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Event Category: Cultural Festivals

There are so many cultural festivals and cultural events around the world that sometimes it is difficult to know where to start, which is where Travel Begins at 40, with our extensive selection of festivals across the globe, comes in handy.

Cultural Festivals Around the World

Let’s start with global cultural festivals. Ever wanted to see the Cherry Blossom Season in Japan, or perhaps the Chingay Parade in Singapore, celebrating the country’s rich heritage. You might even prefer watching the Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival in Taiwan.

Cultural Events

Of course, there are as many cultural events as festivals. So why not travel to India to see the Pushkar Camel Fair, although we suggest you don’t take a camel home with you. Or, if in Japan, head for the Setouchi Triennale, although you will have to wait until 2021 for the next one, so you better make it there in 2019.

Cultural Celebrations

Celebrations abound everywhere. In Belgium one of the most important cultural celebrations is the Gentse Feesten, or the Ghent Festival in English. Or perhaps you might prefer the Candle Festival in Thailand, or Mongolia’s Golden Eagle Festival, or how about celebrating Nowruz or Persian New Year.

Religious Festivals

Although, there are religious festivals across the globe, nowhere are these more colourful than in India. Religious festivals of India range from the Diwali Festival to Holi Festival and Ganesh Chaturthi Festival, these religious observances take place throughout the year. Here are our five unmissable Hindu Festivals in India, although perhaps the Onam Festival in Kerala should have made the list.

Indeed with so many festivals to choose from we have listed Travel Begins at 40’s favourite esoteric festivals around the globe from Peru to Hampshire.

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May 2019

Venice Biennale 2019 (La Biennale di Venezia)

May 11 - November 24
Venice Venice,Italy
Venice Biennale Italy

From May to November, the Venice Biennale (la Biennale di Venezia in its original Italian, and in English also called the Venice Biennial) is one of the world’s most prestigious cultural happenings, famous for displaying new trends and launching the international careers of many an artist and architect. For every new edition, the management of the Venice Biennale select top curators from all over the world to organise the Biennale's pioneering art exhibitions. The first Venice Biennale was held in…

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September 2019

Pchum Ben Festival in Cambodia

September 27 - September 29
Cambodia Cambodia
Free
Monks at prayer

For 15 days a year, the gates of hell open and seven generations of tortured souls roam the land in search of food. Welcome to the Pchum Ben Festival in Cambodia. People dressed in the traditional Buddhist mourning colours of black and white spilling out of pagodas in the early morning is a common sight that can be seen across Cambodia during the revered festival of Pchum Ben. Armed with food offerings, lotus flowers and incense, locals are hoping to…

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Phuket Vegetarian Festival 2019

September 28 - October 7
Phuket Phuket,PhuketThailand + Google Map
Phuket Vegetarian Festival

Thailand is certainly no stranger to everything that’s quirky and out of the ordinary. The Phuket Vegetarian Festival held in autumn – also known under its more Taoist-inspired...

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Turner Prize 2019 at the Turner Contemporary

September 28, 2019 - January 12, 2020
Margate, Rendezvous
Margate,CT9 1HGUnited Kingdom
+ Google Map
Turner Prize at the Turner Contemporary Margate

The prize and the gallery that were both named for artist J M W Turner will be brought together in 2019, when the Turner Contemporary Gallery in Margate hosts the prestigious Turner Prize. Turner Prize Nominees Four of the most exciting artists working right now will be shortlisted based on an outstanding exhibition that has taken place the previous year; the names of the artists have not been announced yet, but it is expected that a statement will be made…

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Setouchi Triennale 2019, Japan

September 28 - November 4
Setouchi islands Japan
Setouchi Triennale Japan

Every three years the Setouchi Triennale, one of Japan’s biggest festivals of modern art, takes place in the south-west of the country. Come spring this exceptional celebration...

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Durga Puja Festival 2019, India

September 29 - October 8
All over the Indian subcontinent
Durga Puja Festival India

Durga Puja, one of the most important festivals for Hindu Bengalis, is the biggest yearly event in Kolkata and known as the Carnival of the East. Usually taking place in September or October, this multi-day festival celebrates the victory of good over evil with elaborate displays of the goddess Durga, colourful processions, artfully crafted clay idols and sumptuous meals. Reminiscent of the spectacular Ganesh Chaturthi Festival, people place elaborately crafted idols of the 10-armed goddess Durga at prominent places in…

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October 2019

Cheltenham Literature Festival, 2019

October 4 - October 13
cheltenham, 109-111 Bath Road
Cheltenham,GL53 7LSUnited Kingdom
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Cheltenham Literature Festival

Could there be a more appropriate setting for The Times and The Sunday Times Cheltenham Literature Festival than the historic Regency spa town of Cheltenham? Originally held in the town hall, the festival was the world’s first literary festival. It forms a key part of the Cheltenham Festivals season. The Times and The Sunday Times Cheltenham Literature Festival 2019 Highlights This year, marking the 70th anniversary of one of the UK's leading literary festivals, will see some 900 writers, including…

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Ilkley Literature Festival, Yorkshire, 2019

October 4 - October 20
Ilkley Ilkley,YorkshireUnited Kingdom + Google Map
Ilkley Literature Festival

Actors, writers, poets and even a few journos will descend upon the West Yorkshire Victorian spa town of Ilkley in October for the Ilkley Literature Festival. The county might be noted for its Yorkshire brass bands, but this 17-day bookish fete is the second oldest in the UK, as well as the leading one of its ilk in the North. Expect authors, politicians and philosophers to be drawn to the town, and its wonderful scenery nestled by Ilkley moor immortalised…

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Dashain Festival Nepal, 2019

October 5 - October 10
nepal Nepal + Google Map
Nepal Holidays Dashain Festival

The Dashain Festival is the longest and most important celebration in Nepal before Tihar or Diwali. Spread over 15 days in September or October, depending on the lunar calendar, Dashain sees Nepalese from all around the globe return to their home towns and villages to join in the celebrations that mark the end of the harvest and are supposed to remove all ill-fortune. Another name for the festival is Dasha-hara; dasha means ill-fortune and hara to remove or take away.…

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National Wine Day Moldova Wine Festival 2019

October 5 - October 6
Great National Assembly Square, Great National Assembly Square
Chisinau,Moldova, Republic of
+ Google Map

The 18th National Wine Day Moldova will see hundreds of wines from some 60 producers on display over the two-day Moldova wine festival celebrating the country’s centuries-old winemaking traditions in October. Tens of thousands of people are expected to flock to the Great National Assembly Square in the Moldova capital Chisinau for the Moldova wine festival, which is a major event in the country’s calendar. What is the National Wine Day Moldova? The wine festival allows people to become acquainted…

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Onion Market 2019, Weimar Germany

October 11 - October 13
Weimar Weimar,Germany + Google Map
Onion Market, Weimar, Germany

Dubbed the Teutonic Glastonbury by the Telegraph, the Weimar Onion Market, takes place each October in the architecturally stunning medieval city in Thuringia, Germany. Some 350,000 people are reckoned to descend upon this city of 65,000 residents during the festival, which coincides with the Weimar Beer Festival adding to the festivities. History of the Weimar Onion Market The festival dates back to 1653. In that year it was decreed that, during the second week of October, a large market should…

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Lord of Miracles, Señor de los Milagros, 2019, Peru

October 18 - October 28
Lima Peru + Google Map
Lord of Miracles

A key moment in Peru’s Catholic calendar, the Lord of Miracles, or Señor de los Milagros in Spanish, is a procession that takes place in Lima each October. Known as both the Lord of Miracles and the Christ of Miracles, there are different versions of how it grew into one of the largest religious events in the Americas. Origins of the Lord of Miracles (Señor de los Milagros) The procession of the Lord of Miracles The central thread of the narrative…

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Ubud Writers and Readers Festival 2019

October 23 - October 27
Various venues in Ubud Ubud, Bali,Indonesia
Ubud Writers and Readers Festival, Bali

The Ubud Writers and Readers Festival (often called the Ubud Writers Festival), one of the best literary festivals in the world, is held in the central Bali town of Ubud in October and will celebrate its 16th year as what has become Southeast Asia’s leading festival of words and ideas. A yearly pilgrimage for word lovers worldwide, the Ubud Writers Festival transcends cultural and physical borders, inviting both artists and audiences to enjoy and participate in public discussions, intimate literary…

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Diwali 2019 (Deepavali), Festival of Light, India

October 27
Various
Diwali

What do you do when you return home after having been exiled for 14 years? You heave a sigh of relief and celebrate. That’s what happens during Diwali (also called Deepavali) in October when in India Lord Rama, his wife Sita, his younger brother Lakshmana and the monkey god Lord Hanuman return home after defeating the demon King Ravana. To welcome back their king and to illuminate their path, the people of his home town Ayodhya lit diyas or oil…

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November 2019

Day of the Dead Festival, 2019

November 1 - November 2
Mexico City Mexico City,Mexico + Google Map
Day of the Dead Festival worldwide festivals

Many people associate the Day of the Dead Festival with Mexico, but actually it is an equally important part of the culture of Guatemala (on 1 November) and El Salvador, as well as Brazil, where it is known as Finados. The Day of the Dead has nothing to do with the zombie apocalypse, nor the Day of the Dead Film. Essentially it is a time for families to remember dead relatives. It often involves a visit to the cemetery to…

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Baltimore Book Festival & Light City Baltimore

November 1 - November 10
Inner Harbor Baltimore,MDUnited States + Google Map
Free
Light City Baltimore

Whether it is illumination through the enlightenment of books, or through the bulbs brightening the art and music, Baltimore Book Festival and Light City Baltimore will bring cheer as autumn starts to turn to winter. Billed as Brilliant Baltimore, the twin events are held at the Inner Harbor. It is an amalgam of the Baltimore Book Festival, bringing you readings, guest authors, cookery exhibitions, children’s activities talks, panel discussions as well as signings; and the Baltimore Light City, which focuses…

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Pushkar Camel Fair 2019, India

November 4 - November 12
Pushkar Camel Fair Pushkar,RajasthanIndia + Google Map
Pushkar Camel Fair

The Pushkar Camel Fair in November is a fantastic, colourful madhouse where Hindu pilgrims, mystics, cattle traders, entertainers, tourists and camera crews mix with some 30,000 camels.   Also known as Pushkar Mela or Pushkar Fair, every year this nine-day event turns into one of the world’s largest animal fairs when this small, sacred desert town in the Indian state of Rajasthan attracts over 200,000 visitors. From genuine, age-old Indian trading practices and chanting Hindu devotees all the way to the…

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Cambodia Water Festival 2019 Phnom Penh

November 10 - November 13
Phnom Penh Riverside, Sisowath Quay
Phnom Penh,Cambodia
+ Google Map
Free
Cambodia Water Festival

This year the Cambodia Water Festival, or Bon Om Touk to give its Khmer name, falls on 10 to 13 November. For three days watch as Phnom Penh’s riverside explodes into life with boat races and firework displays in what is one of the most dramatic festivals in the region. During the Cambodia Water Festival, Phnom Penh is flooded with people coming in from neighbouring villages and all over the country seeking to participate in the races and to join…

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Loy Krathong and Yi Peng Festivals, 2019

November 11 - November 13
Various
Loy Krathong Yi Peng Thailand

Thailand’s most beautiful and beguiling festival, Loy Krathong is enormously popular with Thais and visitors alike. Thousands of little candle lights and flowers drift down waterways...

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Monkey Buffet Festival, Lopburi, Thailand 2019

November 24
Phra Prang Sam Yot temple, Tha Hin, Mueang Lop Buri District
Lopburi,Lopburi15000Thailand
+ Google Map
Monkey Buffet Festival Thailand

Lopburi, in Northern Thailand, is already famous for its Khmer temple crowded with monkeys, but every year in November the whole town goes ape when visitors from Thailand and beyond come to watch 2,000 macaques feast on a lavish buffet laid out in their honour during the Monkey Buffet Festival. Origins of the Monkey Buffet Festival of Lopburi Long-tailed macaques are the most famous inhabitants of the Thai town of Lopburi where hundreds of them roam freely amongst locals and…

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