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Japan to Peru: The best festivals to experience in 2025

Festivals are the best way to celebrate life in all its variety. What better way to experience this than to join in some of the biggest parties around the world? From street dances to snow rafting, here are 9 top festivals you need to join in 2025.
Author: Aimee White - SEO Copywriter at Explore Worldwide
Date Published: 10 April 2024

 

Sapporo Snow Festival - Japan

Nearly 75 years in the running, Sapporo Snow Festival takes place in Sapporo, the capital city of Japan's northern Hokkaido region. This popular winter event takes place in early February each year and is split into three sites. Odori Park displays snow sculptures of all sizes, Susukino district holds an ice sculpture contest, and the Tsudome Site offers even more family-friendly fun with a tube slide and snow rafting. There's something for everyone here - just make sure you wrap up warm!

Sapporo Snow Festival 2025 dates: 4-11 February
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Hornbill Festival - Nagaland, India

The Hornbill Festival is a riot of parades, performances, art and crafts, traditional games, religious ceremonies and more. Several tribes reside in the state of Nagaland, northeastern India, and come together each year to hold this exhilarating festival. Taking place in Kisama (near Kohima) in the first week of December, the festival reinforces Nagaland's unique identity, showcasing the tribal peoples culture and traditions.

Hornbill Festival 2025 dates: 1-10 December
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Naadam Festival - Mongolia

Naadam Festival focuses on three traditional games: horseracing, wrestling and archery. Everyone is encouraged to participate in this national festival, with children among the sportspeople. Connected to the nomadic Mongol civilization, Naadam takes place every July. Celebrations also include Bie biyelgee dances, Mrin khuur fiddle performances and oral traditions including Kjöömei overtone singing and long song. Embrace a community of togetherness at this UNESCO-listed festival.

Naadam Festival 2025 dates: 11-15 July
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Inti Raymi - Peru

Meaning "Festival of the Sun" in Quechua language, Inti Raymi is one of Cusco's most important events. It's celebrated on 24 June - the day of the winter solstice - with hundreds of actors, dancers and musicians recreating the Tahuantinsuyo celebration to honour the Sun God. The festival started in 1430 during the Incan Empire, before it was banned by Spanish conquerors in 1572 and finally resumed in 1944. The route starts at Qorikancha, continues to the Main Square and ends at the imposing Sacsayhuaman fortress.

Inti Raymi 2025 dates: 24 June
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Thimpu Festival - Bhutan

One of the largest events in the Bhutanese calendar, due to it taking place in the capital, Thimphu Festival draws locals and tourists alike. Before the festival itself, there are days and nights of rituals and prayers to invoke the gods. These are then followed by street dances in which performers wear masks and enact stories and myths. It's a mesmerising spectacle and the atmosphere is electric.

Thimphu Festival 2025 dates: 2-4 October
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Day of the Dead - Mexico

El dia de los muertos, as the festival is known in Spanish, has been around for nearly 3,000 years; though the festivities have changed over time. Nowadays the Day of the Dead is celebrated on 2 November in Mexico, with street parades, fancy dress (the skull faces are a vibrant display here and an iconic symbol of the festival worldwide); and offerings of food and drink are made, for the dead and living to enjoy together on this special day.

Day of the Dead 2025 dates: 1-2 November
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Semana Santa, Holy Week - Guatemala

This week-long festival follows the last week of lent, with reenactments of pivotal scenes from the Bible held at various points in the city throughout the week. The most spectacular, and often most moving (which are on Good Friday) is when the procession follows the bright and intricately-patterned flower and sawdust carpets through the streets of Antigua for all to observe and pay homage.

Semana Santa 2025 dates: 13-19 April
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Medellin Flower Festival - Colombia

Colombia's La Feria de las Flores is a vibrant flower festival celebrated during July and August each year. The fair began as a way to celebrate and showcase the work of the local farmers. Today, the final day of the celebrations is dedicated to them. Vibrant homemade silleteros (chairs covered with floral displays) are carried on the farmers backs in the hopes of winning the accolade of best design. This lively show is is well worth a look.

Medellin Flower Festival 2025 dates: Late July/early August
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Pushkar Camel Fair - India

The Pushkar Camel Fair brings together large numbers of people to marvel at the highly decorated camels and wander among the food and handicraft stalls to the sounds of instruments played by local musicians. It's a fantastic experience simply to soak up the ambience and chat to the locals who are more than willing to share their time and stories with visitors.

Pushkar Camel Fair 2025 dates: 30 October-5 November
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