by Kurt Barrett, Guest Contributor
Festival tourism seems to becomes a little more popular every year, as events both old and new showcasing food, music, sports, and the arts capture international attention. To a great extent, which festivals you may visit will (and should) depend on your own desires and preferences. However, there are also a lot of renowned festivals out there that you can’t quite fully understand the appeal of until you’ve been yourself!
So here’s a look at five of the most incredible festivals in the world that you may never have heard of or noticed.:
Harbin Snow & Ice Festival – Harbin, China
This January festival in Harbin, China, is an entirely artistic display that’s unlike anything you’ve ever seen before. Ice and snow artists carve sculpture and structures well over 20 feet in height with superbly intricate detail. Then, at night, the sculptures and structures come alive with bright neon laser lights, essentially forming a lit-up ice sculpture city.
Cascamorras – Baza, Spain
You’ve probably heard of La Tomatina for when Spaniards and tourists celebrate by holding a city-wide tomato fight in Bunol. However, Cascamorras is, for many, just as messy and just as fun. Basically, it’s the same idea as the tomato festival or a water festival, but with grease. Everybody gets greased up and dirty, and then the party gets started! It’s weird, certainly, but most great festivals are, and this one is incredible at getting its visitors to simply let loose and have fun.
Lantern Festival – Pingxi, Taiwan
Another event that’s essentially entirely visual, the Pingxi Lantern Festival is quite simple. Basically, thousands upon thousands of floating lanterns are lit and let off into the sky, creating an absolutely surreal vision. Meanwhile, you can enjoy the stunning surrounding atmosphere of rural Pingxi, known for its beautiful river and picturesque railroad tracks.
Cheltenham Horse Racing Festival – Cheltenham, UK
It’s not too often that a sporting event can accurately be called a festival, but that’s certainly the case at Cheltenham in England, where the celebratory, casual atmosphere makes for a bit of a party surrounding four days of high quality horse races. At the online sports exchange Bet Fair, fans keep tabs on news and betting odds for weeks in advance to prepare for the excitement of betting activity at the tracks, and several great bars and restaurants keep things festive.
Wanderlust Yoga Festival – Oahu, Hawaii
Most festivals are interpreted as being beautiful displays of artistic talent and/or enormous parties. But in Oahu, visitors enjoy a festival geared toward physical and mental health and relaxation. Essentially an enormous gathering of yoga fanatics, the Wanderlust festival is an ideal travel experience for someone looking for a mind-clearing getaway. Plus, naturally, you get to enjoy the fantastic resorts and beach activity of Oahu!
As travelers search for authentic travel, Festival Travel becomes more and more attractive, and increasingly enticing.
About the author: Kurt Barrett is a freelance writer who enjoys good coffee, good food, and good company. He aspires to travel every inch of the globe and enjoys experiencing different cultures. His other passions include photography, hiking, and reading.