Travel Time – Festivals of the World

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Festivals are a wonderful way to bring people from all over the world together. Whether it’s the sharing of a common interest such as food or music or a festival to celebrate a significant event, adding a festival to your travel itinerary will enhance and enrich your experience.

If you’re wandering the streets of India during the time of the Holi Festival, you can’t escape the beginning of spring, where travellers frolic in the streets with wild celebrations and crazy colour, resulting in them looking like they’ve run through rainbows. The Holi Festival, or Festival of Colour, began as a Hindu Festival celebrating the victory of one’s inner good over evil. Nowadays, participants throw brightly coloured powder and water on each other to signify the power of love and the generosity of humanity all throughout India and Nepal.

The Pingxi Lantern Festival is held to signify the start of the Lunar New Year in Taiwan. According to ancient legend, the lanterns were originally lit to let Pingxi villagers, who had fled their homes, under the threat of danger, know that it was safe to return. Over time, the lanterns have come to represent a release of bad habits and a desire to work towards positive ideals. Pingxi is about an hour out of Taiwan, but you won’t be lonely, with more than 100,000 others all jostling for space to release their lantern into the night sky.

What started out as a small community minded group with a desire to boost the interest in local seafood has today become a world renowned festival celebrating the superior quality of the lobster in Maine, USA. What’s not to love about the Maine Lobster Festival? With cooking demonstrations, street parades and lobster races, there is plenty to keep you occupied while you indulge on some of the 10,000 kilos of Lobsters, cooked up with 750 kilos of butter. Sounds tasty!

The world famous Carnevale in Venice, Italy, was once a licence to indulge in pleasures with masks to protect your identity. These days, Carnevale is a decadent chance to celebrate with more than three million visitors in the canal city of Venice. Held annually in January/ February and concluding with lent, the festival has costume parades, masquerade balls and street parties, ensuring that travellers have an experience to remember in a city like no other.

It all began with the wedding of a Bavarian crown prince to a princess on October 12, 1810. The National Guard organised a large public horse race to ensure that the Bavarian folk could also partake in the wedding celebration. It was decided that the festival should be repeated at the same time the following year, which marked the birth of the “October-Festivals”. Oktoberfest is now the world’s largest beer festival, held annually in Munich, Bavaria, Germany. It is a 16-day festival running from late September to the first weekend in October, with more than 6 million people from around the world attending the event every year. Visitors also enjoy numerous attractions, such as amusement rides, games and a wide variety of traditional foods, but the event is all about beer, beer and more beer. The Bavarian Prince can’t be wrong, can he?

Festivals bring people from different countries, cultures and interests together. They add something special and memorable to your travel itinerary. Tick one off your bucket list on your next trip.

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