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Photo from: Steven Gerner, Wikimedia Commons

The Holi festival in Utah.

Six International Festivals to Attend

May 28, 2015

Most of us have some type of bucket list of things we want to do or places we want to go before we die. There are so many cultural experiences that we dream of experiencing firsthand. Some of us are motivated to visit the places that our ancestors came from, and others are hungry for the absolutely unknown, and would rather immerse themselves in a new, vibrant culture than carefully plan every detail of the trip out. No matter how you choose to travel, it is exciting to always be adding to your personal bucket list. That’s what makes us work long, hard jobs, the promise of an exciting future. Without further ado, I present a list of super cool things to do that I can promise you will find interesting.

 

  1. La Tomatina

Held in Bunol, Spain, La Tomatina is an annual event that people travel from all over to attend. A ham is stuck on the end of a greased pole, and everyone involved tries to be the one who climbs the pole and reaches the ham. There’s only one other detail: they have to fight each other and race to the pole all while slipping and sliding around in more than 100 tons of squishy tomatoes. This is a fun event to participate in with friends, if you’re not afraid of getting messy. For more information, you can visit the official website.

 

Participants aren’t afraid to get messy in La Tomatina.
Photo from: Wikimedia Commons under the Creative Commons License
Participants aren’t afraid to get messy in La Tomatina.
  1. The Fringe Festival

An important annual cultural festival held in Edinburgh, Scotland is called the Fringe Festival. It lasts for a few weeks in August. Street performers display a wide range of talents, including swallowing knives, acting in plays, juggling flaming objects, bagpiping on the sidewalks, and painting themselves as statues and moving suddenly to scare passers-by. I’ve been to this event myself, and I would definitely recommend seeing it firsthand.To find out more, you can visit the website.

 

A street performer balances a ladder on his chin during the Fringe Festival.
Photo from: Wikimedia Commons under the Creative Commons License
A street performer balances a ladder on his chin during the Fringe Festival.
  1. Oktoberfest

Although there are many smaller celebrations of Oktoberfest in parts of Germany and even the United States, the biggest celebration of Oktoberfest takes place in München, Germany. Oktoberfest was originally a celebration of the marriage of Crown Prince Ludwig and Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen. Today, the celebration involves a lot of German-made beers, sausages, and other cultural dishes. To find out more, you can visit the website.

Tourists and locals alike enjoy the festivities surrounding Oktoberfest.
Photo from: Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative Commons License
Tourists and locals alike enjoy the festivities surrounding Oktoberfest.

 

  1. Holi

Holi is a Hindu festival that occurs in the springtime in any area that has a Hindu population. Although it is popular in mainly India, there is a pretty well-known celebration in Utah, as well as one in Nepal. Holi is also known as the festival of colors or the festival of love. People celebrate the festival by throwing powdered paint and colorful water at each other. Everyone is involved in the fight, no matter the age or social status. The people who take part in this festival also enjoy many types of traditional Hindu foods and drinks, including intoxicating drinks made from cannabis leaves. The festival is celebrated in the summertime, near the vernal equinox, or the longest day of the year. This festival celebrates good winning over evil in a myth about destroying a demon king. You can visit the website for more information.

 

The Holi festival in Utah.
Photo from: Steven Gerner, Wikimedia Commons
The Holi festival in Utah.
  1. Carnival

Although many may know about the infamous Carnival, it may be news to others. Carnival is celebrated in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil which begins before Lent. Carnival begins on the Friday before Ash Wednesday and lasts until Fat Tuesday. The festival signifies the relinquishing of all of the pleasures they will give up for Lent. Carnival is made up of various parades and balls, to which people go dressed up in flashy, feathery, colorful costumes. There is a lot of dancing involved in the festivities, meaning that a lot of samba music is played. Samba music is a spicy, fast-paced style of music that makes you want to get up and dance. If you want to visit Rio during Carnival or just want to learn more about the festival itself, you can visit the website.

 

This is an example of one float in the Carnival parade.
Photo from: Wikimedia Commons
This is an example of one float in the Carnival parade.
  1. Nice Carnival

Nice Carnival is one of the world’s largest festivals and is held in Nice, France. Nice Carnival involves fifteen days of dancing, music, food, parades, fireworks, and giant puppetlike renderings of pop culture icons. Nice’s festivities take place both in the daytime, and also at night. The Nice Carnival is a celebration of winter, and is France’s first winter festival. Visit the website here.

 Parade in Nice, France
Photo from: Wikimedia Commons
Parade in Nice, France
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