Feast out on this far-out Festivals around the World quiz

Olivia Cantor

Image: Wiki commons

About This Quiz

With more than 100 countries and thousands of cultures in the world, it’s no surprise that there are so many types of festivals happening globally on a regular basis. From the historically-tied to more modern imaginations, such festivals enhance and celebrate the diversity of the human race. You might be surprised by how much you know about these world festivals! Take this quiz and learn even more!

Perhaps the most famous festival in the world is the very colorful Carnaval do Rio which usually happens before Lent in Rio de Janeiro. In which country will you find this festive event?

The Rio Carnival is perhaps the grandest event to take place yearly in Brazil. Millions attend this party, and it’s open to anyone in the world. Samba!

USA has its own wild party in New Orleans called the Mardi Gras. What exactly does “Mardi Gras” mean?

The Mardi Gras festival stems from the ritual practiced by ancient Catholics when every decadent food or activity could be done prior to Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent. This ritual of being festive, especially during during Fat Tuesday, eventually became a beloved ritual in New Orleans. Let the good times roll!

Leave it to the Germans to have such an exclusive festival to celebrate beer and beer-drinking in food fair grounds. What is this festival in Germany called?

Oktoberfest has been held in Germany since the Middle Ages. It’s actually celebrated in Munich only, but this event has been adapted and adopted in other parts, even worldwide.

Not entirely morbid: Dia De Los Muertos is a Mexican festival to honor what kind of people?

Mexico’s longstanding tradition of honoring their departed relatives and ancestors could be traced back to ancient Aztec times. The Day of the Dead is an officially recognized Intangible Heritage Festival by the UN, and is a public holiday in Mexico.

You’ll know it’s St. Patrick’s Day in Ireland when you see this specific color predominant with its festive supporters.

The patron saint from which St. Patrick’s Day is named was said to have used the green shamrock plant in his teachings. Green was also the identified color of Irish Catholics during the olden times, so the color stuck.

The Chinese New Year festivities include the lighting up of these small, but really noisy things. What are these things?

The Chinese New Year festivities always include firecrackers. The noise is supposed to scare the bad luck away. This tradition stems from an ancient Chinese folklore of scaring a destructive mythical creature away, who appears during the end of winter prior to the new year.

The Canadian Calgary Stampede is an annual festival that celebrates this kind of culture.

The Calgary Stampede, which happens every year in Alberta, is the Canadian celebration of the cowboy culture. It has been observed as a family-friendly festival for 100 years.

Apparently, Saint Fermin of Spain was dragged to death by an animal along the streets of Pamplona. Therefore, the country now commemorates him and that event with this annual festival. What’s it called now?

Running of the Bulls is a yearly event that is as festive as it is dangerous. It involves letting loose about a dozen bulls in Pamplona’s small streets, and those brave enough to run with them are given the chance. Run for your life!

Bombs away! What yearly festival in India is celebrated by throwing colorful dyes in powder or liquid form at revelers?

India sure knows how to color the world! The Holi festival is their yearly Hindu-originated festival which signifies the end of winter and the beginning of spring.

New Year in Thailand comes every April, and is celebrated with the festival called Songkran. What kind of element is usually associated with its celebration?

The more solemn side of Songkran involves pouring water over statues of Buddha and elders’ palms, out of tradition and respect. But the wild side of Songkran involves water fights on the streets, so be ready to get happily drenched!

The largest LGBT festival in America is celebrated every June -- Pride Month -- in this vibrant California city.

San Francisco's Pride is a yearly festival that celebrates diversity in humanity, where people of various sexual orientations, gender identities, and gender expressions celebrate these differences in harmony and fun. Expect a million or more people participating in the parade, the parties, and the festivities during the last weekend of June.

Lights! Camera! Festival! Somewhere in the Tunisian desert, there was a brief electronic dance music-focused festival that ran for a few years called Les Dunes Electroniques. It took place on the actual location where this classic galactic film saga was shot. What film is this?

Les Dunes Electroniques took place in the actual sand dunes where part of the set of "Star Wars" was built. Talk about upcycling to a beat!

In the United Kingdom, a festival happens every May of each year, which involves rolling this kind of round food down a hill, and people race to catch it. What is this food product?

The Cooper’s Hill Cheese-Rolling and Wake happens every May in a town called Brockworth. It involves huge cheese rounds being chased down Cooper's Hill, and the one who catches wins real cheese!

Boryeong, a town in South Korea, started a new festival during the late 1990s when their town was discovered to have mineral-rich types of this element. What is this specific element?

The Boryeong Mud Festival redefines mud wresting in South Korea. To encourage people to use their mineral-rich mud deposits for skincare, revelers could smear themselves with it -- so yeah, there's a festival there somewhere.

Italy probably has one of the historically-entrenched fruit wars this side of the world, with their yearly Storico Carnevale di Ivrea and its featured "war" called Battaglia delle Arance. What kind of fruit is thrown here?

The Battle of Oranges involves cartloads of oranges thrown against competing groups. It's historically entrenched, so only the official residents can participate in the orange-throwing. Watch, and duck.

Somewhere in the Valencia province, Spain’s crimson-colored festival happens yearly in the town of Buñol, where tourists join the locals in pelting each other with this organic product which some say is a vegetable, and others say it’s a fruit. What is this produce?

La Tomatina is the festival where revelers throw tomatoes at each other. And yes, even tourists can join, as long as the tomatoes they hurl are already pre-squashed a bit, to avoid hurting others.

Autumn time is festival time in many parts of the world. In India, it’s when Diwali is celebrated. What kind of festival is it?

Diwali is called the Festival of Lights. It literally involves lighting up all types of light fixtures at home or anywhere else. It has religious roots of light fighting darkness.

One would think that the Japanese festival called Kanamara Matsuri was a modern one, but it actually began during the 1600s! The translation of this is Festival of the Iron ___.

The Festival of the Iron Phallus dates back centuries ago when sex workers would gather in a specific temple to pray for their health, specifically health from getting STDs. Today, the very sex-positive ritual involves a parade with erect phallus figures being paraded, and the same prayers for good health -- especially STDs and now HIV/AIDS -- are still said.

Koningsdag is a public holiday in the Netherlands to celebrate this particular monarch.

King’s Day, or Koningsdag, used to be Koninginnedag or Queen’s Day. It had been years since the Netherlands had a king, so they changed it a few years ago, when the successor was finally a male.

A kind of wresting is not only a sport in Turkey but a whole festival, which apparently is 700 years old! What kind of wrestling is this?

Turkey celebrates the Kirkpinar Oil Wrestling Festival every July. It has mystical and mythical origins which involved two locals wrestling until they died. The event is partly a commemoration of that era. But now, nobody dies, phew!

Not a kangaroo: Australia is host to a crazy race that started as a bet waged between two locals in the Northern Territory. What kind of animal is used in the Lasseters ___ Cup?

The Lasseters Camel Cup became an annual fundraiser event. But it is celebrated as a bona fide festival to draw more tourists in the Aussie town where it began.

Argentina is host to the delicious Fiesta Nacional de la Vendimia which features, among other culinary treats, a hip and happening wine party of epic proportions. It’s just apt, since this festival celebrates the harvest of this kind of produce.

The National Grape Harvest Festival happens largely in the Mendoza province of Argentina. The province is the source of around 70% of the wine that gets made in the country, hence the festival of thanks to celebrate that fact.

In Vanuatu, a curious festival called Naghol Land Diving Festival involves men tying vines on their ankles and diving from a huge tower made of wood. This seemingly strange South Pacific festival apparently stemmed from a legend featuring this kind of spousal problem.

Legend has it that a woman ran away from her abusive husband and hid atop a tall tree. But the husband followed to beat her up more, so she jumped and secretly tied her feet with vines to bounce back up, but the husband jumped after her as well -- and to his death. These days, the festival only permits men to do the jump, as a token to be good husbands. No one dies!

Indigenous and traditional musical instruments are highlighted in the yearly Rainforest World Music Festival that takes place in Kuching. In which Southeast Asian country is this rocking festival held?

The Sarawak Tourism Board wanted to promote and highlight the artistic talents of the Sarawak Cultural Village, so they decided to put up the Rainforest World Music Festival. While indigenous music/instruments are encouraged here, more modern fusions and compositions are also allowed. Rock on!

Russia celebrates the classical performance arts along with a carnival in weeks-long festivities they dubbed as the ___ Nights Festival. What color is highlighted in the festival title?

St. Petersburg City is the host of the annual White Nights Festival in Russia. The festival originated there, and is flocked by many tourists and graced by many celebrities alike.

South Africa celebrates marine wildlife by hosting the yearly Hermanus __ Festival. What kind of humongous sea creature is featured in this fest?

The Southern Right Whales migration starts by the end of September and lasts up to early October, so the Hermanus coastal town residents decided to celebrat with a festival. It's also to encourage humans to take care of the sea and its creatures.

Downward dog: It’s in Indonesia where a yoga festival is held yearly, specifically in a town called Ubud. In which picturesque island of Indonesia does this chill festival take place?

The Bali Spirit Festival is an annual gathering of yoga enthusiasts and other practitioners of nature-inspired or alternative healing methods. Similarly-aligned arts, crafts and food sellers also abound in this fest. Namaste!

The Philippines holds the Ati-Atihan Festival which features soot-black participants dancing in the most festive of costumes. Originally a nod to a celebratory pagan ritual, it was appropriated by Spanish colonizers who included the image of this Catholic figure in the revelry. Which religious figure is this?

The baby Jesus, called the Santo Niño, is the central figure of the very colorful Ati-Atihan Festival. This takes place in the province of Aklan, the gateway to the famous Boracay beach area. Fiesta first, beach later. Perfect!

Leave it to Finland to create a cute festival that became a sporty attraction called the ___ Carrying World Championship. Which member of the family is carried in this fest?

Yes, there is a Wife Carrying Championship that originated in a town called Sonkajärvi. The festival came from the actual real-life ancient practice of men in the villages stealing the wives of other men by carrying them on their backs. Now, it's just done for fun, not for divorce...

The body is a wonderland: Austria holds this artistic event yearly which features a kind of artistry done differently, and it is called World __ Festival. What is the highlight of this fest?

There is an actual global arts movement that celebrates body painting, as these artists see the human body -- or skin-- as a viable canvas for artworks — and no, not just for tattoos. Thus, the World Body painting Festival in Austria is flocked by such artists, models, and interested enthusiasts from all over the world. Worth the trip!

The beautiful Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival features writing down one’s wishes on a paper lantern, lighting the candle inside the lantern, and sending it up to fly like a balloon. In which Asian country does this ritual take place?

Taiwan is the site of the Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival held during March of each year. Like many Asian festivals, it has roots that go back to ancient times, in particular the town of Pingxi and how tits townsfolk alerted each other, through the lanterns, of bad people roaming in their town.

The Haro Wine Festival, or the Batalla del Vino, involves revelers squirting wine on each other in this commemorative celebration that dates back to the 13th century. In which European country does this take place?

If it’s not tomatoes they’re throwing at each other, it’s wine! The Haro Wine Festival is celebrated in the La Rioja province of Spain. Vamos!

Peru has a winter solstice festival called Inti Raymi which celebrates their heritage and culture, one of the most ancient civilizations on earth. Which ancient empire is this?

Inti Raymi is focused on celebrating with a specific Inca god in mind. It's Peru's way of being reminded of its ancient Inca heritage and culture.

In Lopburi, Thailand, an animal-themed festival is recognized every year, where people offer food outside a specific temple in the hopes that these creatures would partake in it. What is this animal and what is the festival called?

The Lopburi Monkey Banquet happens every November in Thailand, specifically to honor the macaque monkeys that freely roam the region. While the naughty monkeys could also be a disturbance, their ancient ties with gods in which the Thai people believe, make them respected animals in Thai culture.

The Bristol International Balloon Fiesta is an annual gathering in the UK which features more than 100 of these types of balloons.

European hot air balloons converge annually at the Bristol International Balloon Fiesta. It’s a very family-friendly event which usually spans four days in August.

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