One of the greatest ways to make the most out of the expat lifestyle is by being open to the best experiences in life. There are many celebrations around the world that show the richness in culture and history of different countries. As an expat, you should not be limited to your host country or your own home country’s boundaries, you’ve already made it out of your comfort zone; you’re living abroad, go the extra mile and experience the best festivals and celebrations the world has to offer.
Pingxi Lantern Festival – Pingxi District, Taiwan
Mid-February or Early March Annually
Originally a part of the Chinese traditional “Lantern Festival” celebrated on the 15th day of the 1st month of the lunar calendar’s lunisolar year to mark the end of the Lunar New Year celebration. It is celebrated in many ways throughout Taiwan and China. In Pingxi, they light thousands of paper lanterns to spread the “Yuan Xiao” folklore across the world.
Holi —Hindu Towns Around the World (Primarily India and Nepal)
Vernal Equinox, Around first week of March Annually
If your host country has a “Little India” town, then there’s a good chance that Holi is celebrated there. Holi is an ancient Hindu religious celebration of colours and love. Holi starts with a night bonfire with people gathering to sing and dance, then in the morning, bright colour powders and water are sprayed everywhere for people to frolic and play around with.
The Rio de Janeiro Carnival – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Last Friday before the Holy Week Annually
This street festival is easily one of the most famous celebrations in the world, frequented by at least 2 million people yearly. It has been held on the streets of Rio since 1723. This Carnival starts before the Lenten season every year and ends on Ash Wednesday.
Boryeong Mud Festival – Boryeong, South Korea
2nd Week of July, Annually
It’s always fun to get down and dirty with your closest friends and family, which is why this mud festival is one of the most amusing festivals in the world. This festival was originally held to promote “mud cosmetics” made from the Boryeong mud flats back in 1998, but after a few years it started to gain more popularity and is now able to attract 2 million tourists for Boryeong every year.
White Nights Festival – St. Petersburg, Russia
End of June, Annually
Russia’s international arts festival is held to mark the end of the “White Nights season” in the summer when the sun stays in the sky until way after mid-night. This cultural festival showcases a series of art events such as opera, classical ballet and theatre. The festival ends with the “Scarlet Sails” tradition where a ship with red sails is sent off with a fantastic firework display.
La Tomatina – Valencia, Spain
Last Wednesday of August, Annually
La Tomatina is a well known festival held on the last Wednesday of August every year since 1945. This may well be the world’s biggest and most celebrated food fight with over 40 metric tons of tomatoes used every year. Some rules are upheld by the city council to avoid injuries for example, the tomatoes used for throwing must be squashed to avoid grievously hurting anyone.
Songkran Water Festival – Thailand, Southeast Asia
13th-15th of April, Annually
A festival held all over Thailand and neighbouring countries like Laos and Vietnam to celebrate the Thai New Year. Locals throw water with herbs to symbolize washing and cleansing all the negativity from the previous year. It is traditionally held from the 13th to the 15th of April every year.
Dia de los Muertos - Mexico, South America
31st of October – 2nd of November, Annually
Dia de los Muertos or “Day of the Dead” is a Halloween celebration observed mainly in Latin America and places with prominent latin cultural influence, to commemorate all their loved ones who have passed away. Many people dress up as skeletons during the celebration that starts on the 31st of October and ends on the 2nd of November. Aside from parades, the locals also visit the graves of their loved ones and celebrate with traditional food and beverages.
World Festivals, Living Abroad, Parties Around the World, Travel, Expat Lifestyle