Fun Festivals Around The World In April

Finally the cold winter weather is starting to subside in the northern hemisphere, giving space for spring to shake things up and give everyone a reason to celebrate! March, April and May are months full of festivals and events all over the world, giving you an opportunity to experience the best of a country’s culture – or simply an excuse to party and go crazy. Here are some awesome festivals around the world that will be happening in the next few weeks and are well worth traveling across the globe to experience…

Songkran – Thailand

Dates: April 13th -16th. In Thailand it is time to celebrate the coming monsoon season, which will bring the rain many have been longing for.

They celebrate it with a festival called Songkran, where people head out to the streets with water guns to spray everyone who walks past.

If you walk on the streets where the festival is celebrated, prepare to get soaked! Get yourself a water gun from the nearest 7/11 and join in with the play fight – Songkran is also celebrated as the traditional New Year.

Naghol – Vanuatu

Dates: Every Saturday from April until May. Every year villagers come together to celebrate the harvest of yams, an important staple in the people’s diet in Vanuatu – the festival is most famous for its “land diving ceremony”. During the ceremony men and boys dive to the ground from high rickety wooden towers – with only two thin vines attached to their ankles..!

It gets worse, the divers’ heads have to lightly touch the ground when they jump – something which is very dangerous if the vines aren’t measured properly. This celebration was really the first “bungee jump” invention, which inspired the New Zealander AJ Hacket to invent a safer and more modern version. Whether you choose to try this crazy thing out, or opt for the safer option in nearby New Zealand, you would definitely need travel insurance from Debenhams..!

Cherry Blossom Viewing – Japan

The cherry blossom season has a huge importance to the people of Japan, who celebrate the days when the flowers finally blossom, and when they only a few days later fall to the ground, like pink snow flakes. This is one of the most beautiful things to see, and in Japan literally everyone has picnics in the parks to view the flowers. Dates: The cherry blossom season varies from year to year depending on the weather forecast, but this year most of the cherry blossom trees will be blooming during the end of March and early April.

Sinhalese New Year – Sri Lanka

Dates: 13th – 14th April. This is a festival we didn’t actually know about until we realized that we would actually be traveling in Sri Lanka during this festival.

Just like in many other countries in South and South East Asia, this is the time when the Sinhalese celebrate the traditional New Year (the Tamil people celebrate the similar Tamil New Year during the same time), an ancient celebration which marks the end of the harvest season and is one of two times of the year when the sun is straight above Sri Lanka.

There is a lot of focus around food during this celebration, and families practice a variety of rituals in exact timings of which are determined by astrological calculations – from lighting the fire to making the milk rice to entering into the first business transaction and eating the first morsels.

It seems like it’s a very family oriented festival, but we’ll keep you updated and share more about it once we’ve been there and experienced it, and if you have been there during this time we’d love to get some tips! What are your favorite spring festivals and events?

(photo credits: 1 - 2)

16 Responses to Fun Festivals Around The World In April

  1. Ken Romero April 5, 2012 at 12:54 pm #

    I’m sure it’s an oversight but you forgot one of the most important free music festivals in the world.  April 26 – April 29 Festival International de Louisiane will host 100 musical acts from around the globe and the best part…..for the 26th year the Festival is FREE!  Recently Festival International de Louisiana was voted the best free music festival in the world by voters at: http://worldmusic.about.com/od/newsarticles/ss/2012-World-Music-At-About-Com-Readers-Choice-Awards-Winners_5.htm

    Check out the lineup: http://www.festivalinternational.com/site.php

    Just thought you’d want to be “in the know”.

    • Sofia - As We Travel Blog April 6, 2012 at 9:54 am #

      Hey Ken,
      Thanks for sharing that with us, seems like an awesome music festival!

  2. Jessica April 5, 2012 at 5:08 pm #

    If you’ve never been to Fiesta in San Antonio, TX (every April), you should defnitely put it on the list! There’s a great food festival in the ruins of the old city, which is right in the center of town (It’s called Night in Old San Antonio- San Antonio is the product of Mexican, German, and Native American cultures, so there’s always a great variety of traditional foods and modern dishes from the city’s top restaurants), colorful parades, music everywhere, a million festivals, coronations (kings and queens of the festivals; they even crown a king of ugly- el Rey Feo), masked balls, and on and on. I love San Antonio, and Fiesta’s a great time to be there.

    • Sofia - As We Travel Blog April 6, 2012 at 9:56 am #

      That really sounds like an awesome festival, I love when there is a great mix of things to see and do, thanks for sharing that with us Jessica – would love to go there some time!

  3. Margyle April 6, 2012 at 5:22 pm #

    Oh how I miss hanami in Japan… although when I lived there, it was kind of annoying because pretty much every park was jam packed every second of the blooming! Want a nice alternative? Go in the fall instead – like… November/December in Tokyo… and check out the leaves turning in the mountain towns. Much fewer people! 
    That being said… I really miss the cherry blossoms…

    • Sofia - As We Travel Blog April 7, 2012 at 11:45 am #

      Thanks so much for sharing a nice alternative Margyle, Japan seems absolutely beautiful in autumn. 

      We had a guest post a while ago from a friend who took some amazing photos of the autumn leaves in Japan: http://www.aswetravel.com/why-autumn-in-japan-is-better-photo-essay/

      However, few things would beat a pink landscape in my opinion ;P

  4. Mary fr April 6, 2012 at 8:43 am #

    Oh, cherry blossom is really nice :)))

    • Sofia - As We Travel Blog April 7, 2012 at 12:30 pm #

      really pretty aren’t they! ;)

  5. Kristina April 11, 2012 at 6:19 pm #

    I saw cherry blossom and apricot tree blossom in Armenia and It was great :)

    • Sofia - As We Travel Blog April 14, 2012 at 10:10 am #

      They are such beautiful flowers, cherry blossoms. I’ve never seen an apricot tree in blossom before, but the pictures on google look amazing!

  6. Brei April 13, 2012 at 3:20 pm #

    Ken I was about to make the same comment about Festival International. It is a wonderful festival filled with food, music, and dance. You may never meet anyone nicer than the people that live in Lafayette and host the festival. Rusted Root is playing this year!
    Also this weekend in New Orleans is another free festival called French Quarter Fest. Tons of food, and multiple stages to listen to some amazing music.
    And last but not least Jazzfest in New Orleans starts at the end of the month. But this year I would say the second weekend is the best weekend to go. (1st weekend in May)

    • Sofia - As We Travel Blog April 14, 2012 at 10:46 am #

      Thanks Brei for sharing some advice about the different festivals this year, Orleans seems to have many great events going on this summer!

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