With the Holi Festival kicking off in India this week, it’s a good reminder of how many amazing festivals there are around the world. Whether you’re into food, music, or just meeting new people, there really is something out there for every type of traveller.
This week, I appeared on The Steven and Chris show to talk about some unique festivals around the world and what makes them so interesting.
If you missed the episode which aired on CBC, you can watch the episode online here. (I appear around the 22:15 mark of episode 103).
Here’s a quick highlight of some of the unique festivals we covered on the show:
Where: Bunol, Spain
When: Last Wednesday of August
What is it? A giant tomato fight! This tradition started in 1945 when two men staged a brawl/protest using tomatoes from a local vendor stand during a parade in the town’s main square. The next year they repeated it and it has continued on despite being banned a few times. Basically 11 dump trucks pile full of tomatoes drive through this small city and release the tomatoes to begin a giant food fight.
When: end of March (day after the full moon)
What is it? This festival marks the death of winter and re-birth of spring and is also known as the ‘Festival of Colour’. People light bonfires and throw coloured powder and water at each other. It’s very family oriented and is all about dancing, spending time with friends and family, and embracing colour :)
Where: Munich, Germany
When: End of September – beginning of October
What is it? This is the world’s biggest party, drawing over 7 million visitors a year to southern Germany! It started in 1810 as a horse race to celebrate a royal wedding, but it seems that everyone enjoyed the drinking part of that celebration best as that’s what continued every year. Be sure to check out my Beginner’s Guide to Oktoberfest on the Flight Centre Canada blog for more tips and info.
Dia de Los Muertos
When: November 1st and 2nd (in connection with All Saints Day/All Souls Day)
What is it? ‘Day of the Dead’ is a national holiday that focuses on the gathering of family and friends to pray and celebrate for those who have passed away. People go to cemeteries and decorate the deceased graves. In most regions of Mexico, November 1st honours children and infants who have passed, and November 2nd honours adults who have passed. I like to think of it as celebrating the birthday of someone who has passed on. Rather than being saddened by death, they actually embrace it and believe that you are truly alive when you pass away.
Boryeong’s Mud Festival
Where: Boryeong (a town 200km south of Seoul, South Korea)
What is it? This Mud Festival is held every year during the Monsoon season. Mud is taken from the Boryeong mud flats and trucked to Deachean beach, where thousands of people play, dance, and bathe in it. It all started in 1998 when the festival was staged to promote cosmetic products made from the mud flats of the region.
Have you been to any great festivals around the world? Share them with me in the comments! I always love adding new things to my bucketlist :)