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New Year Travels: 6 Best Festivals in January Worth Traveling For

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Travel Attractions – Best Festivals In January Around The World.

If you wish to kick-start your new year on a celebratory note, make sure you attend any of these festivals. You’d love to witness the rich diversity or the brimming enthusiasm these festivals are packed in.

Bringing the folk music, dance, and traditions, there are many festivals to choose from to suit everyone, including religious, cultural and spiritual festivals as well as music, food and wine festivals.

Best Festivals in January

These create a fascinating opportunity for witnessing the vibrant beauty of the country at its best. Give yourself something to look forward to! Pick one or two to spice up the start of the new year.

Here are six best festivals in January to add to your new year’s festival calendar.

1. Amsterdam Light Festival – Amsterdam, Netherlands (2nd December – 23rd January).

In the dark winter months, Amsterdam magically transforms into a beautiful open-air light museum during the Amsterdam Light Festival. This is one of the best festivals in January, an annual event which is held in the Dutch capital commencing from 1 December.

This will be the 11th edition of the Festival of Light in Amsterdam. Many artists from across the world create spectacular light displays. One can enjoy all these while taking a lovely walk along the city’s canals.

Amsterdam Light Festival

This year’s theme for Festival artworks is Imagine beyond. The theme will take you on an imaginary journey into a beautiful dream of the future. Get on to a cruise to enjoy the light art displays and let your imaginations run wild. This year festival water route takes you on an almost 6 km long tour through the Weesperbuurt en Plantage borough of the city.

One of the best and most popular ways to enjoy the festival is by taking a boat tour through Amsterdam’s canals. Some of the displays are best seen from the water.

Suiting your budget and preference, you can choose the canal cruise which have different options ranging from cheapest on a small boat with an open roof to a luxury boat tour which includes refreshments.

Because of the nature of the displays, they can be seen properly and are only visible in the afternoons and evenings. This means that you can do your usual sightseeing in Amsterdam during the day and then go to the light festival at night.

Book your Amsterdam Light Festival tickets now and get ready to see the incredible works of art that light up the city.

2. Ocaso Festival, Tamarindo, Costa Rica – (6th – 9th January)

A trip to Costa Rica is the place to be if you’re looking to get out of your post-Christmas blues. Tamarindo’s Ocaso Festival offers you an excuse to visit. Since 2017, this is one of the best festivals in January held annually in Tamarindo and aims to highlight Costa Rican electronic music talent. 

This underground music festival, which kicks off after New Years is held from the 6th to the 9th January, which showcases a fantastic line-up of the most popular electronic acts by Solomun, Adriatique, Bob Moses, Dixon and Michael Bibi.

Ocaso Festival, Tamarindo, Costa Rica

Tamarindo, a small town in Costa Rica’s Pacific coast, which hosts the festival for 4 days, with one performance every night. The performances are held on the stage –  in the jungle, or beachside or by the pool.

The tickets for the festival are available on the Ocaso festival website. Though the festival is for 18+ year old, an ID may be asked for.

3. International Kite Festival, India. (14th -15th January)

You need to be at the Sabarmati River Front in the city of Ahmedabad, India, to witness this festival in its grandest way. From kite making workshops to kite flying, and numerous other events and attractions, it’s an experience you will never forget.

Since 1989, every year on 14th & 15th January, the International Kite Festival is held in Ahemadabad. Ahmedabad, a city rich in culture and architecture, is a hub for kite enthusiasts, attracting both local and foreign visitors.

International Kite Festival, India.

This festival which is considered as one of the best festivals in January is celebrated coinciding with the festival of Makara Sankranti or Uttarayan. Makara Sankranti is an Indian festival that marks the end of winter solstice and transition of the sun from the southern hemisphere to the northern hemisphere.

The Gujarat State Tourism organizes this festival. It is considered to be one of the best January festivals in India, and one of the best from around the world.

4. Harbin Ice and Snow Festival – China (23rd December – 28th February)

The largest ice and snow festival in the word is celebrated annually around Christmas Day and runs for approximately two months – upto February 28th.

Once the Songhua River is frozen over, construction work begins. Engineers and artists collaborate to carve huge blocks of ice that are then sculpted into most impressive ice sculptures found anywhere in the world.

Many people flock to Harbin, Heilongjiang province, where sculptors display their sculpture skills in the annual display of the best ice and/or snow sculptures. One of the best festivals in January features giant ice structures and intricate sculptures of mythical animals, and people. 

Harbin Ice and Snow Festival – China

The festival includes the world’s biggest ice sculptures. People make whole buildings, towers and palaces big enough for visitors to walk into. At night they’re all lit up and create what feels like an entire city of icy magic.

There are many activities such as Yabuli alpine ski, winter-swimming on the Songhua River and the ice lantern exhibition at Zhaolin Garden that take place in parks throughout the city during the festival. Ice slides and skating rings are some of the many fun activities included in an ice festival.

It is considered to be one of the most amazing festivals around the world to attend, so this festival should definitely be added to your bucket list!

5. Kaapse Klopse, South Africa – January 2nd

The wonderful city of Cape Town plays host with lot of pomp and gaiety to the Kaapse Klopse festival, a colourful festival held annually on 2nd January. A huge parade swans on through with music, dancing and fun and you can be a part of it too.

Street parades, singing and dancing, and costume competitions are the main attractions of the festival and marches through the city to congregate in Greenpoint Stadium where more celebrations and party atmosphere prevail.

Also called Coon Carnival by Cape Town inhabitants & local authorities, this festival is a real treat to attend and participate with friends and family.

Kaapse Klopse, South Africa

Over 13,000 minstrels in brightly colored costumes, often with black faces, parade the streets, sometimes carrying umbrellas and playing a variety of musical instruments.

This festival has traditionally been a place for protests against white supremacy. The origin of Kaapse Klopse traces back to 1848, when ex-slaves whited up their faces and sung songs mocking the behavior of prominent local figures. The tradition has been passed on through generations. 

6. Falls Festival, Australia (29th December – 8th January)

A great way to start the new year is by attending the Australia’s travelling tour music festival – the Falls Festival. Now in its 29th year of existence, this is the only and best festivals in January (music festival) in the world happening in places namely Lorne, Byron Bay, Marion Bay, Fremantle.

The fall festival is a master at putting together a line-up and blending local acts such as Disclosure, Vampire Weekend, Halsey and Disclosure.

Falls Festival, Australia

All locations provide camping and are in close proximity to the beach. One can enjoy the music which includes rock, hip hop, indie, blues, electronic and much more while welcoming the New Year.

The festival hosts contemporary music performances, dance, comedy, theatre, circus, cabaret, and other art forms.

FAQs About Festivals Around The World

Which country has the highest festival?

Speaking both regional and national events, India has the most festivals

How important are festivals for a country?

Festivals aren’t just for religious or cultural reasons. Festivals offer much more than just cultural and religious celebrations. They bring people closer together and foster a sense of community. People from all walks of the life gather on these days to celebrate their lives.

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