JAPAN, Omizutori (Water-Drawing Festival) – at the Todai-ji temple in Nara – 1, 200 year old Buddhist ceremonies that the priests draw up the divine water which is believed to have healing powers. It is especially spectacular on the last night (13th), full of huge, blazing torches and noise-making monks.
NEPAL & INDIA, Holi, Festival of Colour. The ultimate in psychedelic festivals without the drugs, everyone throwing coloured water, powder or paint over everyone else, including you. It’s an iridescent madhouse. Especially spectacular Holi are held in Jaipur, Mathura, Braj Bhoomi and Sri Krishna in India and Kathmandu in Nepal. Nepal Pictures Guide, India Travel
Festival of Colours
3 March TBC
MEXICO, Noche de Brujas (Night of the Witches), Cerro Mono Blanco, Catemaco – a mob of shamans, healers and witches from all over the country gather for a extensive ceremony based on witchcraft tradition. Mexico Travel Guide
20 or 21 March
22 or 23 Sept.
every year) TBC
MEXICO, Kukulcan Snake God in Chichen Itza (Yucatan) – see the snake shadow appear during the first equinox in this spectacular Mayan pyramid complex, plus varied entertainments. A couple of days before and after too.
19 – 21 Mar. ’16
TBA for 2017
MEXICO, Cumbre Tajin (Tajin Summit) in Veracruz. A unique mind, body and soul celebration in the spiritually correct Tajin park. A mass of alternative therapies as well as art, music, dance and adventure sports (eh? ). Tajin website
12 – 18 March
ARGENTINA, Buenos Aires, CITA, International Tango conference – the world’s most important tango event and the longest running tango meeting in the country. The sexiest dance on earth, live, where it belongs as Tango was declared as Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO.
Late March to
(Dates are depending on weather and location)
INDONESIA, Bali, Nyepi Day (Day of Silence). During the Balinese New Year a lively celebration occurs, with traditional music, dance and a grand procession, followed by 24 hours of total silence. Everything is closed, even the international airport.
7 – 11 April
BHUTAN, ParoTsechu Festival– a magnificent and kaleidoscopic festival held in a spectacular location in the Himalayas, with hundreds of locals gathering to see the monks dressed in vivid robes performing masked ritual prayers and dances. Tsechu is a religious celebration in honour of Padmasambhava, the great Nyingmapa scholar who was born from a lotus flower.
9 – 17 March
MEXICO, Semana Santa, nationwide but especially in Chiapas – processions, costumes, fireworks, music, dance and weird rituals. Mexico Travel Guide
PHILIPPINES, Crucifixion in San Fernando on Good Friday. A key event of Holy Week, Via Crusus (Way of the Cross). Locals play out Christ’s agony, all dressed up, beaten by whips and some finally nailed – for real – to crosses. Asia Map