I’ve got festivals on my mind. I found a copy of Great Festivals of the World in the local library a couple of weeks ago and since then I’ve been reading about festivals here, there, and everywhere. Immersing myself in Nevada’s Burning Man festival in the desert and then Spain’s Tomato Festival, aka the world’s biggest food fight, is just the thing to warm up these cold winter days here in New Zealand.

This little book provides a ringside view to fifteen extraordinary festivals. Every chapter features a different festival. Some, like the Munich Oktoberfest and the Running of the Bulls, are well known and easily accessible. Others, like the Takubelt Tuareg Festival in Northern Mali and the Timkat Festival in Ethiopia, are relatively unknown and extremely hard to access.

My favorite chapter is ‘The Greatest Festival on Earth’, written by our own Steve Daley who used to blog here at Perceptive Travel. Steve writes about the six week Kumbh Mela in India, the largest gathering of humans in the world, all intent in bathing at certain sacred spots on certain auspicious days. 

Books like this are pure magic for armchair travelers such as myself.

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