Celebrate Winter: Worldwide Festivals.
The autumn equinox signals the beginning of our passage into the depths of winter, where the balance between night and day passes over into the dark. Whether you want to escape to the southern hemisphere for a holiday of winter sun or stick closer to home and celebrate northern festivities, pack your bags, sort your foreign currency and hit the road with our guide to winter festivals that will take you right the way through to spring. For all of these festivals, remember to take out adequate travel insurance before you travel!
Day of the Dead – Mexico – Nov
Day of the Dead festival focuses on the celebration and memoriam of past family and friends – great gatherings of people build alters and honour the deceased by offering favourite food, drinks, gifts and flowers – specifically Mexican marigolds. Different areas of the country follow different traditions, in the town of Patzcuaro parades of people dressed in costume dance in the streets and at midnight candles are lit and boats sent to Janitzio Island.
Hogmanay – Edinburgh – Dec
Edinburgh is home to the biggest New Years Eve celebrations in the UK – with 18 years under it’s belt the whole city has pretty much mastered the art of party as the streets open up to 80,000 revellers with street parties, live music, gigantic fireworks displays and a world famous Keilidh in Mound Precinct – all to the backdrop of an illuminated Edinburgh castle.
Festival au Desert – Mali – Jan
Held in Essakane, this festival has become synonymous with traditional Touareg music, nomads from the south of the Sahara. Started in 2001, following a meeting between Touaregs from Mali and European musicians, the event has been built upon the annual gatherings that take place between Touaregs following the nomadic season. The event now plays host to a variety of world music and attracts acts as diverse as Robert Plant and Ali Farka Touré.
Venice Carnival – Italy – Feb
A tradition that harks back to it’s origins in the 14th Century, the Venice Carnival is a two week extravaganza of processions, street artists, live music and masquerade balls, which follow the map of the Venetian canals, square and palaces.
Rio Carnival – Brazil – March
Four days and four nights of carnival-style shenanigans in what can only be described as the party capital of the southern hemisphere. Scheduled 40 days before Easter, the carnival finishes on Fat Tuesday with the beginning of Lent on Ash Wednesday, which means that it’s a full onslaught of excesses before 40 days of abstinence. The event has become internationally renowned for its gigantic samba parades, costumes, street parties and bands.
Snowbombing – Austria – Apr
you can be skiing by day in the tyrolean mountain range with partying at night in the snow, and you can enjoy a beautiful moment.