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55 Epic Holidays & Festivals Around the World to Enjoy in 2024

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There are so many incredible holidays and festivals around the world to enjoy! From carnival celebrations to lantern festivals, there is a wide variety of wild parties and traditional rituals that  you can find across the globe.

Each year we look to tick off a couple of these festivals around the world from our bucket list, and we're here to help you do the same!

We've worked hard to gather all of the holidays this year, and each of the festivals around the world that are worth experiencing. Not only will you learn about the traditions, but we've included the dates, airports to fly to, and have linked all relevant articles of the places we've been, so that you can organize an epic 2024! Enjoy!

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Epic Festivals Around The World in Janaury

January is a month where most people become hermits. They feel the financial burden from the holiday season, and the winter blues. However, we're here to tell you that January is an incredible month to tick off some things from your winter bucket list! Here are two particular festivals around the world we suggest checking out.

1. Canary Islands Carnival

Typically carnival in the Canary Islands is held throughout February. However, Easter is early this year, which means carnival is too!

There are a ton of cool carnival celebrations around the world, but the Canary Islands is personally one of my favorites. Expect massive street parties, warm weather, and ridiculous costumes.

The two islands that embrace carnival the most are Tenerife and Gran Canaria, which are also two of the most popular islands of the archipelago.

Carnival Tenerife

Carnival in Tenerife

Held in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, the streets fill with people partying all day and night, until the sun comes up! Expect all different funny costumes, parades, and a variety of entertainment throughout the city. 

The carnival in Tenerife is one of the biggest in the world (right behind Brazil), and is the biggest one in Spain. The first time I went, it was on a full flight from Madrid to Tenerife, and the entire plane was filled with people in costumes and passing around drinks in anticipation of this epic carnival. Needless to say- this is definitely one for the bucket list!

Carnival in Gran Canaria

After Tenerife, Gran Canaria is known to have the second biggest carnival in the Canary Islands. Held in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (the capital), this celebration is similar to Tenerife's, but is well known for its Drag Queen Gala.

2. Up Helly Aa

Located in Shetland, Scotland, Up Helly Aa is a festival to celebrate the end of the Yule season.  Each year thousands prepare for this massive fire festival, where there will be around 1,000 torch bearers that are disguised in costumes.

Up Helly Aa is a full 24-hour celebration, and you can expect singing, dancing, drinking, and of course, lots of fire!

Epic Festivals Around The World in February

February is hands down the best month when it comes to epic festivals around the world. This month is when the majority of the carnivals around the world are held, and you can expect a ton of epic celebrations in February. Here are the top 10 ones to add to your bucket list for 2024.

3. Venice Carnival

While many carnivals around the world are rather wild, Venice is a bit more of a classier one. The floating city fills with people dressed in elegant gowns and elaborate masks.

The celebration is held for the two weeks leading up to lent, and has a variety of events going on. such as theatrical shows, acrobatics, and the famous gondola parade.

4. Yanshui Beehive Fireworks Festival

Know to be one of the "most dangerous festivals in the world", the Yanshui Beehive Fireworks Festival is definitely a unique one.

Located in one of the oldest towns in Taiwan, Tainan has a festival dedicated to fire. The streets fill with people shooting bottle rockets, firecrackers, and fireworks. Some people even bring helmets for this wild experience!

5. Brazilian Carnival

If you're looking for the biggest celebrations in the world, then look no further than Brazil - the part capital of the world!

Brazilian carnival is a country-wide celebration, and is the most anticipated time of year for Brazilians. Extravagant costumes, parades, and street parties are just some of the fun you can experience during carnival in Brazil.

The most famous celebration is held in Rio de Janeiro, but some other incredible ones for the bucket list are Salvador (the biggest in Brazil), Recife (a nice local one), and Sao Paulo (the most amount of parties in total).

Brazilian carnival, best festivals around the world
how to dress during the carnival in Brazil
Brazilian carnival, best festivals around the world
Brazilian carnival, best festivals around the world

Carnival is chaos, but it is definitely something for the bucket list.

Carnival in Rio de Janeiro

Carnival in Rio de Janeiro is seriously a bucket list experience! It is the most famous celebration, as it's where the Sambadrone is located - a stadium specifically created for carnival that has parades of the best dancers in the entire country.

The city also has a ton of smaller street parties, which are constantly moving, so it's important to join the Facebook and Whatsapp groups for constant updates!

Brazilian carnival, best places to travel in February

Carnival in Sao Paulo

Sao Paulo is the perfect place to spend a couple of days for carnival, as it's typically where most people can fly into for the best prices. The city has a week of official carnival dates, but the city actually has scattered parties throughout all of January and February! Our personal favorite parties are the ones held at Ibirapuera.

carnival in Sao Paulo, Brazil, festivals around the world

Carnival in Salvador

If you ask Brazilians which carnival is their favorite, then Salvador will oftentimes be the answer. 

While most tourists flock to Rio for carnival, the real deal is truly in Salvador. This is the country's biggest carnival, and is just a few days. Sadly, we didn't know that the dates were different, so missed it by just a day! By the videos we saw on the news though, it's clear that this is one of the best carnivals in the entire world.

We also love Salvador as a destination itself, so highly recommend saving time to explore the city and the beaches around it!

walking, how to be a more eco-friendly traveler
Salvador, Brazil
Salvador, Brazil

Carnival in Recife

Carnival in Recife is hardly visited by tourists, but is truly one of the best ones that I have been to! If you're looking for authentic carnival vibes, then check out Recife and Olinda, which is a neighboring beach town beloved by Brazilians.

Olinda carnival, best festivals around the world
Olinda, the carnival in Brazil

6. Trinidad & Tobago Carnival

Just like Brazil, Trinidad & Tobago shows off during carnival with its elaborate costumes, bright colors, and people partying in the streets. One thing that makes the Trinidad & Tobago carnival unique is that the kickoff party starts on a Monday at 4 am!

7. Spain Carnival

We've already mentioned the incredible celebrations of the Canary Islands, but all of Spain celebrates carnival!

While living in Madrid, I was able to attend a ton of different celebrations. But interestingly enough, the biggest celebrations are not in the biggest cities! The largest carnival celebration is held in Cadiz, a port city in the south of the country.

Behind Tenerife, Cadiz has the biggest carnival in Spain, where the main plaza fills with people dressed in costumes, and those of all ages partying all day and night.

8. Mardi Gras

Mardi Gras is the carnival of the US, and is known for a few different things from the other countries. While many other carnivals include elaborate costumes, Mardi Gras is known for its colors and bead tradition.

Gold, purple, and green can be found decorated everywhere, and women flash people to win a string of beads. It's certainly not the classiest festival, but definitely one for the bucket list.

While you can find a variety of celebrations across the country, the main Mardi Gras celebration is held in New Orleans, Louisiana, and occurs for the four days leading up to Fat Tuesday.

Mardi Gras, festivals around the world

Photo by Thomas Park on Unsplash

9. Chinese New Year 

Chinese New Year is the most important holiday in China, and is definitely one of the coolest festivals around the world to experience.

This day is celebrated with parades, fireworks, special dinners, and gift giving, making it a magical time to experience Chinese traditions. Unlike the traditional calendar, the Chinese New Year falls on a different date each year. The date depends on the lunar calendar, which can be anywhere from mid January to the end of February. 

Chinese New Year, festivals around the world

Photo by 阳 晨 on Unsplash 

10. Malaysia Spring Festival

While Chinese New Year is celebrated mainly in China, it is actually also celebrated in Malaysia! Also known as the spring festival, the celebrations are revolved around the lunar calendar, and include red lanterns, cultural events, and fireworks to kick off the new year.

Malaysia spring festival, festivals around the world

Photos by Vi Tran on Unsplash

Malaysia spring festival, festivals around the world

11. Barranquilla Carnival 

If you're looking for one of the best carnivals in Colombia, then you won't want to miss out on the one in Barranquilla.

While the city itself doesn't have as much to offer as Cartagena or Santa Marta, February this city comes to life with its incredible carnival celebrations, full of parades, beautiful costumes, and a lot of dancing.

Don't have time to read the whole article and want to save it for later? Just pin it!

festivals around the world
the best festivals around the world
the best festivals around the world

12. Battle of the Oranges 

This is one of the most unique festivals around the world and one of the wildest events in Italy. While the carnival in Venice is full of gorgeous masks, parades, and dances, the carnival in Ivrea is one of the crazier ones out there.

Every year the small northern town of Ivrea hosts "Battle of the Oranges" where thousands gather to have the largest food fight in the country. It's similar to "La Tomatina" in Spain, but it's done with oranges, and it's definitely one to add to the bucket list!

The three day long festival stretches from Sunday to Shrove Tuesday every year. This year the dates are February 11th to the 13th, starting at 10 am.

Ivrea battle of the oranges, festivals around the world

Photo by Samuele Giglio on Unsplash 

Ivrea battle of the oranges, places to travel in February

13. Singapore Sky Lantern Festival

Welcome to one of the most magical festivals around the world. Located on Sentosa Island in Singapore, the festival is one where thousands of lanterns are lit and then released into the sky to make wishes come true.

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Epic Festivals Around The World in March

If you thought all of the best festivals around the world were in February, then you were wrong! March is actually a month with several carnival celebrations, as well as some other fun and unique festivities. Here are 4 of the coolest festivals around the world to check out in the month of March.

14. Cayenne Carnival

Most people have never even heard of French Guiana, no less think there is an incredible reason for visiting. Well, the Cayenne Carnival may just change your mind! Similar to many of the other carnivals in South America, this carnival is full of beautiful costumes, lively parades, and many parties in the streets.

15. La Fallas

Spain has a ton of unique festivals, but this is certainly one of my personal favorites.

The origin of Las Fallas comes from the old carpenter’s tradition of celebrating the arrival of spring on March 19th by burning pieces of wood which were used to prop up their lights during the wintertime.

Now, the festival is celebrated with aspiring artists contributions. They work for months on end to create their best massive and colorful structure. The artwork is spread throughout the city of Valencia for tourists and local to admire, while having various festivities throughout the work. Some of these include parties in the streets, fireworks, and massive paellas being served.

The last day of Las Fallas there is a winner chosen of all of the art pieces, and all of them are burned to the ground with enormous bonfires. This is definitely one of the most unique festivals around the world, and one of the top reasons to visit Valencia.

Las Fallas, festivals around the world

Photo by Marcelo on Unsplash

16. St Patrick’s Day

Another one of our favorite places to travel in March is Dublin, for the famous celebration of St Patrick's Day. 

Every year on March 17th locals and tourists gather for a big parade and parties along the streets and bars of the city. Dublin is covered from top to bottom in green, as well as all of those that are celebrating. So get ready for a pint of Guinness and to experience one of the best festivals around the world!

If you can't make it to Dublin, New York City also has a massive St Patricks Day parade, and you can also find a ton of different parties and places to celebrate.

St. Paddies, where to travel in March

St. Patrick's Day is one of the best times to come to Dublin.

17. Semana Santa

Easter is one of the most celebrated holidays around the world, and each country has their own way of celebrating. In Spain and Latin American countries, they don't celebrate the day of Easter, as much as they celebrate steadily throughout the whole week.

Head over to Spain and they really take Semana Santa to a whole other level. Most businesses are off of work (kind of like a spring break for all ages), and there are large parades. The biggest celebrations are in Sevilla, where it is one of the biggest celebrations of the year.

Don't be scared though. The typical dresses are large hooded capes. They come in groups of all different colors, and the white ones look creepily like the KKK. Of course this is not what the intent is, so there is nothing to wor