Not-to-be-missed festivals to add to your travel calendar
If you’re planning to travel over the next couple of months, it’s well worth fitting one of these world-renowned festivals into your itinerary.
Loi Krathong and Yi Peng Festival – A celebration of light and love
Celebrated during the full moon in November, Thailand’s Yi Peng festival of lights overlaps with Loy Krathong, and is considered one of the most striking and romantic events on the global festival calendar. Dressed in their traditional finery, locals make their way to lakes, rivers and canals to pay their respects to the goddess of water by floating ‘krathongs’.
Krathongs are small rafts made of banana leaves decorated with flowers, candles, coins and incense sticks. It is believed that by launching the krathong into the water you float away your sins and sorrow. People also believe that should you and your partner’s rafts float together, you will have a long and happy future together. When the moon is full and bright, lanterns are lit and released into the sky in a magnificent display, making this one of the most anticipated light-filled festivals.
Hogmanay – The biggest most epic New Year celebration ever!
Edinburgh’s New Year Hogmanay festival has all the elements to make up the perfect large scale celebration – live music, food, beer, fireworks, processions and a number of traditional outlandish activities that only the Scottish can fully understand. A literal sensory explosion, this epic festival is not for the faint hearted and you will be thrown into the pulsating throng of lively revellers with no choice but to give in and let your hair down in the spirit of this epic celebration.
Wakakusa Yamayaki – A fiery spectacle to behold
Taking place on the fourth Saturday in January every year, this unusual Japanese festival sees the dry grass on the hillside of Mount Wakakusayama set alight, and the name of the festival therefore unsurprisingly literally translates as ‘The Mountain Roast’. But the fiery spectacle doesn’t just end there as this traditional fire is preceded by a spectacular fireworks display. Due to the height of the mountain the fire can be seen from anywhere in the city but its well worth joining in the festivities on offer.
Mardi Gras — New Orleans Carnival Season Spectacular
The Mardi Gras in New Orleans is celebrated just before before Ash Wednesday. In 2018 the Mardi Gras falls on Tuesday, February 13, however the most popular time to visit New Orleans is the extended weekend before, in order to catch the most popular parades during the period. Be sure to visit, to grab a few of the famed bead necklaces thrown by the different krewe - pronounced crew - these are the organisations that put on each parade or ball for the ultimate carnival season.