I always wanted to make one of these and I bet a lot of people do to so I thought why the heck not?! In an ideal world where work was nil and funds and time was abundant I wonder where in the world I would travel to. The only catch here is that all my destinations incorporate a festival of the native lands that I have been dying to visit! After much debate here’s the list of my top ten in no particular order:
1. Holi Festival of Color:
Growing up in an area rich with Indian natives I have gotten to experience their culture from afar so when I found out about Holi it immediately found its way onto my bucket list. This festival marks the beginning of many different things but the gist of it is the triumph of good versus evil, ending of winter and arrival of spring or that meeting up with friends to enjoy a great time. Often celebrated in the first weeks of March the place to visit surely is Mathura & Vrindavan. During its celebration people douse each other in colorful powder resulting the emergence of people in a multitude of shades. I should probably bring a pair of shades with me.
2. Castell Festival:
Otherwise known to the rest of the world as the human tower! I’ve have been to the Barcelona area over the summer and it was BEAUTIFUL but unfortunately I just had to come early and miss this great Catalan tradition. I remember as a child watching TV shows, before the age of YouTube, depicting how tall these human towers can get! You can catch the performance during the summer months usually in front of the Barcelona Cathedral, but I wouldn’t mind going back for their seafood as it’s unlike anywhere I have eaten before!
3. Chinese Lunar New Year:
There’s nothing like celebrating ringing in the new year quite like in Southeast Asia and of being of said SE Asian decent how could I not put Tet on my list?! Tet is the celebration of the new lunar year that follows the Chinese and Vietnamese culture. Each lunar year is based on twelve zodiac animals, I was born during the Rabbit zodiac year, but each year the celebrations are just as fantastic. It would be something to witness a lion dance in person! The celebration changes year to year varying from the end of January to the middle of February. If you go be prepared though as my brother told me it can be a SH*T FEST (in the good sense of course!)
4. The Northern Lights:
Better known as the aurora borealis spectacle is the only way I can describe the Northern Lights shortof actually ever seeing it. It’s caused by the solar winds disruptions of the magnetosphere where
particles in both parties are thrust into the upper atmosphere where their energies are lost. The ionization process emits off a peculiar light that has attracted millions over the eons.
There’s a debate about the best places to watch it from but no doubt will it be in either the Scandinavian countries or if fortunate enough flying overheard on either a private or commercial flight (the latter actually had a pilot diverge route so passengers could witness it first hand!) From late September to early March it is said that is when one can find the viewing of the Northern Lights at its best!
5. Carnaval Brasil: Carnaval is celebrated prior to the fasting season of Lent so that means this festival of music, dance and colorfully dressed, or rather less dressed women, occurs between the Friday afternoon (51 days before Easter) until Ash Wednesday at noon usually for about a week’s time. Its become more than a religious tradition and bloomed itself into a country wide celebrations decked out with parades that would make even the Macy Day Thanksgiving one envy with jealously.
As the name might imply you already know why I would want to go here! I have been to Germany before, Berlin, and experienced some of the culture over there and my main takeaway was: they love their brews. No wonder why they would a festival dedicated to those lovely little hops that makes such a great concoction. The place to go is Munich, Germany and it usually starts around the later weeks of September-early week of October. Don’t forget your lederhosen!
7. Burning Man: What started out as a ritual bonfire during the summer solstice has lend itself into a multifaceted art festival held in the middle of a desert each year. It seems crazy the idea of throwing a lot of people into a desolate area and let them be amongst themselves, wait that sounds like my perfect getaway from society! The perfect place then it seems for people to come and express themselves through art and of course at the end of it all a 70+ foot tall man will be burnt (not a live person!)
8. Mardi Gras: More than just showing off some skin in return for beads, the celebration of Fat Tuesday takes place the day before Ash Wednesday. Although it is celebrated around the world one of the place to behold this is still down south in good ole New Orleans! The culmination of great food, southern hospitality and the vibrant community of Nola makes this a no brainer for me, but can you believe I am going there next month and I will still miss this?!
9. Pingxi Lantern Festival:At first this lighting of hundreds of lanterns was to ward off evil spirits and diseases, it then led itself to notifying surrounding villages that this it was safe. What a sight from photos is all I can say! These lanterns are filled with inscriptions of well wishing all the way to prayers and images of the person who released them. The sky night must be a jaw dropper with thousands of lanterns filling its every dark corner. The lantern festival alternates each year much like the other Asian festivals but you can find it between February and March so if you planned on going like myself one of these days make sure to check the dates for that year!
10. International Balloon Festival:
Albuquerque has gotten quite a rep over the last few years due to a particular TV show but lets not take away one of the breathtaking festivals that happens there each year. Oh did I mention it involves hundreds of hot air balloons?! One thing to know about me is that I am deathly afraid of heights when I am at a stand still so this is definitely a cruel and unusual punishment. Disregarding that fact I have been eager to view this in person, heck maybe even hitch a ride. You can head to the festival usually at the beginning of October and lasts about a week. Once the 700+ fleet take off get ready to see a vivid blue sky painted all over from the wild colors of the balloons.
There you have it guys where in a perfect world with copious amounts of time and money this is where you can find me in the world! I wanted to keep it to a list of ten but we all know there are so many more things to see in the world that one lifetime can allot for. I am eager to start checking off this list so check back here and see where the roads may lead me!