Top 8 must-see holidays in the world!
Top 8 must-see holidays in the world!: Festivals are the best way to explore a country’s history, customs and traditions! You’ll enjoy an extraordinary immersion in local culture, up close and personal with the locals. To the rhythm of folk dances and music, shows and colorful parades, perfumes and typical dishes, your senses travel… Here’s a world tour of our must-see events!
1… Guatemala’s Festival of the Dead:
A little less well-known than its Mexican neighbor, Guatemala’s Festival of the Dead is just as impressive! Head to Santiago Sacatepequez on November 1 for colorful celebrations featuring giant kites. For several months, Guatemalans build huge, colorful works of art, some with wooden or bamboo frames up to fifteen meters in diameter.
They are covered with silk paper and decorated with colourful and original motifs, representing a message to be passed on to the deceased. Some are then displayed for spectators to see, while others are destined to soar above the crowd gathered in the cemetery. It’s a great moment of joy for all present when the thousands of creations rise into the sky! According to local myths, the works of art soaring through the air are used to contact the souls of the departed, sending them signals. This celebration takes the form of a day filled with happiness, music and dance, followed by delicious, traditional meals shared with loved ones.
2… THE EAGLE FESTIVAL IN MONGOLIA:
Top 8 must-see holidays in the world!: This event takes place every year in September or October, before the onset of winter, in Ölgii. This impressive festival celebrates an ancestral Kazakh custom, an ethnic group that has lived on the territory for generations: the work of eagle hunters, known as burkitschi. The aim of the festivities is to elect the best burkitschi through a series of competitions, while promoting Kazakh culture. First, a grand parade is organized in the middle of the steppe.
The contenders proudly parade in traditional dress, on horseback and accompanied by their bird, perched on one arm. Then, one of the tests awaiting them is a hunt, where the movements, speed, technique and agility of the raptor and burkitschi are assessed. This is followed by steed races and games of bouzkachi. This popular sport is played with a goat or sheep carcass, which teams must try to bring back to their camp before their opponents. These festivities are an ode to the customs and history of the Kazakhs, who for a long time were considered the greatest eaglers in Asia! Today, this practice no longer allows its practitioners to make a decent living, but it remains a tradition that the locals are proud to share with passing travellers.
3… MINDELO CARNIVAL IN CAPE VERDE:
The Cape Verde archipelago, off the coast of Senegal, offers spectacular festivities every February or March. The most famous of these is undoubtedly the Mindelo Carnival on the island of São Vicente! The origins of this festival date back to the 18th century, after the Portuguese colonists introduced Entrudo to the territory. Over the years, the event has taken on purely Cape Verdean colors and traditions, influenced by the cosmopolitan past of these lands. It’s one of Cape Verde’s most famous festivals! The celebration takes place over several days, with an unmissable Mardi Gras parade.
Several groups of local artists, who have been preparing throughout the year, parade to music created for the occasion, alongside sublime floats. Their costumes are full of color, feathers and sequins! While dancing and playing their instruments, the groups make their way through the streets of Mindelo, in a festive atmosphere, for over two hours. Their goal? To win the competition for the most beautiful procession! On the previous Monday evening, hundreds of students from the tropical samba school also parade through Mindelo. The celebrations conclude on the following Sunday with the Mandingo processions. Covered in charcoal, the participants pay homage to their African roots in a final, joyous celebration.
4… THE ROSE FESTIVAL IN MOROCCO:
Festivities that reflect Morocco and its customs take place in Kelaat-M’Gouna, in April or May depending on the year. In the heart of the Rose Valley, this day is an opportunity for local people to share their culture with visitors. To this end, everyone dresses in their finest traditional garb and dances to the rhythm of folk melodies. Travelers are showered with rose petals and water, in a combination of sublime colors. The scent of flowers wafts through the streets, mingling with that of local spices. Float parades are organized and impress with the finesse of their design. A feast for the eyes! A Miss Rose is even elected, to the delight of thousands of visitors, and a few Moroccan handicrafts are on offer.
5… THE KANDY PERAHERA FESTIVAL IN SRI LANKA:
Kandy’s Esala Perahera takes place during the summer, at the time of the Esala full moon, which falls in July or August depending on the year. It is a commemoration in honor of Buddha, one of whose teeth is kept in the Tooth Shrine in Kandy. The guardian deities Natha, Pattini, Vishnu and Kataragama are also celebrated. For almost 10 days, various festivities are organized to honor Buddha and his sacred relic. Every evening, sublime processions cross the city, starting from the patron temples and ending at the Tooth Building, magnificently adorned for the occasion.
The processions grow in importance as the days pass. Dancers, musicians, richly decorated elephants and other performers accompany the procession in colorful costumes and a festive atmosphere. On the eleventh day, corresponding to the full moon of Esala, the festival ends on the banks of the Mahaweli River, the longest in Sri Lanka. One of the most important stages is the Kap Situweema. A jackfruit tree, which has never yet borne fruit, is selected and felled, then cut into four pieces. Each piece is then placed in one of the shrines dedicated to the protection of the Temple of the Tooth. It is intended as a symbol of prosperity for future harvests.
6… ST PATRICK’S DAY IN IRELAND:
Top 8 must-see holidays in the world!: Now celebrated in many countries on March 17, the roots of St. Patrick’s Day are purely Irish. It originally commemorated St. Patrick, one of Ireland’s patron saints, who introduced Christianity to the land around 400 AD. Today, St. Patrick’s Day is a celebration of Irish culture and history! Green, symbolizing the shamrock, the Irish emblem, is worn in all its forms, as are the national flag and the hats of the leprechaun, that imaginary little being from Irish folklore, all dressed in green, who keeps his gold coins at the foot of rainbows! Many of Ireland’s cities are famous for their St. Patrick’s Day festivities, such as Dublin’s St.
Patrick’s Day Parade, or Cork, Belfast and Galway. Many other traditional events are held, with folk groups, Celtic dances and fireworks. St. Patrick’s Day is also associated with a beer festival. Irish pubs are the place to go for a good local Guinness, accompanied by Irish culinary specialities!
7… THE DASHAIN FESTIVAL:
This Hindu celebration takes place over a fortnight in Nepal, to commemorate the goddess Durga, victorious over the forces of evil after 10 days of combat. She thus symbolizes the triumph of good and life. In autumn, during September and October, the first nine days of the festival are devoted to praying to Durga. The seventh day is the time for a huge parade in the Kathmandu region.
The eighth day is marked by animal sacrifices offered to the deity. Finally, on the tenth day, Durga’s battle comes to an end, and Dashain takes on a family dimension. Loved ones gather for great feasts and the sharing of gifts. Homes are thoroughly cleaned, and many decorations and offerings are put up. For the duration of the festivities, hundreds of kites fill the sky in a magical display, and huge green swings are made! It’s a great time to visit Nepal in a joyous atmosphere, during which the Nepalese welcome you with open arms! Indeed, this festival also symbolizes the unity of a people and a nation, and is the ideal time to explore its customs and spirituality.
8… VIKING FESTIVALS IN NORWAY:
Top 8 must-see holidays in the world!: During the summer, a number of events pay tribute to Norwegian history and traditions. These include Viking events in Avaldsnes, Olsok, Bøstad, Lofotr and Borg, among many others! During these festivities, numerous extras, actors and visitors, dressed as real Vikings, come together for a journey back in time! It’s the perfect opportunity to immerse yourself in Norway’s past. Battle re-enactments, various shows and storytelling sessions, as well as numerous concerts are organized. Exceptional entertainment is also on offer, to test your Viking skills: archery, horseback riding and construction workshops entertain young and old alike. And don’t forget to visit the craft stands and prepared banquets, to take home or create memorable souvenirs!