If you’re planning your 2015 travels and enjoy a good festivity, this post is for you! We’ve highlighted some of the most exciting worldwide celebrations, festivals, and holidays that are sure to make your travel experience even more special!
What to Do in December/January
Ring in the New Year in style! Renowned for being one of the most spectacular events in the world, the New Year’s celebration in Syndey includes fantastic fireworks set against the sparkling Sydney Harbour.
What to Do in February
Jet off to Hong Kong to celebrate the Spring Festival, more commonly referred to as Chinese New Year! Hong Kong is a perfect gateway to Southeast Asia, and their Chinese New Year celebrations are top notch. While different regions of China enjoy various traditions, the New Year’s Eve Dinner is extremely important for the Chinese. Surrounded by family, most people enjoy fish or dumplings, which are thought to bring prosperity. Stunning fireworks, which are used to drive away evil, are launched at midnight on New Year’s Eve. You may catch a glimpse of the dragon dance, or even watch the arrival of New Year Markets, which pop up with New Year goods, including clothing, fireworks, food, and small arts.
What to Do in March
March is a fantastic time to venture to Fiji, and not just because its tropical weather will provide an escape from the chill at home! Fijians celebrate Hindu holidays, and during March, you can watch as this island paradise celebrates Holi, the Hindu Festival of Colors! The main highlights of Holi include joyous street celebrations in which groups of people smear each other with brightly colored powders and water, regardless of their caste, race, or gender. People exchange greetings and dance merrily in the streets.
What to Do in April
Regarded as the longest holiday in Thailand, the Songkran Festival, which is celebrated mainly from April 13-15, is actually the Thai New Year celebration. A day before the celebration, Thai women meticulously clean their houses and remove the garbage from their homes for good luck. Buddha images are carefully washed. Alms giving and visits to Buddhist temples are common, as the focus is on spiritual intentions. The festival would not be complete without the Water Fight, in which travelers and natives (including children) arm themselves with water guns and shoot water at each other to symbolize the cleansing and rejuvination of their bodies.
In Bangkok, Thailand’s capital city, there are many side activities during the Songkran Festival, including beauty pageants and talent shows. In a similar fashion to April Fools Day, women often pull pranks on men during this holiday.
What to Do in May
Bali’s most important festival is the Galungan festival. It’s both a feast and a festival which is held throughout the entire island to symbolize the victory of Virtue (Dharma) upon Evil (Adharma). The Balinese get all dressed up in their finest outfits and jewels, believing that during this ten day period their gods, including Sanghyang Widi (the supreme deity), will descend to Earth. Barongs prance from temple to temple and village to village in celebration of the Galungan with the gods.
What to Do in June
June is a perfect time to venture to southern New Zealand to observe the Southern Lights in the night sky. More difficult to spot than the Northern Lights, the Southern Lights will usually present themselves as a greenish glow, and June is an ideal month to observe them. Wait for a clear night and venture as far south in New Zealand as possible. Cast your gaze to the sky and marvel in the natural beauty.
What to Do in July
Like Americans, Maldivians celebrate their Independence Day in July. During these festivities, all major cities in the Maldives celebrate with parades filled with music and brightly colored costumes. School children, as well as the National Security Services and National Cadet Corps, put on artful and festive performances.
What to Do in July/August
July and August are perfect months in which to visit Bora Bora and the islands of Tahiti! During these months, all of French Polynesia celebrates Heiva, an annual festival that has become emblematic of Polynesian culture. “Heiva,” which comes from the Polynesian words meaning “to assemble” and “community places,” celebrates traditional Polynesian activities, including festivals, music, dancing, singing, canoe races, and other sporting events.
What to Do in September
If you couldn’t make it to Tahiti in time for Heiva, not to worry! September offers yet another Tahitian celebration: Tahiti World Tourism Day, which is celebrated on September 25th of each year! Since tourism is a major source of income for the Tahitian government, the locals use this day to make the tourists feel especially special. Tourists enjoy a multitude of traditional foods, handcraft demonstrations, and sporting competitions on Tahiti World Tourism Day!
What to Do in October
October is a great time to venture over to the Seychelles so that you may partake in the annual Creole Festival. This six-day long festival is a salutation to the traditions and the cultural heritage of Seychelles as reflected in its dance, music, cuisine, customs, and crafts. The most important cultural event of Seychelles, this colorful and energetic festival is held on the islands of Praslin, La Digue, and Mahe.
What to Do in November
Want to enjoy an awesome sporting event in November? Head to Melbourne, Australia for the Melbourne Cup! Referred to as “the race that stops a nation,” the Melbourne Cup is a 3200 metre horse race that starts at 3pm on the first Tuesday in November. It is the highlight of the sporting calendar for Victorians, Australians, and many international horse racing fans.
What to Do in December/January
If you’ve already done New Year’s Sydney, we recommend ringing in the New Year in Fiji! Fijian locals are said to be the happiest people on Earth, and their festivities certainly bolster that idea. Fijian New Year’s celebrations can continue for a week, or even a month, in some areas. It is common practice in Fiji to beat drums and shower one another with water. Fireworks and an annual Street Party is held in the heart of Suva, the nation’s capital, to welcome the New Year. It is one of the largest New Year’s celebrations in the South Pacific.