A spring vacation is a unique opportunity to experience another culture. After all, this is the time to shake off the chilly memories of winter, and people around the world tend to do so in extravagant ways. In the space of a few months, hundreds of spring celebrations take place across the globe, some big, some small. There are festivals to suit every sort of traveler, especially those who are willing to stray off the beaten path, so if you’re looking for a vacation to remember, consider indulging in one of these eye-opening celebrations.
1. Water Festival (Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, China
Several countries in Southeast Asia bring in the New Year with elaborate, city-wide water fights to symbolically cleanse and bless the community. But the term “water fight” isn’t entirely accurate, given that these events take place during the sweltering month of April — most people will happily take a splash of water in the face or a bucketful over the head.
These celebrations usually have a religious element which calls for some ritual and reverence, but good-natured, communal water splashing is always involved. This would be a great introduction to a less familiar culture, when language barriers melt away and strangers unite in kind-hearted fun.
May is a celebratory month in Prague, with four renowned festivals to highlight the city’s cultural history and achievements. First up is the Prague Spring music festival, among the best of its kind, showcasing world-class musicians throughout Prague’s beautiful historical venues. If food and drink is more to your taste, the Prague Food Festival invites visitors to try different Czech dishes in different locations around the city, and the Czech Beer Festival (held just outside Prague center) runs through the whole month of May. But if you’re after a truly distinctive experience, make a point to visit Khamoro, the World Roma Festival. The Romani culture is deeply traditional, yet full and lively — their week-long celebration is as informative as it is entertaining.
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