Join our team as they journey across continents and time zones on cultural tours, to discover a melting pot of diverse celebrations from around the world.
Often the best way to interact with local people and gain an insight into a culture is at a local festival as celebrations bring everyone together. Here is our list of top cultural experiences across our destinations.
Traditional Mask Dances in Paro
The spring festival of Paro Tshechu is probably the most popular Mask Dance in Bhutan. One of the grandest festivals in the kingdom, it is celebrated annually in the courtyard of the famous Paro Dzong. The celebrations often continue for as long as five days, with spectacular masked dances! Each dance has a special meaning and is based on events and legends that date as far back as the 9th century.
When: March/April 2017
Where: Paro, Bhutan
The Buddha Tooth Relic Festival in Kandy
The fifteen day long Esala Perahera is one of the biggest festivals in Southeast Asia. Thousands of dancers, fire artists, drummers, musicians and flag bearers, march through the streets of Kandy, accompanied by gorgeously decorated elephants, the largest of which carries the sacred tooth relic. Devotees from all over the world gather in this erstwhile royal capital every year to watch this procession, and it is a very special experience that you are unlikely to forget.
Dance of kothala performers parade through the streets of Kandy in Sri Lanka during the Esala Perahera.
When: August 2017
Where: Kandy, Sri Lanka
Festival of Lanterns in Hoi An
Hoi An’s famous Lantern Festival is held on the eve of every full moon night. By dusk, all the city lights are switched off, and the streets and skies alight with the colorful glow from hundreds of lanterns. Small paper boats holding candles float gently on the river, making the water magically glow. During these special evenings, only pedestrians are allowed into the old quarter, creating a beautifully calm ambience.
When: Every month
Where: Hoi An, Vietnam
Laotian New Year in Luang Prabang
The traditional Buddhist New Year celebration in Laos is a purification ritual. A few days before the festival, pagodas and homes are cleaned thoroughly, as having a dirty home at the beginning of a new year is considered ill luck. This four day long festival is celebrated with much pomp and splendour in Luang Prabang. New year greetings are often accompanied by a blast of cold water and hoots of laughter from playful participants. Prepare for a raging battle filled with water guns and cold showers during the celebrations.
Luang Prabang, Laos – People celebrate New Year by splashing flour and water at each other.
When: April 2017
Where: Luang Prabang, Laos
Sounds of Wisdom in Zanzibar
Experience a three-day music festival in Zanzibar at Sauti za Busara, which simultaneously celebrates Swahili culture. Artists from Algeria to South Africa, and Cape Verde to Kenya, gather inside the walls of the old fortress. Sounds of reggae, jazz, gospel and international music float through the open air, accompanied by a cheerful chorus from an enthralled audience. If you are a music and culture enthusiast, then this event is a must for your bucket list.
When: February 2017
Where: Zanzibar, Tanzania
Sun Festival in Cusco
The Inti Raymi Festival of Peru is held every year in honor of the Sun God, and celebrates the end of the harvest season and lasts for one week. One of the major highlights is a folk dance procession through Cusco’s charming cobbled streets. Inti Raymi is a wonderful way to discover the entire spectrum of Peruvian, Bolivian and Andean culture, and witness representations of traditional Incan ceremonies.
When: June 2017
Where: Cusco, Peru
Discover festival fever with Enchanting Travels cultural tours!
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