Vibrant and Stunning Colorful Festivals of the World

Festivals are the joyous occasions that every community or country celebrates. They are an occasion to commemorate specific communal purposes and a means of expressing and attaining joy and merriment among friends and family. There are several festivals celebrated across the world. The festivals portray a rich culture, traditions, and religion. Apart from their heritage, they also accentuate the identity of their folklore, desires, and sociality. Distinctively, colors play a huge role in quite many colorful festivals all over the world. Pompous and vibrant colors take over the world in times of some of the most joyous and beautiful colorful festivals.

Playing with colors has always been there, whether steeped in ancient mythology or incorporated into uniquely local traditions. As its glory expanded globally, now, almost every corner of the world has a festival where colors are an essential part of the celebrations. Today we talk about a few of such most famous and unmissable colorful festivals around the globe. From tossing tomatoes in Spain to South Korea’s fireworks carnival, these span the world and can surely add a good dose of color to everyone’s lives.

Colorful Festivals

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Regarded as one of the most famous colorful festivals globally, Holi celebrated in India is known as the ‘festival of colors.’ It is an ancient Hindu festival observing the beginning of spring and exists throughout India and parts of Nepal. The festival is celebrated quite intensely in most parts of India, with puffs of multi-colored powder smeared to everyone’s faces and popped in the air. People gather along with their family and friends in huge numbers, mostly in public places equipped with a ‘Gulal’ rainbow palette. Sometimes, they also play with water in the form of water guns and water balloons. The night before this, which is the full-moon night, witnesses people gathering around a bonfire to pray for eradicating their internal evils, called the legend of ‘Holika.’

Colorful Festivals

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Chinese New Year, China

The Chinese New Year is a rich traditional festival that commemorates the New Year as per the Lunar calendar. It usually occurs during late January or early February. China around this time explodes in a cacophony of color and sound in cities and towns. Every person throughout huge parades adorns multiple colors and new designable costumes, with each unique in its style, theme, and color. Though the parade gets slow due to the massive number of people, it seems to be a never-ending one! Traditional costumes and the color red is the most predominant in these parades. There are also rainbow-colored dragon dances through the streets, and homes get illuminated with strings of red paper lanterns in this colorful festival.

Colorful Festivals

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La Tomatina, Spain

Known to be Spain’s largest festival, La Tomatina occurs on the last Wednesday of October every year. The only Red color underpins this fruity festival in the Spanish town of Bunol. This festival is one giant tomato fight where participants reach the streets to fling an arsenal of over-ripe tomatoes at one another. However, participants follow pre-defined rules for safety to participate in its festivities. Hundreds of tons of tomatoes arrive in trucks to the open spaces where people enjoy without any casualties. This traditional fruity festival dates back to 1945, when some youngsters gate crashed a festival stage, knocking a musician into a stall of vegetables and starting a food fight. Today this festival is celebrated with dance, music and various exercises with fire and tomatoes.

Colorful Festivals

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Harbin Festival, China

This tremendous international ice festival is held in Harbin, China, from January 5 to February 5 every year. This festival’s primary attraction is the creative shapes, designs, and buildings made from ice and snow. This festival has been organized extensively in China for nine years in Herbin when it receives heavy snow. During this festival, an entire neighborhood forms into full-size ice buildings. Some buildings look like pages of a fantasy book, while others craft off of existing ones. The buildings are created from giant ice blocks and illuminated by light displays. One can also see several multi-story castles with their towers colored by a dozen hues.

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Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, USA

The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, organized in October, is the USA’s biggest hot-air balloon festival. Celebrated in New Mexico, the festival has been running since 1972, where at least 600 balloons fly in the New Mexico sky in the first week of October. The colored balloons lit by their bright flames offer a completely different show and a unique festival of color. A heap of colored, inflated balloons creates even more colors when the sun shines over them, making it a picturesque sight. Visitors and competitors from all corners of the world go to the festival, which continues for nine days.

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Rio de Janeiro Carnival, Brazil

Carnivals, in themselves, are incredibly huge colorful, and popular festivals. However, the magnitude and variety of the celebrations in The Rio de Janeiro Carnival in Brazil will probably need a whole new category in itself. The world’s biggest fiesta, Rio Carnival, is called the paradise of the world festival. Bright colors, bold costumes, and lively samba sound power up the two million-strong street carnival. There is an electrifying atmosphere with glitters and feathers, and it is the favorite among festival lovers.

Colorful Festivals

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Busan International Fireworks Festival, South Korea

One of the most mesmerizing and extravagant fireworks festivals across Asia, the Busan Fireworks Festival, occurs at the suspension Gwangan Bridge. The whole bridge gets illuminated by tens of thousands of state-of-the-art fireworks and laser shows in the week-long festival. Fireworks of various colors and shapes are often arranged together to entire fashion compositions along the bridge- the 4.5-mile-long Gwangan Bridge on the waterfront facing the Sea of Japan. People gather in huge numbers side-by-side in anticipation in the pitch-black sky to witness the spectacular show. This grand festival witness as many as around 2 million people from around the world.

Colorful Festivals

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Venice Carnival

The Venice Carnival, also known as ‘Carnevale di Venezia,’ is Italy’s biggest festival. It combines the extravagance and elegance of the costumes, the illustrious masks, the ornamented boats, and the water. This carnival first began in Italy in the year 1162. The distinctive feature and main attraction of this festival- everyone wears masks! The masks are of different designs, with enthusiasts also adorning masks of their favorite characters. The festival, which lasts almost a week, includes concerts, candle-lit boat parades, and various spectacular performances along the road.

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Vivid Festival, Sydney, Australia

The Vivid Festival, first inaugurated in 2009, is relatively a quiet young festival. It is a beautiful piece of modern art display for the public. One can witness the Opera House covered in an ever-changing projection along with an incredible view from the Sydney Harbor Bridge. The projections like over the Opera House vary from being super quick, twitching games of geometrical forms to slow and fluid sequences. Additionally, there are also interactive multimedia works, light displays, and light sculptures all around the city.

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Mardi Gras, New Orleans, USA

Mardi Gras festival of New Orleans is a rich multi-cultural celebration occurring before and after Shrove Tuesday. It is one of the USA’s most distinctive festivals. One can find all kinds of extravaganza in this carnival, from crazy costumes, colorful floats, drinking, dancing, and revelry. It is a time to pander into rich foods and take to the streets for a week’s worth of overgenerous processions. The colors traditionally most associated with Mardi Gras in New Orleans are green, gold, and purple. The festivities begin early on Mardi Gras, which can fall on any Tuesday between February 3 and March 9, depending on Easter’s date, and thus of Ash Wednesday.

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Day of the Dead, Mexico

The Day of the Dead, or popular as ‘Día de Muertos’, is a celebration of death and occurs on two colorful days in Mexico and Latin America. It is associated with Catholic celebrations of All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day and occurs on November 1-2. The multi-day festival involves family and friends getting together to pray for and remember expired friends and family members. However, it doesn’t seem so scary as it sounds! It is instead a day of celebration than mourning. Participants also dress up as skeletons, hold parties and parades and make offerings such as sugar skulls to the dead. There are lively parades full of vividly decorated skulls, techno-color costumes, and a plethora of good vibes.

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Hanami, Japan

Hanami or ‘flower viewing’ is the traditional Japanese ritual and colorful festivals of enjoying the beauty of flowers. In this case, it primarily refers to the blooming cherry blossom trees. Japan, during spring, gets carpeted with fairy floss-colored cherry blossoms that bloom from the end of March to early May and around February 1 on Okinawa. The Japanese carry out al fresco parties beneath the cherry blossom boughs in parks and gardens. Decorative electric lanterns lit up the trees on the island of Okinawa, meant for evening enjoyment, like the trees ascending Mt. Yae, near Motobu Town.

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Songkran, Water Fight in Thailand

Songkran is the Thai New Year’s national holiday celebrated on April 13 every year. The word Songkran originated from the Sanskrit word saṃkrānti, literally “astrological passage”, meaning transformation or change. This Thai New Year is welcomed with the world’s biggest water fight. Thai citizens and visitors get into water fights by approaching each other with water balloons. Customarily, people gently sprinkled water on each other as a sign of respect. Still, as the New Year falls during the hottest month in South East Asia, many people end up drenching strangers and passersby in vehicles in lively celebrations. This tradition follows the concept of cleansing with water to purify and renew.

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Naadam Festival, Mongolia

The Naadam festival of Mongolia is celebrated mid of summer season and is existent for centuries. The festival, in its origin, was celebrated in the form of military and sporting activities and gradually incorporated into weddings and spiritual rituals. It also celebrates as a way of imparting training to soldiers for war. The Naadam festival is now recognized and celebrated every year as a commemoration of Mongolia’s Independence from China after the 1921 Revolution. The celebration that starts with an opening ceremony includes ‘Three Games of Man,’ displaying people’s strength in sporting activities. These games are popular as ‘Danhig’ games.

Colorful Festivals

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Zimei Festival, China

The Miao people from Southern China celebrate the Zimei colorful festivals during the 3rd lunar month. A significant celebration of Miao courtship, the Zeimiei festival, occurs on the 15th day of the month and offers a prospective chance for young boys and girls to fall in love. They wear rich traditional costumes and gather in the village squares to celebrate Miao tradition and culture. Young Miao women rejoice, sing and dance, and perform from one village to the other. The women wear beautiful jewelry, heavily embroidered clothes, and brocade aprons to woo the boys. They also offer Zimei rice to the young boys they flirt and choose as their beloved.

Festivals are a way of great rejoicing, dance, and making merry. These rich colorful festivals have a great cultural significance and are celebrated with much joy and enthusiasm. Do visit the countries to celebrate these colorful and vibrant festivals and soak in the hue of festivity!

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