Top Celebrated Festivals Around the World

Each nation and culture is bonded by a set of beliefs that shows their eccentricity around the world. Whether it’s Judaism, Islam, Christianity, or Hinduism, there are multiple festivals celebrated that show their values and practices. However, here are the top most celebrated festivals around the globe.

No matter what they celebrate—life or death, wildlife, religious figures, rowing, or ice sculpting—festivals make your travels even more exciting. The streets fill with music and colorful parades, unique traditions come to life, and you get to join in with the locals as they celebrate. Here are some most celebrated festivals from around the world that are worth experiencing:

Diwali, India

Diwali, also known as the Festival of Lights, takes place between mid-October and mid-November. Celebrated by various religions in India, it signifies the victory of good over evil, light over darkness, and knowledge over ignorance. During Diwali, towns and cities are illuminated with lanterns and small lamps called diyas. Moreover, flowers adorn the streets, and for five days, there are parades, live music, fireworks, and the exchange of gifts and sweets.

Dia de los Muertos, Mexico

From October 31 to November 2, the Day of the Dead festival is when Mexican families remember their deceased loved ones. Altars decorated with marigolds, candles, and sugar skulls are set up to welcome back the spirits. Festivities include costumed parades and gatherings at gravesides with feasting and music. You may have seen this festival is celebrated in the popular kid’s movie “Coco”.

Songkran Celebrated Festivals, Thailand

Songkran marks the Buddhist New Year in Thailand around mid-April. It takes place annually on April 13th, though festivities extend to the 15th. The most popular Songkran activity is water-throwing! People take to the streets armed with buckets, water guns, and hoses, joyously splashing each other. Moreover, people gather together, visit the temple, make sand pagodas, and organize beauty pageants on this auspicious event.

Semana Santa, Guatemala

Semana Santa, or Holy Week, is a major religious festival in Guatemala that commemorates the passion, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is one of the most important festivals in the country and is celebrated with a variety of traditions. Alfombras are colorful carpets made of sawdust, flowers, and other materials. They are created along the procession routes and are a way of showing respect to Jesus Christ. In addition, special foods are prepared for Semana Santa, such as pan de yemas (egg yolk bread) and chimbo (a stew made with vegetables and seafood).

Obon Celebrated Festivals, Japan

The Obon Festival is a major Buddhist holiday in Japan that honors the spirits of deceased ancestors. It’s a time for families to reunite, visit ancestral homes, and clean and decorate graves. It is believed that the spirits of ancestors return to the earthly realm during this time. Obon is observed around the 15th day of the 7th month of the lunar calendar, which usually falls in August. Moreover, the Japanese cleaned their houses and graveyards, lit paper lanterns, prepared meals, and organized fireworks and Bon Odori (traditional dance) to commemorate this day.

Hermanus Whale Festival, South Africa

The Hermanus Whale Festival is an annual event held in Hermanus, South Africa, to celebrate the arrival of southern right whales in Walker Bay. The festival takes place over four days in late September or early October, which coincides with the peak of the whale-watching season. The festival is a major tourist attraction, drawing thousands of visitors from all over the world. Meanwhile, it features a variety of events and activities, including whale-watching tours, art exhibitions, live music, food stalls, and a craft market.

Tsechus Celebrated Festivals, Bhutan

Tsehcu, also known as the Mask Dance Festival, is the most important religious festival in Bhutan. It’s an annual event held in various monasteries and dzongs (fortress-monasteries) throughout the country. The festival is a vibrant display of Bhutanese culture, with masked dances (Cham dances) being the centerpiece. However, Tsechus are held on the tenth day of a month in the Bhutanese lunar calendar, so the exact dates vary from place to place and year to year.

Mardi Gras, New Orleans, USA

Mardi Gras in New Orleans, USA is a legendary celebration known as “The Greatest Free Show on Earth”. It’s a festive season that stretches for weeks, culminating on Fat Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday (the start of Lent in the Western Christian tradition). The festivities include making a king cake made with Mardi Gras colors of purple, green, and gold. In a traditional parade, riders throw bread or doubloons (gold-colored coins), cups, and other trinkets on the people. Additionally, catching this bread indicates luck and is cherished as an auspicious tradition.

Québec Winter Carnival, Canada

The Québec Winter Carnival (Carnaval de Québec) is one of the world’s largest winter carnivals held in Quebec City, Canada. This festive event takes place for two weeks, typically between late January and mid-February, transforming Quebec City into a winter wonderland. The festivities include making sugar shacks and ice sculptures to entertain the visitors. In addition, the activities include a canoe race on the ice, parades, snowshoeing, ice skating, and tubing.

Venice Carnival and the Regata Storica, Italy

The Venice Carnival, also known as Carnevale di Venezia, is a flamboyant celebration renowned for its elaborate costumes and masks. Started in 1913, now held annually, it culminates on Shrove Tuesday (Martedì Grasso), the day before Ash Wednesday (the start of Lent in the Western Christian tradition). The city transforms into a mesmerizing spectacle of color and pageantry, attracting millions of visitors worldwide. Moreover, the carnival is a two-week extravaganza filled with masked balls, costume contests, street performances, and theatrical productions.

Eid ul Fitr and Eid ul Adha, Various Countries

Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha are two of the most important holidays in Islam. These festivals are celebrated with joy and religious significance by Muslims worldwide. The dates of Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha change every year based on the Islamic lunar calendar. Here’s a breakdown of how these celebrations differ and a glimpse into how they’re observed in various countries like Arab, South Africa, Pakistan, and neighboring countries:

Eid al-Fitr

  • Celebration: Marks the end of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting.
  • Observances: المسلمين (al-Muslimeen – Muslims) gather for prayers, followed by feasting, exchanging gifts, and visiting family and friends.

Eid al-Adha

  • Commemoration: Honors Prophet Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son as an act of obedience to God.
  • Observances: Muslims attend prayers, sacrifice livestock (often sheep or goats), and distribute meat to the poor and needy. Moreover, it’s also a time for family gatherings and feasting

These are the most celebrated festivals in the world. These festivals have a special place in all cultures showing their cultures and values. However, if you want to visit any festival, here is all the information, book your tickets and enjoy the unique festivities.

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