The full moon comes around once a month and it marks a time of celebration, renewal and worship. Full moon parties are part of that celebration and have been growing in popularity around the world. Most full moon parties have their origin in small hippy gatherings or traditional drum circles. People would gather together on the beach, under the light of the full moon, and celebrate this cycle of renewal. Some places like Koh Phangan, Thailand are known for their epic full moon parties that draw crowds in excess of over 30 000 each month to take part in the festivities. However, Thailand is not the only country that hosts these popular full moon parties. There are many beaches and beach towns around the world that are taking part in this growing trend and hosting their own, unique full moon parties. You can dance the night away and spend the next day enjoying the sand, surf and beauty that each of these locations has to offer. This list of top full moon parties will help you plan your next trip and help you figure out which party best suits your personal tastes.
7 Zadar Croatia
Croatia was not always known as a party place but that is rapidly changing as more and more festivals are popping up around the country. The party happens in Zadar, which has been dubbed the “new Croatian capital of cool” by The Guardian. The full moon party happens in August only and is called the Night of the Full Moon Festival. This party has a traditional Croatian vibe and is not a rowdy party night like most of the other full moon parties. However, this event is characterized by a unique twist because the whole city partakes in the festivities. The parties are held in the tiny side streets, the central square and last until the wee hours of the morning. Visitors party among the ancient architecture, on the board walk or on the numerous boats that dock in the area for the festival. On the night of the festival, the promenade is lit up by candlelight, while visitors enjoy the beautiful scenery.
6 Montanita, Ecudaor
Montanita is a very small town, but what it lacks in space, it makes up for in activities. There are bars on every street corner, along with restaurants and food carts. The party scene in Montanita is known for being rowdy and wild, even though drinks are not sold in buckets. The full moon party takes place once a month and party goers rave on until the sun comes up. Vendors are available to create any cocktail you could ever imagine and they stay open late. The town attracts a young bohemian crowd.
5 Magnetic Island, Australia
One of the biggest parties on the East Coast is the Full Moon Down Under party. Magnetic Island is located 8 km from Townsville, which is Queensland's unofficial northern capital. Beginning in 2004, this party is Australia’s only full moon party. Taking a page from the full moon party book of Thailand, Australia’s Magnetic Island hosts a monthly full moon party that boasts an impressive list of local and international DJ’s. Major international DJ’s like, Benny Benassi and Martin Solveig have graced the stage at what is now known as Australia’s most iconic outdoor party. Still in its infancy, the party draws crowds of up to 3000 and is constantly growing. Party goers sip drinks from buckets, play with fire and enjoy body painting until the sun comes up.
4 Zanzibar, Tanzania, Kendwa Beach
Many full moon parties are now full scale, commercial events that attract huge crowds and people often complain that because of that, the full moon parties have been ruined. The party at Kendwa Beach in Zanzibar has yet to reach that level of commercial success. Local and international party goers flock to this party when they want to get wild and party all night. The events are put on by Kendwa Rocks, which is a local hotel, restaurant and bar and is located at the northern tip of the island. Rumor has it that on certain party nights, they light up a giant statue a la Burning Man. Parties usually take place on the Saturday that is closest to the full moon, in order to maximize the amount of attendees. Parties began on this beach in 1996 and originally started out as traditional drum and dance groups and eventually grew and changed into an all-night dance party by the beach. The party here is much like the full moon party in Thailand, beachgoers can party all night, drinking cocktails and listening to the thumping bass of the music.
3 Goa, India, Anjuna Beach
India is not usually a country that people associate with parties, raves and a crazy time. But, Goa is referred to as the party capital of India and thousands of party goers flock there each year to experience the vibe that has been popular since the 60s. Anjuna Beach is located in a small village in North Goa, 16 km’s from Panaji and hosts a monthly full moon rave. In fact, popular U.K electronic artists, Above and Beyond have two record labels “Anjunabeats” and “Anjunadeep” that were inspired by Anjuna Beach. The beach is huge and has a north, south and middle section, along with crystal clear water and luxurious white sand. These parties are sometimes impromptu in order to fly under the radar of authorities. Most of the parties start off at a beach bar and then quickly spill out onto the sand.
2 Ibiza, Spain, Benirras Beach
There have been songs written about Ibiza’s epic party life and the gorgeous beaches that surround. Ibiza is known as the party capital of the Mediterranean, and Benirras Beach is no exception. While the rest of Ibiza is home to beach clubs and music festivals, Benirras Beach is known for its epic full moon parties. Benirras Beach is located on Ibiza’s northern coast and is known for its great vibe and isolation. Like many full moon parties, the origins of this party began with hippy drum circles celebrating the full moon. These gatherings evolved into the now, wild and crazy monthly full moon parties.
1 Koh Phangan, Thailand, Haad Rin Beach
Thailand has long been associated with a great and thriving party scene. In fact, when you think full moon party, Thailand is the first place that you think of. This is probably one of the oldest and largest best full moon parties out there. People come from all corners of the globe to rave the night away on the beach. Parties often reach over 30 000 attendees and are known to get wild and loud. The party is right on the huge crescent shaped beach which seems to extend for miles. The full moon illuminates the beach and is reflected in the water. Party goers can venture into the water if they get too hot or want to take a break from dancing all night. There are drink stations set up all along the beach where buckets can be purchased. There are also bars and restaurants open all night to serve your every whim. Take a stroll down the beach and find the perfect dance tunes. Because the beach is so big, there are multiple areas set up, playing different types of music and offering everything from fire dancing, body painting and fireworks. If you don’t like the music at one area, simply move on down the beach to find your perfect jam.