New Year’s Eve and the Fourth of July aren’t the only times to see bombs bursting in the sky. Check out these 17 festivals around the world that light up the sky with fireworks. From Iceland to Spain and throughout the year, these jubilees will light up your travels with unique celebrations, ceremony, fireworks and pyrotechnics.
Light Up Your Life with Fireworks Around the World
It’s one thing that people around the world can agree on: Fireworks give your festival the biggest spark! Travel the globe with our TravelingMoms and see how holidays around the world celebrate with fireworks and pyrotechnics. If you have plans to visit any of these locations during these time periods, make a point of doing some research ahead of time to find out where and when the celebrations will take place; You’ll get the biggest BANG out of your vacation!
Iceland – January 6th
Traditionally known as the last day of Christmas, 12th Night in Iceland is celebrated with bonfires, festive dinners and fireworks displays. Our RV TravelingMom discovered it’s not all about snow and ice in Reykjavik Iceland.
Australia – January 26th
On this official National Day of Australia, locals celebrate the 1788 arrival of the first fleet of British ships with community festivals, concerts and citizenship ceremonies. If you can’t be there for Australia Day, there are still amazing hidden gems to discover in Australia.
China – January 28th (changes annually)
The festivals of the Chinese New Year are celebrated at the turn of the traditional lunisolar Chinese calendar. This “spring festival” is celebrated all around the globe so you may even find a festival close to home with firecrackers, red envelopes and lion and dragon dances.
Taiwan – First Full Moon Night of the Lunar Year (around February/March)
The Taiwan Lantern Festival (or Yuan Xiao Festival) celebrates “Fireworks in the South & Sky Lanterns in the North.” At the Wumiao Temple, the Tainan Yanshui Fireworks Display (a “beehive of fireworks”) are released to signify the warding off of evil and disease. Thousands of lanterns are then released into the sky from the mountainous Pingxi District. Food is always an important part of any festival, so find out what are the must-eat foods in Taipei.
Greece – Easter (March/April)
What do you get when you combine thousands of homemade fireworks and two rival church parishes? In Vrontados on the Greek island of Chios it’s called Rouketpolomeos, or “Rocket War”. Angios Marcos (St. Mark’s) and Panaghia Ereithiani take aim at each other with the goal to ring the bell of the opposing church with firecrackers. When planning a trip to Greece with the kids, read Suburban TravelingMom’s advice first.
Laos – Full Moon of the Month of Vesākha (changes annually)
On Vesākha Day, Buddhists commemorate events of significance including the birth, enlightenment and the passing away of Gautama Buddha. Dates for the celebration of Vesākha vary depending upon the country where it’s celebrated. In Laos, fireworks are traditionally handcrafted by Buddhist monks from gunpowder stuffed into hollow bamboo tubes.
Malta – End of April
The Malta International Fireworks Festival celebrates Malta’s accession to the European union. Each year since 2003 this huge event brings Maltese and foreign fireworks companies together to create spectacular pyrotechnic displays synchronized to music.
United States – July 4th
This federal holiday commemorates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence, signed on this date in 1776 by the Continental Congress. Americans celebrate Independence Day in every state of the union with fireworks and pyrotechnic displays. Celebrate Independence Day like our Last Minute TravelingMom in Washington D.C..
France – July 14th
In the turning point of the French Revolution, seven prisoners were released from the Bastille prison in 1789, a date that is celebrated as Bastille Day. The Military Parade takes place in the morning with fireworks displays at night. Our Philadelphia TravelingMom learned the history of the city during a walking tour of Paris.
Japan – July/August
Fireworks festivals abound during summer in Japan, with people lining the streets for Hanabi Taikai. It’s a relaxed festival atmosphere with food, games and fireworks.
Switzerland – August 1st
Celebrate Swiss National Day and the founding of the Swiss Confederacy in 1891. Swiss celebrate with paper lantern parades, bonfires, fireworks and competitive rifle shooting matches. See why Globetrotting TravelingMom says Switzerland is a place for families.
Singapore – August 9th
National Day of Singapore celebrates their independence from Malaysia in 1965. View the National Day Parade and enormous fireworks displays that take place over several days. Read more about taking kids to Singapore.
Dubai – September 1st (changes annually)
Eid al-Adha (also known as the “Sacrifice Feast”) is one of two global Muslin holidays that honors Abraham and his submission at God’s command to sacrifice his son Isaac. Families in Dubai spend the day with prayer, delicious meals and fireworks on the beach. Our Cosmopolitan Mom with Kids TravelingMom explains fun and free things for kids in Dubai.
India – October 30th (changes annually)
One of the major festivals of Hinduism, Diwali signifies the victory of light over darkness, good over evil, knowledge over ignorance and hope over dispair. The celebrations include religious ritual, feasts, home decoration and fireworks. International TravelingMom shares everything you need to know about visiting India with children.
United Kingdom – November 5th
Guy Fawkes Night commemorates the failed 1605 Gunpowder Plot against James I. The plot was masterminded by a group of provincial English Catholics (including Guy Fawkes) who had planned to blow up the House of Lords. Seems fitting that they celebrate with bonfires and fireworks! Traveling with kids to London? Be sure to read about these free things to do while you’re there!
Peru – December 24th
La Noche Buena is the main day for Christmas celebrations in Peru. Families gather in the evening for elaborate dinners and gift exchange. At midnight, they celebrate by watching fireworks and toasting with champagne and hot chocolate. Our Cultural Heritage TravelingMom shares her magical journey to Peru.
Spain – throughout the year
During Catalan festivals for Correfocs (“fire-runs”), groups will dress as devils and light fireworks from the end of pitchforks, dancing around the fire as closely as possibly without getting burned. Fortunately protective clothing is worn!