Festivals and events around the world give great insight into a community and culture. While we live in an age of virtual events, you can't truly experience some things unless you're there. In this roundup, you'll find some of the most exclusive events and biggest festivals around the world. And one only happens every ten years. These are the festivals and events around the world that are worth traveling for.
The Doges Ball | Venice, Italy
The Carnival of Venice occurs annually on the days leading up to Lent. Attended by approximately three million people each year, it is most famous for its elaborate masks. The Il Ballo del Doge (Doges Ball) is considered the most exclusive event of the Carnival festival. It is certainly the most exclusive masked ball in the world. Part gala, part ball, the artistic event, a reconstruction of an 18th-century masquerade, is held in the 15th-century Palazzo Pisani Moretta palace on Venice’s Grand Canal. The event includes entertainment and Venetian cuisine.
The Il Ballo del Doge began in 1994. Today, many regard it as the heart of the festival.
Oberammergau Passion Play | Germany
Every 10 years since 1634, the residents of Oberammergau have performed a passion play recounting the suffering, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The five-hour performance takes place on the open-air stage of the Passion Play Theatre and includes more than 2,000 performers, musicians, and stage technicians, each a resident of the village. It is certainly an incredible event and it only happens every ten years.
The next Passion Play takes places in 2030.
Giant Kite Festival | Guatemala
The Giant Kite Festival (Festival de Barriletes Gigantes) is unquestionably one of the most unique Día de Los Muertos celebrations around the world. As part of the All Saints’ Day celebrations that take place each year on November 1, the neighboring towns of Santiago Sacatepequez and Sumpango fly giant colorful kites in the air. This 3,000-year-old tradition honors departed loved ones. However, the largest kites, which can reach up to 60 feet tall, don’t actually fly. Additionally, they can take up to a year to make.
Without a doubt, the celebration is gaining in popularity, attracting thousands of people to take part and even spreading to neighboring towns like Santiago Atitlán, set on the banks of Lake Atitlán.
Naadam Festival, Mongolia
The annual midsummer Naadam festival is the biggest festival of the year for Mongolians. The two-day festival brings the country’s greatest athletes together to compete in horse racing, archery, and wrestling. To kick off the festivities, athletes, monks, and soldiers march in unison in an elaborate parade. Musical performances and Mongolians dressed in Chinggis-style warrior uniforms join in the parade as well. In 2010, UNESCO added it to the Intangible Cultural Heritage list.
While the national Naadam is held on July 11th and 12th each year in Ulaanbaatar, the country celebrates the festival for several weeks during the summer with smaller events.
Joy, happiness, and a massive cloud of color fills the air every year during India's Holi celebration. The entire country busts out in a frenetic fervor, doused in a hearty splash of vibrant pigments. Ancient poetry and plays dating back to the fourth century make mention of the gloriously vibrant festival. Hindu legend tells a tale of good defeating evil, and huge bonfires are lit to commemorate the triumph. Holi also remembers the love story of Radha and Krishna, a Hindu deity. Krishna playfully painted her face, and ever since loved ones have been tossing matching powders on one another. Young and old join in the merrymaking: everyone is laughing, singing, dancing, and tossing around the palette of powder. Bring an extra set of clothes: the Holi celebration is not the time to worry about the washing.
Holi is a joyous festival welcoming spring's arrival. The date Holi is celebrated usually falls in March, and changes each year based on the lunar cycle.
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