We’ve scoured the globe to find the best festivals, carnivals and large scale celebrations honouring different traditions and have handpicked some events that are perfect for two. From cosy nights wrapped up warm in the streets of Edinburgh at New Year, to embracing carnival culture up close and personal in Barbados, here’s our top picks:
Never been to Serbia? Let Exit be your reason this summer! This award winning music festival has a chart topping line up, with headliners including The Cure and Carl Cox. Held annually at the Petrovaradin Fortress in the city of Novi Sad, the venue offers an incredible lush green backdrop for an open air festival. Camp out or stay in a local hostel if you’re staying for the full duration.
Exit started as a student movement in 2000 fighting for peace and democracy in Serbia and the Balkans and is run by a non-profit organisation. By using creative industries, global artists, educational and charity events, they are on a mission to spark positive social change.
CROP OVER FESTIVAL, BARBADOS
Originally established to celebrate the end of the sugar cane season, this 200 year old tradition sees thousands of revellers descend on Barbados every year. Mud Mas, Calypso Monarch and Bridgetown Market are just some of the fun events on the agenda over a six week period.
With music at the centre of everything, expect steel pans, soca and calypso at events like Pan Fusion and Soca Royale as the island comes together in celebration. Grand Kadooment Day celebrates the end of Crop Over, where masquerade bands lead the parade. If you’re lucky, you might even see Rihanna back in her hometown. Get your costumes ready!
FANTASY FEST KEY WEST, FLORIDA
One of the most fun loving extravaganzas around, Florida’s Fantasy Fest is an annual 10 day party in paradise for grown-ups. Started in 1979 by a small group of Key West locals, the party was created to bring visitors to the island in the quiet season. Now one of the most unique and eccentric celebrations in the world, Fantasy Fest is the ideal event to go to with your partner if you’re just looking to have a fun time and feel liberated.
LOY KRATHONG AND YI PENG FESTIVAL THAILAND
There is a legend that couples who make a wish together on Loy Krathong will stay together for ever. Either way, we think this beautiful festival in Thailand is one that you won’t want to miss. ‘The Festival of Light’ falls on the night of the 12th lunar month when people pay respects to water. Its best celebrated in the city of Chiang Mai when the event coincides with the spectacular Yi Peng Lantern Festival.
Wave 2019 goodbye in true Scottish fashion! Hogmanay, Edinburgh’s New Year’s street party, is a sure way to get the year off to a good start. This famous celebration of seven events sees one of the world’s biggest outdoor parties end in a massive firework display. It’s the perfect excuse to wrap up and get cosy with your partner as things can get chilly!