Top Holidays (Not Thanksgiving or Christmas) You Should Know About

There are hundreds of holidays and traditions around the world, and you’ve likely never heard of most. But, of course, once you do discover little nuggets of information about some of them, you may find yourself wondering how to take part in the festivities yourself.

But, please remember we do celebrate Thanksgiving, and while we do spend time with family and friends and say thanks, we follow the other traditions of eating, sleeping, football and shopping all hours of that night and the following day! So, new holidays may seem pretty frggn’ interesting to us, while some outsiders may be confused. Regardless of your views, there’s some amazing traditions and holidays out there.

Here are the top holidays and traditions that you must know about and even participate in:

1. Iceland’s Infamous Beer Day

Okay, we know that just about anyone loves the hoppy, yeasty flavor of beer and that’s why Beer Day in Iceland has made our Must Do list of top holidays and traditions. This tasty holiday is celebrated each year on March 1st, which happens to be the day that prohibition ended after 74 years in this country!

As you can imagine, that first celebration was full of over-imbibing, and while it has slowed down some in recent years, there’s still plenty of fun to be had on this day. We suggest that you get your drink on by participating in one of the numerous pub crawls that takes place throughout the country.

Lanterns in sky in Thailand

2. Thailand’s Sparkling Loy Krathong

Loy Krathong is a floating lantern festival within the country of Thailand and is a Must Do if you plan to be in that area during the full moon of the twelfth month of the traditional lunar calendar. The day changes each year, but this event usually during the end of November or the beginning of December.

Chiang Mai is the best area to celebrate this festival, and it’s where you’ll let go of all your past problems and wish for a brighter future. You can even make your own Krathong out of banana tree trunks or bread and then decorate them with candles and incense. We know you want an amazing start of a new year and this just might be the way.

Celebration of lighting candles in India

3. India’s Community Celebration of Diwali

Diwali is the Hindu festival of lights, and where a person lives will determine when this tradition is celebrated. Diwali takes place at the end of harvest, which happens to be during the autumn within the northern hemisphere and the spring in the southern hemisphere.

This celebration is held over a five-day period, with the first two days being the preparation period as everyone needs to clean, renovate and decorate their homes and places of business. We usually call that spring cleaning over here! The third day is the most significant day of the entire celebration and everyone worships Lakshmi and does a prayer ritual during the evening hours. The fourth and fifth days celebrate the new year, as well as the bonds that siblings share. Imagine, a day where all siblings get along! Woah!

Woman holding radishes

4. Mexico’s Realistic Night of the Radishes

On December 23rd, you can make history come to life with hundreds of others during the Night of the Radishes. This unique holiday allows people to use their imagination as they carve radishes to create multiple historical scenes or even Jesus himself.

This tradition began back in 1897 when merchants were trying to entice people to buy more when they were shopping and preparing for their Christmas dinners. Special radishes are grown to keep this tradition going strong and it is common to see ones that weight upwards of three kilograms! Arrive early for this Must Do tradition because there are a lot of radishes to see and the lines get longer as the day gets shorter! Yes, long lines for radishes.

These four holidays and traditions are the ones that you must be aware of and even travel to participate in at some point in the future. We suggest that you travel to these parts of the world when these are occurring so that you can see a whole new way of celebrating with the locals.