Imagine spending Christmas surfing and sunbathing in Australia, or yelling “Happy New Year” in the middle of February surrounded by thousands of gorgeous Chinese lanterns. Traveling the world is an incredible experience, but when you have the opportunity to get a first-hand look at how other cultures celebrate holidays, it makes the experience that much better. If you’ve been thinking about planning a trip and want to step it up a notch, consider visiting these places during their incredible holiday celebrations.
Coolest Places To Celebrate Christmas
While many people in the US have experienced a white Christmas, many countries celebrate Christmas during the warmest part of the year. Trade in your snow boots for flip-flops when you visit places like Australia, New Zealand and South Africa for Christmas. For a unique Christmas experience, visit Italy and wait for a good witch named La Befana to deliver presents on January 6th. You’ll know it’s her because she travels on a broomstick instead of a sleigh. In India, people decorate mango trees instead of fir, and trees in the Ukraine are decorated with spider webs! In Brazil, children get presents in their shoes rather than in a stocking, and in Iceland, thirteen different Santas come down from the mountains leaving presents (or rotten potatoes) for sleeping children!
Best Places To Ring In The New Year
Around the world, people make New Year’s resolutions and party well into the night to celebrate a new beginning. Rio de Janeiro is a place that knows how to party, and their New Years celebrations are quite an event. Copacabana Beach throws the wildest party around, where people toss flowers into the sea and dance all night to live music, ending the night with fireworks In Edinburgh. The New Years party spans three days, and the stunning illuminated Hong Kong skyline is quite a sight to see. In The Bahamas, parades, street performers and live music set the tone for a celebration that lasts well into the night.
Exciting Places To Celebrate Independence Day
The US isn’t the only place that celebrates the day they gained their independence from another country. If you’re in Mexico on September 15th, you will have the chance to participate in the “Grito De Delores.” At 11 pm, the mayor rings a bell from the capital and cries “Viva La Mexico!” while 500,000 people below sing the national anthem. The following day is reserved for parties, parades, and concerts. In Chile, Independence Day celebrations can last for weeks, and in India, the sky is covered in kites on August 15th.
Most Romantic Places To Celebrate Valentine’s Day
Denmark is new to the Valentine’s Day game, as they only started celebrating in the 90’s. The Danish exchange white flowers called snowdrops instead of roses, and men give women a “joking letter,” a funny poem signed only by a string of dots. If the woman guesses the sender, she earns an Easter egg later in the year. In South Korea, women are responsible for the love letters, flowers and gifts for their men, and then the men take a turn starting on March 14th. On April 14th singles mourn their “single-ness” by participating in Black Day, in which they eat dark bowls of black bean pasta noodles. Of course, France and Italy, two of the most romantic cities in the world, are excellent places to celebrate love as well.
Holidays and Wanderlust
Experiencing a new city is always exciting, but getting in on the action as the whole country comes together in celebration makes it a whole new experience. To really experience the culture, the people, and the traditions of a new place, visiting during a major holiday is the way to go. A country is never more united than during a major holiday, and visiting during this time can expand your global perspective and give you a better understanding of the people and cultures that are different than your own.
Written by Diana Eastman