Among the most popular holidays in the winter season are Christmas and New Year. Most people usually associate these holidays with plenty of snow, but snow and frost are not everywhere and while we are enjoying the frosty and snowy winter in the United States and Europe, people have summer. Here is the list of the most interesting and entertaining winter festivals in different countries. If you want to embrace the world of winter festivals, take a look at my list.
1. La Tamborrada, San Sebastian, Spain
This festival is a wonderful mixture of the beat of blues and drum. It takes place in San Sebastian, a popular town near the sea. During that festival many people dressed in uniforms march through the streets towards Saint Donostia de San Sebastian. Who is their patron. Parading is accompanied with drumbeats. You can join this festival on the 19th of January 2014. You are expected to take the following musical instruments: maracas, tambourine etc.
2. Mevlana Festival, Konya, Turkey
This festival in Turkey is not so much popular around the world. It is dedicated to the great poet Celaleddin Rumi. Usually this holiday is celebrated during a week. The festival focuses on the ideas of Rumi who was convinced that people can reach the union with Allah while dancing. Annually hundreds of people take part in this festival. You can see them dancing in loose clothing and skirts. That is a great attraction for many people. Every year this holiday lasts from the 10th of December till the 17th.
3. Up Helly-Aa, Lerwick, Scotland
One of the most interesting winter festivals is Up Helly-Aa. It is held in a small town Lerwick in Scotland. If you lack some madness and craziness in your life you should obviously visit this holiday. You will see there people wearing Vikings costumes. In such way they celebrate the history of the Shetland Isles. The witnesses of the festival can observe a spectacular ceremony of burning a huge Viking ship. It has a natural size. During 11 hours the visitors of the event can entertain while drinking, singing and dancing. But if you are a tourist you should remember that only local inhabitants can take part in celebration. You will have a nice opportunity to drink something while watching that magnificent performance. The spirit of the festival is great. If you want to enjoy it and feel all the craziness you are welcome to visit it on the 31st of January 2014.
4. Bodhi Day, World Over
For those people who prefer quiet and peaceful celebrations Bodhi Day is the best choice. At this festival participants celebrate the awakening of Budha. It initiates the achievement of Nirvana. If someone wants to feel peace, comfort and relax he is sure to take part in this festival. A lot of decorations can be seen on the houses of people who celebrate this occasion. They can be colored lights. It is a tradition to decorate ficus trees. This winter festival is celebrated on the 8th of December. You are welcome!
5. Ice And Snow Festival, Harbin, China
There is a great number of winter festivals where you can see much snow. But Ice and Snow Festival in Harbin is something special. Those who decided to visit it must wear warm gloves, a scarf and a hat. Tourists from different countries come to Chine to witness this wonderful festival. Different events are represented here such as artistic, cultural and athletic. The visitors of the festival are usually involved in a great amount of activities. The attraction of the show is extraordinary firework. The opportunities for visitors vary greatly. There you can do figure skating to go to the theatre. No matter which preferences you have, the Ice and Snow Festival memories will stay in your mind for years. Every person should visit this winter festival at least once in a lifetime. Usually it lasts from the 5th of January till the 28th of February.
6. Bikaner Camel Festival Rajasthan, India
At this festival all attention is focused on camels. You can see camels everywhere: in decoration, dancing camels, racing camels. It is a real excitement. The celebrations are held in the desert not so far from the city. Different competitions and racings can be observed there. At night the visitors of the event can dance and watch fireworks. For those who like extreme there are fire dances. I recommend you to visit this festival. You will never have such a great chance to see that exotic festival in winter. You will certainly enjoy it. This holiday is celebrated 2 days on the 18th and 19th of January, in Bikaner, Rajastan.
7. Fiesta Grande, Andacollo, Chile
Andacollo is a small mining town in Chile. It is very quiet. But one day every year it becomes really busy and alive. People here celebrate the festival which commemorates Virgen del Rosario, saint patron of the miners. This holiday is full of various activities. There you can watch ceremonial and traditional dances, cock fighting, horse racing and help yourself to delicious foods and drinks. If you decided to have a fantastic and exciting celebration of Christmas you must obviously visit Andacollo during this festival. It is held on the 24th, 25th and 26th of December.
8. Full Moon Party, Koh Phangan, Thailand
When visit this festival you will have the most exotic New Year’s Eve in your life. In what other place you can feel the atmosphere of palm trees, beaches and music? And all that in winter. This is really great event. Near 30, 000 people enjoy the celebration this night. Usually some popular DJs entertain participants with their club music. Thailand is not the only place where you can visit Full Moon Parties. They take place in different parts of South East Asia and even in Australia. But in Koh Phangan you will have unforgettable New Year’s Eve. That is the greatest party of the world!
9. Thaipusam Festival, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
It is the brightest festival which takes place in Kuala Lumpur every year. It attracts millions of people. At this event people express their faith and the worship of the God in different ways. For example some can carry pots of milk on their heads. That shows people’s devotion to the God. Others can climb 272 steps to the shrine of Lord Murugan. Some crazy participants can even pierce their tongue or cheeks. The best way to feel great and mysterious spirit of people’s devotion to the God is visiting this holiday. Come here on the 7th of February and you will never forget this fascinating atmosphere.
Which of these festivals do you like and want to visit? Feel free to share your thoughts!