Perhaps the best way to really get a feel for a place, is to take part in a tradtitional celebration. One Lonely Planet Bluelist user found five of the world’s best festivals to recommend under the tip heading of Colourful Festivals of the World.
“Holi Festival of Colour (Kathmandu)
Ultimate in colour festivals! Held March 15th of every year (also held in India, Rishikesh on 14th)… The highlight? Throwing coloured water/paint on everyone else!!Warning: No one comes out without a full body of paint and firm abs from laughing!!
Cherry Blossom Season (Tokyo)
All over the land of the ‘Rising Sun’, a blanket of pink and white trees herald springtime calling for celebration.. The best spot? Tokyo’s Ueno Park or Aoyama Cemetery… 25 – 31 March every year!
Fes Sacred Music Festival (Morocco)
Exotic/ excentric/ sacred music and dance festival offering visual feast of Dervishes, Harlem Gospel, Sufi songs, Tibetan a capella, Japanese Noh Theatre, Armenian Chanting, Moroccan something (ha ha!)..World Music in an exotic location! Colourful!!
Inti Raymi at Cuzco (Peru)
An Incan festival packed with colouful dances & parades set on the plain in front of the magnificent Sacsuhuayman Fort, next to Cuzco. One of the treasurable towns on earth! Be there June 19-24 (final day a must!)doning your most ‘secure’ money belt.
Mt.Hagen & Goroka Festivals (Papua New Guinea)
Which planet am I on? A gathering of clans in Mt.Hagen-tribal dancing & feathers in wonderful places! Worth it as this wild land is an untamed frontier of this world. Goroka highlands offers a lifestyle change! Shell/ pig/ feather currency! Love it!”