There’s so much happening across the world in January – beautiful festivals and celebrations that let you experience a country and its people in an unique manner.
Are you looking for inspiration? Here are five festivals for you to explore.
Uttarayan – the kite-flying festival in India
Also known as Makar Sankranti, this festival is all about kites, food, and the coming together of friends and family. A week long festival, it calls for some preparation. Families flock to markets to buy kites, special kite-flying strings, and also make a host of delicious regional delicacies and snacks. Everyone gathers together on terraces, flying kites, sharing food and music.
You can get a real flavour of this festival in Gujarat. In fact, since 1989, the city of Ahmedabad in Gujarat has hosted the International Kite Festival as part of the official celebration of Uttarayan.
Over the years, many master kite makers from across the world have come to the festival – from Malaysia, Indonesia, the US, Japan, Italy, China and many other countries. While many international tourists flock to Ahmedabad for this festival, you can also enjoy in different cities of Gujarat like Kutch, Surat, Vadodara, Rajkot and many others.
You can find out more about the festival and how to participate in it here.
Harbin Ice Festival, China
This festival starts from early January and continues till the end of February. It is counted among one of the largest ice and snow festival in the world. You will find breath-taking sculptures made out of the snow – from snow maidens, trains, towers and much more.
Ice and snow sculptures are found throughout Harbin city, but there are three main venues with different exhibitions to celebrate the festival. Many tour operators offer special packages tailored to get the best out of this festival.
Ocaso Festival, Costa Rica
It is counted among some of the most popular and sought-after music festivals in the world. It helps that the festival takes place in Costa Rica and you can plan a holiday around the music festival.
Ocaso Festival had its first edition in January 2017 in Tamarindo, Guanacaste. Since then, there have been five editions in Guanacaste with over 7,000 visitors per year and more than 500 DJs booked.
You can find out more here.
Feria de Boquete, Panama
Imagine streets full of food stands and a riverside park full of decorative flowers. Add to it colourful displays, artwork and Latin music.
That’s the Feria de Boquete festival for you! This unique celebration began in 1950 and occurred intermittently every several years until the floods in the region in 1970. Then from 1971 it began to be held every year. Until 1991 it was held in April then after this year it switched to January.
Sundance Film Festival, Utah
The 2023 Sundance Film Festival will take place January 19–29, in person and online. If you think that flying to Utah isn’t possible this month, take advantage of the festival’s online offerings.
The Sundance Film Festival is the ultimate gathering of original storytellers and audiences seeking new voices and fresh perspectives. Since 1985, hundreds of films launched at the Festival have gone on to gain critical acclaim and reach new audiences worldwide.
These are just some of the wonderful festivals and festivities taking place in January. But there’s so much more! As travellers and tourists, we can explore a lot in January 2023 and beyond.