Sixteen Legendary Festivals for 2016
Collected by Becca Blond , AFAR Local Expert
Each month brings thousands of festivals globally, and sorting through them to discover the legendary ones worth traveling for is not easy. But some events just stand out more than others. Here are 16 legendary festivals—the really big ones and a few lesser-known favorites—to check out around the globe in 2016.
Black Rock City, NV, USA
Burning Man conjures up all kinds of images for those who’ve never been. Naked new agers dancing till dawn. Polyamorous pursuers fueled by ecstasy. Yes, the Playa (the desert stage where the Man, the temple, and much of the art is located) is a...
1901 Convention Center Dr, Miami Beach, FL 33139, USA
If you are into contemporary art, and of course people watching – this is a MUST! Forget the main 'Art Basel Miami' (which can be a little pretentious and stuffy) – just explore all the surrounding exhibitions on the 'Beach' and in my...
Tens of thousands of people trek to the middle of the desert for the Coachella Music Festival two weekends in April. Their line ups have included iconic band reunions from the likes of Iggy and the Stooges, Pixies and Portishead and even a...
53100 Siena, Province of Siena, Italy
Each spring as a child, I looked forward to the annual Derby Day party in our family backyard when my parents’ friends donned odd hats and downed mint julips. Somehow, I thought Il Palio was going to bring back childhood memories, but the Kentucky...
Bennelong Point, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia
Sycamore Building, Sycamore Street, Temple Bar, Dublin 2, Co. Dublin, Ireland
A fanciful three-week celebration of the arts, Fringe has been an annual asylum for artistic oddballs since 1994. Nearly 650 productions— theater, dance, poetry, magic, outdoor installations—enliven venues all over Dublin. 353/(0) 1-670-6106....
Kampung Selayang Permai, 68100 Batu Caves, Selangor, Malaysia
Landing in heat-soaked Kuala Lumpur after being on the road for 24 hours can be disorienting. Incessant chanting (“vei vel shakti vel”), monkeys screeching, wafting incense, a glorious moon, and a million people. Thaipusam falls on a full moon and...
Newada Samogar, Uttar Pradesh 211009, India
Kumbh Mela is a perfect habitat for exploring "cultural curiosity." It forms a place for the salvation of mankind who wish to be free of the cycle of life and death. No small theme for the world’s biggest gathering. The crowd on the main days is...
Nong Han, San Sai District, Chiang Mai, Thailand
One of my favorite festivals in the world is the Loi Krathong / Yi Peng ‘festival of light’ in Thailand. Both occur at the same time and although differing slightly, both represent the cleansing of sins. Yi Peng takes place mainly in Chiang Mai in...
Camí de Binissaida, 108, 07720 Es Castell, Illes Balears, Spain
To really get to know the Spanish island of Minorca, be prepared to sit atop a saddle. The island has a love affair with a breed of horse: the graceful, strong, coal-black Minorcan. While donkeys traditionally worked the fields, the Minorcan was...
R. Marquês de Sapucaí - Santo Cristo, Rio de Janeiro - RJ, 20220-007, Brazil
Every year before Ash Wednesday, Rio throws one of the world’s best parties. Drawing on African, Indian, and European traditions, Carnival features five days of street fairs, free concerts, and costumed balls. The festival culminates in a colorful...
Place de la Concorde, 75001 Paris, France
Before the French Revolution, this park used to be the site of the Royal Palace. Today, the garden, which separates the Louvre from Place de la Concorde, is a place where Parisians and tourists stroll amid Rodin and Maillol statues or relax...
Rumi was born in Afghanistan, spent time in Persia (Iran), then settled in Konya, Turkey when his father was invited there to be a scholar. Rumi became an Islamic scholar himself teaching peace, love, and tolerance. He built quite a following of...
Bourbon St, New Orleans, LA, USA
Some find this narrow, neon-lit French Quarter street appealing, others appalling. But it’s worth a stroll either way. It’s as if all the sins of mankind and then some were rounded up and corralled here—tawdry strip shows, cheap...
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