There’s nothing quite like immersing yourself in a local festival to truly experience a destination. While many travelers flock to the more well-known festivals, there are plenty of hidden gems and offbeat celebrations that offer a unique and authentic experience. From quirky traditions to one-of-a-kind events, here are some of the best offbeat festivals around the world.

Hidden Gems in Europe

If you’re headed to Europe, be sure to check out these lesser-known festivals:

Boryeong Mud Festival, South Korea

This festival may not be for the faint of heart, but it’s certainly a unique experience. Held every July in Boryeong, South Korea, the festival is all about mud. Visitors can indulge in mud wrestling, mud slides, and even a mud prison. It’s messy, but it’s also a lot of fun.

La Tomatina, Spain

This festival in Buñol, Spain, is all about one thing: tomatoes. Held on the last Wednesday in August, La Tomatina sees thousands of people gather in the streets to pelt each other with ripe tomatoes. It’s messy, it’s chaotic, but it’s also a lot of fun.

Unique Experiences in Asia

If you’re looking for a unique experience in Asia, check out these festivals:

Bun Bang Fai Rocket Festival, Thailand

This festival, held every May in northeastern Thailand, is all about rockets. Villagers spend months building huge rockets, which they then launch into the air in a competition to see whose rocket can fly the highest. It’s a colorful and exciting event that’s not to be missed.

Monkey Buffet Festival, Thailand

Yes, it’s as strange as it sounds. Every November, the town of Lopburi in Thailand hosts a buffet for monkeys. The festival is meant to thank the monkeys for bringing tourists to the town, and includes a huge feast of fruits, vegetables, and even candy.

Offbeat Celebrations in the Americas

If you’re headed to the Americas, be sure to check out these unique festivals:

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, USA

If you’ve ever wanted to see hundreds of hot air balloons in the sky at once, this festival is for you. Held every October in Albuquerque, New Mexico, the festival is the largest gathering of hot air balloons in the world. It’s a breathtaking sight.

Day of the Dead, Mexico

This festival, held every November 1st and 2nd in Mexico, is a celebration of life and death. Families gather to honor their loved ones who have passed away, and the streets are filled with colorful parades and elaborate altars. It’s a beautiful and moving experience.


Whether you’re looking for mud, tomatoes, or rockets, there’s an offbeat festival out there for you. These hidden gems and unique experiences offer a chance to really immerse yourself in a destination and experience its culture in a way that’s truly unforgettable. So next time you’re planning a trip, be sure to check out some of these offbeat festivals – you won’t regret it.