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Top Festivals Around the World

Hayes and Jarvis Blog Team July 14, 2014

Aruba

Everyone likes a good party and there is no better party than a festival. Music and food in abundance, dancing and celebrating with friends and family; festivals are contagious. What’s more, attending a festival abroad is a fantastic way to mingle with locals and discover a country’s true culture first-hand. 

So why not plan your travels around the world’s biggest parties? With a multi centre holiday you can hop between colourful carnivals and fun fiestas, sample delicious culinary delights while taking part in traditional celebrations. 
 
We’ve picked out the best festivals around the globe for each month to help you plan your multi centre adventure with a difference. Grab the diary; festival season is all year round!
 
January in China
Harbin Ice Festival 
Harbin Ice festival is the coolest festival in the world, literally. Held in the northeast of China it celebrates the best of winter with impressive ice sculptures illuminated with colourful lasers, ice lantern fairs and safaris to see siberian tigers. This veritable wonderland even has ice slides to zoom down to take your mind off the sub zero temperatures.
 
February in India
Holi
If you’re travelling through India in February, don’t miss the energetic Hindu festival of Holi, which celebrates new life and energy that arrives with spring. This is not a spectator celebration, everyone takes part! Join the chaos in the streets, throwing coloured powders and dyes, and emerge covered head to toe in a multitude of vibrant hues. 
 
March or April in Rio
Carnival 
Expect extravagant outfits and copious amounts of feathers, sparkles and hip shaking at Rio Carnival. Attracting millions of people each year, the streets and beaches of Brazil are flooded with people enjoying five days of wild non-stop partying. If you like to dance, Rio Carnival’s party atmosphere is infectious.
 
April and May in New Orleans 
Jazz & Heritage Festival 
Where better to celebrate all things Jazz than its birthplace: New Orleans. The annual Jazz & Heritage Festival takes place on over 10 stages across the city and attracts many famous faces among the hundreds of people. The music continues into the early hours with the party vibe spilling out into the street, making this an unforgettable festival for music fans. 
 
June in Peru
Inti Raymi, the Inca Festival of the Sun
In ancient times this celebration of the Inca New Year used to involve a mass sacrifice of llamas. Fortunately today’s celebration recreates the sacrifice with a realistic stage show instead. Held in Cuzco, this is the second largest festival in South America, after Carnival. Between religious ceremonies and faux sacrifices, expect street fairs, live music and people dancing in the streets. 
 
July and August in Barbados
Crop Over Festival 
Head to Barbados for a five-week celebration consisting of concerts, carnivals and parades. Crop Over Festival began as a celebration of the sugar harvest, and has evolved over the years into a huge party for locals and tourists alike. Commencing with the crowning of the Crop Over ‘King and Queen’, the five-week party atmosphere gradually builds to an impressive finale at Grand Kadooment, the final parade featuring bands, floats, colour and music. 
 
August in Argentina
Festival de Tango 
Take to the dance floor in Buenos Aires for the annual Festival de Tango. Music and dancers of all levels fill the streets to celebrate sultry dance moves in true Argentine style. Put on your dancing shoes on, grab a partner and don’t be afraid to join in. There are free dance lessons held throughout the city so you can brush up your skills. 
 
September in South Africa
Hermanus Whale Festival 
The annual Whale festival held at the end of September in Hermanus attracts thousands of people from around the world to celebrate the largest mammal on earth. Expect endless markets, delicious food stalls, environmental presentations and various activities around the bay. 
 
October in the USA
Halloween 
Halloween in the USA is a big deal. Don your best scary costume – people go all out, a witch’s hat alone won’t cut it – and head to North America’s spookiest city. Salem is the legendary location of the 17th century witch trials and throws one of the biggest parties around. From haunted houses to pumpkin carving and various costume parties, Halloween in Salem will give you goose bumps! 
 
November in Mexico
Day of the Dead 
A traditional festival held at the beginning of November, Day of the Dead is celebrated across Mexico to remember loved ones who have passed away. Instead of being a sombre event, the county comes alive in a vibrant celebration of music, arts and culture with flowers, face painting and decorative skulls plastered across the country.
 
December in New York City
Christmas & New Years Eve
Fairy lights, Santa’s grotto and pretty pine trees line the streets of New York during the Christmas season. Embrace the festive spirit in the Big Apple with time spent admiring extravagant window displays, shopping and ice skating in Central Park. At the end of December, NYC welcomes in the New Year like no other, with a grand countdown in Time Square.