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The World’s Most Unique Festivals (Part 1)

The world is full of fun, creative and crazy people, and these festivals are solid proof. This list features some of the craziest, messiest and most colorful festivals that have gathered millions of people from all around the world.

From mass food fights in Spain, to sleeping in a hammock suspended in the sky or a baby jumping fiesta – there is something for everyone.

Festivals can offer you spectacular experiences and acquaint you with a place far beyond the ordinary. Which one would you choose? Click To Tweet

#15 The International Highline Meeting Festival, Monte Piana (Italy)

Held on Monte Piana, the International Highline Meeting is a slackline festival held high up in the Italian Alps. The catch is that all of the attendees spend most of their time laying in hammocks or walking along ropes suspended hundreds of meters above the ground in the Italian Dolomites. The crazy daredevil festivalgoers use flat, slacked rope that let them swing and chill in the most extreme hammocks in the world. #

#14 Ágitagueda Art Festival (Portugal)

In July the Agitágueda Festival fills the heart of the city of Agueda with colour and animation. This event, held along the river, is world renowned for the origin of the Umbrella Sky Project.

With urban art to be their distinguishing feature, the AgitÁgueda program includes performances, concerts and many amazing initiatives that make it a unique event. The highlight is undoubtedly over 3000 colourful umbrellas covering four of its main streets in an event of great visual impact.

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#13 Holi Color Festival (India)

In addition to marking the arrival of spring, Holi also celebrates fertility, colour, love, and the triumph of good over evil. Known as the ‘festival of colors’ it is celebrated on the full moon day falling in the month of Phalguna (Feb-Mar). Various colors and water are thrown on each other amidst loud music and drums, which all make for a memorable atmosphere.

#12 Winter Light Festival (Japan)

One of the very best winter illuminations that can be seen across Japan during the winter season is that at Nabana no Sato in Mie Prefecture. For this occasion, the park is illuminated with around 8 million LED lights, which turn it into a winter wonderland straight out of a fairy tale.

The theme changes from year to year, with spectacular LED illuminated models of objects existing in nature, like the representation of Mount Fuji or the 20 meters tall model of Niagara Falls. Or be mesmerized by a 200 meter long light tunnel, made up of around 1.2 million light bulbs. Each of these bulbs represents a tiny flower, and all together they draw a wonderful path across the entire park. 

For the wise one, everyday is a festival Click To Tweet
#11 Cherry Blossom Lantern Festival (Japan)

A long-standing Japanese tradition of welcoming spring. Held In most major cities, including Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka, the cherry blossom season typically takes place in early April.  This annual celebration is about appreciating the temporal beauty of nature. People gather under blooming cherry blossoms for food, drink, songs, companionship and the beauty of the cherry blossom.

#10 Mohácsi Busójárás – Winter Scareaway Festival (Hungary)

Every February, the Hungarian town of Mohács is taken over with revelry, mayhem, and celebration as the festival of Busójárás is celebrated during Farsang (Carnival) season. A celebration of life for the Šokci people, as well as a way to say goodbye to winter and hello to spring, the festival can get pretty rowdy.

The Busós parade through the town wearing traditional carved masks, while there’s also folk music, dancing, and alcohol – lots of it!

#9 Floating Lanterns Festival In Honolulu, Hawaii (USA)

Over 50,000 people on the O`ahu’s south shore are joined by thousands around the world via live streaming and telecast. It all comes together for an evening honoring loved ones and generating collective hope toward the future.

The aim of Lantern Floating in Hawaii is to give all a personal moment to remember, reflect, and offer gratitude to those who have gone before us. It is a chance to be surrounded by the love, understanding, and support of others. Strangers joining in this Memorial Day festival experience many of the same feelings and emotions. 

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#8 Yi Peng Lantern Festival (Thailand)

Yee Peng Festival in Chiang Mai (sometimes written as ‘Yi Peng’) is celebrated on the full moon of the twelfth lunar month ever year, which normally means mid-way through November.

Chiang Mai locals put a unique twist on the celebration. Instead of floating baskets in water, as people do in Bangkok, thousands of paper lanterns are released into the air. The result, known as Yi Peng Floating Lantern Festival, is a magical twinkling flurry of light. 

#7 Sapporo Snow Festival (Japan)

Starting in 1950, when high school students built a few snow statues in Odori Park, the Sapporo Snow Festival has since developed into a large, commercialized event attracting more than two million visitors from Japan and across the world.

The winter festival boasts famous large snow sculptures, some measuring more than 25 meters wide and 15 meters high and more than one hundred smaller snow statues. It also hosts several concerts and events, many of which use the sculptures as their stage.

#6 Dia De Los Muertos Festival (Originated In Mexico)

Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is a celebration of life and death. While the holiday originated in Mexico, it is celebrated all over Latin America with colorful calaveras (skulls) and calacas (skeletons). Sure, the theme is death, but the point is to demonstrate love and respect for deceased family members. In towns and cities throughout Mexico, revelers don funky makeup and costumes, hold parades and parties, sing and dance, and make offerings to lost loved ones.

#5 Jaipur Elephant Festival (India)

Elephant Festival is a festival celebrated in Jaipur city in Rajasthan state in India. It is held on the day of Holi festival, usually in the month of March. The festival gets underway with a traditional procession of decorated elephants. They proudly parade up and down, like catwalk models, to an appreciative crowd. Elephant beauty contests, folk dances, a tug-of-war between elephants, elephant races and foreigners amused on the sidelines are all sights to behold.

#4 La Tomatina Festival (Spain)

Since 1945 La Tomatina has been held on the last Wednesday of August, during a week of festivities in Buñol. At around 11am many trucks haul the bounty of tomatoes into the centre of the town, Plaza del Pueblo. Thousands upon thousands of people make their way from all corners of the world to fight in this ‘World’s Biggest Food Fight’ where more than one hundred metric tons of over-ripe tomatoes are thrown in the streets.

#3 Baby Jumping Fiesta (Spain)

Every year in June, a bizarre festival takes place in the village of Castrillo de Murcia near Burgos, Castilla y Leon in Spain. During the festival men dress up like the devil and then jump over babies born in the previous 12 months of the year who lie on mattresses in the street. The “devils” hold whips and oversized castanets as they jump over the infant children.

Known as El Colacho, the strange custom is part of the countrywide Corpus Christi (body of Christ) celebrations, yet only happens in this small village.

#2 Boryeong Mud Festival (South Korea)

From fairly humble beginnings when it was first established in 1999, the festival was intended to promote cosmetics made from the region’s mud. For two weeks every July, thousands flock from around the Korean peninsula to Boryeong, a small, sleepy town situated on the western coast of the country for the Boryeong Mud Festival, or Mudfest. Even more fly in from overseas, some traveling from as far as Europe and the Americas, to experience some good old fashioned mud wrestling, mud sliding and mud swimming – activities that constitute what has in recent years become the number one Korean festival to visit.

#1 Els Enfarinats Festival Flour Fight (Spain)

In the day-long festival held in Ibi, Spain, participants known as the Els Enfarinats dress in mock military dress and stage a mock coup d’état. Meanwhile, the Casats i Fadrins, accompanied by a band of street musicians tour the city. Then, with little warning the script goes rogue. Everyone dons protective goggles. Suddenly, a carton of eggs pummels someone square in the back, yolks and shell splattering across other participants’ war-painted faces and uniforms. While military dress is quite popular, the only weapons allowed are flour, eggs and firecrackers.

Which unique festivals have you been to???


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