6. Jenadriyah Festival, Saudi Arabia
The annual two-week-long February festival of Jenadriyah is a showcase of Saudi culture. It begins with an epic camel race, and later features sword-dancing, folk poetry, pottery, woodwork and a multitude of other cultural events. Intended to help keep Saudi culture alive and inspire unity among the people, Jenadriyah is a colorful, upbeat festival which draws millions of spectators every year.
5. The Battle of the Oranges, Italy
This “battle” is the largest food fight in Italy, attracting thousands of participants every year. Townspeople divide into teams, head out to the “battlefield” and throw oranges at one another, while spectators observe from a distance. This tradition – while messy and sometimes violent – has been around for centuries, and in Ivrea it is considered an important part of the people’s culture and birthright.
4. Holi, India and Nepal
Holi, also known as the festival of colors or the festival of love, is a vibrant, joyous festival that marks the end of winter and celebrates the arrival of spring. Holi celebrations often include throwing colorful powders, eating sweets and singing traditional Holi songs.
3. Sundance Film Festival, Utah
This American film festival is one of the largest in the nation and often showcases brand new works from independent filmmakers from across the globe. Between Jan. 22 and Feb. 1, nearly 50,000 devoted film-lovers flock to this annual event to watch new, rising stars in the field of filmmaking.
2. Chiang Mai Flower Festival, Thailand
In Thailand, the first Friday of February marks the start of the Chiang Mai Flower Festival, a three-day celebration in which the city of Chiang Mai adorns public flower beds, especially the garden of Suan Buak Haad, with striking displays of chrysanthemums, orchids, roses and other flowers. During the afternoon, the flower parade walks around the city, decked out in colorful costumes and stopping to hand out flowers to people who pass by.
1. Carnival, Brazil
The award for the country with the biggest parade in the world goes to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where exuberant displays decorate the roads, bands and singers parade through the city and millions of people – often decked out in costumes and masks and swaying along to the music – take to the streets during the six-day Carnival festival. Samba dancers are the highlight of the Carnival, and different samba schools train hard all year long to compete during the festivities.