Unmissable Festivals From Around the World

Rio Carnival

One of the most interesting aspects of travelling to foreign countries is to be able to experience what different cultures have to offer. Certain events and gatherings are able to provide us with a broader understanding of the world and we can take these memories with us when we finally return home. There is perhaps no better way to enjoy such an experience than by attending various festivals while abroad. Let us look at a handful of the most interesting and iconic celebrations that are not to be missed.

La Mercè

This annual festival is held every year in Barcelona, Spain. La Mercè has actually existed for hundreds of years. It is meant to honour Mare de Deu de la Mercè; the patron saint of the city. Due to the celebratory nature of the citizens here, this is as much of a street party as it is a religious gathering. Le Mercè lasts for five days and during this time, there are numerous live shows and musical events to enjoy. Visiting well-known sites such as La Sagrada Familia and the Barcelona Cathedral can help to further punctuate this stunning gathering.

La Merce, Spain

Photo by Dbascones via Wikimedia


Fans of fine food and spirits should never pass up a chance to miss Oktoberfest. However, this beer-related gathering honours much more than a few pints of ale. It is a unique window into the traditional lives of the German people. As a testament to its popularity, it is estimated that nearly 6 million people frequented the Munich Oktoberfest in 2015. Local foods, parades, carnivals and (of course) beer are some of the highlights of this unforgettable festival. Although Oktoberfest is traditionally held in Munich, there are many other cities in Germany which celebrate this event during the early autumn each year.

The Rio Carnival

Rio de Janeiro may very well be considered the birthplace of the carnival, and for good reason. This annual event eclipses nearly every other carnival on the planet. Millions of locals and tourists alike line the streets and observe the colourful floats as they pass by. However, the Rio Carnival can also be thought of as a hands-on experience. Guests can participate in the dances while sampling delectable Brazilian foods.

Rio Carnival

Mardi Gras

While New Orleans is known for its French Quarter and a rich history in Jazz, there is no doubt that the annual Mardi Gras celebration is certainly its most famous event. Mardi Gras is always held on the first day of Lent (the day immediately before Ash Wednesday). Wild processions that last long into the night, numerous parade floats, live music and dancing are only a few of the activities to be enjoyed.

These are some of the most stunning and unique festivals that the world has to offer. By planning ahead, such amazing experiences are much more of a reality than you may think!

10 Comment to “Unmissable Festivals From Around the World”

  1. LeAnna says:

    We currently live in Bavaria. I agree that Oktoberfest is one of those “touristy bucket list” kinda deals, but I encourage anyone traveling to Bavaria during the fest season (Spring to Fall) to try to go to a local fest. Just as much fun, but way cheaper and waaay less people! 🙂

  2. Stefan says:

    Did know about La Mercè – gonna check that one out (we go to Bcn often). Rio and Mardi Gras is a dream for us to visit one day 🙂

  3. Katja says:

    I still haven’t ticked any of these off the list! La Merce has always fascinated me and as for Rio….well, it’s Rio! One day 🙂

  4. anna says:

    YES!!!! Oktoberfest and Mardi Gras are two events that I would love to be able to do! Thanks for sharing this.

  5. You couldn’t pay me enough money to actually attend Mardi Gras but I hope to visit Oktoberfest in the next 3 years. Big bucket list for me. 😉 What fun.

  6. carla says:

    Oktoberfest and Rio Carnival is on my bucketlist, but after reading your post, Im adding in Le Mercé and Mardi Gras. Thanks for posting this!

  7. I really would like to go to Oktoberfest! The setting and the atmosphere would be a ton of fun!

  8. Tess Andrade says:

    Haven’t witnessed any of these festivals – and to be honest – I have never ever heard of la Mercè…i must admit! I’m very intrigued now!I want to go to Oktoberfest for the Bretzel as opposed to the beer haha!

  9. Rosemary says:

    Mardi Gras, New Orleans…attended once and it is quite an experience. It’s the only festival on your list that I’ve ticked off. Would love to attend the others, except for Octoberfest (not a beer drinker). You are right, festivals are a great way to enjoy the local culture 🙂

  10. Laura says:

    All great events that I hope to visit one day. We’re going to Oktoberfest this year for the first time. Very much looking forward to that.

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