Posted on August 04 2016
National Holidays not only unite families, friends, and countrymen. They also enlighten and feed the hungry souls of many travelers. Celebrations are simply perfect for the curious minds and souls of people who love to explore. Like when we are cooking, holidays serve as the herbs and spices to our experiences and memories.
What can be better than being able to have a lot of fun while experiencing a unique cultural vibe, Right? We say, instead of simply going to places and taking numerous selfies, why not indulge yourself with a more fun-filled getaway? Why don't we make every day a holiday by hopping to these celebrations?
If you are up for an adventure, check out the most fun and grandest holidays around the world that you should definitely not miss out on. Get ready to add these to your bucket lists and pick up some tips to survive these holidays along the way! Keep reading to learn more!
15 Most Fun National Holidays
King's Day (Netherlands)
Date: April 27th (26th April if the 27th is a Sunday)
An exciting experience of Dutch culture and festivities awaits you on King’s day. As the locals call it, Koningsdag! You may have heard of Queen’s day before so don’t be confused. It is exactly the same.
It is known as one of the biggest and most colorful festivities in the Netherlands. You can go to parties, street markets, concerts, special events or simply sail on the canals along with other people. Most festival goers wear orange clothing. Some even dye their hair orange.
Independence Day or Fourth of July (USA)
Date: July 4th
Every year, this USA federal holiday commemorates the publication of the declaration of independence of the US from Great Britain in 1776.
Be ready to see the patriotic colors as Americans display them with pride.
Tons of events and activities await you on this day.
Typically, families go out for picnics and barbecues and join fun sports games and eating competitions like watermelon or hot dog eating, and baseball games, three-legged races, swimming activities and tug-of-war games.
For a more cultural experience, you shouldn’t miss out on going to parades, concerts, baseball games, carnivals, and fairs.
Of course, independence day will be incomplete without fireworks!
Saint Patrick's Day (Ireland)
Date: March 17th
Irish communities around the world celebrate St. Patrick’s Day to commemorate the arrival of Christianity in Ireland. It is a national holiday in Ireland but definitely celebrated around the world, Saint Patrick’s Day should be on your list! It is defined by green dyed rivers, green Irish food, and green drinks! If you plan to attend one of these, obviously, you should wear green clothing or anything with the shamrock symbol (the lucky clover). If you're not wearing green then watch out because you ought to get pinched! We have warned you.
When you are there, you should definitely not end the day without drinking Guinness, an Irish dark beer.
Date: between February and March
Purim is one of the most fun and festive holidays in Judaism. A few trivia on how locals celebrate this holiday: Religious Jews prepare Purim basket 'mishloach manot' containing non-perishable food which they give to people. They also fast on the day preceding the Purim.
On the holiday itself, they deliver the food basket to numerous people, give more gifts and charity to the poor, dress up, and enjoy a festive meal. Too much goodness in one day will fill your heart. That’s for sure!
The dressing up custom is widely observed not only by children and teens but also by adults. Non-religious participants are definitely welcome to enjoy dressing up too. Another thing you might like is that the indulgent festive meal starts as early as afternoon!
Date: December 26th to January 1st
Talk about long fun celebrations! Kwanzaa may be just what you are looking for! It is a week-long celebration that honors African heritage, culture, and tradition! The celebration includes lighting candles in Pan-American colors of red, green, and black. It also features pouring, sharing and passing of libations on a wooden cup (Kikombe cha Umoja).
The Kwanzaa ceremony includes eargasmic drumming, readings, reflections, and artistic performances. Of course, it would not be complete without the feast or karamu.
Holi Festivals of Colours (India, Nepal, Sri Lanka)
Date: varies between end of Feb or middle of March
Hindus celebrate this every spring. It is a national holiday that ends the winter season, celebrates the new spring season, and wishes the good harvests for the season.
Holi Festival is popularly called ‘festival of colors’. Before the day itself, Hindus start the celebration with a Holika bonfire where people gather, sing, and dance.
On the day itself, people celebrate wildly by running through the streets and throwing colorful powder all over each other. It’s fun, safe, and free. Just remember to BYOD (bring your own dye). It can be a powdered dye or colored water. Some have water guns with dyed water while others have balloons filled with colored water. The fun fight is accompanied by loud drums and musical too!
Chinese New Year (China)
Date: varies between the middle of January to middle of February
Chinese New Year is an important holiday in the Chinese culture. Its Chinese name can be literally translated to Spring Festival. This holiday follows the lunisolar Chinese calendar that’s why it is also often called the “Lunar New Year”. It is celebrated on the first day of the first month of the Chinese calendar and continues to the Lantern Festival on the 15th day of the month. Chinese New Year is celebrated in China and other Asian nations like the Philippines. Outside Asia, the biggest celebration of Chinese New Year is in London. Every year, a parade is held through Chinatown in the West End of London. On this day, people wear costumes, enjoy music, dance, eat, and play. The celebration is loud and accompanied by fireworks. In the Chinese culture, fireworks are believed to get rid of bad luck.
Canada Day (Canada)
Date: July 1st
The day when Canada became a self-governing dominion from Great Britain and a federation of four provinces: Nova Scotia; New Brunswick; Ontario; and Quebec, is what we call Canada Day now. It was called Dominion day once before too. More outdoor fun-filled activities await you on this day: pancake breakfasts, barbecues, carnivals, parades, free music concerts, festivals, and firework displays. You can join the crowd by wearing red clothing or take it to the next level by painting your face red and white. You will love the fun spirit more if you join games and activities.
Bastille Day (France)
Date: July 14th
Love the French culture? You will also love Bastille Day as it is the celebration of the French Cultural Heritage. If the United States have the ‘Fourth of July’, they also have ‘Fourteen of July’. On Bastille Day, you will enjoy large-scale public events. In Paris, the morning starts with a large military parade.
Then, you can enjoy civilian parades, musical performances, dances, balls, and festive communal meals. You can end the day with a gorgeous fireworks display.
St. George Day (England)
Date: April 23rd
St. George is the patron saint of England. On this holiday, the people of England remember him. The 23rd of April is his death anniversary. Numerous parades and activities are arranged for this day. Most people bring flags with the image of St George's cross.
Some people wear a red rose on their lapel to symbolize St. George. It is a fun day not only for kids but also for adults who dress up comparable to the medieval times.
Yom Ha'atzmaut (Israel)
Date: between April to May
It is the day when Israel declared independence. The celebration, like any other nation, is fun and exciting. There are interesting customs on how Israel celebrate their independence.
Typically, there will be parties where people sing and dance on the street. Fireworks are also present on the events. What’s unique on this celebration is when young people hit passers-by on the head with plastic hammers or spray them with shaving foam or silly string.
Merdeka Day (Malaysia)
Date: August 31st
If you plan to travel to Asia, this is one of the most festive holidays you shouldn’t miss. It is basically the most festive time to be in Kuala Lumpur. It is a celebration of the day when Malaysia gained its independence from Britain in 1957.
Expect to see the huge Merdeka parade that features royal processions, cultural performances, military demonstrations, intricate floats, and tons of activities. There will also be fireworks and happy smiling people cheering for excitement.
Feast of St. Andrews (Scotland)
Date: November 30th
This national holiday is unique to Scotland. The day honors their patron saint. On this day, tons of events are held across Scotland. Traditional meals are served at home. There are poetry readings. The streets echo with bagpipe music. Many people participate in country dancing. It is also a great opportunity to experience a unique cultural fun.
People go to the ceilidh. Ceilidh is a party that features Gaelic folk music, dance, and food. It is very easy to catch up, especially for tourist, because there is a dance caller that teaches the fun dance steps.
Australia Day (Australia)
Date: January 26th
The biggest nationwide holiday in Australia features parades, concerts, and fireworks. Locals also celebrate it with regattas, barbecues, and picnics.
If you plan to attend one, be sure to dress up in Aussie colors: red, white, and blue. Enjoy listening to local accent. Eat traditional food like lamingtons, pavlovas, and meat pies.
You can also listen to traditional Aboriginal music and be amazed watching someone play the didgeridoo!
Day of the Dead Mexico
Day: November 1st
The holiday is similar All Saint’s Day. In Spanish, it is called ‘Dia de Los Muertos’. It is a day dedicated to remembering people who have passed away. It is known for the elaborate colorful display of costumes.
People wear makeup to achieve a look similar to dead people. It also focuses on family gatherings. They create private altars or ‘ofrendas’. This is where people pray for the person they lost. They honor the deceased loved ones using sugar skulls, marigolds, and favorite food and beverages.
National holidays, whether they are intended to show the spirit of nation love or express culture traditions and beliefs, will always be a great way for everyone to enjoy and have fun. We are sure you got some new ideas for your next trip. Let us know about your experiences and memories in the comments below!