We don’t often need an excuse to explore new places but we really do love a party, because there’s no better way to get to know a place than to don your glad rags and take to the streets for local music, dance and party food. These are just a few of our favourite local celebrations from around the globe. And the best bit – they’re all fantastic spots for the rest of the year as well. So actually, there’s always an excuse to explore…
HOLI FESTIVAL – INDIA
Holi Festival. This one’s a photographer’s dream. The end of winter is marked by an explosion of colour as people all over the country crowd the streets to be covered in pigment powder and coloured water. Holi Festival celebrates the legend of demoness Holika’s burning as a symbol of good triumphing over evil. Celebrations begin the day before the full moon in March with giant bonfires in the streets of India and continue into the next day with food and dance, culminating in a fantastic display of bright colours. Holi is celebrated in cities and towns throughout India with festivities in Mathura and Vrindavan, temple towns north of Delhi, beginning celebrations a week in advance.
THE FESTIVAL OF ROSES – MOROCCO
Each May the air is thick with the scent of roses in the town of Kelaât M’Gouna, southern Morocco, as celebrations commence to mark the Damask rose harvest. Roses are cultivated to produce oils, perfume and the rosewater and are adored throughout North Africa, and this labour of love is celebrated in style. As trucks of roses wind their way to the distilleries, leaving behind a sweet scented trail, Moroccans and tourists alike take to the streets in pink and white clothing adorned in garlands of roses ready for a party. Each year a Rose Queen is nominated to preside over the petal strewn floats that join the street parade whilst traditional Berber tribes can be found singing and dancing alongside stalls selling local crafts and delicious traditional food. Although the festival is spread over three days, it’s best to get there for the first day before all the flowers are shipped off so you can experience the heady smell and the riot of colour in full bloom.
SONGKRAN WATER FESTIVAL – THAILAND
Songkran Water Festival, the traditional Thai New Year, is celebrated in early April. The two day festival starts off much as any religious festival may, with brightly coloured processions and holy ceremonies where the young show respect for their elders by sprinkling water onto their hands. And then the party starts. With all religious duties performed, Thailand is free to play, as both Bangkok and Chiang Mai turn into enormous water fights. The festival takes place during Thailand’s hottest and driest season. Tourists should equip themselves with a light heart and a large, powerful water pistol. For those intent on experiencing complete pandemonium there is no better spot than Bangkok’s Khao San Road.
CLOSING PARTIES – IBIZA
Ibiza grew from rather humble beginnings as a hippy playground in the early 80’s to one of Europe’s most enticing party islands. The closing parties are now renowned amongst young and old partiers alike and big-name DJ’s are guaranteed to grace the biggest and best super clubs around with their presence. Combine that with some of the world’s most stunning beaches and it’s plain to see why Ibiza’s closing party season is an end of summer extravaganza that is not to be missed. Luckily for you, we know Ibiza well, and if you’re looking to party with a side of style and luxury, we have a range of exquisite villas to fit your every need. Because when we need a little down time, there’s no better cure than a private infinity pool…
Want to join the party? Get in touch and we’ll put the bubbles on ice…
OBON FESTIVAL OF SOULS – JAPAN
A Buddhist custom that has been celebrated in Japan for more than 500 years, this ‘Festival of Souls’ is an annual event that commemorates the return of ancient family ancestors to the world of the living. Generally, festivities are held in August although some regions celebrate in July. Families take to the streets clad in colourful summer kimonos or yukata and perform Bon Odori dances. Incense fills the air as temples and altars become adorned with edible offerings and at the end of the third day, the festival reaches its climax when rivers, lakes and seas become illuminated by hundreds of coloured floating lanterns or Togo Nagashi, set adrift to guide the spirits back to the underworld. Usually swiftly followed by an impressive fireworks display. It’s a sight to behold.