Here is the third part of our Best Festival In The World. The contributions below are from other travel writers about their favorite festivals. The responses included everything from music festivals, large festivals, a famous festival, small festivals, country festival, and everything in between. Therefore, I decided to split up this article into four parts. Read part one here and part two here. Part four is now published and you can read it here. Now here is part three of the best festivals around the world.
Burning Man Festival in the USA
The Burning Man Festival is a festival held annually in the western part of the United States. It takes place in the state of Nevada in a city called the Black Rock City, a temporary city built just for the Burning Man festival. The burning man community is all about artistic self-expression. At the festival, you will see many different art installations that you have never even dreamt of. Some might make sense, some might not even look like they are from Earth. That is what Burning Man is about, the freedom to create, the freedom to express yourself, and the freedom to be whoever you want without judgment for the duration of the festival.
There are 10 basic principles that the burning man community supports: radical inclusion, gifting, decommodification, radical self-reliance, radical self-expression, communal effort, civic responsibility, leave no trace, participation, and immediacy. Burning man festival is not just a big party, there is meaning behind it. And sometimes we get so caught up in the modern world that we forget what is like to be part of a family, part of the world. Burning Man festival helps remind us what it is like to be “us” again with art, music, fun, and freedom.
The Burning Man festival starts on the last Sunday of August and lasts a week.
Maslenitsa in Russia
Many people think twice before visiting Russia in winter and I am not going to lie, Russian winters are cold and last well into March. This is when Russia celebrates the end of winter and the start of spring with Maslenitsa, or butter week. When you are brave enough to face a lot of snow and dress warmly this is a wonderful time to visit Russia. People are in a festive mood and celebrate the milder temperatures, even though they still fall below zero occasionally.
Maslenitsa is also a Christian festival. People feast in the last week before Lent, the onset of the fasting period before Easter. Originally people were already supposed to eat no meat in preparation for the full fasting, but they were able to eat butter, eggs, oil, and sugar. Therefore Maslenitsa is also known as pancake week in which people eat as many pancakes as they can. During the week of Maslenitsa, many restaurants have a special Maslenitsa menu with a big variety of pancakes. Think of fillings with caviar, condensed milk, or jam.
The best places to see Maslenitsa festivities are in the parks of the city. Most will have a special program of activities taking place during the week. There will be traditional games such as sleigh rides, music, pancakes, and honey beer. On the last day of the week, the celebrations will end with the burning of a big Maslenitsa doll made of straw. The smoke is said to send the cold weather away and welcome spring. This is the most important day when almost everyone goes out to the parks to celebrate and this is the best time to join the festivities of Maslenitsa.
Adelaide Fringe Festival
Written by Erik Van Gilson from DIY Travel HQ. Follow Erik on Facebook here.
The Adelaide Fringe Festival has an astounding collection of variety shows spanning a month between February and March. 2020 marks the 60th anniversary of the festival, and it promises to be bigger and better than ever. Although there are some big comedic performances spread throughout Adelaide, the smaller venues at the Garden of Unearthly Delights are the highlights. Besides comedy, you can find cabaret, dance, magic, circus performances, and more.
The variety of acts creates frequent visitors that combine a show with drinks and snacks among friends several times during the month. A lot of performers have multiple shows so you can pick randomly, or try to score tickets to a cult favorite once reviews are out. Many of the performances at the Adelaide Fringe Festival are moderately priced so everyone can find a show to watch, or even participate in! The venue tents have an intimate vibe so you will always take away that special memory.
Summertime is a great time to visit Adelaide to take in Fringe and one of many other festivals held around the same time. They don’t call South Australia the Festival State for no reason. Since the festival is on the border of downtown, find out what to do in Adelaide to make the most out of your day.
Speyside Gin Experience, Moray Speyside Scotland
Written by Amber Hoffman from Food And Drink Destinations. Follow Amber on Facebook here.
The Moray Speyside region of Northeastern Scotland is world-renowned for the production of Whisky and the Malt Whisky Trail. Several of the top Whisky brands in the world call Speyside home. In the last five years, a newly distilled spirit – gin – has begun to make its mark on the region. With over a dozen producers of gin setting up shop in and around Speyside, gin has quickly become a new reason to visit the area.
As a result of the increase in gin distilleries in Speyside, a new festival, inaugurated in July 2019 was born. The Spirit of Speyside’s Speyside Gin Experience took place in the historic Walled Gardens of Gordon Castle, in the town of Fochabers. Held over two days, the Speyside Gin Experience showcases internationally recognized gin brands like Caorunn as well as regional and artisan distillers. In total, 12 gins were available to be sampled “neat” or as gin and tonics. Mini workshops about gin and gin cocktails were also available to attendees. Accompanying the gin were samples of locally sourced, Speyside culinary delights.
From its stunning location and diverse sampling of gin, the Speyside Gin Experience is a worthwhile event to attend. The event is scheduled to take place again in July 2020. Rumors suggest that a new festival site is being considered to showcase another area of Speyside.
Take a North East 250 roadtrip to explore coastlines, mountains and whiskey!
Written by Diana from The Elusive Family.
Beer festivals are popular fall festivals in different places in the world. They are particularly well known in Germany, as many beer festivals occur throughout the country. Though Munich’s beer festival is widely known, the second largest festival is in Stuttgart, Germany’s Cannstatter Volksfest. It takes place in late September to early October for approximately three weeks. It is not only a great alternative to Munich’s Oktoberfest but a festival that attracts a wide variety of visitors from adults to young children and their families.
The festival itself has dozens of beer tents that cater to a variety of people. During the day, family-friendly tents are available for families who want to take part in a beer tent experience. Evenings are typically reserved for adults as the beer tents tend to get filled with people quickly, many of who have pre-purchased tickets.
Volksfest is very family-friendly as well. Apart from the beer tents, the entire stretch of the festival has numerous children’s rides, carnival and amusement park rides, and fun houses and mazes. There are hundreds of booths as well. They include food and beverage booths, shopping booths that sell everything from lederhosen and dirndls, to German souvenirs and trinkets. Volksfest is and continues to be one of the most popular festivals in Germany.
Piknic Electronik & Igloofest in Montreal, Canada
In Montréal it doesn’t matter what time of year it is, the Montréaler’s joy for life permeates throughout the city’s food and drink, and art and music scenes. This can be seen in the various festivals that happen both in the summer and winter. Depending on the time of year, there are two places you want to be when in Montréal: Parc Jean-Drapeau and Vieux Port. These are the locations of Piknic Electronik and Igloofest, the sister electronic music festivals perfectly encapsulating Montréal’s ‘joie de vivre’. It is one thing that must be on your list when you visit one of Canada’s most beloved cities.
These festivals may sound different but they are run by the same production company. They make the perfect mirrors of each other, totaling 6 months’ worth of fun. From food to dancing and drinking and games, there are plenty of things to do. However, the main draw is discovering some of the best local and international DJ’s and producers, including underground artists from around the world. These festivals know how to please.
It’s when you are dancing in your cute summertime outfit, or nutty layers in the middle of winter, when you realize these festivals are not about the headliners, they’re about discovering and celebrating the more unknown creatives who make this city what it is. Deep down the thing about Montréal that will draw you back time and time again (and why I fell in love with it) are the people.
Piknic’s location is within an expansive space on an island park just a 5-minute metro ride from the main part of the city. Igloofest is centrally located along the St. Lawrence River in the Old Port (or Vieux Port). A somewhat unknown fact is the festivals are family-friendly!
I know that festivals seem to be something that is more associated with the summer, but if there is one thing I can leave you with is don’t discount a winter visit to Canada. Winter defines much of a Québécois life, but in Montréal rather than hide from it you feel an overwhelming sense to embrace it.
Water Festival – Southeast Asia
The Water Festival (“Thingyan” in Myanmar, or “Songkran” in Thai) is getting commercially big in Southeast Asia. International tourists are flooding into the area during the week to join one of the biggest festivals of the year.
The celebration takes places in many Southeast Asian countries, mainly Thailand, Myanmar, Cambodia, and Laos. East Asian countries like China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong celebrate water festival where it has a significant Buddhist culture and heritage.
The water festival is the celebration of the new year in the Buddhist calendar and usually falls around mid-April. During the festival, everything in the city is wet. Traditionally, people are supposed to subtly and gently sprinkle water on one another during the new year as a cleansing ritual. Everything old must be washed or thrown away or it would bring bad luck to the owner. Additionally, everyone must be clean and fresh to welcome the new year with good luck and new opportunities.
For now, especially in big cities, the locals spare no subtleties to share the blessings all over town. Shop owners and restaurants set water barrels and tanks at their front doors, young people are dancing with loud music on pick-up trucks, and various locations are turned into a giant water-splashing carnival. Remember to water-proof your electronic equipment and valuable items. It is recommended you dress “beachy” while you are out because nobody’s “safe”. After all, it is a great way to cool down from the immense heat!
Golden Eagle Festival, Mongolia
Written by Patricia Pagenel from Ze Wandering Frogs. Follow her on Instagram here.
The Golden Eagle Festival is usually held during the first week of October near the city of Olgii in the western part of Mongolia. The two-day event features ancestral Kazakh traditions, including the most astonishing eagle hunting performances. Hunters were colorful costumes, and some come as far as Kazakhstan to compete and show their expert skills hunting with their eagles.
Riding short but robust Mongolian horses, the hunters show different hunting techniques, where precision and bonding with the animals are essential. Seeing the large predatory birds flying fast and low towards the lures while men and horses run at full speed is an incredible sight.
Other events at the festival include games such as Tenge Ily (Coin Grabbing), Kyz Kuar (Girls Chasing on horses), archery competition, and more. One of the most popular games is Kukhbar (Goat Skin Competition), where two participants try to grab a stuffed sheep lure as a display of perfect horsemanship. The camel race is another exciting event as the giant animals run towards the finishing poles.
In the evening, traditional Kazakh music, singers, and dance performances are held in downtown Olgii. While the Golden Eagle Festival has become popular with travelers over the recent years, the event stays first and foremost a meeting of and for Kazakhs who are proud of their traditions.
Diwali in India
Written by Lora of Explore with Lora. Follow her on Instagram here.
Diwali, also known as the Festival of Lights, is one of the biggest celebrations in India. Similar to Christmas in the West, it brings families and friends together to celebrate, relax, pray, and eat. Getting to celebrate Diwali in India with locals was an experience I’ll never forget.
The dates of Diwali change every year as it depends on the moon cycle. In this upcoming year (2019) it will be from October 25-29th. The entire holiday takes place over five days with the main celebration on the third day (October 27th). The day of Diwali marks the New Year in the Hindu calendar.
Diwali celebrations take place all over the country, but in the south of India, they celebrate Diwali one day earlier. All over the country, you will see families decorating their homes with lights, setting off fireworks, and dressing up for the occasion.
The best way to celebrate Diwali is to either do a homestay with a family or stay at an accommodation that puts on Diwali celebrations for guests. Jaipur is one of the most popular cities to celebrate Diwali as the entire market gets lit up. Visiting India during Diwali is a unique way to experience India. It’s so much fun to celebrate with the locals and a great way to learn more about Hindu culture.
Yestival In England
Yes to following that dream you’ve always had? Yes to making new friends, laughing until you need to pee, and hugging strangers (who are just people waiting to become your friends)?
What about if you said yes to camping in a field with a couple hundred of that friends-to-be?!
It all started just like that with adventurer Dave Cornthwaite back in 2015 when he decided to turn his ‘followers into friends’, get on a train out of London, camp under the stars and connect. Really connect.
And so ‘The Yes Tribe’ was born.
I was lucky enough to be at the very first Yestival in 2015 and recently returned from this 5th annual inspiring positivity festival, this time taking my husband along.
What is Yestival?
It is a welcoming weekend where you can simply be. A weekend of inspiring positive change, of living life to its fullest and saying yes to those things that maybe scare you but make you feel good and saying no to those that don’t! In this day and age of living on our screens and in our social media accounts, it is an opportunity to power down your devices and power up your soul!
- Where: In a field in West Sussex, England
- When: Typically, in October but this year it was held on the last weekend of June
- Why: To feel inspired, motivated, and like a total superhero badass that can do anything your big superhero heart desires?! Then if you answered Yes to any of these then that’s why.
The reason that this festival is so very special and wonderful is simply because of the people. The connections you can make, the inspiration you receive, and the positive vibes you feel for weeks after the last tent has been taken down.
Your day starts with yoga or Project Awesome (a free fitness initiative in London based on bright colors, unicorns, and rainbows…) and then is filled with inspiring, adventurous, change-making speakers. People that have skied across Antarctica, rowed across the Atlantic Ocean and walked to Australia from England. Others have camped for the first time or quit their corporate job for a more fulfilling lifestyle and everything you can imagine in between.
To add to this, Yestival was the first-ever single-use plastic-free festival, these people care about you, your happiness, and our planet’s happiness.
If this all sounds a bit ‘woo-woo’…just give it a chance! Maybe you would secretly like to try it out and see what it feels like to hear other people’s stories and maybe even tell your own at the Open Mic, then come along! Join us in a field next to the converted double-decker YesBus with a glowing campfire and smiles to match.
I promise you, it will change your life.