“Travel is the only thing you can buy that makes you richer” — a quote that holds greater truth the more of the world you experience. Visiting a new country has so much to offer in the way of new experiences; trying a different cuisine, meeting native people, attending cultural events and immersing yourself into new cultures so different from those at home.
At Work the World, we encourage those who travel with us to fully immerse themselves in their host country's way of life. We think festivals act as a microcosm of their home culture; offering visitors an authentic, whistlestop experience of food, arts, music, theatre, even fashion — everything that makes each part of the world feel unique!
So, what better way to explore the world than incorporating some festival tourism into your travel plans? To help you get started, we’ve created an international festival guide, with some of our favourite spots from around the globe, including a few with nearby Work the World programmes!
It's not just for music and dance, but also cultural, comedy and food festivals, all over the world! Whether you’re heading to Lisbon to Lima, you can find an event to match both your interests and travel plans.
We’ve even rounded up a few of our favourite picks, below, to add to your bucket list!
Taybeh Oktoberfest in Taybeh, Palestine
Palestine might not be the first place you’d associate with the beer-swigging seen at Oktoberfest, but Taybeh’s very own beer festival has become local legend. Over 16,000 beer fans flood Taybeh’s rolling hills and balmy climes every September (yes, September!) to sample some of Palestine’s best boozy beverages.
Burning Man in Nevada, USA
Chances are that you’ve already heard of this iconic, eccentric desert-based community, but how much do you really know about the festival? Set in the temporary sandy city of “Black Rock City”, in the Black Rock Desert in Nevada, this infamous gathering is set on 10 principles, which include "radical" inclusion, self-reliance and self-expression, participation, and leaving no trace. Expect to see lots of fire, bicycles, and a lot of weird and wonderful fashion statements!
Sauti za Busara in Stone Town, Zanzibar, Tanzania
The stunning Tanzanian island of Zanzibar has enough to seduce any traveller – clear blue waters, white sandy beaches, snorkeling and swimming with dolphins. Add arts, global beats and the very best African music in the form of the annual Sauti za Busara festival into the mix, and you have an irresistible excuse for a trip!
Inti Raymi in Cusco, Peru
This religious “sun festival” is the Inca celebration of winter solstice — the shortest day of the year — held in June. Celebrations involve music, dance, colourful costumes and of course, food! Cusco is the most special place to celebrate this religious festival, and is the perfect way to get a better insight into the traditions of the Inca Empire.
Bonfire Night in Lewes, UK
Although Bonfire Night is celebrated UK-wide, the event in Lewes, a small town in East Sussex on the south coast of England, goes off with a bang like no other! To mark the foiled plan of Guy Fawkes, who plotted to plant explosives at British Parliament in 1605, residents and visitors take to the streets of Lewes, burning effigies, observing spectacular fireworks and conducting parades. The event also has Pagan ties, and is the largest and oldest official Bonfire Night celebration in the world!
Cheung Chau Bun Festival in Cheung Chau, Hong Kong
This Buddhist festival has so much going on that it would be impossible to cover it all! The highlights include the “bun scramble” - giant bamboo towers, covered in buns, which contestants can climb up and try and collect as many lucky buns as possible! Another great sight is the dramatic Floating Colours parade, where costumed-children “drive away the plague”. The entire festival is perfect for vegetarians, as the whole island goes meat and fish free for the entire duration of the celebrations!