13 Unique Festivals around the World

Festivals, apart from their social significance, are also great tourist attractions. They certainly have a fascinating charm and the potential to contribute to the sustainable local economic development, the latter being directly linked with development of tourism. No wonder the tourism bodies around the world have woken up to this need of the hour. And so we have flower festivals, community wedding festivals, mud festival, beach festivals and so on. While a mammoth percentage of such festivals today originated as tourist-tempters, there are some that have been culturally rooted for centuries and that have evolved over time and yet do not fail to attract tourists from far and wide. But there is definitely a negative side to over-commercialization of socially and culturally important festivals. They stand the chance of losing their inherent character and charisma due to artificial makeup driven by tourists’ demands. Beclouding the ethnicity of festivals by excessively commercialized tourism needs to be carefully checked both in the interests of ensuring social sustainability of festivals and of promoting tourism.

Here’s a compilation of 13 unique festivals around the world that are great tourist pullers.

RETURN OF THE SUN FESTIVAL, GREENLAND

Greenland sees very less of the Sun. Naturally the return of the sun in January after several weeks or even months of darkness calls for celebration here. The exact day varies from year to year. People throughout the country celebrate the occasion with coffee, cakes, sweets, music and family get-togethers. People of all ages drive dogsleds to Holms Hill and sing songs to greet the sun. It is pleasing to see the sun reappear on the horizon. Several excursion trips and dogsled competitions are held to commemorate the day. The 2013 festival was held on 10th January.

UMBRELLA FESTIVAL, BO SANG, THAILAND

Chiang Mai is the largest and the most culturally important city in northern Thailand. Located just 9 km eastward of Chiang Mai is Bo Sang, an otherwise nondescr