When: January - February Where: Harbin, China Why: The Harbin festival is the largest snow and ice festival in the world, and it features carvings towering over 20 feet in height and full-size buildings made from gigantic blocks of ice. Just make sure you pack a parka.
2. La Tomatina — Buñol, Spain
When: The last Wednesday in August Where: Buñol, Spain Why: As bizarre as it may seem, this festival is held every year purely for fun, meaning it isn’t tied to any ancient traditions. Rumor has it that in 1945, a few locals began throwing fruits and vegetables during a parade — and ever since then the tomato-throwing festival has been going strong.
3. Songkran Water Festival — Chiang Mai, Thailand
When: April Where: Chiang Mai, Thailand Why: This is the water fight of your dreams, so bring your water balloons and Super Soakers and head to Thailand for a wild adventure.
4. Lantern Festival — Pingxi, Taiwan
When: February Where: Pingxi, Taiwan Why: Watch the sky light up during one of the world’s largest lantern festivals. There is nothing more beautiful than a night sky lit with thousands of floating lanterns.
5. Coachella — Indio, California
When: April Where: Indio, California Why: Coachella hosts the top names in music. Plus, you can spend the weekend camping in the desert.
6. Running of the Bulls — Pamplona, Spain
When: July Where: Pamplona, Spain Why: Yes, it's a festival focused on running away from bulls. Not sure you thought this was a good idea in the first place, but today it's a Spanish tradition.
7. Carnevale — Venice, Italy
When: February – March Where: Venice, Italy Why: Carnevale has been a famous Venice tradition since the 13th century. People come here from all over the world to participate in the masked celebrations and shenanigans.
8. Albuquerque International Balloon Festival — Albuquerque, N.M.
When: October Where: Albuquerque, N.M. Why: The Albuquerque International Balloon Festival is the largest gathering of hot air balloons in the world.
9. Holi Color Festival — India
When: February – March 4 Where: India Why: Essentially a color run on steroids. Don't forget to BYOD (bring your own dye).
10. Boryeong Mud Festival — South Korea
When: July Where: South Korea Why: Fueled by word of mouth, good times and exceptional photographs of mud people, the festival has become an international phenomenon. Showers are also included for a modest fee.
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!