Here are 3 of my favorites!
There are more than 20 light festivals throughout Europe. Each has its own distinct feel and look, but all are creative and colorful. The best known is The Berlin Festival of Lights held each October. For over a week famous monuments, landmarks and squares are lit up with artistic lighting installations. These vibrant projections and video art displays light up the Brandenburg Gate, the Berlin Cathedral and much more. All of Berlin turns into a free and colorful exhibition from 7pm to midnight with over 70 illuminations!
At the end of the rainy season in November the Loi Krathong Festival in Thailand serves to both ward off bad luck and bring good luck in the coming year. The dates of this multi day festival are based on the full moon in the 12th lunar month. Chang Mai in the north is considered the best place to experience it. The whole sky and river becomes alive with lanterns and candle lit flower boats made from banana leaves (krathongs) floating down the river. The street parade is huge and never seems to end with beautiful floats and people!
And lastly, my vote for the craziest, messiest, and most colorful festival is Holi. Holi is celebrated all over India, but the biggest celebrations are in Goa and Delhi. It’s usually at the end of February or in March, but dates vary according to the Hindu calendar. This ancient religious festival celebrates the arrival of spring and goodbye to winter and the triumph of good over evil. The night before there are religious rituals in front of a bonfire. The next day is a complete free for all celebration of colors. People take to the streets to throw fistfuls of colored powder and soak each other with colored water. Singing and dancing are everywhere!