Famous Festivals Around the World
An alphabetical list of 30 world-renowned festivals of various types.
a data set by WorldExplorer
created January 25, 2017
How Do People Celebrate These Festivals?
Do you know how these festivals are celebrated? In this game, please match each festival's picture with its signature events or celebrations.
Match Festivals' Names
Use your concentration and memory to find the hidden match of these festivals' common names and alternative names.
Guess the Festival
Can you guess the festival based on a description of its origin or current status?
Festivals and Continents
In each round, please select all the festivals that belong to the displayed continent.
Learn the Basics of Festivals
This game tests your knowledge of the basics of each festival, including its location, time, duration, and year of start. Please select all the boxes that apply to the displayed festival.
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|Festival||Other Name||Picture||Type||Location||Continent||Time||Duration||Year of Start||Original Purpose||Current Status||Event & Celebration|
|Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta||Sporting||Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States||North America||Early October||9 days||1972||It was the highlight of the 50th birthday celebration for 770 KOB Radio.||It is the largest hot air balloon festival in the world.||Dawn Patrol, Mass Ascensions, Artistic Vision, Special Shape Rodeo, Balloon Glows, as well as other special events and competitions such as the Fiesta Challenge, America's Challenge Gas Balloon Race, and the Flight of the Nations Mass Ascension|
|Amsterdam Pride||Amsterdam Gay Pride||Community||Amsterdam, Netherlands||Europe||First weekend of August||Around a week||1996||It was first organized as a festival to celebrate freedom and diversity.||It is one of the largest publicly held annual events in the Netherlands.||Canal Parade, Rainbow Park & Pride Walk, exhibitions, street parties, and cultural and sport events|
|Boryeong Mud Festival||Entertainment||Boryeong, Chungcheongnam-do, South Korea||Asia||July||Around 2 weeks||1998||It was conceived as a marketing vehicle for Boryeong mud cosmetics.||The festival has become popular with both Koreans and western tourists.||Mud skiing competitions, body painting, live music, large firework display, and various attracitons such as a mud pool, mud slides, and a mud prison|
|Burning Man||Community||Black Rock Desert, Nevada, United States||North America||From the last Sunday in August to the first Monday in September||9 days||1986||It was a spontaneous act of "radical self-expression" by its founders and their friends.||The event is described as an experiment in community and art, attracting 70000 people in 2015.||The symbolic ritual burning of a large wooden effigy ("the Man") as well as some experimental and interactive art mediums such as sculptures, buildings, performances, and art cars|
|Carnival of Venice||Carnevale||Cultural & Religious||Venice, Italy||Europe||February||2 - 3 weeks||1162 (traditional); 1979(modern)||The traditional carnival was started as a celebration for a victory of the Republic of Venice.||The modern event returned in 1979 as the centerpiece of the Italian government's efforts to bring back the history and culture of Venice. Since then, approximately 3 million visitors come to Venice every year for the Carnival.||The Flight of the Angel, masquerade balls, the contest for la maschera più bella ("the most beautiful mask"), and a variety of free entertainment and public shows|
|Cherry Blossom Festival||Hanami||Seasonal||Japan and many other places worldwide||Asia||From February to early May (depending on the location)||Around 2 weeks||Late 8th century||The seasonal event was used to welcome the new year's harvest while marking the beginning of the rice planting season.||It has become popular outside Japan, especially in the United States, and some other countries in Asia and Europe.||Flower viewing, eating and drinking, and listening to music|
|Chinese New Year||Spring Festival||Cultural & Religious||China and overseas Chinese communities worldwide||Asia||January or February (Chinese lunar new year)||16 days||Traditionally, the festival was a time to honor deities as well as ancestors.||It is the most important Chinese festival, the time for the family get-together.||Lion dances, dragon dances, fireworks, family gathering, family meals, visiting friends and relatives, and lantern shows|
|Cooper's Hill Cheese-Rolling and Wake||Sporting||Gloucester, England, United Kingdom||Europe||Last Monday in May||1 day||Early 1800s||The event has two possible origins: a requirement for maintaining grazing rights on the common; and the custom of rolling objects down the hill to represent the birth of the New Year after winter.||Currently people from all over the world take part in the event, which is called a "world-famous event" by The Guardian.||Cheese-rolling races and the uphill races|
|Dia de los muertos||Day of the Dead||Cultural & Religious||Mexico and regions with large Hispanic populations||North America||October 31 to November 2||3 days||The modern holiday can be traced back to an Aztec festival dedicated to the goddess Mictecacihuatl.||It focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died.||Creation of altars to remember the dead, visiting graves, and parades|
|Diwali||Deepavali||Cultural & Religious||India and regions with large population of Hindus or people of Indian origin||Asia||Between mid-October and mid-November||5 days||The origin can be traced back to ancient India, when it was probably an important harvest festival.||It is one of the major festivals of Hinduism, which spiritually signifies the victory of light over darkness, good over evil, knowledge over ignorance, and hope over despair.||Diya and lighting, home decoration, shopping, fireworks, puja (prayers), performing religious rituals, and feast and sweets|
|Glastonbury||Music||Pilton, Somerset, England, United Kingdom||Europe||Last weekend of June||5 days||1970||The first festival was inspired by the ethos of the hippie, counterculture, and free festival movements.||It is the largest greenfield festival in the world.||Conserts, dance, comedy, theatre, circus, cabaret, and other events|
|Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival||Seasonal||Harbin, China||Asia||January and February||Officially 1 month, but exhibitions often last longer||1963||The festival originated in Harbin's traditional ice lantern show and garden party that takes place in winter.||It is the largest ice and snow festival in the world, which includes the world's biggest ice sculptures.||Sun Island Exhibition, Ice and Snow World Exhibition, and various winter activities (such as Yabuli alpine skiing, winter-swimming in the Songhua River, and the ice-lantern exhibition in Zhaolin Garden)|
|Inti Raymi||Sun Festival||Cultural & Religious||Custo, Peru||South America||June 22 (traditional)/June 24 (modern)||9 days||1412 (traditional); 1944 (modern)||It was a religious ceremony of the Inca Empire in honor of the god Inti (Quechua for "sun"), and a celebration of the winter solstice and the Inca New Year.||There is the annual recreation of this important Inca ceremony, attracting thousands of tourists and local visitors.||Colorful dances, processions, street parties, and the recreation of the Inca ceremony|
|Kandy Esala Perahera||Festival of the Tooth||Cultural & Religious||Kandy, Sri Lanka||Asia||July or August||10 days||The 3rd century BC (traditional); Between 1747 to 1781 (modern)||It was held to beseech blessings of the gods to obtain rain for the cultivation of crops and to enrich the lands of the kingdom.||It is held annually to pay homage to the Sacred Tooth Relic of Lord Buddha, which is housed at the Sri Dalada Maligawa in Kandy.||Kap Situveema (planting of a sanctified young Jackfruit Tree), carrying the sacred tooth relic of the Buddha through the streets of the Kandy city, Diya Kepeema (a water cutting ceremony), and many traditional local dances such as fire-dances, whip-dances, and Kandyan dances|
|Kirkpinar Oil Wrestling Festival||Sporting||Edirne, Turkey||Europe||Last week of June||3 days||1362||The tradition can be traced back to the ancient Sumer and Babylon.||It is the oldest continuously running, sanctioned sporting competition in the world.||Oil wrestling competitions|
|Holi||Festival of Colors; Festival of Sharing Love||Cultural & Religious||India and regions with large population of Hindus or people of Indian origin||Asia||Between the end of February and the middle of March||2 days||The festival was first held to celebrate the victory of good over evil, as well as the beginning of the spring.||Apart from the original purposes, currently the festival is also a time for many people to meet others, play and laugh, forget and forgive, and repair broken relationships.||Holika bonfire, Rangwali Holi (the frolic and fight with colors), dancing and drinking, and visiting families and friends|
|La Tomatina||Entertainment||Buñol, Valencia, Spain||Europe||Last Wednesday in August||1 hour||1945||One popular theory of its origin is that disgruntled townspeople rioted and attacked city councilmen with tomatoes during a town celebration.||Participants of many nationalities throw tomatoes and get involved in this tomato fight purely for entertainment purposes.||Tomato fight|
|Naadam||The Three Games of Men||Sporting||Mongolia||Asia||July or August||3 days||It has its origins in celebration of various occasions, such as weddings or spiritual gatherings.||Currently it formally commemorates the 1921 Revolution and celebrates the achievements of the new state.||Opening and closing ceremonies, Mongolian wrestling, horse racing, and archery|
|New Orleans Mardi Gras||Shrove Tuesday or Fat Tuesday||Cultural & Religious||New Orleans, United States||North America||February or March||Around 2 weeks||1837||People celebrated it as part of an observance of Catholic practice.||The tradition has become synonymous with the city in popular perception, which is embraced by residents of New Orleans beyond those of French or Catholic heritage.||Large parades, balls, and events such as the "Meeting of the Courts" ceremony|
|Oktoberfest||Wiesn||Food and Drink||Munich, Germany||Europe||From late September to the first weekend in October||16 to 18 days||1810||The festival was first held to honor the royal marriage of King Ludwig and Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen.||It is the world's largest beer festival, with more than 6 million people from around the world attending every year.||Entry of the restaurateurs and breweries, beer barrel tapping, the costume and riflemen parade, and a variety of attractions such as amusement rides, sidestalls and games|
|Panafest||The Pan African Historical Theatre Project||Cultural||Ghana||Africa||July or August||Around 9 days||1992||The event was held as a cultural vehicle for bringing Africans together around the issues raised by slavery which remain suppressed.||It is a cultural event held every two years to promote and enhance unity, Pan-Africanism, and the development of the continent of Africa itself.||Performances and work (in the areas of theatre, drama, music, poetry, and so on), viewing of the durbar of chiefs, and tours to various places of interest (such as slave castle dungeons)|
|Running of the Bulls||Cultural & Religious||Pamplona, Spain||Europe||July 6 to July 14||8 days||1591||The origin of this event comes from the need to transport the bulls from the fields outside the city to the bullring, during which youngsters would jump among the bulls to show off their bravado.||It is the highest profile event of the San Fermin festival.||Music, dancing, drinking, street theatre, and bull-running|
|Rio Carnival||Carnaval||Cultural & Religious||Rio de Janeiro, Brazil||South America||February or March||5 days||1723||Portuguese immigrants introduced the Entrudo (meaning "entrance") to Lent (the 40-day period before Easter) by going out onto the streets soaking each other with buckets of water and throwing mud and food.||It is considered the biggest carnival in the world with two million people per day on the streets.||Samba school parades, street parades, blocos, bandas, dancing, and music|
|Saint Patrick's Day||Feast of Saint Patrick||Cultural & Religious||Ireland and regions with large population of Irish origin||Europe||March 17||1 day||The 9th century (traditional); 1903 (modern)||The day was made a national holiday and an official Christian feast day to commemorate Saint Patrick and the arrival of Christianity in Ireland, and to celebrate the heritage and culture of the Irish in general.||Modern celebrations have been greatly influenced by those of the Irish diaspora, particularly those that developed in North America.||Attending mass or service, public parades, céilithe, wearing shamrocks, wearing green, and drinking Irish beer and whiskey|
|Sky Lantern Festival||Cultural||Pingxi, Taiwan||Asia||February or March||3 days||1990 (modern)||Historically, sky lanterns were released to let others know that the town was safe.||The festival is held to celebrate the Lantern Festival and the end of Chinese new year.||Releasing sky lanterns into the air, folk performances, lantern riddle contests, and street folk carnivals|
|Songkran Water Festival||Cultural & Religious||Thailand||Asia||April 13 to April 15||3 days||The celebration marks the Thai new year, and people gently sprinkled water on one another as a sign of respect, blessings, and good wishes.||As the festival falls during the hottest month, currently it is mostly celebrated by young people with water fights.||Waterfights and traditional parades|
|Sydney New Year's Eve||Cultural||Sydney, Australia||Oceania||December 31||4 hours||1996||The use of fireworks on the Brooklyn Bridge as part of its 100th anniversary celebrations in 1983 inspired the event founder Syd Howard to use the Sydney Harbour Bridge as a launchpad for fireworks to celebrate the new year.||Each year the event takes on a new theme and is regularly viewed by more than one million people at the harbour and one billion worldwide for the televised Midnight Fireworks.||The "9 pm Family Fireworks" and the "Midnight Fireworks"|
|Timkat||Timket or Timqat||Cultural & Religious||Ethiopia||Africa||January 19 (or January 20 on Leap Year)||3 days||It celebrates the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan River.||It is one of the most important orthodox holidays in Ethiopia.||Ritual reenactment of baptism, processions, dancing and singing, and feasting|
|Up Helly Aa||Cultural & Religious||Lerwick, Scotland, United Kingdom||Europe||Last Tuesday in January||1 day||1881||The celebration grew out of the older yule tradition of tar barrelling.||The festival involves a procession of up to a thousand guizers in Lerwick and considerably lower numbers in the more rural festivals.||A series of marches and visitations, a torch-lit procession, and the burning of a galley|
|White Nights Festival||Music||St. Petersburg, Russia||Europe||From May to July||Around 2 months||1992||The festival was held to promote cultural exchange between Russia and the rest of the world.||This festival has inspired numerous night-time cultural festivals in many other cities.||The "Stars of the White Nights" (a series of classical ballet, opera and orchestral performances), Scarlet Sails celebration (spectacular fireworks and a massive show celebrating the end of the school year), a series of carnivals, and star performances at the Palace Square|