Grab a place on the ultimate holiday cultural experience at some of the worlds’ best festivals.
With hundreds of festivals all over the world throughout the year, there are ample opportunities to celebrate a traditional event alongside the locals and really be part of local culture.
We have the inside knowledge of well-known and not so familiar festivals around the globe and can tailor-make holidays to enable travellers to immerse themselves in the local vibe and experience a destination from a different perspective.
Whether it’s traditional religious festivals, carnivals, music, art or the must-be-seen-at social events surrounding major sporting fixtures, Wix Squared can book you a ringside seat – or rather secure you a place in the heart of the action.
Songkran (Thai New Year) – April. The exact date varies depending on the lunar cycle. The traditional celebration of Songkran is to pay respect to one’s elders by spraying scented water on their hands. Songkran has changed over the years and has become a public three-day water fight. It is near impossible to walk down the street without being sprayed by water. Numerous other festivals include Loy Krathong, vegetarian, lantern, music and flower festivals.
Religious events (Tsechus) are celebrated on the 10th day of the lunar calendar. Communities gather to witness entertainment and masked dances. The Paro (March 2018), Thimpu (September 2018) and black-necked crane festivals are some of the most popular and advance booking is essential to secure the best seats, guides and rooms. That said, smaller, lesser-known festivals are more intimate and easier to coincide with a less flexible itinerary.
The black necked crane festival (Gangte) is celebrated annually in November in Phobjikha valley. It is an occasion for locals to rejoice and celebrate with song and dance the arrival of this endangered and majestic bird which becomes a part of their daily lives during winter.
Perahera Festival in Kandy in August is one of the oldest and grandest of all Buddhist festivals in Sri Lanka, featuring dancers, jugglers, musicians, fire-breathers, lavishly decorated elephants and extravagant nightly parades.
Guests will get swept up in the festivities with the lights, drums and mass of celebrating locals…it is intoxicating!
Advance booking is essential for cherry blossom season in March/April when throughout Japan parks, gardens and mountainsides are at their most beautiful.
The Ion festival in July is one of Kyoto’s three most famous festivals (along with the Gion Matsuri and Jidai Matsuri). The festival’s main attractions are the music, decorated floats and a large parade, in which over 500 people dressed in the aristocratic style of the Heian Period (794-1185) walk from the Imperial Palace to the Kamo Shrines.
Festivals play a key role in everyday life in India. Best known are Diwali (festival of light) in November and Holi (festival of colour) in March where Wix Squared can arrange for guests to join in celebrations with local families.
Galle and Jaipur’s literary festival (both in January) and the Nagaur Sufi festival in February are more recent additions. Wix Squared also has the inside track on many smaller festivals and tribal rituals with which they can time guests’ visits such as the Northern Tribal Festivals.
July’s Bali Arts Festival is a full month of daily performances, handicraft exhibitions and other related cultural and commercial activities during which the whole of Bali comes to the city to present its offerings of dance, music and beauty.
Other traditional festivals include Independence Day on 17th August, Nyepi – Balinese New Year (March) and Jalan Jaksa Festival (July) in Jakarta where food stalls, craft workshops and street artists take over the streets.
The Shwedagon Pagoda festival, Yangon in March is one of the most famous festivals in the country. The 99-metre high Shwedagon Pagoda is plated with gold and embellished with thousands of diamonds. The event takes place at Yangon Division during Tabaung (March) every year. One of the amazing sights of this event is the radiant city during the night, with crowds of thousands from neighbouring countries meeting to celebrate with residents.
Meanwhile, the Taunggyi Balloon festival in November marks the end of the rainy season. It includes daytime parades and evening ballooning and pyrotechnic displays – balloons decorated with hundreds of lanterns and some with fireworks which are released throughout the night. Here Wix Squared can secure a prime location to watch the this spectacular aerial display.