Celebratory traditions of the World
There’s always joy in travelling somewhere new as you create memories that make you smile. What makes our world extraordinary are all the exceptionally unique traditions.
Celebrations can be small street or community festivals that you stumble upon with a turn of a corner during your holiday. Or they might be large cultural and religious events full of pomp and spirit that become the main attraction. Regardless of size, they always seem to leave an indelible impression. Why not celebrate with us on your next luxury holiday?
Songkran is probably best known as the water splashing festival of Thailand. Taking place in mid-April each year, it’s a celebration of the Buddhist New Year, which has ancient roots as a Hindu spring festival. Lasting five days, you’ll find young Thai people sprinkling water over the hands of Buddhist monks and elders as a sign of respect, and sculptures of Buddha being bathed, while in the streets, you’ll find huge and jubilant water fights.
Popular Saints’ Festival, Portugal
The best way to feel the spirit of Portuguese folklore is at Festa dos Santos Populares, the Popular Saint’s Festival, which brings together Portugal’s three major saints, St. Anthony, the patron saint of Lisbon, St. John, the patron saint of Porto, and St. Peter, the saint celebrated in many smaller cities. Taking place in June each year, you’ll find street parades and performances, open-air parties that continue throughout the night and are complete with barbecued sardines and smoked sausages, folk music, and free-flowing beer and wine. In Lisbon there’s a mass wedding at the cathedral. In Porto, people wallop each other’s heads with small play hammers, an evolved ritual dating back to the Celtic harvest festival. Watch coloured lanterns in the skies, a fireworks display, and dawn dips in the Atlantic Ocean.
Day of the Dead, Mexico
Known locally as Dia de los Muertos, Day of the Dead is the ultimate way to pay your respect to your ancestors and departed loved ones. While connected to the Catholic celebration of All Souls’ Day, taking place on the 1st and 2nd of November each year, its traditions date back to earlier indigenous rituals, which believed the dead would be offended by melancholic mourning. Cemeteries are lit up with offerings to loved ones across Mexico. You'll find a party spirit within the towns and cities as families reunite to don costumes and parade through the streets, singing and dancing, and feasting on food and drink. Even if you’re not Mexican, you're still invited to celebrate the beauty of life and death from your resort in Riviera Cancun or Playa Mujeres.
Flower Festival, Madeira
A celebration of all things floral, Funchal’s enchanting Flower Festival is made possible thanks to its subtropical climate, allowing the region to grow the most spectacular flowers. To kick off, thousands of colourfully costumed children congregate in Colégio Square to build a mural of flowers, known as the Wall of Hope, to symbolise their hope for a more peaceful world. Then there’s a great flower parade as floats take to the streets of Madeira. Artists create intricate floral carpets and canopies, and there’s a competition for the best decorated shop window. Traditional and classical music concerts and variety shows continue the festivities. The air is filled with a delicately perfumed fragrance and is usually an annual event during the springtime.
Victory Day, Malta
To mark the end of three historical sieges made on the Maltese archipelago, Victory Day coincides with the birth of the Virgin Mary - so both occasions are celebrated with equal fervour with a ceremonial public holiday in early September. You can experience a traditional regatta and watch some serious boat races in Malta’s Grand Harbour, which brings oarsmen from across the archipelago’s towns and villages. You can also enjoy a perfectly timed military parade, before joining an evening procession through decorated streets to watch a festive fireworks display.
Festival Kreol, Seychelles
To honour its Creole ancestral traditions, the Seychelles holds a seven-day festival, usually during the month of October, which features a serenade parade. There’s so much to discover about creole culture, which you can do by sampling the delicious food on sale, or watching the amazing musical, dance and fashion shows that take place on the beaches throughout this island nation. You can watch a kanmtole competition, a Creolised style of European ballroom dancing, head to the Creole bazaar, enjoy traditional games and family-friendly events, or visit the special exhibitions at the museums.
Maha Shivaratri, Mauritius
As a predominantly Hindu nation, the festival of Maha Shivratri is a popular celebration in Mauritius. Observed according to the Hindu calendar, this festival takes place around February and March each year to worship the god of destruction, Lord Shiva, who on this night is believed to perform a heavenly dance. Worshippers fast during the day before spending the entire night performing puja (prayers). You can witness the marvellous sight of thousands of pilgrims all dressed in white as they carry on their shoulders colourful kanwar, which are homemade decorated structures made from papers, mirrors, flowers, and bells. Join the devotees' journey on foot to the sacred lake of Ganga Talao, as devotional songs are sung and the kanwar are immersed in the lake.
Add a Touch of Luxury with Sovereign
At Sovereign Luxury Travel we have over 50 years’ experience in tailormade luxury holidays. We take care of all the finer details, so you don’t have to. Our Personal Travel Planners are on hand every step of the way to ensure your luxury holiday is memorable and enjoyable.
Visit sovereign.com to start planning your next luxury escape today!
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