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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

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...

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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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October 2019

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

October 18 - October 28
Lima 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...

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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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December 2019

Hornbill Festival 2019 in Nagaland, India

December 1 - December 10
Kisama Heritage Village, Kisama Heritage Village
Kisama,NagalandIndia
+ Google Map
Hornbill Festival worldwide festival

The biggest event of indigenous warrior tribes in India’s Nagaland state, the 10-day Hornbill Festival sees singing, dance and sports performances mix...

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Konya Whirling Dervishes Festival 2019

December 7 - December 17
Konya Konya,Turkey + Google Map
Whirling Dervishes

For eleven days, the Turkish city of Konya will host one of the most exquisite ceremonies of spirituality with the mesmerising beauty of the Whirling Dervishes honouring Mevlana, the great Sufi mystic. Thousands of people will gather to commemorate the life and teachings of the 13th century Persian poet and Sufi mystic Rumi – also known as Mevlana (“our master”). The unity of being is the central tenet in the transcendental teachings of this Islamic philosopher who believed that dance…

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Beverley Festival of Christmas 2019

December 8 @ 10:00 am - 4:00 pm GMT
Beverley Beverley,United Kingdom + Google Map
Free
Beverley Christmas Festival

The hugely popular Beverley Festival of Christmas, in East Yorkshire, has grown from a small market to one of the largest festive celebrations in England. Held on 8 December from 10am to 4pm, join in the festivities. Staged each year since 1995 around the town centre of the medieval Minster town of Beverley, at its heart will be three traditional Victorian Christmas Markets selling everything from festive food and drink to arts and crafts. The historic market town with its two…

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Wonderfruit Festival 2019, Thailand

December 12 - December 16
The Fields, Siam Country Club
Pattaya,ChonburyThailand
+ Google Map
Wonderfruit Festival Thailand

Within just a few years, the Wonderfruit Festival has risen to become one of the most anticipated festivals in Thailand blending music and gastronomy with wellness...

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Hanukkah 2019 Festival of Lights

December 22 - December 30
Israel and other countries
Hanukkah Festival of Lights Israel

Hanukkah, also known as Chanukah or the Festival of Lights, is one of the most popular and beautiful Jewish festivals around the world. Taking place annually towards the year-end, participants light candles, enjoy special fried food and give presents to children. Although only a minor festival in a religious sense – its story doesn’t appear in the Torah or Hebrew bible – the eight-day-long Hanukkah Festival of Lights has grown into the most popular of Jewish holidays, partly because of…

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Harbin Ice Festival China 2020 Extravaganza

December 25, 2019 - February 25, 2020
Harbin Harbin,China + Google Map
Harbin Ice Festival

Once mostly a regional affair, the Harbin Ice Festival, China - or the Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival...

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La Feria de Cali 2019 (Cali Fair), Colombia

December 25 - December 30
Various locations in Cali Santiago de Cali,Colombia
La Feria de Cali, Colombia

The annual Feria de Cali or Cali Fair in Colombia has grown into one of South America’s most important salsa festivals with fireworks, colourful parades, free music concerts, culture & art events, beauty pageants and more, starting on Christmas Day until the end of the year. Colombia’s third-biggest city is already a mecca for salsa lovers where you can dance in salsa clubs at night while during the day, wandering its streets, you’ll hear salsa, cumbia and vallenato tunes coming…

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