By Kashfia Kayes, Dhaka, Bangladesh
Pictures by Raya Rahman
July 20, 2019
When I am planning trips, it is never impromptu. Like every one of us, I have to think about taking off from work, schedule cleaning of the house, covering work for the absence and the list just goes on and on. With the most exciting festivals announcing dates months ahead, it makes life a little easy. Be it right over a few borders to drench strangers with water to celebrate the Thai New Year or even continents away to watch the legendary Burning Man – I just love festivals. I am sure when looking at photos of friends going to these festivals, you wonder how it would be to take the mini-you along to take part in the festivities. Here’s a list of our top 5 must-see festivals around the globe to visit with your kids you can plan your next travel-adventure around!
1. Carnival de Rio de Janeiro:
I am sure any kid who has watched the movie Rio has this on his or her wish-list; the biggest festival in the world. Famous carnival parade with gorgeous ladies in beautiful giant feather outfits dancing to the beat of Samba, giant floats with world-famous singers and the get-together for tourists and locals; it can’t get any better than this. This carnival reflects on all the different cultures that makes up spectacular Brazil. If you want to attend a massive party, this is the place to be!
Where: Rio, Brazil
Tip: It is a 5-day festival. The little one can get agitated attending every day, so plan accordingly. Also, remember that the ticket to the festival costs from $100-$1200, depending on packages and areas.
Who doesn’t love colors? Holi, also known as the Festival of Colors, is one of the most fun and extravagant celebrations in India. Wherever you go on this day, you’re bound to be soaked in colored water or turned into a canvas for abstract art with vibrant powder. This festival can be overwhelming for first-timers, so we advise you find a registered Holi-playing ground and just have a blast!
Where: Anywhere in India
Tip: Like the Tomatina festival, this one can also get very crowded and crazy, but the fun just multiplies. Keep a close eye on your kid during the festival. Another tip is to oil your skins before attending the event, that way, the stubborn colored-powder won’t stick to the skin.
3. The Kite Festival of Sumpango:
Antigua for a night of Halloween! This is basically a giant kite festival where the people of Guatemala display, with immense pride, vivacious kite installations that will blow your mind. The idea of being surrounded by delicious food, lively music, dancing, costumes, trick or treating and many other exciting festivities are bound to compel you to start looking at ticket prices right now!
Santiago Sacatepequez, Guatemala
Where: Antigua, Guatemala
Tip: There is a lot of history behind this festival. The details regarding this particular event are best confirmed with a local guide who can help you understand it better and help your kid learn.
4. Camp Bestival:
Set in Dorset, Camp Bestival has made quite a name in the world of festivals. It has been earned multiple awards for this amazing “Festi-Holiday”, including, Best New Festival at the UK Festival awards and Best Family Festival (six times) – you can only imagine! Curated music, art, fun-rides, games and whatnot, this should be on the top of your sand-bucket list!
Where: Lulworth Estate, UK
Tip: It is a festival for kids! But don’t forget to have fun yourself. Let loose!
5. Mardi Gras:
Many people wonder, whether this world famous festival is one where you can enjoy with the entire family. Well, our research says YES! Many families go to New Orleans to attend this festival and boy, they can’t get enough! If you want your child to meet people from different paths of life, ethnicities and world singing, dancing and parading on this “Fat Tuesday”, this is the perfect melting pot. When you visit, Mardi Gras will seem like a smaller Carnival de Rio Janeiro, but of course, it’ll have its different flavours. Also, while you’re there, you cannot possibly miss the scrumptious creole spread and jazz shows!
When: 47 days before Easter
Where: New Orleans, USA
Tip: Try to keep away from Bourbon Street with kids during the festival, especially at night, but you can pop in for a quick stroll during the day any other time. The Royal Street near Bourbon Street is where you guys would enjoy more with the family. It has family-friendly cafes, places to shop, art galleries and interesting shops to walk around in.
Guba Publishing’s new picture book about festivals in Bangladesh called “Where are the Chonchols?” is due to be released in November 2019. Follow us on social media and sign up to our newsletter for launch dates and more.