Budapest Christmas Fair
The annual, month-long Budapest Christmas Fair, open-air and free to enter, is held in central Pest’s Vörösmarty Square, at the end of the Váci utca, or “Fashion Street”. A sparkly, toe-tapping and downright tasty introduction to all things Hungarian, the fair is one-stop shopping not only for your holiday presents, but also for your exploration of the country and its culture.
When: Nov 27-Dec 31, 2015
Where: Budapest, Hungry
The rhythmic goombay drums, the melodic horns and the kaleidoscope of colours moving to beat: this is Bahamian national pride – Junkanoo. As the major cultural festival of the Bahamas, Junkanoo is celebrated each year in the early hours of the morning across two parades down Bay Street in downtown Nassau. The first is on Boxing Day, December 26 and the main event is on New Year’s Day, January 1.
When: December 26, 2015
Where: Nassau, Bahamas
For the festival bucket-lister, Jam Cruise is a must. What else combines a five-day festival and the stunning backdrop of the Gulf of Mexico into one constant party? Now in its 14th year, Jam Cruise has earned a reputation for its easygoing, happy-go-lucky atmosphere. For more than a decade, it has provided its 3,000 attendees a welcome Caribbean respite from the January blues.
When: January 6-11, 2016
Where: Miami, Florida, United States
Widely thought to be the loudest festival in Spain, it features over 100 separate drum-corps regiments, each composed of 20-50 men and women dressed in the 18th-century garb of chefs, peasants or Napoleonic-era soldiers, roaming the streets of San Sebastian and banging away on small wooden barrels strapped around their waists. Drummers aim to play loud enough to wake Saint Sebastian, a oncepersecuted and now-dead 4th-century Christian martyr.
When: January 18, 2016
Where: San Sebastian, Spain
Harbin Ice & Snow Sculpture Festival
Set in Harbin’s coldest months, this Chinese festival features breathtaking temporary works of art, all created with ice from the Songhua River. Between the four primary parks and amusement zones, there are a few thousand pieces, not to mention all the ice architecture created throughout the city for the winter. The two month festival is a must-see for families and gives a whole new meaning to the name Winter Wonderland.
When: January 5-February 28, 2016
Where: Harbin, China
Colourful costumes, uninhibited dancing, parades and wild partying fill the streets… During Rio carnival, you can expect to find upwards of two million revellers in the streets every day. The most famous parade takes place at the Sambodromo with more than 70,000 enchanted spectators lining the route for the Samba Parade , where samba schools compete. The official parades take to the streets with the biggest and brightest on Saturday and Sunday nights.
When: February 5-10, 2016
Where: Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
Battle of the Oranges
Unlike Spain’s tomato festival La Tomatina, the Battle of the Oranges in Ivrea, Italy, isn’t a backpacker free-for-all. It is fun to watch for nearly 100,000 spectators, but for the nine competitive teams of almost 4,000, it is serious business. This is a rebellion of the people, and you can be among them, but be warned that while few suffer serious injuries, many wake up with orange-size bruises the next day.
When: February 6-9, 2016
Where: Ivrea, Italy
Trinidad and Tobago Carnival
Carnival in Trinidad is a true hybrid celebration, originating when West African slaves began mimicking (and mocking) the lavish ballroom festivities of their French masters with their ornate costumes and dances. The West Africans adopted the elaborate masks and costumes while creating their own music using household items like sticks and pans. Eventually, the melodies evolved into the calypso music form the backbone of Trinidad Carnival.
When: February 8-9, 2016
Where: Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago