Think you know a place? Try spending time among the locals at a regional festival and witness the passionate and proud side of the residents there. Let's break down some of the best festivals from around the world.
SCOTTISH HIGHLAND GAMES
This festival is one of the most popular times to be in Scotland. From May to September, expect to see the Highland Games taking place live all over the countryside. The games welcome competitors who go head-to-head in events like tug-o-war, track and field, and even dance competitions.
Competition at the Scottish Highland Games
There are similar state-side events, which represent Scottish heritage in one of the biggest and most beloved country events, but nothing compares to being in Scotland for the activity. Plan a luxury trip to Edinburgh and receive an up close look at a country that holds dear its traditions and rustic charm.
More than a festival, Nadaam is considered a national holiday in Mongolia. It's a celebration of nomadic culture, while simultaneously honoring the country's national independence. The highlight of the festival is The Three Games, a competition in wrestling, archery, and horseracing. Although these sports are the main events, there is also live music, dancing, and a parade to look forward to as well.
Nadaam is typically celebrated from July 10-12. On average, temperatures during the beginning of July should range in the high 70s, which is the perfect opportunity to plan a trip around the festival by exploring Ulaanbaater and the South Gobi Desert. Explore the Flaming Cliffs where dinosaur eggs were first found; trek through the Khentii mountain range; and visit Gandan Monastery, the most active Tibetan Buddhist monastery in Mongolia all in one trip.
KANDY PERAHERA FESTIVAL
As one of the oldest Buddhist festivals in Sri Lanka, Kandy Esala Perahera is 10 days of dancing, singing, and other vibrant entertainment, including an elephant parade. The celebration honors guardian gods Natha, Vishnu, Kataragama, and goddess Pattini. But the festival's history all because of Buddha's tooth, which was considered a relic, and brought from India to Sri Lanka. It's why you may have heard this ancient event referred to as The Festival of the Tooth.
Festival dancers celebrating Kandy Perahera
If you've ever wanted to explore The Spice Island, include enough time to witness the Kandy Perahera Festival. Not only will you be part of cultural tradition, you'll be witness to one of the most scenic and spiritual regions in the world.
DIA DE LOS MUERTOS (DAY OF THE DEAD)
Day of the Dead or Dia de los Muertos isn't as ominous as the name implies. Rather, it's when living family members honor loved ones who have died. It's commemorated from October 31 - November 2 and is characterized by sugar skills and shrines created in devotion for those who have passed. Mexico is known for its rich history and close family ties, which is what you'll experience on a journey into San Miguel de Allende and Patzcuaro.
Masks decorated for the Dia de Los Muertos
On the 10-day excursion, you'll have the opportunity to eat lunch with a local artisan family in Patzcuaro, learn about tequila distilling techniques, and take a hot-air balloon ride at sunrise over the agave fields. Even if you can't be in Mexico during Day of the Dead, you'll still feel just how much family means to their culture.
Festivals from around the world can help you discover the real stories behind local culture and traditions - and they're just plain fun! Discover the eclectic and passionate side of your chosen travel destination this year by attending a festival.