Clubbing and partying is now an international industry and there are hundreds of travel operators who specialize in sending you and your friends around the world to some of the planet’s hottest nightlife. So what are the world’s top ten wildest parties where to let loose and join the flow?
The Full Moon Party
This all-night beach party takes place on the island of Ko Pha Ngan, Thailand on the night of every full moon. The Full Moon Party has been known to attract over fifty thousand travelers, mostly backpackers who get there thanks to the cheap flights to Phuket, partying to R&B, drum and bass, house, dance and reggae music and downing the lethally alcoholic drinks ‘buckets’.
Song Kran is a festival held in Thailand to mark the New Year,on April 13th. It has become popular with Western tourists and travelers visiting Thailand, especially in Chiang Mai where it can last for up to a week, and is celebrated by throwing water at each other.
Holi is one of the best known religious festivals in South Asia, and indeed the world. It is celebrated by millions of Hindus not only in India, Nepal and Malaysia but also in the Indian diaspora in Britain, the Caribbean and the United States. Taking place in early March, it involves lighting bonfires and throwing colored powder and water at each other.
Mardi Gras in New Orleans
The New Orleans Carnival has its roots in the Christian season of Lent, starting two weeks before Mardi Gras, the day before Ash Wednesday. At least one major parade takes place each day with the riders of floats throwing plastic beads and cups to the crowd. The parades march along Canal Street, on the upriver side of the French Quarter.
The Burning Man festival has been held in the Black Rock Desert in Nevada in the USA since the early 1990’s and can attract up to fifty thousand people. It takes place on the weekend before the Labor Day holiday in September and involves people performing music and dance and making art before the forty foot high effigy which gives the festival its name is set alight. (http://www.burningman.com)
Running of the Bulls
This famous event takes place in the Spanish city of Pamplona every July and involves hundreds ofyoung men, among them travelers from across the world, who attempt to outrun the bulls who chase them through the narrow streets en route from their pens to the bullring where matadors fight them.
One of the most famous festivals in the world, La Tomatina (http://www.tomatina.es) is held in Buñol, a small town in southern Spain near Valencia. It involves pelting other festival goers with tomatoes which have been crushed first to avoid anyone getting injured, although many participants still wear goggles and other protective gear. The throwing, which is accompanied by singing and dancing, lasts an hour and the pelters normally get through around a hundred and fifty thousand tomatoes.
Battle of the Oranges
A similar event to La Tomatina is held every year in the small town of Ivrea in Piedmont, northwest Italy. Rather than pelting each other with tomatoes, the participants are split up into teams with colorful names like the Devils and Black Panthers who then attack their opponents with oranges. The carnival takes place in the run up to Lent and is thought to have its roots in resistance to the medieval lord’s droit de seigneur. (http://www.storicocarnevaleivrea.it/English)
The Oktoberfest is not only Germany’s best known beer festival but is also one of the most famous parties in the world, attracting five million visitors to Munich who consume industrial quantities of roast chicken, pork and sausages, all washed down with seven million litres of beer.(http://www.oktoberfest.de/en) Only the following breweries from the city of Munich can sell beer in the festivals tents:
Carnaval, Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro has earned its sexy and scintillating reputation (and its nickname, “Cidade Maravilhosa,” or “The Marvelous City”) the easy way — it simply lives up to it everywhere you look at. The city throbs to the infectious beat of Brazilian music, the choro, the samba and the bossa nova, and is the main source of Brazil’s national culture. Its annual carnival, known simply as Carnaval, draws together the population of the city (known as the ‘Cariocas’) ranging from rich to very poor who take to the streets for the world’s largest samba parade in the world on the Sambodromo.
And now it’s your turn:
Which of these parties have you had the time of your life at? Which would you like to experience at some point? Which would you never join? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below and this post too if you liked it![photo credits @ Flickr: wyndhan, puuikibeach, Kate McKenna]