All around the world thousands of uniquely amazing festivals and events are held each year. Sharing an abundance of food, culture, colour and entertainment there are so many events that are marked as a ‘must see’ for any international traveller. Here are five colourful world famous events and occasions to add to your bucket-list.
Location: Throughout Japan | Month: March / April
‘Hanami’ is the Japanese tradition of flower viewing. It’s a practice that is centuries old and almost always refers to the viewing of cherry blossoms (‘sakura’). Discover Japan’s spring culture as beautiful pink flowers blanket the country during one of the world’s most naturally colourful events. Hanami is celebrated by a walk in the park or a picnic under the blooming trees with family and friends. One of the most famous viewing locations is Yoshinoyama (Mt Yoshino) which features thousands of cherry blossom trees of over a dozen varieties. The pink and white blooms last only for a week or two, so Hanami viewers check the blooming forecast each year to ensure they don’t miss this remarkable glimpse of nature.
Location: Pingxi, Taiwan | Month: February
The Pingxy Sky Lantern Festival is a blaze to mark the first full moon of the Chinese New Year. While traditionally celebrated widely throughout Asia – one of the largest and most recognised Lantern Festivals is in Pingxy, a remote hillside town an hour drive from Taipei. Experience the enchanting sight of the moonlit sky becoming illuminated with up to 200,000 floating lanterns. History tells the lanterns were once used to ward off evil. Now-days the lanterns are used as a symbol of peace and good fortune. Join in on this truly cultural experience by writing your dreams on the side of a lantern before releasing it simultaneously with the crowd to magically decorate the sky.
Location: London, England | Month: May
Visit the Chelsea Flower Show and be delighted by the colourful, intricate and highly impressive arrangements of flora. This annual flower show is held in London and is the biggest gardening event in the world, attracting over 157,000 visitors every year. Florists and gardening experts put together breathtaking garden displays to impress the judges and visitors alike. Categories include garden, floral, tree and vegetable exhibits along with educational and scientific displays. Learn about emerging garden trends, witness new plants being launched and see the popularity of older varieties be revived. Along with the garden exhibitions & life-size flower sculptures, there is plenty more to enjoy at the Chelsea Flower Show. You will find impressive stalls selling everything from hand crafted goods and artworks to gazebos and garden tools. Whether you are a landscaper, designer or a hobby gardener you will be sure to discover a whirl of inspiration.
Location: St. Petersburg, Russia | Month: June / July
The White Nights Festival is an annual international arts festival held in St. Petersburg, Russia, during the season of the midnight sun. St. Petersburg is the world’s most northern city and around summer solstice, the sun remains visible at midnight. Capture this magnificent experience along with a collection of classical ballet, opera, film, music and outdoor celebrations during this world famous event. You will enjoy a taste of performances by Russian dancers, singers, musicians and actors, along with famous international guests. The Scarlet Sails celebration during the White Nights Festival is not to be missed. As the largest public event, The Scarlet Sails is highly popular for it’s fleet of red-sailed, tall ships and impressive gunpowder-packed fireworks show.
Location: Harbin, China | Month: December / January / February
Take a trip to China to experience a winter spectacular during the Harbin Ice and Snow festival, one of the largest ice and snow festivals in the world. Featuring record-sized ice sculptures longer than two football fields, you can walk in and slide around buildings, monuments and statues that are built up to 50m high. Colourfully illuminated at night by lights and lasers, this festival boasts amazing sights, fun and joy for all visitors. Ice sculpture experts, artists and fans gather from around the globe to participate in ice sculpting competitions and festivities. Events and activities run throughout the festival, including; an ice lantern exhibition, fireworks, skiing, sledding, winter swimming, fishing and many more.