WHEN TO VISIT FESTIVALS
The best time to go to a festival? When it’s on! Most have fixed dates, publicised long in advance, while others are staged according to weather conditions or local calendars.
Many festivals are intimately connected to the seasons, being held during mild summer months or just after the rains, when it’s pleasant and possible to gather, celebrate, camp and cook. Others, such as Harbin’s Ice and Snow Festival, rely on the extreme cold of winter to run, while in Bhutan, festivals are held throughout the year, but always on the 10th day of the month. Organised tours to witness the world’s festivals know exactly when each event is scheduled to take place and will get you there ready for the opening ceremony, often allowing time either side to explore or relax, too.
Our Festivals Vacations
WHEN TO VISIT FESTIVALS AROUND THE WORLD, MONTH BY MONTH
If you'd like to chat about Festivals or need help finding a vacation to suit you we're very happy to help.
More about Festivals
Attending a local festival in a far flung country provides a fascinating insight into a culture – as well as being fantastic fun.
From Chad to China, Benin to Bhutan, find out where the most exciting events and celebrations take place around the world, with our festivals map and highlights page.
Bhutan festivals are colourful, sociable, spiritual events and, happily, there’s one happening somewhere in the country throughout the year.
From an indigenous Mexican commemoration, to a UNESCO-acclaimed cultural highlight celebrated around the globe, Mexico’s Day of the Dead festival has come a long way in its 3,000-year history.
A huge and relatively new event, the World Nomad Games is the Olympics of the nomadic world, featuring traditional sports from Central Asia and beyond.
An ancient courtship ritual in which tribesmen dress up and wear makeup to attract a wife or a lover, Chad's Gerewol festival is an extraordinary spectacle...
The Nadaam and Eagle festivals in Mongolia are wonderful sporting and social events, offering the chance to delve a little deeper into Mongol culture...
Drawing in musicians from all over the world, the Rainforest World Music Festival in Sarawak is a fun, friendly celebration that features big stage performances and small afternoon workshops.
Turning freezing winter into an excuse for a festival, the Harbin Ice and Snow Festival, China, features snow and ice sculptures carved from blocks of the frozen Songhua River.
Rhythmic drumming, extraordinary costumes and performers channeling spirits – the Voodoo festival, Benin, is an otherworldly cultural treat.
Ethiopia’s Orthodox Christian celebration, Timkat, takes place 19 and 20 January every year and, although it does attract tourist spectators, it is an authentic religious festival, with a lot of colour, singing, drumming and splashing.
The Rio Carnival, held every year in the week before Lent, is the world’s biggest party, with millions of revellers taking to the streets to watch as flamboyant dancers parade alongside floats and bands.
Experiencing an internationally celebrated event in its country of origin is one of those traveling adventures to tell the grandkids about.
If you’re wondering what to pack, where you’ll stay and what to expect, our specialist vacation providers have lots of advice, to put you in the picture.
Attending a festival isn’t without its responsible tourism concerns, so we take a look at how to travel responsibly.