Party Time: Your 2018 Festival Fun Guide Around The Globe

Group of 8 people dancing as the sunsets behind the palm tree in the distance

3.55min read

Published 18 January 2018


Keep the party going with these top 2018 world festivals


Who says the party needs to stop at New Years? You can keep your festive cheer alive throughout the year and appease your inner travel bug at the same time.

Consider a guided group holiday for festival travel, says Nicky Potgieter, Flight Centre Travel Group Leisure Marketing Leader. “You’ll get to rub shoulders with people your age who can match your level of party, but best of all, its hassle free and often works out much cheaper than booking everything individually on your own.

“Another top tip to remember is only take with you what you’re prepared to lose. In the mayhem of a festival, things go missing. The last thing you want to be doing instead of joining the festivities is looking for your credit card, passport or favourite pair of sunglasses.”

Good news is that Flight Centre’s favourites make a re-appearance in 2018, so if you’re looking to enjoy some festival fun, here are their top picks of world festivals next year.

St. Patrick's Day, Ireland

Date: 17 March

The great thing about this festival is that in 2018 it falls on a Saturday, convenient for those who might need a day of recovery. In Dublin, it’s actually a five-day celebration from 15-19 March, so you’ll have plenty of opportunities to celebrate with funfairs, festival parades and the greening of Dublin being the main attractions. St. Patrick’s Day is also celebrated in many parts of the world, typically in major cities where you will find an abundance of green beer paired with green attire, images of leprechaun and shamrocks, and pretty much everybody talking about how Irish they suddenly are. But nothing beats celebrating with the Irish, in a sea of green, in the heart of Dublin, with a pint of Guinness in your hand.

Top Tip: Train your liver beforehand for this one, but make an effort to spend a few days before or after the 17th March so you can participate in the festivities and see more of the Dublin’s historic attractions such as Trinity College, the Monument of Light, Parnell Square and St. Stephen's Green.

For more information about St. Patrick’s Day in Dublin:

La Tomatina, Spain

Date: 29 August

Get ready for the world’s biggest food fight. La Tomatina takes place in the Valencian town of Buñol, located in the east of Spain. The festival involves people (22 000 to be exact) joyfully throwing raw tomatoes at each other for no reason. A ham is placed on a cockaigne pole (a large, greased pole) and the tomato fight can only begin once someone can climb to the top and bring it down. It’s messy, it’s fun and it’s one of Europe’s best and most well-known summer festivals that’s been going since 1945.

Top Tip: Be sure to squash your tomato before you throw it, so as not to hurt anyone. Don a pair of stylish swimmers goggles if you would prefer to avoid getting tomato juice in your eyes.


Oktoberfest, Germany

Date: 22 Sept- 7 Oct

If you love beer, bratwurst, and all things German, then Oktoberfest is a must, even though much of it actually occurs in September. This is one of the top world festivals in 2018 where you will easily make plenty new best friends you might never remember. With today’s beer culture, it's no surprise that this volkfestival is so incredibly popular. Go for an inclusive package with your transport and accommodation for this one, so that the only thing you will need to worry about is getting your lederhosen. Accommodation fills up, just as quickly as those steins do, so booking a group based package where everything is pre-organised is key.

Top Tip: Only purchase your lederhosen once your itinerary is set and paid for. Much like St. Paddy’s day, be sure to take an orientation walk of Munich while you are there, and try to squeeze in a visit to Berlin if you can.


Rio Carnival, Brazil

Date: 9-14 Feb

If you love music and dancing, then the Rio Carnival is one of the top world festivals that should be right up your samba alley. Whilst the whole of Brazil celebrates the carnival during this period, Rio de Janeiro attracts the largest number of visitors. The carnival marks the beginning of Lent and is an explosion of dazzling colours, eccentric costumes, live music and huge organised parades. The atmosphere is electric as millions of people take to the streets to join in the festivities.  

Top tip: Group travel is key for this top world festival so that you don't get lost in the crowd. Be sure to try a Rio boat trip and BBQ for a varied experience of the carnival.


Holi festival of Colour, India

Date: 1st and 2nd of March

There have been plenty spin-offs of this one but the original celebration of colour take place in India, where the streets throughout are transformed into a powdery kaleidoscope of colour. Holi Festival is one of top world festivals in 2018 and, according to Hindu culture, it commemorates the victory of good over evil, which was brought about by the burning and destruction of the demoness whose name was Holika. It also marks the upcoming spring harvest season. By the end of Holi you will be wet, with colour all over your skin and clothes.

Top Tip: Lather yourself in oil and wear old clothes because it’s going to be difficult to get the colour off. While Holi is celebrated throughout India, we recommend spending Holi in Udaipur or Jaipur.

Day of the Dead, Mexico

Date: 31 Oct - 3 Nov

Holding the rather dubious title of the Day of the Dead, Día de los Muertos is a day that commemorates, celebrates and remembers the dead. It’s no surprise that the festival starts on 31 October which is also Halloween. However, these celebrations are in no way related. The celebrations vary from town to town throughout Mexico, but usually include people taking to the streets to enjoy processions of parades and float. The best part? You can dress up, as long as you act respectfully.

Top Tip:  Be sure to go through a company with a local guide who will offer up helpful information and tips before the festival, and who will take you to observe cemetery vigils in the towns of Xoxocotlan and Atzompa.

Flight Centre

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