We’re celebrating 16 years of Outlook Traveller with a bunch of great travel ideas for you. These include Destinations, Drives, Adventures, Cruises, Food, Festivals and Hotels. Here we bring you 6 awesome festivals from around the world that will bring you just a little bit closer to world art, culture and traditions.
If you need a reason to travel around the world, festivals just might be the answer. What more effective way to experience different cultures, see all kinds of art forms, religion etc, than be a part of a festival? Well, that is, if these are the things that inspire you to travel! Be a part of a community in Nevada, USA; participate in the world's largest art festival; refresh your knowledge of Hindu mythology in India; experience Arabic culture, art and spirituality in Fes; celebrate dance and art in Russia; or help promote indigenous arts in Portugal. There are just so many vibrant festivals around the world that will make you want to pack your bags and head out to explore.
Burning Man, USA
If the world is getting to you, Burning Man takes you away from it. An annual event which takes place in Black Rock City, Nevada, USA, Burning Man is an art festival based on the principles of self-expression, community participation and complete acceptance. Every year, a settlement is erected in the middle of the Nevada Desert and once the festival is over, all traces are erased. Nothing is provided and there is almost no contact with civilisation. It happens a week before Labour Day, ending with the burning of a sculpture of a man, from where it gets its name.(burningman.org)
Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Scotland
Almost 70 years ago, eight theatre groups turned up uninvited at the Edinburgh International Festival and began to perform. They called themselves the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, as they were on the fringe and not actually a part of it. This evolved into the world’s largest art festival, which at the last count lasted for a total of 25 days and featured 50,266 performances of 3,269 shows in 294 venues. True to its spirit, it is an open festival, and anyone can participate, with a variety of categories, from theatre to opera to spoken word poetry. (edfringe.com)
Kumbh Mela, India
Thousands of years ago, according to Hindu mythology, the gods and demons got together and churned the ocean in pursuit of celestial nectar. Four drops of them fell on Earth–in Ujjain, Nasik, Prayag and Haridwar. According to the holy scriptures, for 12 days in a year, when the planets are in a certain alignment, the water in the rivers flowing through these cities turns into nectar. It is said that a dip in the rivers during period can wash away all the sins. The Kumbh Mela is held once every three years at one of these locations. The mela comes back to a particular location once in 12 years. It is frequented by devotees, ascetics and is a riot of sound and colour. (kumbhamela.net)
Festival of Sacred Music, Fes, Morocco
Historically Morocco’s intellectual hub, Fes is the city where the world’s oldest university, Karaouine University, is located. It is where Sylvestre II, Pope from 999 to 1003, who introduced Arabic numerals into Europe, studied in his youth. The Fes Festival of World Sacred Music was founded in 1994, in honour of the city’s traditions of knowledge, art and spirituality. The festival has a wide range of music to offer. With shows going up to 60 in number, it has featured names like Joan Baez, Patti Smith, BjÃ¶rk, Ben Harper, Paco de LucÃa, Ravi Shankar, Sabah Fakhri, Kadhem Saher, Mounir Bachir, Asmaa Lamnawar, Wadi al Safi, among others. (fesfestival.com)
White Night Festival, St Petersburg, Russia
This is a two-month long dance and art festival held in St. Petersburg, Russia. A unique geographic phenomenon makes the night skies turn white, and performances are held through the night. Ranging from ballet to opera, the performances are mainly held in the Mariinsky Theatre and the Mariinsky Concert Hall. There are also carnivals and other performances by star performers held in the Pavlovsk suburb and Palace Square. (wnfestival.com)
Agit Agueda Art Festival, Portugal
Based on community spirit and participation, Agit Agueda is an art festival in Agueda, Portugal, which promotes and encourages indigenous art. Held every summer, Agit Agueda involves the community as a whole, with master classes across art forms and unique installations like the Umbrella Sky project, where hundreds of colourful umbrellas, are hoisted above the streets, forming a canopy. This festival revamps urban spaces, and promotes the sustainable use of public spaces, along with boosting local trade; (agitagueda.com/en)