Travel Bucket List Cultural Festivals Worth Making A Trip For

From the euphoric celebrations of La Tomatina to the awaited Oktoberfest, cultural festivals have an infectious energy that makes you feel like a part of the community, even as a tourist. Witnessing one is even the best way to get to know a place. Here are a few that are definitely worth travelling for
Oktoberfest in Germany
Oktoberfest in Germany

Deeply rooted in history and centuries-long traditions, attending cultural festivals is perhaps the best way to get to know a place and, more importantly, its people. The best part about it is that it brings to the place an infectious energy that engulfs even a visitor and gets them to feel like one with the community. If you really want to see a bucket list destination in its truest essence, it is recommended you centre your trip around a cultural festival it is known for. Here are a few in our list you must check out 

La Tomatina, Spain

La Tomatina is a food fight festival that takes place in the town of Bu&ntildeol, near Valencia, Spain. Held on the last Wednesday of August, this iconic festival involves thousands of participants engaging in a massive tomato fight on the streets. The origins of La Tomatina are somewhat debated, but it is believed to have started in the mid-1940s as a playful dispute during a parade. The festival gained popularity and became an annual event, attracting both locals and international visitors. Participants gather in the town square, where trucks filled with tomatoes arrive. The tomato frenzy begins as soon as the signal is given, and the streets turn into a sea of red pulp. It's a joyful and messy celebration where people hurl tomatoes at each other. After an hour of intense tomato warfare, fire trucks thoroughly clean the streets, and the festivities continue with music, dancing, and delicious local cuisine.

Oktoberfest, Germany

Regarded as the world's largest beer festival, Oktoberfest is a cherished Bavarian tradition that attracts millions of visitors from across the globe. Held annually in Munich, the festival originated in 1810 to celebrate the marriage of Bavaria's Crown Prince Ludwig. With its traditional music and vast beer tents, Oktoberfest encapsulates the spirit of German culture. Tourists relish an array of Bavarian delicacies while clinking their steins and partaking in merriment.

Dia de los Muertos, Mexico

If you've watched Coco, you might know this one. Celebrated throughout Mexico on November 1st and 2nd, Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is a poignant festival honouring deceased loved ones. Rooted in indigenous beliefs and blending with Catholic traditions, this unique celebration pays homage to the cycle of life and death. Families create intricate altars adorned with marigolds, candles, and photographs, while the streets come alive with vibrant processions, traditional music, and elaborately crafted sugar skulls.

Chinese New Year, China

Chinese New Year, or Spring Festival, is a momentous occasion celebrated by Chinese communities worldwide. The festival marks the beginning of the lunar calendar year and is steeped in ancient customs and mythology. Elaborate dragon and lion dances, beautiful firework displays, and the iconic red lanterns illuminating streets and homes are key features of this joyous celebration. Families gather for reunion feasts, exchange gifts, and observe traditional rituals to bring good fortune for the year ahead.

Songkran, Thailand

Songkran, known as the Thai New Year, is a water festival celebrated in Thailand. Traditionally observed from April 13th to 15th, Songkran marks the beginning of the Thai solar calendar. While it may not be as widely known as other festivals, it holds great significance for the Thai people. Friendly water fights and the ritualistic pouring of scented water over statues of the Buddha characterize the festival. Water is also seen as a means of washing away misfortune and ushering in good luck for the upcoming year. Locals and tourists join in the merriment, armed with water guns and buckets, turning the streets into lively water battlefields. The festival is an opportunity for family reunions and temple visits, providing a refreshing escape from the scorching summer heat.

Cover Photo Credits Unsplash

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