The Top 5 Festivals From All Over The World That You’ve Never Heard Of
Are you over sharing a music festival dance floor with a gym junkie who’s takes tanning inspiration from an Oompa Loompa? Do you want something more from your festival experience than lining up for beer, or a portaloo that has been sitting in the sun all day?
We’ve all heard of Oktoberfest, seen Instagram blow-up for Coachella and some people have been lucky enough to party as the sun rises over Rio De Janeiro at Carnival. However, some of the most memorable festivals in the world are also not so commonly known.
Here are some of the best festivals you may never have heard of…
Naadam Festival – Mongolia
Echoing Mongolia’s warrior past, the Naadam festival, or the `manly games´, as they are otherwise known, is a festival of the three major traditional sports in Mongolia: wrestling, horse racing and archery. The chance to compete draws herdsmen and their families from hundreds of miles around at the height of Mongolia’s warm season and has unique travel experience hashtagged all across it.
Calgary Stampede – Canada
For those who like their hat brims wide and boots of the scooting variety, the world’s largest outdoor rodeo - the Calgary Stampede is sure to lasso your interest. The Calgary Stampede features an internationally recognized rodeo competition, stage shows, concerts, agricultural competitions, chuck wagon races, and pancake breakfasts around the city. During Stampede Week, the city is filled with locals and tourists alike, celebrating all that is good about rhinestone, western music and the wide open spaces.
Oaxaca Day of the Dead – Mexico
Against the backdrop of one of Mexico’s most beautiful colonial cities, Oaxaca, is where one of the most macabre and memorable festivals – the Day of the Dead - occurs. Despite the morbid subject matter, this holiday is celebrated joyfully. The Day of the Dead honours the lives of the deceased and people visit local cemeteries to decorate the graves of their loved ones with flowers, candles and even food. The cemeteries turn into veritable fairs with people selling local delicacies, bands playing to the crowds and for more adventurous travellers, mezcal is commonly passed around.
Pushkar Camel Festival – India
India is a veritable kaleidoscope of vibrant colour-filled festivals. But Pushkar Camel Festival is one-of-a-kind. The annual camel trading fair held in the northern Indian city if Pushkar, sees local cattle herders ‘pimp their camels’ with fur and colourful adornments hoping to get the best sale. Throughout the fair around 50,000 camels are sold, decorated, shaved and raced. All that is missing is an Xzibit voiceover.
Inti Raymi – Peru
Best pack your fedora, leather whip and channel your inner Indiana Jones for this one. While you’re unlikely to encounter grave diggers, or be chased down a gravel path by a giant rolling boulder; a visit to Inti Raymi in Peru, or the Festival of the Sun, offers a unique insight into the beliefs and traditions of the ancient Inca people. Celebrating the god Inti (meaning "sun"), Inti Raymi celebrates the winter solstice and features parades, daytime expositions, and street fairs that have people dancing outdoors even before the sun has gone down.
Not all of the best festivals around the world are those you already know about. For a global festival experience with a difference, do some research, get a plane ticket and enjoy life off the beaten path.
- Paul Manser @Paul_Manser
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