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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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White Nights Festival 2019 Saint Petersburg, Russia

May 23 - July 29
All over town Saint Petersburg,Russian Federation
White Nights Saint Petersburg Russia

During the period of the White Nights Festival from June to July in Saint Petersburg, the sun never sets and the city never sleeps. Russia’s cultural capital....

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June 2019

Taiwan International Balloon Festival 2019

June 29 - August 12
Taitung Taitung,Taiwan + Google Map
Taiwan International Balloon Festival

Not quite yet reaching the 99 Luftballons of Nena’s 1980s hit, some 40 participating balloons will be taking off during the Taiwan International Balloon Festival in Taitung...

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July 2019

George Town Festival 2019, Penang

July 13 - July 28
George Town Penang,Malaysia
George Town Festival Penang Malaysia

Less than a week after celebrating its UNESCO World Heritage Day, once again culture, art and heritage will take over Penang’s capital during the George Town Festival from 13 to 28 July 2019. Drawing in tens of thousands of visitors from across the world, nine previous editions of the festival have put Penang on the radar of international artists. During a good half month, the George Town Festival will include 150 programmes showcasing performance art, installations, music, film, dance, theatre,…

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Candle Festival Thailand, 2019

July 16 - July 17
Different locations across the country Thailand
Candle Festival Thailand

Marking the start of the green (or wet) season, the Candle Festival in July is amongst the most beautiful celebrations in Thailand. Extravagant, intricately-carved candle sculptures...

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Sapporo Summer Festival 2019

July 19 - August 17
Sapporo Saporro,Japan + Google Map
Sapporo Summer Festival Japan

Lasting a whole month from mid-July to mid-August, the Sapporo Summer Festival 2019 is packed with a variety of cultural, musical, gastronomical and fireworks events attracting...

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Setouchi Triennale 2019, Japan

July 19 - August 25
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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Gentse Feesten 2019 (Ghent Festival) in Belgium

July 19 - July 28
All over Ghent city centre Ghent,Belgium + Google Map
Gentse Feesten Belgium

During the 10 days of Gentse Feesten (Ghent Festival), the entire city of Ghent in Belgium turns into Europe’s largest cultural open air festival with over 3,300 international and local music, dance and street theatre performances, exhibitions, fun fairs, parades, processions, circuses and much more. Dating back to 1843, Gentse Feesten have always been free and have since grown to become one of Europe’s three biggest popular festivals, together with the Oktoberfest in Munich and Fallas in Valencia. The variety…

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Ventnor Fringe, Isle of Wight 2019

July 23 - July 28
Ventnor Exchange, 11 Church Street
Ventnor,Isle of WightUnited Kingdom
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Ventnor Fringe

Celebrating its tenth anniversary in 2019, the Isle of Wight's award winning arts festival, Ventnor Fringe will be from 23 to 28 July, 2019. This year's Fringe will centre around The Magpie Big Top, where comedy, theatre and circus will be performed, including 'Improv Shakespeare'. There will also be an outdoor cinema and improv events, such as a hip hop laundrette and a 1930s Parisian Book Bus. As always the Fringe will feature emerging talent and future stars in a…

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August 2019

Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2019

August 2 - August 26
Edinburgh Fringe Box Office, 180 High Street
Edinburgh,EH1 1QSUnited Kingdom
+ Google Map
Edinburgh Fringe

One of the largest arts festivals in the world, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival takes place in the Scottish capital from 2 to 26 August, 2019. Marking its 72nd anniversary, this year sees some 3,841 shows performed in the world’s oldest fringe festival, that runs alongside the Edinburgh Festival 2019. Expect theatre, cabaret, musicals, circus, comedy, dance, spoken words and more than 700 free performances (as well as 404 pay-as-you-like shows), with just over 2,000 premieres, as the world takes to…

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Edinburgh Festival 2019

August 2 - August 26
Edinburgh Festival The Hub, Castlehill
Edinburgh,EH1 2NEUnited Kingdom
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Edinburgh Festival 2018

Featuring 2,750 artists from 31 countries, the Edinburgh Festival, or Edinburgh International Festival, kicks off on 2 August, 2019. This year’s programme features some of the best and emerging contemporary artists from around the world. Last year resident theatrical company Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord takes centre stage with three original pieces, including a re-working of The Beggar’s Opera, while Peter Brook presents his new play The Prisoner, and Katie Mitchell has adapted Duras’ La Maladie de la Mort. There…

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Notting Hill Carnival, London 2019

August 24 - August 26
Westbourne Grove, Westbourne Grove
London,W10United Kingdom
+ Google Map
Notting Hill Carnival

The iconic Notting Hill Carnival returns bigger and better this year over the August bank holiday weekend as usual. Starting with the Panorama event on the Friday, Saturday is family day, and the main parade brings the carnival to a grand climax on Bank Holiday Monday. The Carnival is Europe’s largest free street festival and a culinary spectacular. It is a vital date in the diary for any Londoner and visitor to London, featuring a spectacular parade that showcases London's rich and…

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September 2019

Onam Festival 2019, Kerala, India

September 1 - September 13
Kerala KeralaIndia
Onam Festival Kerala, India

During the days of the Onam Festival, the biggest and most spectacular festival of Kerala, the entire Indian state goes on a spree of celebrations, music and dance performances, elaborate banquets, flower carpets, rowing competitions, and many other happenings. Usually taking place during August – September, this ancient Hindu event is also called the Festival of Harvest when nature is in full bloom and festivities are in the air everywhere.   The Onam Festival is the most significant harvest festival…

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Ganesh Chaturthi Festival 2019, India

September 2 - September 12
Mumbai Mumbai,India + Google Map
Ganesh Chaturthi festival worldwide festivals

September 13- 23: The spectacular Hindu Ganesh Chaturthi festival is a 10-day affair of colourful festivities, involving singing, dancing and theatre honouring the birth of the elephant-headed deity...

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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 name Nine Emperor Gods Festival – is no exception. It’s considered as the number one auspicious event on the southern Thai island of Phuket, and may as well be one of the country’s most eccentric and extreme festivals. If you’re a vegetarian who’s averse to blood being spilt and who needs his…

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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

Turner Prize 2019 at the Turner Contemporary

October 1, 2019 - January 31, 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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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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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 2019, Lima, 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 The procession of the Lord of Miracles The central thread of the narrative begins in the…

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