of illuminations.
People who celebrate this festival take the words‘hang out’ pretty seriously. Yes, the celebration takes place in the Italian Alps, with adventurers literally sleeping or spending their time while hanging hundreds of feet above the ground, in hammocks. The attendees are called as ‘slackers’ and, just like in a normal festival, there is a barand also live jamming sessions.
Have you ever seen thousands of people going crazy in a single go? Well, here we give you an opportunity to witness this. Every year, people in Greece literally throw rockets from one church to another, with the objective to hit the church bell. The wooden rockets are homemade and have gunpowder loaded within them. The origin of this celebration is still unknown but it is said that it was first celebrated using cannons, which were banned in 1889.
Celebrated in the Royal land of Jaipur, at this Elephant Festival animals flaunt their beauty gracefully. Elephants have always been seen as symbols for kings and their royalty and so, historically, the festival involved fighting between two elephants. But today, the celebration has transmogrified into a procession where elephants wear magnificent accessories and decorative ornaments.
Most likely one of the strangest festivals in the world, Lopburi people celebrate this festival by gifting monkeys a feast of food and drinks. Every year, more than 4000 kg of fruits and vegetables are eaten by these monkeys. If this isn’t enough to attract you as a tourist, then you may also be bewildered to know that humans dress up like monkeys and dance on this day as well.
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