6 Iconic Celebrations from Around the World

The world is full of fun and interesting celebrations!

While there is a lot to do in the United States, there’s equally as much to do in other countries. Other countries have been known to hold world renowned celebrations and festivities that are not comparable to anything else. However, there are six celebrations that are extra special: St.Patrick’s day in Dublin,Ireland, Yee Peng Lantern Festival in Chiang Mai, Thailand, Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany, The Carnival of Venice in Venice, Italy, La Tomatina, in Buñol, Spain, and of course The Carnival in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Each of these celebrations are not only fun and unique but are also rich in history and are still celebrated to this day!

6. St. Patrick’s Day (Dublin,Ireland) Celebrated on March 17th, this celebration marks the day Saint Patrick, a missionary who died in 461 A.D. and is celebrated as a holy day of obligation. It is also a day to celebrate Ireland as well as Irish pride. Celebrations are often loud and rowdy and are filled with fun, food, and PLENTY of beer! The city is turned green by lights on buildings,as well as the green adorned by citizens, and the streets are filled with parades, funfairs, the circus, and alcohol. Going to pubs and relishing in Irish pride will be a fun celebration even if you aren’t Irish!

5. Yee Peng Lantern Festival (Chiang Mai, Thailand) Celebrated as a part of Loy Krathong on the full moon in November, you will see homes decorated with colorful hanging lanterns and other bright decorations like flags, streamers, etc. The history behind this celebration is emphasized in the act of releasing lanterns which lets go of all the misfortunes that happened in the previous year. Buddhists believed that if you make a wish as you release your lantern then it will come true as long as you do good deeds the following year. Even though this is a celebration of lights, there are plenty of other activities that you can partake in like traditional Thai dance shows, parades, handicraft sessions, live music, and lots of food! The streets are also full of fireworks, firecrackers, and plenty of people that keep the flow of celebration going!

4. Oktoberfest (Munich, Germany) This celebration varies from year to year on timing but is always held in September! The common misconception is that it actually takes place in October but that is not the case. For 2020, the celebration will begin on September 21st and end October 6th. The history of Oktoberfest is a bit interesting because it started off as a marriage ceremony between Prince Ludwig and his wife Princess Therese on October 12th, 1810. All of the townspeople were invited to attend the celebration and ever since then the tradition as stuck around! This celebration is full of drinking, drinking, drinking, and MORE drinking! As well of food of course but that is not the shining star of this event. Be enchanted by the numerous types of beer, live music, and delicious food that is consumed for this 2 week celebration! 

3. The Carnival of Venice (Venice, Italy) Depending on when Easter falls affects the date of this celebration. For 2020, the celebration will be from February 8th to February 25th. This carnival is one of the most sophisticated and elegant celebrations on earth. This celebration has a religious background of trying to get all of the partying out of one’s system before the beginning of lent. Lent also brings the inability to partake in food delicacies involving meat so this celebration was made to be able to eat meat, party, and get it all done by the time lent approaches. The two week celebration is highlighted by the ball gowns, Venetian masks, and beautiful parades. The parades can only happen on gondolas due to the layout of the city. Words cannot explain the beauty that is the Venice Carnival, all you can do is see it for yourself!

2. La Tomatina (Buñol, Spain)  The date varies for this celebration as well because it is held on the last Wednesday of August each year but for 2019 will be on August 28th. This celebration has a funny backstory because it happened by mistake! During a parade in the People’s Square in August 1945, the crowd was upset that one of the performers fell (due to a few children getting in his way) and became angry. The crowd became so angry that they began throwing tomatoes that were located on a vegetable stand. This then became the tradition until the early 1950’s where it was banned, but then permitted again after years of protests in 1957. This hour long food fight can get intense. First, everyone participating (there is limited room) gets soaked by a water hose, and then when a cannon is fired, that is the green light to begin the fight. You then throw as many tomatoes as you can to whoever you can! Afterwards the streets are red beyond belief and the celebration is over until next year!

1. The Carnival (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) The date on this celebration varies but for 2020 it will begin February 21st, and go until February 26th. This celebration dates back to 1840 when the very first Rio masquerade took place. At the time the music and dance style was polka and waltz, however with African influence and the introduction of Samba in 1917, the celebration changed forever. You will see gigantic floats embellished with beautiful decorations as well as many beautiful women dancing in elaborate feather and sequin costumes. Truly an experience of a lifetime!

Each culture and country have their own heritage and history and have birthed many wonderful celebrations. If you are lucky enough to be able to travel to these countries be sure to do it so you can catch a glimpse into these spectacular celebrations that are best experienced in person!