When we think of festivals, we often picture trampled city streets shot through with bright streamers. We hear the rumble of drums and the hooting crowd.
With eight of the world’s 10 tallest mountains in its borders, it’s not a big surprise most travellers visit Nepal for the trekking. Flying into Kathmandu you’ll find dozens of adventurous looking groups about to set off into the snow-capped wilds of the Himalayas, usually carbo-loading on their second plate of momos.
It don’t matter if shuffling the streets of Mumbai or being horizontal on the beaches of Kerala is your thing, India will deliver something that’s totally you, even if ‘what’s you’ is lurching between street vendors and cramming panipuri in your mouth like an automaton.
Ladakh translates as ‘Land of the high passes’, which, on arrival, feels rather appropriate.
Shakespeare once said, ‘The sauce to meat is ceremony; meeting were bare without it.’ Basically this translates to, ‘Festivals, they’re pretty cool, eh?’ And those Elizabethans really knew how to party, so I’m inclined to agree with his opinion. Ceremonies and festivals are the cultural glue that binds us as people.
At first glance, the Day of the Dead in Mexico City sounds like it would be a solemn, quiet affair, but don’t be fooled.
In fact, it’s filled with brightly coloured altars, delicious celebration food and spirits of all kinds – from visiting ancestors to a cool mezcal cocktail! So what do you need to know to survive the deathly trip of a lifetime?
Stepping off the plane into the midnight air of Kathmandu, a wave of excitement rolled over Tom Svensen.
A new destination, new sights and of course a new culture was just waiting for him to explore…
From Panama and Belize to Guatemala and Nicaragua, the warm waters and colourful traditions of Central America are brimming with celebration.
Whether you’re after a raucous street party, holy vigil or flamboyant parade, there is a destination, and a festival, to explore every month of the year. We’ve handpicked our six must-see festivals in Central America and Mexico – the promised lands of party:
Travelling to Japan? Try and time your visit with the cherry blossom season. Even if you’re not big on nature, this is something you’ve got to see.
Be prepared to forget your camera is even in your hands as you stand entranced by the beauty of these blossoms. Watch cities disappear under canopies of colour and national parks transform into spaces so surreal, you’ll think last night’s sake got the better of you.
Why have fountains flowing with water when they could be splashing about in the country’s national drink?
Yes, Peruvians are so passionate about their beloved Pisco that on the first Saturday in February they honour their famous cocktail with Pisco Sour Day. On this day each year the fountain at Plaza Mayor in Lima even pours with thousands of litres of the local brew!
If you can’t make it to this huge Pisco party, there is another chance to celebrate the iconic liqueur on National Pisco Day in July. And if you’re wondering what all the fuss is about, you can join Intrepid’s special Pisco Making Urban Adventure in Cusco to discover why this national drink has a way of bringing locals and travellers together.