1. Aoling Festival of the Konyak Headhunters

While the more famous Hornbill Festival sees a larger confluence of Nagaland’s many flamboyant tribes, it’s a show mainly for the benefit of tourists. The Aoling tribal festival is more authentic, and gives you a true taste of Konyak, an erstwhile headhunter clan. This is their celebration welcoming Spring, and offering prayers for a good harvest. This is a fantastic opportunity to spend time with the otherwise hard-to-engage with Konyaks; already a diminishing tribe. They have elaborate tattoos inked on their bodies and faces in particular. While you are there: Visit Longwa, a unique village on the Indo-Burma border where half the houses are Indian and the other half, Burmese. The village chief’s house is particularly delightful, given that the international border runs right down the middle.
When : April
Where : Mon district, Nagaland

2. The Mask Dances of Hemis

Sandwiched between gigantic cliffs skirting the edge of Hemis National Park in Ladakh, the 17th century Hemis monastery, is at once magical and imposing beneath the jagged peaks. Each year the charm grows manifold when it plays host to one of the biggest and most popular festivals of Ladakh – the Hemis Festival. Celebrated in honor of Guru Rinpoche Padmasambhava (one of the founders of Tibetan Buddhism), the traditional music and the mask dances, or Chams, performed in the monastery courtyard are a spectacle. Complete with sound and visual effects, from the large drums and the long copper trumpets. Do keep in mind that the festival is naturally very popular, so be prepared to be pushed and shoved. While you are there: Also make time for spotting the ancient rock paintings, petroglyphs created 2000 to 4000 years ago in the nearby Dah Hanu and Batalik region. Few paintings are carefully preserved in the Domkhar Rock Art Sanctuary even as many are vandalized due to ignorance. If you’re there for a week or more, you can hike on the popular Markha Valley and camp at friendly villages in homestays along the trail.
When : June – July
Where : Hemis, Ladakh

3. Teej – The Monsoon Festival

While Pushkar’s Camel Fair might well be the first that pops into your head when you hear “festival” and “Rajasthan”, this land of palaces has more treats up its sleeve. Recently, the state tourism department joined hands with the Maharaja of Jaipur to promote one of the more fun festivals of Rajasthan – Teej. Celebrated by women seeking wellness and longevity for their husbands (and a blissful married life), the festivities are marked by colorful “Lehariya” sarees, swinging on giant jhoolas and gorging on Ghevar. The best part of the celebrations, however, is the Teej Mata (an incarnation of Parvati) procession through the streets of Jaipur where dancers, performers and music bands put on quite a show. While you are there: Rajasthan in the monsoon is spectacular. Make the most of it by visiting the hinterlands of Jaisalmer where you can experience the unusual vista of expansive desertland drenched in fresh downpour under a stormy sky.
When : August
Where : Jaipur, Rajasthan

4. Nehru Boat Race

One of the most popular boat races in Kerala, Nehru Boat Race, on the serene waters of Punnamada Lake, draws huge crowds from across the country. Witness hundreds of men working in clockwork-like unison to paddle 100-feet long canoes – Chundan Vallam (most of us know them as snake boats) – along a 1.4 kilometer long course. Several Vallam Kali (boat games) events happen across the state during autumn as part of the harvest festival. The Nehru Boat Race has carved a space for itself since its inception in 1952 when it started as a welcoming event for Nehru, the then Prime Minister of India, and later morphed into a race. While you are there: Steal a quick trip to the palm fringed backwaters of Kuttanad that’s not only famous for its verdant rice fields but also for being 2.2 meters below sea level, a geological peculiarity.
When : August
Where : Allapuzha, Kerala

5. Ziro Music Festival

If the lush rice paddies of Ziro or the extremely affable folks of Apatani tribe aren’t reason enough for you to visit this cluster of villages in the heart of Arunachal Pradesh, this eclectic music festival might just persuade you to pack your bags right away. Featuring a generous mix of music talent from northeast and the rest of the country, this 4-day music festival in the open grounds of the stunning Ziro valley is a treat for both the ears, and eyes. While you are there: Experience the lovely hospitality of Apatanis by foraging in the forest for ferns with them, chugging down copious amounts of apong (rice beer) in bamboo glasses and making merry in general, around the kitchen hearth that’s the center of all socializing in Ziro.
When : September
Where : Ziro, Arunachal

6. Kumaon Literature Festival

The hills of Kumaon play host to a brand new lit fest that aims to fill the gaps its more popular siblings have created. While the Jaipur edition and Mumbai litfest (Tata Literature Live!) has got fiction and non-fiction covered, there lacks a platform for children’s books. Enter Kumaon. The festival includes young-adult publishing, as well as children’s fiction while providing a platform for aspiring writers to engage with the larger publishing community. KLF also takes diversity very seriously and sees a strong regional language presence, ensuring that distinct voices are heard (and read). In short, KLF promises not to be a daunting lit fest, here community and vision trumps individual personas. While you are there: Mosey on down to Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary, which is home to many elusive birds such as Khaleej Pheasant and Himalayan Monal. Your main reason to head that side would be to take in the stunning panoramic views of the Himalayas.
When : October
Where : Kumaon, Uttarakhand

7. Comic Con, Delhi

A far cry from its very humble beginnings in 2011, the desi edition of the world famous Comic Con is a raging success today with multiple events spreading across various cities in India. With the global rise of superhero stories generously aided by mind-bending VFX and the ease of access of high quality games/shows, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that more people than ever are interested in channeling their inner character obsessions. What better place to indulge in your fantasy than at Comic Con, the event that made cosplay cool for everyone? If you can’t make it to Delhi, you can choose to attend the event at Mumbai, Pune, Hyderabad or Bangalore. While you are there: Go on a treasure hunt in the by lanes of Delhi to uncover many of the spectacular step wells hidden in plain sight in the national capital.
When : Winter
Where : TBA

8. Nagaur Cattle Festival

There’s a running joke that there are more photographers in Pushkar than there are camels. So do yourself a favour, skip the crowds and make a beeline for the Nagaur Cattle Festival. It’s the second largest cattle fair in the country, and has an unbeatable authenticity to the whole thing. Here, time stands still; giving you an intimate glimpse into the long-standing agrarian tradition of cattle trading where warm smiles outnumber demands of money. While you are there: Visit the cluster of Rampuria Havelis of Bikaner, and the Karni Mata temple. Be warned, the latter is home to thousands of rats. While it’s not known how or why the rat worship started, the locals revere them highly.
When : January
Where : Nagaur, Rajasthan

9. Losar in Ladakh

In the stark winters of Ladakh when an eerie silence falls upon the roof of the world, the Cham songs and dances of Losar add a new spunk of colour to the barren landscape. Witnessing the mask dances in the backdrop of snow-covered mountains in bone-chilling cold might not be everyone’s cup of tea but the Tibetan new year celebrations in Ladakh’s gompas (monasteries) offer the intrepid explorers a rare glimpse into the ancient rituals and traditions unfettered by the ills of mass commercialization. While you are there: Try walking on the famous Chadar that will soon become stuff of past either due to climate change or completion of the road to Zanskar.
When : February
Where : Ladakh, Jammu & Kashmir

10. BANFF Mountain Festival

For years, incurable outdoor enthusiasts in India could only dream of attending the legendary Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival that happens in the breathtaking (eponymous) mountain town of Banff in Alberta, Canada. But The Himalayan Club has now brought the next best thing to India – a screening of the award winning films across several cities in India as part of the Banff world tour. Documentaries and outdoor films by Indian explorers are screened along with inspiring sessions with homegrown outdoorsmen and women. While you are there: Plan a quick hike to the literal jewel of Sahyadris – Ratangad – that offers panoramic views of the deep valleys and iconic cliffs unique to the region, keeping in line with the outdoorsy spirit of the event.
When : February-March
Where : Mumbai


The name of the festival literally translates as ‘The Mountain Roast’ and is where on the 4th Saturday in January each year, the dead grass on the hillside of Mount Wakakusayama is set ablaze – but until after one epic fireworks display. There are two theories of the evolution of the festival. The first claims that the burning of the mountainside began during boundary conflicts between Nara’s great temples (T?dai-ji and K?fuku-ji), while another claims the fires were used to drive away wild boars. Once set ablaze the mountain can burn for up to an hour and because of the mountains elevation it can be seen from anywhere in the city.
When : 27 January 2019
Where : Nara, Japan


Sundance is North America’s most famous independent film festival, appealing to the non-conformist and rebellious film directors who do not want to play by Hollywood’s rules. Located in a relatively small town, first time attendees may be surprised by the lack of glamour of where the films are shown, but there is a certain buzz about sitting in an old theater watching a mold-bursting indie film sat besides an actor about to hit super-stardom. If you love edgy, powerful films, Sundance may be just what you are looking for.
When : 24 January – 3 February 2019
Where : Park City, Utah – USA


I’ve been travelling around Italy chasing festivals for a couple of years, and Venice Carnival is one of my all time favourites. During the day, it’s fun to wander around the ancient streets of the city surrounded by people in 18th century costumes – you’ll feel as if you’ve jumped straight into Eyes Wide Shut. Just make sure you try and get away from the busy streets around San Marco Square – the Cannaregio and Dorsoduro areas offer great choices to party with locals, especially at night when most day trippers leave.
When : 16 February – 5 March 2019
Where : Venice – Italy


According to the elders of Pingxi, the Sky Lantern Festival originated in the Xing Dynasty, more than two thousand years ago. At that time, bands of outlaws frequently raided the lowland villages, forcing residents to seek refuge in the mountains. Village watchmen used “fire balloons” as signals to inform the residents that their houses were safe once again and when those hiding in the hills saw the celestial flares, they knew it was time to go home. Today these lanterns have two main purposes. One: they display scribbled messages of the hopes and dreams of the purchaser who then release them into the night sky by the power of fire; and Two: they represent the end of the Chinese New Year period and their release symbolizes the shedding of outdated ways and embracing the future. The Discovery Channels ‘Fantastic Festivals of the World’ show has highlighted the Lantern Festival as one of the best festivals in the world and something everyone should try and experience once in their lifetime.
When : 19 February 2019
Where : Pingxi, Taiwan – Republic of China


Mardi Gras is synonymous with hedonism and debauchery, and with a motto of Laissez les bons temps rouler (Let the good times roll), it’s no surprise that this is probably the wildest party in the United States. It may be a surprise to some, however, that Mardi Gras is the official final celebration before the period of Lent, the Catholic period of introspection and sacrifice. But whatever your religion – everyone is welcome! So grab your purple, green and gold (the festivals official colors representing justice, faith and power) and take to the streets for one of the biggest parties of your life.
When : 5 March 2019
Where : New Orleans, Louisiana – USA


The annual Holi Festival celebration in India is known for its vibrant display of color and beautiful meaning of unity. Each year the Indian people come together to throw colors and celebrate how the color unifies them and washes away their differences for the duration of the day. Every person in India celebrates the holiday and it is truly a spectacle to behold for a foreign visitor. The festival starts out quite mild in the morning and grows into a crazy and colorful, almost out of control, party by the afternoon. It is mostly celebrated on the streets with loud music before people retreat to private house parties to eat and continue the celebration.
When : 20-21 March 2018
Where : Mumbai, Dehli – India


The Carnival in Rio de Janeiro is a festival held before Lent every year and considered the biggest carnival in the world with two million people per day on the streets. The typical Rio carnival parade is filled with revelers, floats, and adornments from numerous samba schools which are located in Rio. Dressed in beautiful costumes these amazing dancers parade through the Sambadrome; official balls & parties are held at Copacabana Palace. And the streets come alive with the mini festivals instigated by locals where formality and structure are left far behind as music and dancing become the order of the day.
When : 2 – 9 March 2019
Where : Rio De Janeiro – Brazil


St Patrick’s day has taken place in New York City on March 17th since 1762. On this day, the whole city turns green, lots of people paint a green shamrock on their faces and even the Empire State Building is lit up in green. The Irish pubs are packed with Irish immigrants and many other nationalities who celebrate this fun holiday. Many Irish bake the traditional soda bread on this day. It is a bread made of raisins, baking soda, baking powder, flour, sugar, salt and margarine. It is one of the most fun days of the year in NYC every year, when the whole city turns into a big green party and many people get drunk.
When : 17 March 2019
Where : Ireland & New York – USA

19. SXSW (USA)

Like free stuff? Yeah me too! Free food, drink (the hard stuff) and music sound good? Welcome to South By Southwest in Austin, Texas. SXSW is technically a festival for media types who work in the music, film and digital industries. March is chance for them to watch presentations, network and then party but there are also ‘free’ shows which Craig and I have attended for the past two years. You do have to pay but not by handing over cash, you have to give up some time by queueing but it is worth it to see popular acts like Chvrches and discover new music such as Daniel Wilson. Fancy it? Check out our guide on how to do SXSW for free.
When : 8 – 17 March 2019
Where : Austin, Texas – USA


Every year on April 27 Amsterdam turns a very bright shade of orange for King’s Day, which is the King’s birthday (Willem-Alexander of the House of Orange). It’s a crazy fun celebration when the center of the city is basically car, tram, and bike-free simply because there are too many people on foot. It has a contagious festival-like atmosphere with street vendors, a market day when anyone can sell pretty much anything (except alcohol), and an insane boat parade party on the canals that will have you dancing unconsciously. It’s a festival that can put a smile on everyone’s face! Tips: Bring a jacket, wear orange, bring cash. Want to know more? Read How to Have the Best King’s Day Ever in Amsterdam
When : 26-29 April 2019
Where : Amsterdam – Netherlands


Snowbombing is the biggest party on the snow held in Mayrhofen, Austria in April every year. Primarily a festival about snow sports, it has grown to become the biggest music festival in the mountains over the past few years. Billed as a Ride N Seek event (a snowboard competition like no other) you’ll see the pros of the industry throwing some serious tricks in the park by day and watch an eclectic mix of music acts each night. Add in a fancy dress day where the mountain is filled with colourful skiwear and fake mustaches – it’s one of the best festivals on snow!
When : 8 – 13 April 2019
Where : Mayrhofen – Austria


In Thailand the celebration of New Year is referred to as Songkran. The exact date varies every year depending on the lunar cycle but usually happens sometime in April. The traditional celebration of Songkran is to return to your families and pay respect to your elders by spraying a little scented water on their hands. However, Songkran has changed over the years and has become a public 3 day water fight. It is near impossible to walk down the street without being sprayed by water. Shop owners will sit outside their shops with giant containers of ice water ready to throw at anyone walking by, while others will roam the streets, sometimes in tuk tuks! Tourists from all over the world will travel to Thailand to take part in these celebrations.
When : 13 – 15 April 2019
Where : Chaing Mai & Bangkok – Thailand


White Nights isn’t really one festival but a collection of events around the longest days of the year, from mid-­May to mid-­July. This festival is an extravaganza of the arts — music, opera, ballet, film and outdoor celebrations including the Scarlet Sails, a fleet of red­-sailed, tall ships with a gunpowder-packed fireworks show, Russian style. Long walks along the River Neva in almost constant daylight reveal roving gypsy bands, jugglers, sword swallowers, fire eaters, even stoic Russian mimes who might surprise you with their humor.
When : May 2019 TBC
Where : St Petersburg – Russia


One of the leading film festivals around the world, it was originally a touristic social event rather than a competition. However over the years the number and quality of films has grown to make it one of the most prestigious events in the film industry calendar. It’s a ritzy, glamorous affair, filled with fashion, and is somewhere you could arrive a nobody and leave a somebody. And even if you’re not on the rise to critical acclaim, you can have a wonderful time celeb-spotting the ones who are!
When : 14 – 25 May 2019
Where : Cannes – France


Even though it only exists for a week every year, Glastonbury is one of my favourite places on earth. 150,000 people come together to listen to great music, dress up in silly outfits and have a wonderful time on a farm in Somerset. Yes, it can be muddy and rainy and wet but it’s a festival like no other – and is easily one of the best festivals in the world. Whichever way your musical tastes lean, there will be something to suit, plus there’s theatre, comedy, parties and film showings when you (heavens forbid) decide you’ve had enough of the music. I’ve been going for seven years and love it and would very much recommend that you give it a try – just don’t forget to bring your wellies.
When : 26-30 June 2019
Where : Pilton, Somerset – UK


Spain’s annual Batalla de Vino, or Wine Battle, must be one of Europe’s most unique and underrated annual festivals. Each year in the small village of Haro, thousands of revelers emerge to a hill just after sunrise to wage war on each other using red wine as their weapon! Water guns, insect sprayers, and buckets are all filled with the deep red liquid that leaves attendees stained from head to toe. This wild event takes place on the morning of June 29th each year. But the night before is when the party really gets started. The festivities draw a mostly local crowd, making it a fun cultural experience as you stay up all night drinking and dancing in the streets until the wine fight begins in the early morning hours.
When : 29 June 2019
Where : Haro – Spain


Download is a 3 day music festival in England that happens in Donington Park. It started in 2003 and as taken place every year since then. It is so popular that a Paris version launched in 2016. Music goers can either buy individual day tickets or a 3 day pass to the whole event. The 3 day pass also comes with the option of camping. I’m an English girl who loves her music so I’ve been to a few festivals over the years but Download is the only music festival I keep returning to. I love the atmosphere here and the band selection is always spot on. They have a wide variety of acts from unknown bands waiting to get discovered, to popular bands and even rock legends. Last year I was very happy to see KISS play live!
When : 14 – 16 June 2019
Where : Donington Park, Leicestershire – UK


I have always wanted to visit Tomorrowland and its high on my bucket list. I recommend making it for this ultimate EDM festival held every year in Brelgium as it is definitely one of the the best for music lovers. Started in 2004 by a few renowned DJ’s, the festival these days attracts thousands if not millions of EDM lovers from across the globe. Held on a lovely summery weekend this place turns into pure megalomania. The extravagance of this festival with its psychedelic motifs and stages gets everyone going right from the start and it never stops. DJs like – Tiesto, David Guetta, Hard well, Afrojack are just some of the big names who perform every year to the sheer delight of the crowds in attendance. An open field with tents and camps all around for people to rest and sleep while enjoying the music. Meeting new people around the world who enjoy the same kind of music just pulsates the nerves and induces that feeling of belonging and that’s enough to get anyone hooked to this festival.
When : 19 – 21 July 2019
Where : Boom – Belgium


With the rise in popularity of animated films, western cartoons and Anime as well as video games and other fantasy novels, the franchise of Comicon has been growing over the years since the 70’s. Basically, this festival features a four-day event that is held at San Diego Convention Center in California. A wide variety of different genre in the fantasy world are all over the place during the whole event. Some famous movie and TV personalities can also be seen in this big event. In 2015, there were a lot of personalities that showed up in the event such as the all beautiful Gal Gadot (Wonderwoman), Hugh Jackman (Wolverine), Jennifer Lawrence (“The Mockingjay”/ Mystique), and even the all popular and talkative Deadpool, Ryan Reynolds. The cool part here is not just meeting your idols but also by partaking in the hype of the fantasy world by cosplaying your favorite characters, talking with strangers and making friends with the same enthusiasm with you. It’s a four-day event where you can act like a child and have fun like you don’t care about the whole world.
When : 18 – 21 July 2019
Where : San Diego, California – USA


For comedy lovers there is no other festival in the world better than Montreal’s Just for Laughs. The event takes place at the end of July and if you visit you get to split your sides laughing, see some celebrity comics and tour one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Comics who have played Just for Laughs include: Jerry Seinfeld, John Cleese, Rowan Atkinson and Canadian homeboy favourite Russell Peters. It’s one of the best festivals in the world for comedy lovers! The Festival concentrates most of its show in the Latin Quarter. During the day street performers delight the crowds and at night the city comes alive with comedy happenings scattered throughout the City.
When : 13 – 28 July 2019
Where : Montreal – Canada


Theater, music, film, comedy, dance, musicals, spoken word, street performances, and exhibitions – Edinburgh Festival Fringe has it all. Known as the world’s largest arts festival, each August the Fringe takes over Scotland’s capital, drawing artists, performers, and attendees from around the world. Fringe developed 70 years ago (as an alternative to the selective Edinburgh International Festival) and is an open-access festival, meaning that anyone can participate or perform. You can either buy tickets in advance or just walk down the bustling Royal Mile and let the many promoters guide you to a cheap or free show. The festive atmosphere of the entire city is truly contagious and something to experience at least once! And if you are planning a visit, don’t miss the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo which is on at the same time!
When : 2 – 26 August 2019
Where : Edinburgh – Scotland


Hajj refers to a Muslim’s pilgrimage to Mecca and is one of the five pillars of Islam. At least once in his or her lifetime, each Muslim is expected to undertake this pilgrimage the sacred city of Islam. This holy journey is called the hajj in Arabic. While a visit to Mecca is beneficial any time of the year, it must take place during the month of Dhu al-Hijja (the last month of the Islamic year) to fulfill the requirements of the hajj. As with the sawm (fasting), exceptions are made for those who are physically or financially unable to fulfill this obligation, and one is actually commanded not to make the hajj if to do so would cause hardship for his or her family. However, those unable to go themselves may fulfill their obligation by sending someone in their stead.
When : 9 – 14 August 2019
Where : Saudi Arabia


La Tomatina Festival takes place in a Spanish town in Valencia (Buñol). I went there in 2008 and it was a crazy fun festival. At around 10 am, the tomato war is starting. A few small trucks go inside the town, bringing with them kilos and kilos of tomatoes. They let the tomatoes drop to the ground, and that signals the beginning of the party. If you´ve ever wondered if this is painful, then you shouldn´t worry. Most of time, the tomatoes you will get are the mashed or crushed tomatoes that you can use to throw to your friends and even to strangers also partaking in the party. You´ll definitely get dirty. There will always be nice locals who will take out their hose and will splash the people with water so they can get cleaned. Bringing goggles are highly recommended. The event is definitely so much fun!
When : 29 August 2019
Where : Bunol, Valencia – Spain


Notting Hill Carnival is one of the highlight’s of London’s summer calendar. Every August bank holiday weekend, the normally sedate Notting Hill explodes into a riot of steel drums, exuberantly decorated floats and those dancers. It’s one of best festivals in the UK! Those taking part in the carnival have put in months and months of preparation – but the joy for spectators is turning up, and embracing whatever comes your way. Everyone dances, even people who never dance – the music is just too infectious not to. You might not quite reach the standard of the carnivalistas on the float (I certainly don’t anyway) but dance your feet off anyway. You’ll have to wait another 364 days for the opportunity to come round again.
When : 24 – 26 August 2019
Where : Notting Hill, London – UK


Every beer lover simply must attend the Oktoberfest once in their life! I recently checked it off my bucket list with great glee. I was sure there was no way I was going to drink TWO of those huge steins you see in pictures, but two were included with admission so two it was. No problem! Tent hopping is part of the fun and that means drinking even MORE beer. No problem! But thankfully there is a cafe tent where you can sober up with coffee and Black Forest cake, and then either dive in again or go back to your room in Munich to recover.
When : 21 September – 6 October 2019
Where : Munich – Germany


Austin City Limits can be described in one word, DYNAMIC. This amazing city boasts culture from all walks of life, contrary to most people’s beliefs that Austin, Texas is home to guys dressed in cowboy boots and hats riding horses. ACL Festival is no different, the social scene is mixed with all genres of music and art installations in a live music setting. One minute you can be head bobbing to 21 Pilots, lip syncing to Drake, being serenaded by the Weeknd, to watching a theatrical performance by Florence and the Machine. Did I mention some big name Electronic Music Dj’s make appearances here too? If diversity and overall different experience in an awesome town is what you look for in a festival, Austin City Limits is the place to be!
When : 5 – 15 October 2018
Where : Austin, Texas – USA


As a Pastry Chef, self proclaimed ‘foodie,’ and lover of all things Disney there is nothing I look forward to more than The EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival. Although the dates vary slightly each year the festival typically runs from September to mid-November, which prompts my singing of ‘It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year’ a little earlier than most because, well, it is the most wonderful time of the year at Disney! On top of the 11 countries permanently represented in EPCOT’s World Showcase, the festival highlights food and beverage offerings from 19 other nations at themed stalls. In addition, they offer seminars and demonstrations from famous chefs, wine tastings, and even film ABC’s The CHEW on site. My tips? Go during lunch on weekdays to avoid massive crowds and don’t miss the incredible chocolate centrepieces in the Festival Centre.
When : 30 August – 12 November 2018 and 2019
Where : Orlando, Florida – USA


I happened to visit India during the Diwali celebrations. Known as the “Festival of Lights”, the Diwali is supposed to last for about five days and consists in exchanging gifts, burning butter and oil lanterns, and in fireworks. In fact, it actually lasts more than the official five days, and it is incredibly noisy, with fireworks exploding literally anywhere – so much so that the already dramatic pollution levels of India increase further. Most Indians take their holidays during Diwali, or right after. Cities can get incredibly crowded with internal tourists – but the atmosphere is incredible! Easily one of the best festivals in the world!
When : 6 – 10 November 2018 + 27 – 30 October 2019
Where : Mumbai – India


Dia de los Meurtos is tradition that has been around for centuries, and although has been celebrated in a variety of ways, it has been never been to the extent of the opening scene’s of the James Bond movie, Spectre! The interest in the lavish parade depicted in the movie has forced the Mexican Government to turn it into a reality, with the first official Day of the Dead Parade held in 2016. The interest in the parade is so vast that Mexico anticipate it becoming as big as Rio’s Carnival in the years to come. When not visit in 2017 before it gets too crowded?!
When : 2 November 2018/2019
Where : Mexico City – Mexico


Loi Krathong is one of the most picturesque and most romantic festivals of Thailand, falling on the night of full moon of the 12th lunar month. The moon appears exceptionally bright, beautiful and full. Young couples draped in traditional finery, gather around lakes, rivers and canals to pay respects to the goddess of water by launching of the Krathong into the water. Krathong is a lotus shaped container made of banana leaves, containing a candle, incense sticks, flower and coins. People also make their way to these water bodies where they can float Krathongs and make their wishes. It is said that people congregate for floating away their sins and miseries and hope for a better future for their families. Click to Read More. At the same people light lanterns which rise into the night sky (Yi Peng) which makes for one of the most amazing sights you will ever see.
When : 23 November 2018 & 13 November 2019
Where : Chiang Mai – Thailand


Men dressed in whites robes and tall hats spinning in circles doesn’t sound as exciting as running with the bulls or dancing at Rio’s Carnival, but the chance to watch the Whirling Dervishes will change you in a way you’d never expect. Based on the teachings and practices of the 13th-century poet Rumi, this 10-day festival will expose you to the power of devotion and show you that spinning can do more than just make you dizzy.
When : 10 – 18 December 2018 TCB 2019
Where : Konya – Turkey


The mythical Krampus is horned half-goat, half-deamon who is meant to whip children into being nice at Christmas – and he’s more than a little terrifying to the uninitiated. Bearing horns, long dark hair (fur), and fangs, the anti-St. Nicholas comes with a chain and bells that he lashes about, along with a bundle of birch sticks meant to swat naughty children. He then hauls the bad kids down to the underworld. Or so the story goes. In the Austrian Alps, a parade of Krampus take over the streets, their chains rattling as they walk through the snow covered streets, carrying torches of fire and whipping unsuspecting passersby. Go prepared.. I didn’t sleep so well after attending this festival!
When : 5 December (every year)
Where : Tyrol – Austria


Picture the core of the city bustling with people partying, jumping from one stage to the other as 5 bands are usually playing at the same time all over the place, staring at fireworks as midnight approaches, having a blast even when the weather doesn’t help and you will start understanding how much fun it is. And then add popular dances, an ice rink, Christmas markets, a ferris wheel, a torchlight procession on the 30th, a proper music festival on the 31st, the nuts Loony Dook race that ends up swimming in the not so warm waters by the Forth bridge on the outskirts of the city as weel as an art explosion taking over 9 bizarre venues called Scot:Lands. I doubt there is another place on earth rocking NYE as much as Edinburgh!
When : 30 December – 1 January (every year)
Where : Edinburgh – Scotland

44. Quebec City Winter Carnival, Quebec City

Every February, Quebec City, Quebec, comes alive with sub-zero merriment. The world's largest winter carnival, the Québec Winter Carnival, has been a highlight on the area's event calendar since 1894, giving Quebeckers and thousands of visitors a reason to celebrate during the cold, snowy winters.
When : February 8 - 17, 2019
Where : Canada

45. Winterlude, Ottawa

Winterlude is an annual winter festival in Canada's capital city of Ottawa, Ontario, that takes place during the first three weekends of February. Most Winterlude activities are free and include skating on the world's largest skating rink, the Rideau Canal. When attending this carnival, be sure to check out the snow sculpture contests, concerts, and more.
When : February 1 - 18, 2019
Where : Canada

46. Winter Festival of Lights, Niagara Falls

From mid-November until the end of January, the Niagara Falls Winter Festival of Lights in Ontario is a spectacular light show that includes an illuminated 3-mile route of lighted displays, fireworks over the falls, concerts, and children's performances.
When : November 3, 2018 - January 31, 2019
Where : Canada

47. Cavalcade of Lights, Toronto

For almost 50 years, Toronto, Ontario, has kicked off the holiday season by launching a month-long series of free events, including concerts, ice-skating, and the illumination of Nathan Phillips Square and giant Christmas tree with 100,000 festive lights.
When : November 30, 2019
Where : Canada

48. Montreal High Lights Festival, Montreal

The Montreal High Lights Festival is on its way to becoming one of the most popular winter festivals in Canada. The Quebec festival, which lasts 10 days and kicks off around the end of February, shines a spotlight on arts and culture, the celebration of light, and the culinary scene. The food and drink aspect is a major draw for this festival. With more than 800,000 people attending the event annually, it is considered one of the largest culinary celebrations in Canada.
When : February 21 - March 3, 2019
Where : Canada

49. Winterlicious, Toronto

When the dates for Winterlicious are announced, book reservations as soon as possible. Taking place in Toronto, Ontario, restaurant chefs strut their culinary stuff each January or February during Winterlicious. Nearly 200 restaurants, featuring wide-ranging styles and cuisines, open their doors and drop their prices on prix fixe menus for two weeks.
When : January 25 – February 7, 2019
Where : Canada

50. Festival du Voyageur, Saint-Boniface (Winnipeg French Quarter)

Festival du Voyageur celebrates this Manitoba area's fur-trade era and French-Canadian heritage. Snow sculptures, dog-sledding, skating, and plenty of delicious food and drink highlight the week-long February festival.
When : February 15 - 24, 2019
Where : Canada

51. Ice on Whyte, Edmonton

The Ice on Whyte international ice carving competition highlights the sculptural creations of artists who arrive in Edmonton, Alberta, from all over the world. The ice carving is complemented by a giant ice slide, interactive kids zone, live music, food, fashion, and much more.
When : January 24 - 27, 2019 and January 31 - February 3, 2019
Where : Canada

52. Calgary Winterfest, Calgary

Kick off some pre-winter fun at Ralph Klein Park for Winterfest in Calgary, Alberta, during November. Bring your kids and friends along for an action-packed afternoon of indoor and outdoor activities. Get creative in the crafts room, join a guided park tour, or test out your birdwatching skills. There are also nature-themed games, fun facts about the park’s wildlife, and much more.
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