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The 10 Most Insane Festivals Around The World

If you have an open mind, there’s no limit to the number of awesome celebrations you can find. Instead of just spinning a globe and putting your finger on a random place, though, here’s a guide to help you find some of the best ones. Use it and see what unfolds.

1. Glastonbury Music Festival

Where: Pilton, England
When: Last weekend in June, 3 days
What: One of, if not the biggest, music festival in the world. Last year there were 177,000 guests and 700 musical acts—not to mention all the insane after-parties and general debauchery that follows.

2. Songkran

Where: Anywhere in Thailand (biggest in Bangkok and Chang Mai)
When: Mid-April
What: Songkran welcomes and celebrates the Thai New Year. While it’s technically held in order to cleanse one’s sins from the past year, attendees will probably end up committing some brand new ones while there.

3. Bay to Breakers

Where: San Francisco, California
When: Third Sunday in May
What: While innocently founded in 1906 to keep people’s spirits up after the giant earthquake, the 7-mile foot race has gradually evolved into a 7-mile keg race and costume party. So, basically, San Fran turns into a giant party for a day.

4. Calgary Stampede

Where: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
When: Second week in July
What: Spread over the course of ten days, the Calgary Stampede is a gigantic festival centered around bull-riding. However, it might be best known for being the biggest event in Canada, attracting over a million visitors a year—and most of ‘em came for the parties, not the bulls.

5. Up Helly Aa Fire Festival

Where: Edinburgh, Scotland
When: End of January
What: This one is about as insane as you’d expect a celebration of the Viking New Year to be; people dress up as Viking warriors, go tar-barreling, storm around with torches, drinking heavily, and eventually, burn a replica Viking ship (of course).

6. Carnival

Where: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
When: January or February
What: It’s Carnival. Come on. You know. This is perhaps the most notorious festival in the world—a week of flamboyant, loud parades, dancing, extravagant colors, and lots of drinking. Everyone should hope to experience Carnival at some point in their lives.

7. Oktoberfest

Where: Munich, Germany
When: Late Sept.-first week of Oct.
What: The world’s biggest festival dedicated solely to beer and beer culture, Oktoberfest features not just Germany’s best beers, but ‘wrats, ‘wursts, pretzels, potato dumplings, and sauerkraut to slather it all in. Plus, Germans are famously talkative and inclusive with tourists.

8. Battle of the Oranges

Where: Ivrea, Italy
When: February
What: You show up in Italy. You dress in orange, or whatever you want. You throw oranges at people. Sound good?

9. Ultra Music Festival

Where: Miami, Florida
When: Late-March
What: Ultra is an insane electronic music festival, known for hosting the biggest names in the genre, not to mention an awesome location. Plan ahead, though—you’ll want to dress as outrageously as possible.

10. White Nights Festival

Where: St. Petersburg, Russia
When: End of June
What: White Nights takes place over the course of a week and features tons of concerts, fireworks, and parties, but probably the best part is that it culminates in “Scarlet Sails,” which is when a mock battle takes place among pirate ships out on the Neva River. Nothin’ wrong with that.

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