Festivals have been part of mankind’s history. Most are of religious origins while other festivals pertain to seasonal changes and have different cultural significance. Different communities and institutions celebrate their own festivals to honor important historical occasions and events. Such celebrations are commemorated on an annual basis.
The ancient people of Egypt would celebrate the seasonal outpouring of the Nile River to make the land fertile. More often, festivals signify the abundance of food, just as different people from all over the world would gather together in merriment in their respective communities to show their thanksgiving. These celebrations can be very colorful and festive. These traditions are handed down from generation to generation, although there are already modifications to the original celebrations.
Visitors and tourists alike from different places would join the locals to be part of these different festivals. Here is a rundown of the top 10 must-see festivals around the world.
10. Oktoberfest, Germany
The Oktoberfest in Germany stands in 10th place. Germany takes pride in its beer drinking as a form of art. This widely known beer festival is commemorated every year in September and can last for up to three weeks. Groups of people would cheerily throng the streets of Munich in Bavaria which heads towards the vast beer tents. Here, they can drown themselves with all kinds of German treats and premium beer. A wide array of sausages along with potato pancakes and roast pork are being offered in the tent area. The Oktoberfest can accommodate five million people.
9. Holi Festival – Color Throwing Festival, India
The 9th must-see festival is the Holi Festival or the Color Throwing Festival of India, which takes place in March every year. More known as Holi, or Dhuli in Hindi, this is a spring festival of religious origin which is observed not only by the Hindus but by the Sikhs as well. Part of the celebration is the lighting of bonfires during the day before the start of the festival itself and believers would then throw colored powder and water at one another. This festival is done in honor of the god Vishnu who was burned by his father because of his faith. Tourists take delight in the festival’s color-filled celebrations.
8. The Exit Festival, Serbia
The Exit Festival in Serbia takes the 8th spot. It is named Exit as a commemoration of the place’s parting from the terrible Milosevic rule. The festival is highlighted by awe-inspiring alternative bands from different European countries, which are set to overlook the famous Danube River. In 2007, punters and industry experts selected the Exit Festival as the Best European Festival.
7. Reggae Sumfest, Jamaica
The Jamaican Reggae Sumfest that is held annually in the month of July takes the 7th spot on this list. Jamaica is renowned for the music genre – reggae – thanks to music giant Bob Marley. Festival goers dance the day and night away with sweet music complemented with tropical surroundings and awesome treats like Red Stripe beer and jerk chicken. Sean Paul and Beenie Man pump up the tradition as they regularly play at the Reggae Sumfest in Montego Bay.
6. The Big Chill, UK
Number 6 on the must-see festivals of the world is UK’s The Big Chill. The festival was primarily held in London, Islington before it was transferred to spectacular natural locations which are found in the Black Mountains of Wales, specifically on the astounding manor grounds of Eastnor Castle. The Big Chill serves as a great and creative proof that England is exceptionally dazzling especially during the fresh summer months.
5. The Day of the Dead, Mexico
Mexico takes the 5th spot with one of its biggest festivals – El Día de Los Muertos, which is held after Halloween. It is similar to the commonly celebrated Halloween as most people know. The only difference is there is more meaning to its commemoration. People gather as way to honor their dead loved ones by making shrines at cemeteries. They have their faces painted with skulls and they don different kinds of costumes. This celebration started as a belief that their ancestors are not really dead, they just go to Mictlan, the special resting place. This festival helps people not to dread death, but rather consider it as something to celebrate.
4. La Tomatina, Bunol
Landing in the 4th spot is La Tomatina of Bunol. The word “tomatina” means tomato. This festival is always highlighted in feature news, showing a crowd of people having fun in the world’s largest food fight by throwing tomatoes. This tradition started out when young men began throwing the fruit to one another in 1944. They would wear swimming shorts and goggles as part of their preparation to splatter ripe tomatoes.
3. Burning Man, Nevada
The 3rd spot for this list is called the Burning Man, a festival in Nevada, U.S.A. which is held yearly on the Monday before Labor Day. It is a combination of music and performance art that has been celebrated since 1986. To this day, people continue to use the barter system which means everything is traded and no money is involved. The main attractions are the huge wicker man that is burned and the cars with bans that guide the festival-goers to create bizarre yet brilliant mutant vehicles.
2. Chinese New Year
Next on the list is the Chinese New Year. This is celebrated far and wide, mostly in large parts of Asia. This 15-day festival marks the changeover of seasons from winter to spring and it takes place after the New Year celebrations. The Chinese would busy themselves as they prepare for the 2-week long festivities to get rid of bad luck. Everywhere you look, the color red is all over town as it is considered an auspicious color among the Chinese.
1. The Rio Carnival, Brazil
Finally, the top must-see festival is the Rio Carnival in Brazil, which is celebrated 46 days before Easter. Tourists throng along the streets of Brazil to witness and take picture souvenirs of the country’s colorful and lively extravaganza of music, costumes, and performance. People dance along with the music as floats and parades pass along.