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The World's 7 Biggest Parties and Festivals

Celebrate the arrival of spring, music, beer and other themes at unique events across the globe.

U.S. News & World Report

The World's 7 Biggest Parties and Festivals (And How to Attend Them)

Experience riveting performances and fetes with other revelers that share your interests at colorful gatherings around the world, from India to Copenhagen.(Getty Images).

If you want to attend a one of-a-kind party this year, there are plenty of events worth traveling for, regardless of whether you're interested in glitz and glamour, ornate floats and entertainment or simply a fun themed soiree. Whether by land, sea or plane, experiencing one of these unique, over-the-top affairs could be life-changing. So, if you're ready to partake in elaborate fetes and spectacles the world over, here's some inspiration and practical tips to help you map out an unforgettable trip.

Mardi Gras
Where: New Orleans

New Orleans' Mardi Gras celebration includes a well-rounded mix of parties, parades and events. This year's Mardi Gras celebration will take place on Feb. 28, and you can expect plenty of fanfare before and after the monumental day. Retreat to the area's French Quarter for some of the wildest partying you've ever seen, with costumed vacationers, bead-throwing, and bar-hopping all night long. Or head to another part of the city for a famous Mardi Gras Parade Krewe. The Maison Dupuy Hotel in the French Quarter is a smart accommodation option for enjoying all things Mardi Gras, with proximity to noteworthy activities and a historic feel.

Where: India and Nepal

Holi is a traditional Hindu festival (also known as the festival of colors) that celebrates the beginning of spring. The vibrant celebration, which is best known for having its participants throw brightly colored powder at one another, is mostly celebrated in parts of India and Nepal. This peculiar celebration, which draws crowds of people from all over the globe, is seen as a time for people to get together and celebrate color, love and the triumph of good. This year's Holi celebration starts on March 12.

St. Patrick's Day
Where: Dublin

You can celebrate St. Patrick's Day anywhere, but why not shoot for the stars? You can join in the official St. Patrick's Day festivities during the week of the holiday in Dublin. Line the streets for the official Dublin St. Patrick's Day parade or throw back in a pint in some of the city's historic pubs. And of course no visit to Dublin would be complete without a trip to the world-famous Guinness Storehouse, where you can sample the famous beer and take in sweeping views of the city in the Gravity Bar. Stay at Brooks Hotel in downtown Dublin for proximity to the festivities and other famous Dublin attractions such as Trinity College and Dublin Castle.

Where: Copenhagen

Distortion is an action-packed international music festival in Copenhagen that takes place at the beginning of June. Touted as a "week of orchestrated chaos," this mobile festival features dance music, street parties and nighttime events in the city's buzz-worthy clubs. The party moves throughout the city's districts, wrapping up in the city's harbor. Plan to dance the night away and enjoy an over-the-top party experience, filled with future pop, hip-hop and electronic music, along with a lively clubbing scene.

Where: Indio, California

This world-famous music festival takes place in Indo in April. While last year's event featured artists such as Guns 'N Roses, Ellie Goulding and Calvin Harris, this year's line-up continues to raise the bar with headliners such as Beyonce, Radiohead and Kendrick Lamar. Many people opt to camp on-site so they're close to all the action, but you can also stay in nearby Palm Springs, California, and drive in for each day's events. Curadora is the exclusive hotel partner for the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, and they offer a wide range of lodging options for festival guests. However, rental condos are another popular (and affordable) option to consider.

Burning Man
Where: Black Rock Desert, Nevada

Burning Man is a cultural festival that takes place in various desert settings each year. The 2017 event will be held in the Black Rock Desert, located about 120 miles north of Reno, Nevada, and is expected to bring in crowds of thousands from all over the world. What is Burning Man, exactly? Organizers describe the event as a community-driven event focused self-expression and self-reliance. Burning Man participants should plan on raving, admiring creative pieces of art with like-minded attendees and camping at themed communal villages and campsites.

Where: Munich

Oktoberfest is a German festival known for its flowing beer, late-night partying, and cultural events. This year's festival starts on Sept. 16 and ends on Oct. 3. From September to early October, plenty of beer and bratwurst is consumed, and plenty of time-honored traditions and festivities unfold across Munich. Beyond the beer tents, Oktoberfest guests can shop for souvenirs, enjoy cultural exhibits and munch on giant salty pretzels, bratwurst, schnitzel and more authentic German cuisine. Best of all, there's no shortage of places to stay in Munich. Try Hotel Laimer Hof or Hotel Brack in Munich for an Oktoberfest you won't forget.

About En Route

Practical advice on the art of traveling smarter with tips, tricks and intel from En Route's panel of experts.

Contributors have experience in areas ranging from family travel, adventure travel, experiential travel and budget travel to hotels, cruises and travel rewards and include Amy Whitley, Claire Volkman, Holly Johnson, Marsha Dubrow, Lyn Mettler, Sery Kim, Kyle McCarthy, Erica Lamberg, Jess Moss, Sheryl Nance-Nash, Sherry Laskin, Katie Jackson, Erin Gifford, Roger Sands, Steve Larese, Gwen Pratesi, Erin Block, Dave Parfitt, Kacey Mya, Kimberly Wilson, Susan Portnoy, Donna Tabbert Long and Kitty Bean Yancey.

Edited by Liz Weiss.

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