Around the World in 12 Festivals: How I Spent a Year Celebrating Life’s Biggest Parties

Have you ever dreamed of traveling the world and experiencing its most iconic festivals? I did, and I decided to make it happen. Here’s how I spent a year abroad, hopping from one vibrant celebration to the next, and how you can do it too.

January/February: Chinese New Year, China

Image Credit: Shutterstock / FUN FUN PHOTO

What to Expect: Chinese New Year is a spectacular celebration with parades, dragon and lion dances, fireworks, and family feasts.

How to Get There: Start your journey in Asia. Fly into Beijing or Shanghai for grand celebrations.

My Favorite Part: The vibrant dragon dances and the festive atmosphere in the streets.

February: Venice Carnival, Italy

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Baber Ghazi

What to Expect: The Venice Carnival is a magical event filled with stunning masks, elaborate costumes, parades, and masquerade balls.

How to Get There: From China, fly to Venice. The journey is long, but the Venetian splendor is worth it.

My Favorite Part: Wearing an elaborate mask and wandering through the narrow, misty streets, feeling like I was in a different era.

March: Holi, India

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Kristin F. Ruhs

What to Expect: Holi is the festival of colors where people gather to throw powdered colors at each other, dance, and enjoy festive foods.

How to Get There: Catch a flight from Venice to major cities in India like Delhi or Jaipur.

My Favorite Part: The sheer joy and exuberance of being covered in bright colors while dancing in the streets.

April: Songkran, Thailand

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Sukpaiboonwat

What to Expect: Songkran, the Thai New Year, is celebrated with a nationwide water fight.

How to Get There: Fly from India to Thailand, with Chiang Mai being a top spot for Songkran.

My Favorite Part: Getting soaked in water fights and the camaraderie with locals and travelers alike.

April: Rio Carnival, Brazil

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Celso Pupo

What to Expect: The Rio Carnival is the world’s biggest carnival with samba parades, street parties, and vibrant costumes.

How to Get There: From Thailand, fly to Rio de Janeiro. It’s a long trip but immersing yourself in the energy of Rio is unbeatable.

My Favorite Part: Dancing in the Sambadrome amidst the dazzling parade floats and performers.

August: La Tomatina, Spain

Image Credit: Shutterstock / BearFotos

What to Expect: La Tomatina is a massive tomato fight in the streets of Buñol.

How to Get There: From Brazil, fly to Spain. Buñol is a short trip from Valencia.

My Favorite Part: The pure fun and chaos of being part of the world’s biggest food fight.

August/September: Burning Man, USA

Image Credit: Pexels / Following NYC

What to Expect: Burning Man in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert is an extraordinary gathering focused on community, art, self-expression, and self-reliance.

How to Get There: After Spain, fly to the USA. Reach Nevada via Reno or San Francisco and drive to Black Rock City.

My Favorite Part: The sense of community and creativity, with incredible art installations and the famous burning of the Man.

September/October: Oktoberfest, Germany

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Kzenon

What to Expect: Oktoberfest in Munich is the world’s largest beer festival, featuring traditional Bavarian music, food, and beer tents.

How to Get There: From the USA, fly to Munich, Germany. The beer festival awaits you.

My Favorite Part: Singing along to Bavarian folk songs in a packed beer tent while clinking steins with new friends.

October/November: Diwali, India

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Snehal Jeevan Pailkar

What to Expect: Diwali, the festival of lights, is celebrated with fireworks, lanterns, feasts, and sweets.

How to Get There: Return to India from Germany, ideally heading to cities like Jaipur or Varanasi for grand celebrations.

My Favorite Part: Watching the city light up with lanterns and fireworks, creating a magical atmosphere.

November: Dia de los Muertos, Mexico

Image Credit: Shutterstock / ShengYing Lin

What to Expect: Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, honors the deceased with colorful altars, sugar skulls, and parades.

How to Get There: Fly from India to Mexico. Focus on Mexico City or Oaxaca for the best experience.

My Favorite Part: The beautifully decorated altars and the deep cultural significance behind the celebrations.

February/March: Mardi Gras, USA

Image Credit: Shutterstock / pisaphotography

What to Expect: Mardi Gras in New Orleans features parades, masquerade balls, and street parties.

How to Get There: From Mexico, fly to New Orleans.

My Favorite Part: Catching beads from the vibrant parades and enjoying the lively, music-filled streets of the French Quarter.

Tips for Traveling to Festivals:

Image Credit: Shutterstock / u photostock
  • Cultural Respect: Always research and respect local customs and traditions. Engage with locals to gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of each festival.
  • Health and Safety: Stay hydrated, wear comfortable clothing, and be mindful of your belongings. Travel insurance is a must to cover any festival-related activities.
  • Accommodation: Book accommodation well in advance, especially for popular festivals. Consider staying with locals or in hostels to save money and get a more authentic experience.
  • Local Connections: Engage with locals to gain insider tips and a deeper understanding of the festivals. This can also lead to unforgettable experiences and friendships.

By planning your route carefully and respecting each culture’s traditions, you can create an unforgettable year of celebrations around the globe. Happy travels!

The post Around the World in 12 Festivals: How I Spent a Year Celebrating Life’s Biggest Parties first appeared on Mama Say What?!

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / Itiprithul.

For transparency, this content was partly developed with AI assistance and carefully curated by an experienced editor to be informative and ensure accuracy.