Must-Visit Festivals You’ve Never Heard Of

by Angelique Platas

Nov 8, 2018

Solar Eclipse © Solarseven | Dreamstime

Trends / Unique Itineraries & Tours

You’ve heard of Carnival in Brazil and Oktoberfest in Germany, but there is a whole world of exciting festivals worth visiting. Add a few lesser-known options to your list and enjoy the quirker side of cultural traditions.


Ragasthan in Jaisalmer
Hosted in the once medieval region of Jaisalmer, Ragasthan, Feb. 17–19, and also known as the Jaisalmer Desert Festival, this is a sight to be seen. Hosted in an idyllic desert locale, the annual celebration honors Hindu traditions with exciting festivities along the sand dunes. Guests dress in their finest, most vibrant pieces and head to the desert on camel back in a historic event rooted in culture and tradition. Watch as professionals play camel polo and tear through the sand with gymnastic competitions and exciting live events.


Total Solar Eclipse in Argentina

Watch the rare and awe-inspiring natural wonder of a total solar eclipse in Argentina, July 2, 2019. Several can be seen all over the world in the coming years, but nothing like a total eclipse until 2028 in Australia. The astrological wonder consists of the moon temporarily blocking the sun while passing between Earth and the sun’s orbit. The blackness, haloed by the sun’s light, lasts for just a few minutes. Totality should occur over San Juan, Junin and Bragado.


Malaga Fair in Málaga, Spain

Any excuse for a trip to Spain is a worthy one, but the Malaga Fair in Málaga, Andalucia, is reason enough. Plan an August 2019 trip to the Spanish city for history, live music and fireworks. The Malaga fair celebrates the city’s capture in 1487 by Catholic monarchs. Expect performances, competitions, bullfighting and live music in the El Real fairground and across the city.


Celebrate Cow and Country in Slovenia

Cheese, wine and livestock lovers head to Slovenia in late summer for time-old traditions. The Cheese and Wine Feast allows local winemakers and farmers to show off their products at the end of August at Danica Hall in Bohinjska Bistrica. Stick around through September for the main (and oldest) event in the area, the Traditional Cow Ball. Celebrated in Ukanc, Slovenia, guests watch as local farmers bring well-dressed livestock along the rugged mountainside with cheese-making accoutrements while guests sing, dance, play wind instruments and enjoy traditional food and drinks.


Miyajima Water Fireworks Festival in Hiroshima, Japan

Summer in Japan is a little brighter during the Miyajima Water Fireworks Festival, or Miyajima-on-the-sea-Fireworks, in mid-August. Celebrated each year in Hiroshima, off shore from O-torii Gate, hundreds of thousands of guests enjoy the spectacular celebration of exploding fireworks. See famous sites and shrines light up with more than 5,000 fireworks sparkling in the distance, more than 150 over the water alone.


Kenu & Kundu Festival in Alotau, Papua New Guinea

Dive into Papuan culture and traditions during Kenu and Kundu Festical in Alotau, Papua New Guinea. Guests enjoy a floating festival with live music, dancing, art, food and celebrations — both on land and water, in early November.


Tricentennial Fête de Formages in New Orleans

New Orleans is a must visit for many reasons, but even more so during the new French-American festival, Fête de Fromages, celebrating Parisian culture through cheese. Located in the French Quarter in the U.S. Mint Building in November, guests enjoy fine wine paired with live music and premier French and American cheeses.






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