Category Archives: Festivals & Events

Major, most fun and coolest Festivals and Events of the world.

Explore the 13 Intangible Cultural Heritage of India

There are 13 traditional-cultural elements of India that have been inscribed on the UNESCO List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

The Indian ICH list is an attempt to recognize the diversity of the Indian culture embedded in its rich and diverse social demographics.

Intangible Cultural Heritage Classifications

The UNESCO’s Convention for safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) classifies cultures and traditions into 5 broad domains. These are:

  • Oral traditions & expressions (including ancient languages)
  • Performing arts
  • Social practices, rituals, & festivals
  • Knowledge & practices concerning nature & the universe
  • Traditional craftsmanship

Intangible Cultural Heritage of India

The 13 traditional-cultural elements of India are:

  • Vedic Chanting
  • Kutiyattam (Sanskrit theatre)
  • Ramman (a religious festival and ritual theatre of the Garhwal)
  • Mudiyettu (a ritual theatre and dance drama of Kerala)
  • Ramlila (the traditional performance of the Ramayana)
  • Kalbelia Folk Songs & Dances (in Rajasthan)
  • Chhau Dance (in Jharkhand, West Bengal, and Odisha)
  • Buddhist Chanting of Ladakh (recitation of sacred Buddhist texts in the Himalayan Ladakh region)
  • Sankirtana (a ritual singing, drumming, and dancing of Manipur)
  • Traditional Brass and Copper Craft of Utensil Making (among the Thatheras of Jandiala Guru in Punjab)
  • Yoga
  • Nawrouz
  • Kumbh Mela (most popular in Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh)

Vedic Chanting

The oral tradition of the Vedas consists of several recitations (or chanting) of the Vedic mantras. Such traditions of Vedic chant are often considered the oldest unbroken oral tradition in existence, the fixation of the Vedic texts as preserved dating to early Iron Age.

UNESCO proclaimed the tradition of Vedic chant a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity on November 7, 2008.

The four Vedas (Rig, Yajur, Sama and Atharva) are not books in the usual sense, though within the past hundred years each veda has appeared in several printed editions. They comprise rather tonally accented verses and hypnotic, abstruse melodies whose proper realizations demand oral instead of visual transmission.


Kutiyattam, is a traditional performing art form in the state of Kerala. It is a combination of ancient Sanskrit theatre with elements of koothu, an ancient performing art from the Sangam era.

It is officially recognized by UNESCO as a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.

Koodiyattam, meaning “combined acting” in Malayalam, combines Sanskrit theatre performance with elements of traditional koothu. It is traditionally performed in temple theaters known as koothambalams.

It is the only surviving art form that uses drama from ancient Sanskrit theatre. It has a documented history of a thousand years in Kerala, but its origins are unknown.

Ramman Festival

Ramman is a religious festival and ritual theatre of the Garhwal region in India. It is a festival of the Hindu community in the Saloor Dungra village of the Painkhanda Valley in the Chamoli district in Uttarakhand, India.

Photo by UNESCO CC-BYSA3.0

The festival and the eponymous art form are conducted as an offering to the village deity, Bhumiyal Devta, in the courtyard of the village temple. The Ramman is unique to the village and is neither replicated nor performed anywhere else in the Himalayan region.

Ramman combines the sacred and the social, the ritualistic with revelry and expresses the history, faith, lifestyle, fears and hopes of the Saloor Dungra villagers through a mesh of oral, literary, visual, kinetic and traditional craft forms.

It is an annual affair that children learn by watching. The various skills it involves in terms of dance, singing and drumming are passed down across hereditary communities orally.

Note: The onslaught of globalization and technology and lack of financial or artistic compensation have adversely impacted the ritual and traditional performances of the Ramman. Being peripheral to mainstream art forms, the awareness of the Ramman beyond its immediate borders is small and it stands the risk of becoming extinct in time.


Mudiyett or Mudiyettu is a traditional ritual theatre and folk dance drama from Kerala that enacts the mythological tale of a battle between the goddess Kali and the demon Darika. The ritual is a part of the Bhagavathi or Bhadrakali cult.

The dance is performed in Bhadrakali temples, the temples of the Mother Goddess, between February and May after the harvesting season.

Photo by Bobinson K B CC-BYSA3.0

Being a community based art form it is the community that has traditionally encouraged and trained the next generation to preserve the art form. There is no school or institution to give training in this art form and its survival depends almost exclusively on direct transmission through the Guru-Shishya Parampara (i.e. masters to disciples tradition).

In 2010, Mudiyettu was inscribed in the UNESCO’s Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, becoming the second art form from Kerala after Koodiyattam.


Ramlila (literally ‘Rama’s lila or play’) is any dramatic folk reenactment of the life of Rama according to the ancient Hindu epic Ramayana or secondary literature based on it such as the Ramcharitmanas.

It particularly refers to the thousands of Hindu god Rama-related dramatic plays and dance events, that are staged during the annual autumn festival of Navratri in India.

After the enactment of the legendary war between Good and Evil, the Ramlila celebrations climax in the Dussehra night festivities where the giant grotesque effigies of Evil such as of demon Ravana are burnt, typically with fireworks.

Most Ramlilas in North India are based on the 16th century secondary work on Ramayana, Ramcharitmanas a verse form composition in the regional vernacular language by Tulsidas. These verses are used as dialogues in traditional adaptations.

Open-air productions are staged by local Ramlila committees, and funded entirely by the villagers or local neighborhoods in urban areas. The core team of performance artists train for the dance-drama, but the actual performance attracts impromptu participants from the audience and villagers.

This art form is a part of the Hindu culture, found for many gods and goddesses, but those of Rama, Durga (as Durga Puja) and Krishna (as Rasa lila) are the most popular and annual events in the Indian subcontinent.

Kalbelia Folk Songs & Dances

Kalbelia or Kabeliya is a dance from Rajasthan, performed by the tribe of the same name. The dance is an integral part of their culture and performed by men and women.

Photo by Aniket Murkute CC-BYSA4.0

The Kalbelia dance, performed as a celebration, is an integral part of Kalbelia culture. The dancers are women in flowing black skirts who dance and swirl, replicating the movements of a serpent.

The male participants play musical instruments, such as the pungi, a woodwind instrument traditionally played to capture snakes, the dufli, been, the khanjari – a percussion instrument, morchang, khuralio and the dholak to create the rhythm on which the dancers perform.

The dancers are tattooed in traditional designs and wear jewelry and garments richly embroidered with small mirrors and silver thread. As the performance progresses, the rhythm becomes faster and faster and so does the dance.

Kalbelia songs are based on stories taken from folklore and mythology and special dances are performed during Holi. The Kalbelia have a reputation for composing lyrics spontaneously and improvising songs during performances.

These songs and dances are part of an oral tradition that is handed down generations and for which there are neither texts nor training manuals. In 2010, the Kalbelia folk songs and dances of Rajasthan were declared a part of its Intangible Heritage List by the UNESCO.

Chhau Dance

Chhau dance, also spelled as Chau or Chhaau, is a semi classical Indian dance with martial, tribal and folk traditions, with origins in Eastern India. It is found in three styles named after the location where they are performed, i.e. the Purulia Chau of West Bengal, the Seraikella Chau of Jharkhand, and the Mayurbhanj Chau of Odisha.

Photo by Biswarup Ganguly CC-BY3.0

The dance ranges from celebrating martial arts, acrobatics and athletics performed in festive themes of a folk dance, to a structured dance with religious themes found in Shaivism, Shaktism, and Vaishnavism.

The stories enacted by Chhau dancers include those from the Hindu epics the Ramayana and the Mahabharata, the Puranas, and other Indian literature.

The dance is traditionally an all males troupe, regionally celebrated particularly during spring every year, and may be a syncretic dance form that emerged from a fusion of classical Hindu dances and the traditions of ancient regional tribes.

Buddhist Chanting of Ladakh

The recitation of sacred Buddhist texts in the Himalayan Ladakh region. These chants are a form of musical verse or incantation, in some ways analogous to Hindu, Christian or Jewish religious recitations.

In Buddhism, chanting is the traditional means of preparing the mind for meditation, especially as part of formal practice. However it can also be done for ritualistic purposes.

In a more traditional setting, chanting is also used as an invocative ritual in order to set one’s mind on a deity, tantric ceremony, mandala, or particular concept one wishes to further in themselves.

Tibetan buddhist monks are noted for their skill at throat-singing, a specialized form of chanting in which, by amplifying the voice’s upper partials, the chanter can produce multiple distinct pitches simultaneously.


Manipuri Sankirtana is a form of performing art involving ritual singing, drumming and dancing performed in the temples and domestic spaces in Manipur State in India.

Through the performances which exhibit unparalleled religious devotion and energy, the performers narrate the many stories of Krishna often moving the spectators to tears.

It is practiced primarily by the Vaishnava community in Manipur and by the Vaishnava Manipuri population settled in the neighboring States of Tripura and Assam.

Traditional Brass & Copper Craft of Utensil Making

The traditional brass and copper craft of utensil making among the Thatheras of Jandiala Guru Punjab has got the distinction of being inscribed on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, UNESCO, in 2014.

The crafts colony was established during the reign of Maharaja Ranjit Singh (1883), the great 19th Century Sikh Monarch, who encouraged skilled metal crafters from Kashmir to settle in the heart of his kingdom in the Punjab. Jandiala Guru became an area of repute due to the skill of the Thatheras.

The craft of the Thatheras of Jandiala Guru constitutes the traditional techniques of manufacturing brass and copper utensils in Punjab. The Thatheras craft utensils are of both Utilitarian and ritualistic value made of copper, brass and kansa (an alloy of copper, zinc and tin).

The metals used are recommended by the ancient Indian school of medicine, Ayurveda. The crafting process carried out by a specific group of craftspeople, known as Thatheras, has a unique ethnic and historical identity with an oral tradition that underpin their skill. The very name of the community – ‘Thatheras’ is identical with the name of the element.


Obviously, yoga! Namaste world! 🙂 Yoga is a group of physical, mental, and spiritual practices or disciplines which originated in ancient India. Yoga is one of the six orthodox schools of Hindu philosophical traditions.

There is a broad variety of yoga schools, practices, and goals in Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism. The practice of yoga has been thought to date back to pre-Vedic Indian traditions; possibly in the Indus valley civilization around 3000 BC.

The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, the most popular authoritative text on yoga, dates from the 2nd century BC. It has gained prominence in the west in the 20th century after being first introduced by Swami Vivekananda.


Nowruz (Persian: “new day”‘) has Iranian and Zoroastrian origins; however, it has been celebrated by diverse communities for over 7,000 years in Western Asia, Central Asia, the Caucasus, the Black Sea Basin, the Balkans, and South Asia.

Tradition of Nowruz in Northern India dates back to the Mughal Empire; the festival was celebrated for 19 days with pomp and gaiety in the realm. However, it further goes back to the Parsi Zoroastrian community in Western India, who migrated to the Indian subcontinent from Persia during the Muslim conquest of Persia of 636–651 AD.

In the Princely State of Hyderabad, Nowruz was one of the four holidays where the Nizam would hold a public Darbar, along with the two official Islamic holidays and the sovereign’s birthday.

Kumbh Mela

Kumbh Mela is a major pilgrimage and festival in Hinduism. It is celebrated in a cycle of approximately 12 years at four river-bank pilgrimage sites: the Prayagraj (where three rivers Ganges, Yamuna, and Sarasvati meet), Haridwar (river Ganges), Nashik (river Godavari), and Ujjain (river Shipra).

The festival is marked by a ritual dip in the waters, but it is also a celebration of community commerce with numerous fairs, education, religious discourses by saints, mass feedings of monks or the poor, and entertainment spectacle.

The seekers believe that bathing in these rivers is a means to atonement (penance) for past mistakes, and that it cleanses them of their sins.

The festival is traditionally credited to the 8th-century Hindu philosopher Adi Shankara, as a part of his efforts to start major Hindu gatherings for philosophical discussions and debates along with Hindu monasteries across the Indian subcontinent.

About UNESCO’s List of Intangible Cultural Heritage

The purpose of such a list is to preserve intangible human elements that help demonstrate the diversity of cultural heritage and raise awareness about its importance.

Some of the criteria for inclusion in the representative list are if the inscription of the element will ensure visibility and awareness of it and if the element has been nominated after having “the widest possible participation” of the community, group or individuals concerned and with their free, prior and informed consent.

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6 Best Food Festivals & Events In New York City

Food, music, dancing, food… Oh yes, did we mention food? One of the best things to do in New York City is attending NYC food festivals and events, taking place at some of the popular landmarks in the city.

Let’s check out some of the must catch events in NYC. Below are our top 6 picks.

New York City Food Film Festival

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Feast your eyes and experience the tastiest film fest at NYC Food Film Festival. The festival showcases more than 20 gastro-minded flicks and along with that, serves up the same dishes seen on screen. Take a trip to this Foodland of films and experience the best variety of films and feasts.

NYC Craft Beer Festival


Tailored especially for all the beer lovers, NYC has the NYC Craft Beer Festival. Since 2012, this has been one of the major attractions for all the beer lovers. The event takes place twice a year, once in fall and the second in spring.

The weekend-long brew fest poured unlimited tastings with a variety of about 75 breweries nationwide. Not only beers, but you’ll also be served with a variety of meads, ciders, and spirits that are available in the city.

Read Next: 5 Epic Art Festivals Around the Globe

Taste of Buffalo


Taste of Buffalo, one of the largest NYC food events, is one of the region’s signature events. Experience one of the nation’s largest food festivals and discover endless varieties of wine, food, and treats.

Transport yourself to the biggest two-day festival that welcomes you with its signature dishes and boozes you with music and food demonstrations to complete and enrich your experience.

Vendy Awards

Join the annual feasts at Vendy Awards. A  fun and delicious event, celebrate the food trucks and the delicious cheap eats they offer at this annual fest. The Best of Mobile grub; at Vendy Awards, one can experience the categories like best dessert and best cookie.

What are you waiting for? Unravel the taste of different foods offered by these food trucks, without having to travel the whole city.

Watermark Oktoberfest

Oktoberfest Carousel Ride, Munich


Want to visit Munich? Have no plans of traveling to Munich? No worries, land at Watermark Oktoberfest and escape to Munich without even leaving NYC. Get ready to eat and drink your way through amazing eats and enjoy some of the amazing views of New York.

Oktoberfest is a perfect destination for fun and leisure. It is a place that can actually provide fun and leisure to everyone; live music along with steins full of beer, traditional Oktoberfest food for sale.

What else do you even need? Enjoy amazing views and an authentic taste of Munich.

Related: Top 5 Festivals Around the Globe You Can’t Miss

Vegetarian Food Festival


Last, but not the least, is the Vegetarian Food Festival that makes its way onto our list. This is a perfect event for individuals who want to have a delicious vegan cuisine.

You definitely don’t want to miss out on techniques that can help you fulfill healthy, sustainable lifestyles. Tour this unique vegan food festival and experience samples from vegetarian food companies and restaurants.

Celebrate these amazing booze-and-food events happening in the city. Get ready and mark your calendar. Start planning ahead so that you don’t miss these amazing events.

20 Christmas Food Traditions Around the World

Besides New Years, Christmas is the most celebrated international holiday. According to Pew Research Center, there are about 2.2 billion Christians in the world, making up nearly one-third of the world population.

This means that about one-third of the entire world celebrates Christmas in some capacity. Just think about all that holiday cheer! 

Christmas is traditionally the celebration of Jesus’ birth on December 25th and customarily includes exchanging presents, hanging lights, decorating Christmas trees, attending church, and eating meals with family and friends.

These are some of the core practices of celebrating Christmas but many cultures add their own unique twist when it comes to observing this meaningful holiday.

Christmas Food Traditions

Some of the most interesting differences in how various cultures and regions celebrate Christmas is through their food and drink traditions. You are probably familiar with turkey in the U.S. and maybe you’ve heard of tamales in Latin America but what about rum punch in Jamaica, Kentucky Fried Chicken in Japan, or prawns in Australia!

Whatever it is, you can bet each region has its own holiday delicacy. In order to reveal some of the most interesting holiday meal traditions, Kitchen Cabinet Kings put together a list of top 20 Holiday delicacies from around the world.


If that list got you wondering about other cool and unusual Christmas traditions check out the Philippines’ Giant Lantern Festival or the Parrandas Festival in Remedios, Cuba. If you are looking for more bizarre traditions, look up Catalonia’s defecating figure in their nativity scenes and Austria’s Krampus who goes around beating naughty kids.

Another country’s unique traditions to explore is Africa. In Ghana, people dress up in elaborate costumes and parade around on Christmas day. In Kenya and Uganda, people celebrate in much less commercial ways than many other countries.

Usually, the only gift given is a new outfit for church. On Christmas day in South Africa, many indulge on deep-fried caterpillars of the Emperor Moth.

Read more: 8 Destinations that will make you spend Christmas away from home

Traditions may differ around the world but nothing brings people together like food and the holidays, no matter where you’re from or your cultural background. Wherever you call home, there is probably a unique traditional dish, dessert, or drink you look forward to having every Christmas.

Did your favorite dish make the list? Or maybe you saw something you just have to try (personally, France’s Buche de Noel instantly made my mouth water.)

If you decide you want to travel for the holidays next year, use this list and try some of the unique Christmas dishes from the region you find yourself in.

Read more: 10 Most Unique Christmas Traditions Around the World

Around the World for Christmas Buffet

The smell of fried chicken fills the air, and there is nothing better than wolfing down a plate loaded with roasted turkey during winter. But other than your cozy little fireplace, there are many places throughout the world where you can eat a hearty buffet.

Let us go on a Christmas Buffet around the world.


Many may consider Japan as a non-Christmas country. However, in the past few years, this nation stepped up its game. Even though you will not see many favorite Christmas traditions, you have to taste their delish Christmas dishes. The best thing you can have during Christmas here in Japan is the tasty kick of heat in Kentucky Fried Chicken. For dessert, there is a light sponge cake decorated with a decadent cream and vibrant strawberries. Unlike the western countries, Japan has its own Christmas meals which are not too heavy on the palate.


The dense atmosphere of this African country paired up with a delightful plate of food screams exotic!

When you have the chance, taste Akoho misy Sakamalao – the traditional Christmas dish including chicken cooked with garlic and ginger paste. This dish is also cooked with coconut stew and served with rice. Apart from the overflowing plates of chicken, pork is also a common dish in Madagascar. But for dessert, you need to sweeten your mouth with the signature fruit of Madagascar, the Lychee.


In the chilly winter wind and snowy backdrop, one craves something warm and baked. What better way to celebrate Christmas than cookies and cakes? The fluffy cakes and yummy cookies are not the only delicacies in an Icelandic Christmas Buffet. There is another dish that you are not likely to find anywhere else in the world, reindeer. When you hear reindeer you might immediately think of sleighs, but in this age who needs a sleigh? Hence, the poor fellas make it to the dinner table, and did I mention how lip-smacking they are? Other than reindeer, you can taste the smokiness of the lamb, and seabirds which make it to the buffet.


Tsokolate is the decadent, drool-worthy and delish dessert served in the Philippines. When the rich chocolate liquid slides down your throat, it is just heaven! Other desserts include a version of custard made with coconut cream. However, it is the main dishes that will blow your mind! The carefully cooked pig on a stick is a roasted version of Lechon. Do not worry about the richness of the meal; silky smooth pasta graces the plate to enhance the wow-factor of the Philippine Christmas Buffet.


When the hemisphere changes, so do the demands of the palate. In Australia, turkey and ham are not widely preferred dishes. Due to the change of seasons in Australia, a Summer Christmas needs something different. Barbecue gives the meal the necessary kick to elevate the buffet from standard to festive. However, the grills are not solely used for steaks. Seafood is much loved among the Aussies. Thus, if you receive barbecued prawns in your Christmas Buffet, do not look shocked. They wrap up the meal with a chunk of whipped cream folded through bits of fresh fruits. Sounds like a party for your taste buds!


After attending all the New Year’s Celebration around the world, you can end up in Ethiopia. The celebration of Christmas is different here because Ethiopians follow the Julian Calendar. And according to that calendar, Christmas falls on January 7th. Thus, you have more time to plan your exclusive tour. The traditional meal of Christmas consists of a thick stew of juicy chicken and fresh veggies. You can scoop up the spicy gravy with a soft flatbread called injera.


It is not just one dish that makes a celebration standout, but rather the entire meal which makes it special. From the finger licking spiced rice to the flavor bombs of minced meat, everything on the plate reflects perfect home cooking. Whatever you eat in a Lebanese buffet, do not miss the Kibbeh Pie, which is undoubtedly the star of the meal. Besides, there is a refreshing middle eastern salad seasoned with mint to cleanse your palate.

To take the memory of your Christmas buffet with you, buy some sugar-coated almonds from the nearby store, or tell your host to pack it for you.

Tour the world this Christmas with no intention of stopping your mouth. Say yes to cookies and cakes, turkeys and ham, and whatever delicacies await you this holiday season!

7 Facts We Bet You Didn’t Know About Halloween

Maybe it is our love for spooky-things, apple bobbing, pumpkin carving, or the costume parties, Halloween is one of the oldest and most fun festivals. But did you know about its origin story? Here are seven interesting facts about the origins of Halloween that will make you the coolest person in the room.


Let’s dive deep into the history of one of the most famous festivals of the world.


Even though Halloween gets celebrated in full swing in the United States, you might already know that it isn’t here that this festival originated. It originated as a Celtic festival in what is today modern day Ireland. The annual harvest festival or the celebration inviting the darker part of the year developed into what became the Halloween.


The ancient Samhain festival is a Celtic festival which marks the end of the Harvest period. It starts from 31st October and to 1st November. It is also celebrated as the festival of the dead by Pagans and Wiccans.

Over the time Halloween evolved into an entire day of activities like trick-or-treating, carving jack-o-lanterns, and visiting haunted attractions or costume parties. In the northern hemisphere, as the daylight gets shorter and nights get darker and colder, people continue to usher in the season with gatherings, costumes, and sweet treats.


The Samhain festival was later combined with the Feralia festival. It was a festival celebrated by the Romans. And after the Romans conquered the Celts in the 1st Century AD, these two ancient traditions got merged. Feralia was the day when the Romans traditionally commemorated the passing of their dead. Since the theme converged, it was easy for the Romans to integrate the Celtic festival.



The most used Halloween decoration prop is the Jack-o-lantern which is carved from a pumpkin. The purpose of the pumpkin carving is to give it a demonic face, to match the theme of Halloween. A candle is lit inside the carved pumpkin to bring the face to life; the scary face pumpkin is the paradigm of Halloween.

There is legend behind the Jack-o-lanterns about a man named Stingy Jack who tricked the Devil, and now roams the Earth with a lantern carved out from a turnip, full of coals.


The All Saints’ Day was not always celebrated on the 1st of November. Pope Boniface IV in the 7th century AD first established the All Saints’ Day in April. But in the next century, the Day was moved to 1st November which precedes the Halloween and is followed by Day of the Dead.


These are small sized cakes which are a speciality of Halloween. It is given away to the poor and children who go from door to door in that day, to get soul-cakes. This practice of giving away cake to the soulers is also called the process of “trick & treating”.


Bobbing Apple or Snap Apple in Ireland is a game played with apples. A tub or basin is filled with water, and then when the apples go into the water, the players have to catch the apples with their teeth. It has also got the name of dooking in Scotland.

Why apples? You might ask because the Romans also brought with them Goddess Pomona along with the Feralia festival. “Apple” is the symbol of Pomona – the Goddess of  Trees and Fruits (in other words, Harvest and Plenty). So, Apple Bobbing on Haloween is a Roman influence on this ancient festival.

Now that you know some interesting background and key historical facts about Halloween, the question is what are you going to be this Haloween? Let me know in the comments or even better share your photos, please.


10 Most Exciting New Year Traditions around the World

Unlike other holidays, New Years is celebrated almost everywhere in the world; regardless of the nation’s religious beliefs or even their calendar. However, New Year traditions and celebrations differ from country to country.

New Year Traditions

Here are some of the unique New Year traditions from around the world.


Austria has one of the most glamorous ways of celebrating New Year.

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The operetta “Die Fledermaus” by Johan Straus is performed every New Year’s Day in Vienna. Plus, on New Year’s Eve, the capital of the former Austro-Hungarian Empire holds a traditional Imperial Ball. 

A New Years dinner in Austria traditionally contains edible pigs and peppermint ice cream. A suckling pig on the table symbolizes good luck.

Related: Top 9 Destinations to Spend New Year in the USA


CopenhagenNYE BY Stig Nygaard CC BY 2.0

In Denmark, people save old dishes for the entire year. On New Year’s Eve, they throw them at friends’ doors. This symbolizes friendship and brotherhood. People believe that the larger pile of dishes one has in front of the door, the more friends he has.

Some Danish also leap over chairs at midnight.


The Chinese have their own calendar, consequently, they celebrate the New Year in February. These celebrations are always bright and loud. Firecrackers and noisemakers chase evil spirits away.

Fabulous dragons and lions dance in the streets. Plus, people give each other tangerines for good luck.

However, odd numbers are considered unlucky, so these tangerines are given in pairs. Also, the third day of the New Year is the day when mice marry off their daughters, so people try to go to bed early in order not to disturb them.

Red in China traditionally symbolizes happiness and good fortune. On New Year’s Day, people wear red and give children red envelopes with lucky money. Some people even paint their front doors red, before the celebration.


In Spain, people believe that eating 12 grapes at every toll of the clock will bring them good luck and happiness for the upcoming 12 months.


In Japan, the New Year is called Oshogatsu and is celebrated amongst family. The whole week before New Year’s Eve people clean their houses, settle debts, try to resolve all disagreements and forgive all offenses. After that, they are ready to welcome the New Year. Also, before midnight, the Japanese ring 108 bells. These rings symbolize the elimination of 108 troubles. And the day after New Year’s Eve is the First Writing Day when people write their dreams, hopes, and plans for the new year.

There are three traditional symbols for the Japanese New Year. A pine branch, or kadomatsu, represents longevity. A stalk of bamboo symbolizes prosperity. Lastly, a plum blossom denotes nobility.

Sri Lanka

Sinhala and Tamil New Year in Sri Lanka BY Amila Tennakoon CC BY 2.0

The New Year in Sri Lanka is called Aluth Avurudhu and it is celebrated in mid-April. Traditional rituals include a proper house cleaning, the lighting of the hearth, taking an herbal bath, preparing traditional dishes and strengthening family relations.


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In India, people celebrate New Year in mid-April too. However, these traditions vary greatly amongst the different regions. For example, in Odisha, the festival is held on April 13th or 14th, and involves worshiping the deities and offering them fruit-based drinks, called “pana”. In Kerala, people also worship the deities during New Year and make offerings, which have the name of Vishukanni.

In Tamil Nadu, locals light lamps to eradicate the darkness and they use auspicious tools, which symbolize prosperity. Furthermore, the people of the Bengal region believe that the way you spend the first day of the year marks the way you will spend the rest of it.


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In Germany, lead is believed to predict the future.

On the New Year, people pour molten lead into the cold water and observe what shape it takes. The shape of a heart predicts marriage in the near future. A round shape signifies good luck. An anchor shapes mean that you may need help soon. Whereas, a cross symbolizes someone’s sad demise.

Puerto Rico

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In Puerto Rico, people clean their houses properly before New Year. They also throw buckets of water out of their windows. They believe that this ritual will clean the odds of the last year and get the spirits out of their homes.


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In the Philippines, people believe that all round things are lucky, attracting fortune and money. So, during the New Year, they consume grapes, wear polka dotted dresses and keep coins in their pockets. The Filipinos also throw coins during the New Years celebration to increase wealth and prosperity.

That’s the end of our top 10 list. So which New Year traditions attracted or intrigued you the most? Comment below.

8 Destinations That Will Make You Spend Christmas Away From Home

Winter is on its way and Santa is ready to fulfill your wishes. If you are thinking of traveling and if you want to spend Christmas away from home, then read on.

Christmas season delights all. Around the world, this time of the year brings happiness and joy. They say it is best to celebrate Christmas at home. But away from your comfortable home, there are places where you will love spending the Christmas holidays. Below are some gorgeous pictures of Christmassy destinations. Merry Christmas!


The wonderful exhibit of cute cribs in the Maltese islands will make you want to see baby Jesus soon. A colorful display of festivities accompanied by melodious carol singing will fill your heart with joy. You can visit the St John’s Cathedral, where you will come across the carollers. Not only do the carols echo through the city, the light decorations on Republic street make this city look like a bride ready for her groom.


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You should, at least once in your life, watch the Three Kings parade through the city of Barcelona, Spain. It is a Christmas custom that the city has followed for many years. The Kings walk up to the Mayor of the City, who offers them the keys to the city. Be a part of the enthusiastic ceremony and cheer while the canons fire. But like any other Christmas destination, all museums and shops will have holidays on Christmas. Don’t worry about starving; the restaurants will stay open.


Coventry Street, London – Aberdeen Steak Houses – Christmas decorations By Elliott Brown CC BY 2.0

While many people chose to stay home and others fly to cities to have a blast during Christmas, you can go to the quaint town of Bath, England. It is an enchanting getaway from busy city streets. Oh, it will get busy here too. Just wait till the wooden chalets open, and you see the exquisite items on display. Under the shadow of Bath Abbey, the shops lit with lanterns sell Christmas goods. It does not end with shopping here; you can also see the “Light Switching festival.”


Maybe you want to eat delicious Bratwurst or go shopping in Nuremberg Christkind market to gift your loved ones something special. The candlelight on the Georgian setting of the town will take you back to medieval times. If luck favors you, then you will witness the stagecoach that rides through the market.


We move away from the traditional atmosphere of cities and go back to a rustic environment because this is where you can feel the true essence of Christmas. When you see the pretty little huts dotted along the streets of Reykjavik in Iceland, you’ll want to know stories that each hut hides. But you cannot barge into someone’s house. So we recommend you visit the Christmas market. It sells local handicrafts and food as well.


Do you want to see a real sleigh? Forget about going to a club in a limo for Christmas or New Year’s Eve.

What about a sleigh and room full of presents? Valkenburg in Holland is the most Christmassy that a town can ever get. The Velvet Cave changes to a Christmas market. It is nothing like your typical mall. The walls display impressive mural paintings which act as a background for the beautiful stalls. There is also a chapel where you can offer your prayers.


In Indiana, every day is Christmas. Kiddos who want Santa to fill up their stocking send their wish list to Santa Claus. With only 3000 residents, this little town in Indiana is the perfect setting to enjoy a cozy Christmas.


Christmas is incomplete without gingerbread cookies. Take your family with you to this Christmas capital in the north. You can write your wishes down with a traditional quill. And your kiddos can take admission exams for elf school. Nothing quite compares with the bells jingling in the freezing northern capital while you celebrate with your family!

10 Most Unique Christmas Traditions Around the World

Our planet is a multicultural place. That means that people around the world celebrate many different holidays at the end of the year, from Hanukkah to Kwanzaa, among many others.

However, with Christianity being followed by one-third of the global population, Christmas is celebrated by many nations and in many countries. Still, these Christmas traditions vary greatly, both from country to country and from continent to continent.

Here are our top 10 most exciting traditions from different countries:

The Philippines

The Philippines is the third largest Catholic nation in the world. No other country’s celebrations come even close to Philippine style celebrations. Filipinos have the longest celebration in the world, starting in September.

There are nine days of Christmas masses in a row, which have the name of Simbang Gabi. On the last day of Simbang Gabi, which is Christmas Eve, the mass service is actually called “Misa de Gallo.” That’s Spanish for “The rooster’s mass”.

And there are also festive of parols, star-shaped ornaments traditional to the country, which brighten the windows of the houses during the entire holiday season. These are the lights which reflect the Star of Bethlehem in design. Their name comes from the Spanish word “farol”, which means lantern.

In the Philippines, Merry Christmas is “Maligayang Pasko”. Try to remember this if you plan to spend the holiday season in this magnificent country!


The Yule Log is the traditional Christmas in Sweden. It greatly differs from both European and American traditional celebrations. For example, instead of wood, the Swedish go with a goat. The Yule Goat, or the Julbok, isn’t a live animal. It is made almost entirely of straw and originates from mythology. The Swedes have adopted it as part of the modern Christmas tradition warmly. However, not everybody in Sweden is happy with this holiday symbol.

For example, the town of Gävle has set up a giant Julbok annually since 1966. Since that very same year, people in the town have tried to torch, kidnap or vandalize the symbol in one way or another. Over the half of the goats have fallen victim to what the town authorities call vandalism.

By the way, Merry Christmas in Swedish is “God Jul”. Memorize this congratulation, if you are going to celebrate Christmas in Sweden.


In Australia, the holiday season falls in the summer. In fact, these might be the hottest weeks in the whole year. So Christmas in Australia is more often characterized with electrical storms and brush fires than with snowstorms.

However, that doesn’t prevent Australians from getting into the Christmas spirit. One family from Canberra even broke a world record by decorating their property with 31 miles of lights.

Some Australians try to follow British traditions. In these families, you will surely see a roast turkey, a steamed pudding, and gingerbread on the Christmas dinner table. However, most people in Australia head towards beaches during Christmas for barbecues. Plum pudding with ice cream is also served traditionally, in an attempt to tolerate the Australian Christmas temperatures.


Finland is the perfect place for Christmas. Joulupukki, the Finnish Santa Claus, waits for visitors in Rovaniemi, the hometown of Santa in Lapland. However, Christmas in Finland is not all about snow, Santa, and reindeer.

There are several traditions, which you won’t find in any other place in the world.

For example, in South Finland, a formal ceremony takes place at noon, with reading the Declaration of Christmas Peace. With some changes, the document has been read annually since the 13th century. It states that the holiday “shall under aggravating circumstances be guilty and punished according to what the law and statutes prescribe for each and every offense separately”.

It means to never mess with Finnish Christmas! The declaration also wishes the inhabitants of the country a joyous Christmas holidays.

In Finland, people wish each other “Hyvää Joulua” on Christmas!

Czech Republic

In the Czech Republic, single girls and women perform an unusual ritual on Christmas to find out if they will get married next year or not. With her back to the house door, a woman throws a shoe over her shoulder. If the shoe lands with its heel towards the door, the woman will stay single. However, if the front of the shoe faces the door, she can start wedding preparations.

If you want to wish somebody Merry Christmas in the Czech Republic, you should say “Veselé Vánoce”!


In Slovakia, during Christmas dinner, the head of the family takes a full spoon of Loksa (a traditional Christmas dish, made of bread, poppy seed filling and water), and throws it up onto the ceiling. There is a belief that the more that sticks to the ceiling, the richer that the family will be next year.

In Slovakia, Merry Christmas is “Veselé Vianoce”!


In Ukraine, Christmas is celebrated on January 7.

The traditional Christmas Eve dinner must contain 12 dishes, relating to the number of the Disciples of Christ.

Christmas dinner doesn’t start until the first star appears in the sky – it is a symbol of a Christmas Star, which showed the way to the Kings when Christ was born.

Also, on Christmas, people gather in groups and perform a unique Christmas performance, called vertep. It usually tells the story of Christmas, reminds the popular of national traditions or pays attention to the modern social problems. Traditionally, vertep includes Maria and Joseph with baby Jesus, Shepherds, which were first to greet the birth of Christ, Kings with presents for the Savior, an Angel, a demon, a Jew and a goat. People go from house to house, performing vertep, singing carols and wishing the hosts all the best in the new year.

In Ukraine, people congratulate each other, saying “Shchastlyvogo Rizdva” (Merry Christmas) or “Khrystos narodyvsya” (Christ was born).


In Caracas, the capital of Venezuela, people go to Mass on roller skates on Christmas morning! The local authorities even close the main city roads for this matter.

To wish Merry Christmas to somebody in Venezuela, say “Feliz Navidad”.


In Ethiopia, people also celebrate Christmas on January 7th. People traditionally dress in white clothes on this day. Men also play ganna, a fast-paced game with sticks and wooden balls.

“Melkam Genna” is how they say Merry Christmas in Ethiopia.


Every December, the Cuban city Remedios hosts the Parrandas festival. The city is divided into two halves, each building a sculpture from light bulbs. These sculptures then compete against each other. 

“Feliz Navidad” works for Cuba too, if you want to say “Merry Christmas”, as Spanish is country’s language as well.

5 Epic Art Festivals Around the Globe

Art festivals are microcosms of international art. They are a unique opportunity to explore up-and-coming artists displaying their art.

Contemporary art festivals are an attraction for art fiends. If you love musing over distinct forms of art, then these festivals can be a heaven for you.

Travel to some of the world’s most stunning locations and enjoy both cutting-edge and traditional art. Or, if you are an artist from heart, head to one of these fests for a renewed sense of inspiration.

International Fair of Contemporary Art

Foire Internationale d’ Art Contemporain is in the vibrant city of Venice, Italy. Contemporary art is celebrated. You’ll encounter both unique and breathtaking pieces. Held in October, visitors come to gawk at the beautiful specimens of Contemporary Art.

Venice organizes the fest in Grand Palais. It provides a majestic background for brilliant art pieces. Around thirty countries partake in the fair. You can visit during October and gawk at the beautiful specimens of Contemporary Art.

The city provides a majestic background for brilliant art pieces. Over 30 countries participate in the fair.

Biennale of Sydney

Biennale of Sydney might be one of the oldest art festivals in the world, but it is by no means less modern. Australia showcases its contemporary art scene with pride. Over a hundred international artists present their pieces in this festival.

Photo by 1717 Wikipedia CCBYSA 3.0

Every other year, this festival is held from June through September. The city diligently works to welcome visitors. There are both guest lectures and tours. Also, free film screenings are offered!

Hong Kong International Art Fair

As of 2016, over 40 countries take part in the Hong Kong International Art Fair. It is the youngest of all art festivals.

Artists flock to display their masterpieces here. From classical plays to antiques, a bit of everything is presented to an appreciative audience.

Have your pick and savor the art before you. Collectors have the opportunity to purchase unique art pieces.

Art Basel, Switzerland

Switzerland started hosting Art Basel in the late 1970s. Inspired by its success, Miami also began hosting its own Art Basel. Both festivals are patrons of contemporary art. Get to know burgeoning talents as they present their art.

Allow the passion mirrored in their art to inspire you. Explore three hundred galleries in four days–it may be a challenge, but it is also a great reward.

You can also shortlist the events you’re most interested in seeing. Some prefer to wander aimlessly throughout the festival.

Whitney Biennial, NYC

Art is not just paintings and sculptures. It embodies so much more. Whitney Festival of America (in New York City) showcases this philosophy well.

Photo by Brent Nycz CCBYSA 3.0

Art is welcome in all of its forms. Dancers and musicians provide both refreshing perspectives and inspiriting performances.

You’ll enjoy the opportunity to watch films and hunt down quirky art galleries. Enjoy this festival, as it provides a launching pad for many young and unrecognized artists. You’ll experience both a whole new and modern twist to art.

Find your muse at one of the many Art Festivals scattered across the globe. Whether you’re a creator or collector, there is a perfect festival for you!

Top 5 Festivals Around the Globe You Can’t Miss

Festivals are a representation of the culture of an area. It mirrors the tradition. People take a break from their busy schedule to celebrate. Festivals become an attraction for tourists. We have studied festivals around the world. It is observed that tourists increase during festivals. Some world famous festivals are listed below.


This is known all throughout the world. It is held in the period before Lent. Fat Tuesday is called Mardi gras. In this period New Orleans celebrate with abandon. It is a celebration of two long weeks. The celebration includes parades, debauchery, dancing, sports competition. The festival is an opportunity for women to flash their breasts. The skimpy outfits and glittery costumes fill the streets. It is a time before Lent when everyone enjoys to their fullest.


A Festival of Light for Indians. It is widely celebrated throughout India. Held during October-November. The nation drowns in light. It is a beauty to watch the cities at night. People buy new clothes, share sweets, burst crackers. The survey says a number of tourists increases by 20% in this months. Tourists will enjoy the beauty of traditions here. The prices also lower considerably during this period.


The festival is celebrated in Black rock city Nevada. The island is sparsely inhabited. But during the peak time of celebration, it becomes packed. People from around the world visit. It is held on the last Sunday of August to first Sunday of September. The number of arrests increases every year. During the fest, you cannot buy anything. There is barter system going on. In this way, everyone contributes to the festival. Around 30000 people participate in the festival. A vast effigy is burnt at the end of the festival.


It can be called the Mardi gras of Brazil. The popular carnival is held in Rio de Janeiro. The festive period is 55 days long. In that time Sambodromo parade is held. You will see a lot of samba dancers swing to the rhythm. Everyone wears masks and costumes. You will have a feast before your eyes with naked women around. The number of visitors around this period 5 million. You can imagine the excitement during this world famous carnival.


The crazy festival of Spain. It is held in Bunol. The number of participants is limited due to the size of the town. Tourists from around the world come to celebrate the tomato festival. The festival starts from 11 am. There are many rules which participants have to follow. The number of people plays in the craziest festival of Spain.

It is held in Bunol. The number of participants is limited due to the size of the town. Tourists from around the world come to celebrate the tomato festival. The festival starts from 11 am. There are many rules which participants have to follow. The number of people playing at the festival is limited to 20,000-30,000.

That is the reason it is more sought out by tourists. Everyone wants to be in that lucky list.



Top 5 Festivals in Spain You Would Love to Attend

Festivals in Spain are so fun that it may make you book a straight flight to Spain, right now. Some of you may have seen the tomato fight scene in a popular Bollywood movie “Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara (You Only Get One Life)” where all the actors enjoy this festival. Yes, it’s a real thing and people love it.

But what if I told you this is not the only fun festival in Spain. There are in fact a lot of festivals celebrated in Spain that are worth being a part of.


It is the week before Easter not including the Sunday. The Good Friday and Maundy Thursday come under this week. Semana Santa is, most popular in Malaga. Here Tronos or thrones are carried during processions. It weighs to around five thousand kilograms. Tronos have sculptures and pictures depicting the passion of Christ before his death.

People who partake in this processions wear Nazareno. It is a type of cloak wore in medieval days coupled with a conical hood. The hood hides the face of the wearer. Semana Santa is a festival during the good Friday so it’s full of penance. People wear chains and walk through the procession. In Sataero, a flamenco-based music is played in a sad tune to suit the atmosphere. You can witness the vibrant culture and devoted faith of Spain during Semana Santa.


Festival of San Fermin originated around the thirteenth century. It used to be a low-key affair. But eventually it became commercialized, and people started visiting it internationally in the nineteenth century. Initially, December was the month for this fiesta, but it shifted to Seventh July because of the conducive weather. It starts at eight am when the Mayor announces that the race has officially begun; with the firing of a rocket.

Pamplona bull run festival has many attractions like the bullfights, dancing, processions, fireworks. The run includes several spots; starting with Corral to Plaza del Castillo. There are many places from which you can watch the run. You can come early and take a spot behind the fence or ask a local to lend their balcony to you. You can feel the adrenaline rush when you see people running with the bulls. But a fair warning, don’t try it when drunk.


Nobody knows how this festival came to existence. Maybe it was because of a local food fight. But rumors are that during 1950s people of Bunol were dissatisfied with the administration and attacked them with tomatoes. From then on it is celebrated every August. Bunol is in Valencia province which is not a hard place to reach. But only twenty thousand people are allowed in this festival because of Bunol being a small town.

There are some rules you need to follow while playing in La Tomatina are you should smash the tomato before throwing it, you are not allowed to tear anybody’s clothes, you need not bring hard objects as it may hurt others. La Tomatina is one such festival of France, which you ought to participate in at least once in your lifetime. Because that one hour of abandon will bring you immense fun. So wear closed shoes and old dirty clothes before you join tomato fiesta at Bunol.

La Tomatina by flydime CC BY-SA 2.0


Take a deep breath because the next thing you will go on is a rollercoaster ride of greatest festival in northern Spain. It is to respect of Virgin of Begoña. You will find all the people taking a week off during August to participate in colorful Semana Grande. Let us start with the free music concerts which take place in Bilbao. Quarry Amphitheater and Plaza Nueva are the best of places to go.

If you are not able to make it the streets will offer you entertaining music too. Next is the boulder lifting competition for men. You will be in awe of the strength of Spaniards. Spain is popular for its bull fighting then how can Bilbao lag behind. So in Plaza de Toros le vista you can watch the beasts going head to head. The charm of Semana Grande is the fireworks which line the sky of Bilbao. You can go up the Artxanda Hill for the stunning view of starry night sky. Be a part of one week of crazy partying in Bilbao. Celebrate one of the best festivals of Spain with fun.

Image Credit


And here is the mother of all festivals in Spain. The extravagant fiesta of all. The word carnival is said to come from carnal which means desires of the flesh. So carnival means farewell to flesh.It is celebrated before the period of Lent in February. It is also said to be originated from Saturnalia a Roman festival which included drinking and dancing.Carnival in Santa Cruz is one of the biggest in Europe.It includes numerous beauty pageants. The festival includes the crowning of a beauty queen.Beads, satin, and feathers are used to make costumes.

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If you are not allowed to enter one of these pageants, indulge yourself in Mogollones, which are open air parties of locals.Carnival in Cadiz is partial to music.You can find open air carts and plazas filled with local bands. You can hear humorous songs that will amuse you. Carnival in Sitges is a much-preferred option for gay visitors.

Many beauty pageants portray bold and flamboyant costumes.Rue de la Disbauxa is the best place to watch out for a themed parade. Anywhere you go in Spain during the carnival you will find the partying continue from dusk to dawn. You want to loosen up a little and enjoy yourself then book your tickets for Spain soon.We are sure you will have the best fun of your life in this outrageous festivals.

Many beauty pageants portray bold and flamboyant costumes. Rue de la Disbauxa is the best place to watch out for a themed parade. Anywhere you go in Spain during the carnival you will find the partying continue from dusk to dawn. You want to loosen up a little and enjoy yourself then book your tickets for Spain soon.We are sure you will have the best fun of your life in this outrageous festivals.