When you attend a cultural festival, you get to sample everything. Taking in the culture, the atmosphere and the colours – it really is one of the best ways to truly experience something. Unfortunately, not everyone has the luxury of being able to travel all over the world and experience different cultures in this way and many rely on written accounts and photographs to teach them.
For the budding photographer, cultural festivals offer a fantastic opportunity to take some truly incredible photographs and share them with others through photo-sharing platforms like ClickASnap.
Here is our pick of just some of the most exciting cultural festivals in the world.
If you are looking for colour, then Holi, the Festival of Colours, is definitely the right festival for you. One of the biggest religious festivals in the world, Holi takes place in Nepal and India between the end of February and the middle of March. It marks the end of winter and an anticipation of spring. The festival includes dancing, singing and plays, and on the day following the full moon people throw coloured water and smear bold coloured powders on each other. It can get very colourful with plenty of opportunities for some fantastic photographs. There are also large bonfires.
Dia de los Muertos
Day of the Dead or Dia de los Muertos takes place in Mexico from 31st October to 2nd November. This is a vibrant celebration that combines both indigenous and European traditions of the Catholic church.
Mexicans celebrate the lives of their departed relatives in a festival that brings colourful clothing and decorations, rich traditions and intricate face painting to symbolise the dead to one big event. This is not as many believe something spooky like Halloween but rather a joyous event with homage being paid to the dead.
Whilst the name suggests something sinister Burning Man is, in fact,t not that ominous. Taking place in Black Rock City, this is one of the most popular festivals in the US. Held in the late summer, the festival offers festival-goers the opportunity to bask in the last of the summer sun whilst enjoying community spirit and art. The festival is a mixture of arts from expressive arts to interactive sculptures which are planned each year in line with the festival’s theme. There are plenty of unusual photo opportunities including chances to photograph fire.
Yi Peng Festival
The Lantern Festival in Chiang Mai, Thailand is an annual festival that takes place during the second lunar month of the year. It is part of the festival of lights and is celebrated all over Thailand. However, if you want to be part of the largest celebration in the country then head to Chiang Mai. Not only do they have plenty of lanterns, but there are also cultural shows and fireworks to round off the evening.
Local buildings are decorated with brightly coloured hanging lanterns and also flags.
There is live music and dancing and, of course, a ceremony releasing lanterns into the night sky. The release of lanterns is more than just a pretty event. Locals believe that the release of the lanterns is a symbol of making a clean start and letting go of past issues. There are plenty of daytime photo opportunities as well as night-time ones as well so be sure to come prepared for all eventualities.
Loud, vibrant and full of colour the Rio Carnival takes place just before Lent is known all over the world. This carnival offers an electric atmosphere and more photo opportunities than you could ever imagine. Whether you want to concentrate on the costumes in the parades of the general air of celebration there is something for everyone.
Now we’ve given you some inspiration, why not plan a trip to one of these festivals to get your own imagery from some of these spectacular cultural events.