1. Trinidad and Tobago
When you’re talking about the nation where Nicki Minaj was born, you know that they have to have killer parties. Often overshadowed by Rio’s Carnival, the Trinidad and Tobago Carnival is at least equally nuts, with the same out of control costumes and depravity as its South American equivalent. It also features Trinidad and Tobago’s traditional musical genres—calypso and soca—which makes it a completely unforgettable experience.
Aside from Spain’s notorious San Fermin Festival, the country also plays host to an equally absurd celebration called La Tomatina. During this Spanish tradition, though, instead of people getting mauled by bulls, they get pelted by tomatoes. How the tradition began on a Wednesday during the last week of August, 1945 is unclear, but every year since, more than 30,000 people show up to party and throw food at each other on the streets of Valencia.
Before (or after) each and every full moon on Ko Pha Ngan island in Thailand, an all-night, no-rules party breaks out—literally the “Full Moon Party.” Starting in the 1980s (obviously), this tradition now typically attracts more than 20,000 people whenever it happens. What’s on the itinerary? Mind-blowingly loud music, young, attractive people from everywhere, fire-skipping ropes, buckets of booze, and plenty of drugs.
The EXIT Festival in Novi Sad, Serbia, is probably the only massive event in the world that’s literally held inside an eighteenth-century fortress. Not only that, but the festival hosts the biggest and best names in music over the course of a four-day rager.
5. United States
Basically everyone has heard of Burning Man in some form—whether from seeing absurd photos to come out of it, a news story detailing something completely out of control that happened there, or, if you’re lucky, a first-hand account from a friend—but it always seems to be steeped in quite a bit of mystery. All that’s for sure is that the festival takes place every year for eight days in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert, and there’s a hell of a lot of hippies, public nudity, drugs, and well, just plain debauchery.
6. The Netherlands
Koninginnedag, better known as “Queen’s Day,” honors the birthday of Beatrix, the Queen of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Although it’s a nationwide celebration, the main places to be are Amsterdam—which plays host to a gigantic flea market during the day—and the Hague for “Queen’s Night”—the night before the holiday—for all-night specials and parties.
In celebration of Australia’s European settlement, the entire continent of former convicts erupts into a rager for a day and a (long) night. Naturally, the main features of this celebration are beers (not Foster’s), barbecues, and beaches.
Starting more than 300 years ago, Russefeiring is an adolescent rite of passage for young Norwegians. Every year, over 10,000 high school graduates—and, often, tourists—congregate and rage in Oslo’s Tryvann Park. There’s quite “a bit” of binge drinking, often resulting in people having very public sex, and just certainly a whole mess of an awesome disturbance.
The Moonsplash festival on the West Indian island of Anguilla is definitely the chillest on this list. It features the best names in raggae on some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. And, obviously, no shirts or shoes are required—particularly after you have a couple of “Dune Shines,” the festival’s featured drink.
Holi is a two-day festival in northern India that happens every year on the last full moon of the winter season. It’s a Hindu festival, celebrated by people throwing colored flour and water and each other—resulting in epic splashing battles. Of course, there’s also a ton of huge bonfires and lots of thandai going around—which is a tasty cannabis-laced drink. Yeah.