In many people’s minds, fall is festival season. Indeed, it’s when many of the world’s finest music, food, drink, and harvest festivals take place, so the reputation is justified. But for any traveler looking to attend the most unique and enjoyable festival events in the world, the spring season has a lot to offer as well, and now’s about the time to start making arrangements! With that in mind, here’s a look at five spectacular spring festivals around the world.
Mardi Gras (New Orleans, USA – February)
Mardi Gras isn’t for the faint of heart and it’s not a destination for family travel. But aside from those concerns, it’s one of the best celebrations on the planet. Originally meant as a final party before Lent—a time when one is supposed to give up sinful activity—you can imagine it has a wild side. But it also has its parade-like elements. Basically, Mardi Gras has evolved into a week-long party on some of the most famous streets of New Orleans. People take in all the traditional food, dress up in quirky costumes, and shower one another with beads and ceremonial necklaces (and, yes, do a good bit of drinking). The official Mardi Gras website has a number of pictures and videos that can give you a good idea of just what the atmosphere can be like.
Las Fallas (Valencia, Spain – March)
St. Patrick’s Day Festival (Dublin, Ireland – March)
The Grand National (Aintree, England – April)
It may not be a festival in the traditional sense of the word, but The Grand National—a three-day horse racing event that brings the best jumpers in Europe to Aintree—is every bit a festive gathering. The races take center stage, but it is filled with additional elements of entertainment, from restaurants and bars on site, to a crowd of spectators who are always in good spirits. Fashion is of great importance at this event as well. The middle day is even designated specifically as “Ladies Day,” which is when people are meant to wear their brightest and boldest attire. But again, it’s the races that matter most, and the 40-horse Grand National race on the final day can be breathtaking, particularly with much of the crowd having bet on the outcomes. Betfair Betting will have updated odds on the race along with tips and analysis from experts as the Grand National draws closer. While there’s no need to study in-depth unless you’re going to place a bet, the event is all the more enjoyable if you know the horses and favourites!
Queen’s Day (Netherlands – April)
This article was written by Samantha Merritt