Chinese New Year, China China’s biggest annual celebration can last from a few days up to a month and includes many ancient traditions, such as house cleaning and the eating of special delicacies.

Australia Day, Australia In 1788, Captain Arthur Phillip arrived in Australia and established the first European settlement in the country. Today the event, which marks the birth of the nation as we know it, is marked with fireworks and boat races.

Venice Carnival, Italy Carnival season in Venice sees costume balls, street parades and lively parties take over the city, with the wearing of masks a central feature of this lively festival. Expect to see elaborately decorated festival-goers on every street corner.


Lantern Festival, China A major event dating to the Han Dynasty, the Buddhist Lantern Festival sees people decorate buildings all across China with paper lanterns in various shapes and colors. Other popular events at this time include firework displays and folk dancing.

Cape Town Pride, South Africa Africa’s largest gay event sees participants hit the streets for a 10-day celebration of their sexuality.

Groundhog Day, Canada and the US If the groundhog sees his shadow on this February 2 event, residents of Canada and the US have another six weeks of winter to endure. But if the groundhog doesn’t see his shadow, an end to the cold season is imminent, or so the saying goes.


St Patrick’s Day, Ireland Held in honor of the patron saint of Ireland, St Patrick’s Day has lost much of its religious significance and is today best known around the world as a day to enjoy a few pints of Guinness.

Easter Originally a religious festival celebrating Jesus’ resurrection, Easter is today commonly celebrated as a secular event, with modern celebrations of the festival including chocolate egg hunts and other frivolous games.

Cape Town International Jazz Festival, South Africa This popular event sees international jazz stars from around the globe descend on Cape Town for two days of world-class performances.


Songkran, Thailand The Buddhist roots of the Thai New Year celebrations have been clouded as today’s festival-goers take to the streets for a three-day water fight, musical concerts and street parties.

Anzac Day, Australia and New Zealand Those who lost their lives in the WWI Battle of Gallipoli are remembered on Anzac Day, held on April 25 annually. Military services commemorate the soldiers who fell while locals often pay their respects in their own way.


Addo Elephant Marathon, South Africa This unique feat sees participants run alongside lions and elephants in a protected wildlife park near to Port Elizabeth.


Dragon Boat Festival, Taiwan Honoring Qu Yuan, a royal poet who drowned himself in 278 BC, the Dragon Boat Festival is a colorful event that sees boat races and re-enactments of the search for his body.

Roots Festival, Gambia A week-long cultural celebration featuring dance and educational workshops highlighting Gambia’s slave trade history, the Roots Festival is both an informative and fun African event.

Matariki Festival, New Zealand The Maori New Year is celebrated across New Zealand, but the best place to experience this event is in the town of Hawkes Bay, where music and dance performances take place.


Running of the Bulls, Spain Known as one of the world’s most dangerous festivals, this event sees brave contestants take to the streets of Pamplona to run against angry bulls. Many are injured in this long running tradition.

Calgary Stampede - Calgary, Alberta, Canada Drawing cowboys and gals from around the globe is ‘the greatest outdoor show on Earth’. The 10-day Calgary Stampede features the world’s largest outdoor rodeo and enough western action to last you a lifetime.


Edinburgh Festival, Scotland The lively Edinburgh Festival sees thousands descend on the Scottish capital for two weeks of raucous performances and events. The Fringe Festival is a popular event that runs alongside the Edinburgh Festival.

Canadian National Exhibition - Toronto, Canada The largest fair in Canada is held in Toronto and sees exhibitions, air shows, animal contests, a carnival and plenty of white-knuckle rides.


Rio de Janeiro Carnival - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Brazil’s legendary Rio de Janeiro Carnival will have your head spinning with Latin beats for weeks afterwards. Come and experience the local passion for costume, dance and music at this globally renowned festival.

Oktoberfest – Munich, Germany An event not to be missed by beer lovers, Oktoberfest sees thousands gather to indulge in one of their favorite pastimes – drinking beer. Expect plenty of merriment to accompany your beer.

Ramadan This fasting festival is of great significance to Muslims, who must abstain from eating during daylight hours for its month-long duration. The end of the festival is marked by Eid, a huge family feast.


Abu Simbel Sun Festival, Egypt The ancient Nubian monuments at Abu Simbel were designed by Ramses II to fill with light twice a year, once on his birthday and once on the day he came to the throne. Visitors can witness this amazing light show at the Abu Simbel Sun Festival.

Halloween Halloween has gained in popularity worldwide in recent decades, with North America and Europe having the most enthusiastic celebrations. Grab a spooky costume and trick-or-treat door to door in a bid to get candy.


Thanksgiving, US Traditionally a harvest festival, Thanksgiving sees families gather together for a turkey feast and to say thanks for the things they have. Thanksgiving is celebrated in October in Canada.

Day of the Dead, Mexico Held in honor of the dead, this Hispanic event sees families pay their respects to the deceased by making them altars and giving them their favorite food and drink.

Diwali Also known as the Festival of Light, this Hindu celebration marks the victory of light over darkness with fireworks and lanterns. Diwali is celebrated across Hindu communities worldwide.


New Year’s Eve The western world celebrates the end of one year and the start of another with huge firework displays and all-night parties. The biggest public celebrations can be seen in London and New York.

Christmas Held on December 25, Christmas celebrates the birth of Jesus with present-giving, family gatherings and nativity plays.

Feast of the Immaculate Conception Mostly heavily observed in Latin America, the Catholic Feast of the Immaculate Conception on December 8 celebrates Mary’s Immaculate Conception with parades among other festivities.