These are bizarre, colourful, lively heritage events usually taking place in strange, exotic foreign locations.
They may include a variety of possible activities but mostly focus on local people in local dress doing traditionally loco things.
Festivals in Asian and Islamic countries are often based on either moon cycles or a different calendar so dates can change dramatically year by year.
Ramadan, the Muslim fasting month, starts 5 May 2019 depending on location and runs to 4 June. There’s often a lively feast day, Eid al-Fitr, at the end of Ramadan on June 4, though the celebration/holiday begins at sunset of the previous day.
We do not include Europe, North America, South Africa, Australia or New Zealand in these listings. For those check English Speaking or European Festivals.
Exotic Festivals are naturally often a crowded, noisy bedlam that require flexibility, an open mind and considerable walking.
There is also a security issue since western visitors may be mixing in very crowded conditions with local people who are in a very different economic group. i.e. they’re poor and you’re relatively rich. Furthermore policing in these exotic places is frequently minimal and even occasionally biased against foreigners.
So these are clearly dress-down environments – no jewellery, cheap watch, old or local clothing, maybe avoid shorts and tank tops, especially in Islamic regions.
And learn a few pertinent phrases in the local language! It will make an enormous difference to your experience if you can communicate on some level with locals.