carnival, Coachella, hot air ballooning, ice festival, music festival, oktoberfest, world festivals

Each year hundreds of thousands of people flock to festivals all around the world to dance, drink, party, admire and indulge.  From beer to ballooning and snow to Snow Patrol, there are festivals to suit travellers of all ages and interests.  So if you’re looking to experience something different on your next holiday then why not consider one of these five festivals.

Oktoberfest – Munich, Germany

If you like beer then you don’t want to miss Oktoberfest in Germany, an annual event in September-October which dates back to the 1800’s and is now the world’s biggest fair.  There are over ten beer tents to choose from where you can drink beer by the stein, eat traditional food including pretzels and pork knuckles and listen to traditional brass bands all before you sing and dance the night away.  As well as plenty of beer to drink there are also amusement rides and games, souvenir shops and a heap of friendly locals who are always up for a chat or a dance.

International Balloon Fiesta – Albuquerque, USA

The Balloon Fiesta is an annual hot air balloon event held in October at the 365-acre Balloon Fiesta Park.  More than 500 balloons of all different shapes and colours take flight over Albuquerque in the most photographed event in the world.  The Special Shape Rodeo takes place two mornings during the event and is a static display of weird and wonderful shaped balloons including turtles, cows, aeroplanes and butterflies.  As well as the amazing display of balloons the Fiesta also includes piloting and speed competitions and is the starting point for America’s Challenge Gas Balloon Race where balloons are launched and then race as far as they can, sometimes ending up as far away as Canada and the east coast of the US.

Harbin Ice and Snow Festival – Harbin, China

The Ice and Snow festival in Harbin, China is an annual event held in January that exhibits the most artistic snow and ice sculptures in the world.  Gardens, waterfalls, animals, flowers and even buildings are carved from ice and then embedded with colourful lights which culminates in an ice wonderland.  The festival was established in 1985 and draws hundreds of thousands of visitors each year.  As well as the incredible sculptures the festival also has snow sculpting competitions, an ice lantern show, fireworks, skiing and sledding.

Coachella – Indio, USA

Coachella is a music and arts festival held over two weekends in the Colorado Desert, California.  The festival draws artists from all genres including indie, hip hop, rock and dance and has hosted some of the most well-known artists in the world including Calvin Harris, Lorde, Queens of the Stone Age, Lana Del Ray and Bastille.  As well as music the festival has a huge range of interactive displays and sculptures that the festival goers can peruse as they wander from one stage to another.  Coachella is becoming increasingly popular with celebrities, so keep your eyes out for someone famous!

Carnival – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Although Carnival is celebrated all over Brazil, the most popular place to experience this four day festival is in Rio de Janeiro.  Normally held in February each year Carnival is a time for self-expression through dancing, singing and partying.  The Samba Parade is the biggest attraction at the Carnival and is when various Samba Schools compete against each other and entertain the crowds with their extravagant floats, exquisite costumes and perfect routines.  The parade takes place in the Sambadrome before one school is crowned the champion.  If you love to party, you’ll appreciate all that Carnival has to offer.

Image via travelbytatten.com