Festivals are as unique as the people celebrating, and an amazing addition to your bucket list. With the beginning of the year, I thought it was a perfect opportunity to dive into some of the most intriguing events from around the world – and who knows, maybe next year you’ll be there in person. So sit down and take a peak into some of the best bucket list ideas on the planet – the festival roundup of January 2015.
January 27, 2015 – Up Helly AA
Up Helly AA is the annual fire festival marking the end of the yule season. Held in the Shetland region in Scotland, the festival dates back to the viking days, and modern day participants dress up as their viking forefathers. The vikings the march down the street of Lerwick with torches, causing as much ruckus as possible. The festival now culminates with the burning of a giant viking ship in the center of the village.
Add this illuminating festival to your bucket list here.
Let me preface this by saying I am in no way condoning animal violence or cruelty, but this festival in Turkey has been around for 2040 years! Camels often wrestle in the wild, so it’s believed this practice even dates back to before the ancient nomads organized it. The nomads used to have their camels wrestle as part of the competition between tribes.
Add camel wrestling to your bucket list here!
Carnival of Venice is an annual festival that dates back to 1162. Carnival marks the start of Lent on Shrove Tuesday (Pancake Tuesday or Mardi Gras). Carnival is most famous for the elaborate masks the participants wear. The carnival is deeply ingrained in Venezian culture.
In the seventeenth century, the baroque carnival was a way to save the prestigious image of Venice in the world. It was very famous during the eighteenth century. It encouraged licence and pleasure, but it was also used to protect Venetians against the anguish for present time and future” source
Like it’s Venezian cousin, the carnival of Rio de Janeiro originates as a celebration before Lent. Rio’s carnival is the biggest carnival in the world with two million people per day participating on the street’s of Brazil’s largest city. Parades run through the city, as the sights, sounds and energy pulsates through everyone involved.
Discover more about Carnival here.
As if Easter Island could be more magical, the Tapati Festival takes the small island to a new level of spectacular. For the first two weeks of February, the island comes to life with dance, music, competitions and traditional sports – and of course fireworks. During the fest many of the aboriginals take part in a popular competition haka pei, a type of sledding except down the side of a volcano on a banana tree trunk.
Finally, take in the astounding sights in Sapporo, Japan. Every year, giant snow sculptures are erected drawing thousands of spectators to admire their work. The Snow Festival began in 1950, when six local high school students built six snow statues in Odori Park.
Did I miss any of your favorite January / February festivals? Let me know in the comments below!