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What Festivals Does Social Media Love and Which Remain Undiscovered?

by Aoife O'Riordan

Jan 25, 2023

Dragon Boat Festival © Guangliang Huo | Dreamstime.com

Trends / Top Trends

We all know of the big festivals: Burning Man, Mardi Gras and the legendary tomato-throwing La Tomatina in Spain. But which festivals appear the most on social media?


In a new study by the travel experts at Explore Worldwide, in which more than 280 festivals were analyzed across Instagram and TikTok, these are the 10 most-popular festivals on social media:


  1. Fiestas de Quito, Ecuador
  2. Dragon Boat Festival, China
  3. Thrissur Pooram, India
  4. Cali Fair, Colombia
  5. Festa do Peão de Barretos, Brazil
  6. Dubai Shopping Festival, United Arab Emirates
  7. Dubai Food Festival, United Arab Emirates
  8. Festival Cervantino, Mexico
  9. La Tomatina, Spain
  10. Burning Man, United States


Fiestas de Quito tops the list as one of the world’s most socially loved festivals. This event is so large it requires a week-long celebration, with flamenco dancing, marching band competitions and theater performances occurring throughout the festival.


The Dragon Boat Festival runs in line with the Chinese Lunar calendar on the fifth day of the fifth month. Citizens line the banks of the Yangtze River to watch teams race dragon boats. The first to reach the flag wins the game. One festival custom entails the gifting and exchanging of zongzi, a sticky rice dumpling dish.


Considered one of the grandest temple festivals in the region is Thrissur Pooram in Kerala, India. The seven-day event runs annually, in which attendees can watch flag-hosting ceremonies, taste different cuisine, witness fireworks and observe an elephant ceremony.


While these festivals receive the most shares and views on social media, countless festivals occur every day across the world, many of them not prominent on social media. Just because these hidden festivals don’t make a strong appearance on social media doesn’t mean they’re not worth a visit, and these eight festivals are among the most unusual and photogenic festivals around the world:


  1. Bathtub Regatta, Belgium
  2. Lazarim Carnival, Portugal
  3. Jaffa Race, New Zealand
  4. Hokkai Heso Matsuri, Japan
  5. The Naked Festival, Japan
  6. Gasparilla Pirate Festival, Florida
  7. The Mud Olympics, Germany
  8. The Bikaner Camel Festival, India


Every August in Dinant, Belgium, locals and visitors head to the Meuse River to both race and watch this unique regatta. The unusual twist in this race is all boats are made from a bathtub. More unusual? Boats cannot have a motor. Watching this race includes sights of wildly accessorized boats as racers try to finish the 1-kilometer route. In addition to the bathtub race, this event also includes tastings of flamiche, a type of quiche, and an antique car show.


Lazarim Carnival in Portugal occurs on Shrove Tuesday, in which the streets fill with attendees wearing large, Celtic wooden masks. The people wearing these masks are caretos, meaning disguised as the devil, and the festival ends with two young caretos sharing embarrassing exploits of their friends and peers.


The steepest street in the world lies in Dunedin, New Zealand, and locals decided to make the most of Baldwin Street through an annual charity event. Thousands of visitors and locals gather to launch Jaffa Lollies, a chocolate donated by Cadbury, from the top of the street. Participants can purchase a Jaffa, with all proceeds going to several charity foundations. The winner of the event is titled “King of the Jaffa Race.”


Learn more about these eight festivals here.


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