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Your Ultimate Events & Festivals Guide

Find, plan, and enjoy famous events and festivals all around the world
Published by admin on 18 Oct 2020 Last Updated on 29 Mar 2022


L-R: Mardi Gras, Carnival of Venice, Harbin Ice Festival, CNY in Shanghai

We ring in the new year with Mardi Gras, the most famous of which is in New Orleans and lasts till March. The Harbin Ice Festival in northern China also kicks off, while Japan’s first Sakura blossoms occur in Okinawa.

Late January sees the start of the iconic Carnival of Venice, plus a quarter of the world’s population rings in the Chinese New Year now or in February, depending on the lunar calendar.


Rio Carnival, Carnival in Goa, Ping Xi Lantern Festival, Envision Festival

Christians celebrate carnivals all around the world starting end January or February, the largest being Rio Carnival which draws a record number of visitors. Other famous carnivals are the Carnival of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Carnival of Madeira and Carnival in Goa

For Chinese, festivities after Chinese New Year like Taiwan’s Ping Xi Lantern Festival keep revelers occupied. Late Feb, the wacky yet dangerous Festival of the Exploding Hammers takes place in Mexico, while the jungles of Costa Rica hosts the unique Envision Festival, described as a cross between steam-punk rock concert and transformational hippie beach retreat. 


Sand City, Jeju Fire Festival, Keukenhof, NYC Saint Patrick’s Day Parade

Portugal’s International Sand Sculpture Festival (Sand City) is now open up till end of the year. Korea's Jeju island lights up its Jeju Fire Festival, the biggest such festival in the world.

In Europe, spring’s arrival ignites numerous gorgeous flower gardens, such as Netherlands's Keukenhof and Switzerland’s Morges Tulip Festival. Irish around the world celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day, the biggest being held in NYC.


Japan Sakura & Wisteria Blossoms, Holy Week in Seville, Coachella

Most parts of Japan enjoys its Sakura blossoms, along with many flowering events including Wisteria blossoms and Shibazakura (Pink Moss) festivals which last till May.

Christians around the world celebrate the week long Easter Festival (Holy Week) during this month. In mid-April, South California hosts the world-famous Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. Cities around the world also host their famous marathons, such as in London and Boston.


Hamamatsu Kite Festival, Smokey Mountains Firefly Event, Hitachi Park, Monaco Grand Prix

Early May sees Japan's quirky Hamamatsu Kite Festival or “kite battle” take to the skies. Flowering season continues worldwide alongside new ones, such as Hokkaido’s Higashimokoto Shibazakura Park. Do consider a day trip from Tokyo to Hitachi Seaside Park which has blossoms all year round!

In southern Europe, the famed Monaco Grand Prix also gets rolling in the last weekend of May, while Charleston in South Carolina hosts the major performing arts Spoleto Festival USA till mid-June. Further inland, foodies will enjoy the mega food festival Taste of Cincinnati, and the Smokey Mountains’ famous Firefly Event (Light Show) starts in end-May (Admission lottery starts in mid-April).


D-Day Commemorations, Dragon Boat Festival, Donauinselfest, Great Migration

Normandy erupts to life with D-day commemorations centered around 4 June. Chinese around the world celebrate the Dragon Boat Festival, aka the Dumpling Festival, which includes eating rice dumplings and dragon boat races, the biggest being in Hong Kong. The Czech city of Brno lights up with Ignis Brunensis, a 3 week long fireworks competition.

This is also the month where the famous Great Migration of millions of wildebeest begins in the Serengeti. In late June, England’s Glastonbury Festival and Vienna’s Donauinselfest welcomes music fans from all around the world. Finally, we wrap up with Cusco’s most important festival, the Inti Raymi, in Peru.


San Fermín Festival, Tour de France, Boryeong Mud Festival, Boom Festival

USA celebrates Independence Day on the 4th of July, then we have France’s prestigious Festival d’Avignon and Spain’s transformational Nowhere event and iconic San Fermín Festival, or “Running of the Bulls”. France also launches its weeks-long, country-wide Tour de France cycling event which attracts millions of fans along its always-changing route.

Late July, Korea kickstarts its biggest (and quirkiest?) festival with the Boryeong Mud Festival. Comic book and movie fans can flock to San Diego Comic-Con or London Film and Comic Con, while music lovers must visit the iconic Lollapalooza in Chicago, or Boom Festival, Europe’s mega music event in Portugal.


Bristol Balloon Fiesta, Sziget Festival, Burning Man, Notting Hill Carnival

The Bristol International Balloon Fiesta in early August brings together teams from all around the world to participate in the hot air balloon ascents. Europe’s famous Sziget Festival plays out for a week in Budapest, while late August sees the launch of America’s own Burning Man counterculture festival in the Nevada desert. 

We see the month out with London’s Notting Hill Carnival, a Black British celebratory event which is now the world’s largest street festival.


Regeta Storica, Oktoberfest, La Mercè, Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights

The first Sunday brings many visitors to watch or partake in Venice’s Regeta Storica, a historic parade and sporting event featuring hundreds of gondolas. Mid-September, Munich holds the world’s first and largest Oktoberfest. Around September 24, Barcelona bursts to life with the La Mercè street festival, featuring street theater like “fire runs” and “human towers”.

This month also kicks off Halloween events all around the world, notably in theme parks such as in Disneyland, Universal Studio’s Halloween Horror Nights, Knott’s Scary Farm (Knott’s Halloween Haunt).


Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta, Amsterdam Dance Event, Yi Peng Lantern Festival, Red Crab Migration

The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta starts early, with the titles of most photographed event and biggest balloon festival in the world. Booze lovers can hit London Cocktail Week, the biggest celebration of cocktails in the world. Come mid-October, clubbers must hit the Amsterdam Dance Event, the world’s biggest club fest.

On the other side of the globe, Thailand’s Chiang Mai hosts the month-end Yi Peng Lantern Festival, a visual treat which has featured prominently in film and media. Later comes the Gwangju World Kimchi Festival in Korea, dedicated to Kimchi lovers worldwide. Elsewhere in Southeast Asia, Christmas Island hosts the spectacular annual Red Crab Migration which lasts till December.


Dubai Miracle Garden, Winter Festival of Lights, Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, Nuremburg’s Christkindlmarket

November kicks off with the Mexican-originated Day of the Dead festival worldwide (although celebrations often start a week earlier in October). The Dubai Miracle Garden, the biggest flower garden in the world, opens mid-November and lasts till May. Switzerland’s Turnip Lantern Festival “Räbechilbi” in the small town of Richterswil draws visitors far and wide to marvel at its uniquely carved turnip lanterns.

In North America, Niagara Falls in Ontario launches their months-long Winter Festival of Lights, lasting till January.  In USA, the iconic Radio City Rockettes Christmas Spectacular show begins. Towards the end of the month, Thanksgiving Day parades are held throughout the country, with the biggest parade in the world held in Manhattan. Then Christmas Markets sprout up everywhere, especially in Europe.


Klausjagen Küssnacht, Snowglobe Music Festival, NYC Ball Drop, Sydney NYE

Christmas festivals continue, including new ones such as Switzerland’s quirky Klausjagen “Santa Chase” Festival in the Swiss town of Küssnacht. After Xmas, these are supplanted by New Year’s Eve celebrations, such as Sydney’s NYE countdown, New York City’s iconic Ball Drop, Lake Tahoe’s Snowglobe Music Festival, and many more.

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Enjoyed this article? See more here:
> Your Ultimate Worldwide Travel Guide
> Fun Facts from Around the World
> Cool & Unique Activities from Around the World


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