The good book of words defines a festival as
Of course, all three definitions apply but in the mind of a traveler, a festival is an opportunity to learn more about the history and culture of the community he or she is in. While it has been a common trend to base travel decisions on weather (e.g. In the summer, tourists go to the beach. In winter, they flock to ski resorts) and and of course, the usual attractions; there is another way to make a choice.
How about planning a vacation entirely around festivals?
In Vientiane, Laos, there’s a water festival held during October 2 and 3. At dawn, people go around temples in the city to offer donations. By night, said temples are filled with spectacular candle processions. Various floats filled with colorful flowers also parade around. There are also people who set incense and candles adrift the Mekong River as a way of thanking the river spirits. After all these comes the exciting boat races reserved for the next day.
During the 19th of October, the Philippines conducts its own version of the Mardi Gras in Bacolod, Negros Occidental called the Maskara Festival or Festival of Masks. It is a grand, annual event that attracts tourists from different regions of the Philippines and other countries. Aside from the parade of masked dancers, there are also sports competitions, cultural programs and beauty contests.
Festivals are an excellent way of increasing one’s knowledge of another culture. The people are bound to be more merry and friendly during these times. There’s usually a lot of color and humor in the air. Plus, one can take this moment to try out something especially new.