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10 Life-Changing Festivals Around the World

The Huffington Post The Huffington Post 23/07/2015 Charlene Oldham, Contributor, GOBankingRates

The Rio de Janeiro's Carnival is considered the largest carnival in the world. © RICARDO MORAES/Newscom/Reuters The Rio de Janeiro's Carnival is considered the largest carnival in the world. Traveling isn't cheap. But some trips are worth the extra cash and the strict budgeting.

If you're looking for a life-changing travel experience that gives you an intimate view of the history and character of a culture or country, consider attending one of these 10 festivals. Some money-saving tips from travel experts have been included, along with travel package prices from some agencies and tour companies as points of reference.

1. Holi: The Festival of Colors -- India

Children take part in Holi celebrations in Chennai, India. © BABU/Newscom/Reuters Children take part in Holi celebrations in Chennai, India. The Holi festival of colors celebrates the beginning of spring -- in late February or early March -- and is observed mainly in India and Nepal. Revelers shed the gloom of winter by throwing colored powder and water on others, dancing and singing. This is also a time when India's social rules are relaxed, and the mending of broken relationships is encouraged.

For next year's festival in Jaipur, India, FriendlyPlanet.com is offering a nine-day, double occupancy package that includes airfare for as low as $1,999 per person.

2. Mardi Gras -- New Orleans

Floats with the Krewe of Carrollton parade roll down Canal Street celebrating the first weekend of the Mardi Gras carnival in New Orleans. © Mario Villafuerte/Bloomberg News Floats with the Krewe of Carrollton parade roll down Canal Street celebrating the first weekend of the Mardi Gras carnival in New Orleans. Mardi Gras, which is French for Fat Tuesday, is the final day of partying before Ash Wednesday. But in New Orleans, tourists and locals celebrate during the days leading up to Mardi Gras with parades, costumes, music, the throwing of beads, drinking and partying. The celebration brings in more than $1 billion every year in spending for New Orleans. In 2016, a lot of people will be celebrating from Feb. 5 to Feb. 9, and parades will begin as early as January.

The festival is technically free, but hotel and airfare can be expensive. MardiGrasInsiderTours.com offers budget hotel packages for four and five nights. Double occupancy is as low as $1,395 per person for a four-night stay. You can save money, however, by traveling with more people; a quadruple occupancy is only $995 per person.

3. Carnival -- Brazil

Revelers from the Imperatriz Leopoldinense samba school participate in the annual carnival parade in Rio de Janeiro's Sambadrome. © SERGIO MORAES/Newscom/Reuters Revelers from the Imperatriz Leopoldinense samba school participate in the annual carnival parade in Rio de Janeiro's Sambadrome. Brazil's Carnival is considered the largest carnival in the world. From Feb. 5 to Feb. 9, there will be plenty of street bands, samba parades, balls and parties in Rio. This year, nearly 1 million tourists visited Rio de Janeiro during Carnival, and the city was able to generate $782 million in revenue, reports The Rio Times.

TucanTravel.com offers a triple-occupancy package that includes a four-night stay and other perks for as low as $1,179 per person.

4. Day of the Dead -- Mexico

A woman dressed as Catrina, the bride of death, at a Comparsa procession during Day of the Dead Festival, Mexico. © REX/ZUMA A woman dressed as Catrina, the bride of death, at a Comparsa procession during Day of the Dead Festival, Mexico. Day of the Dead -- or Dia de los Muertos -- is a ritual in which people celebrate and honor their deceased relatives. The holiday is celebrated in the U.S., Latin America and Mexico, where it originated. From Nov. 1 to Nov. 2, people will remember their loved ones with parades, processionals and vigils.

GAdventures.com offers a seven-day trip to Oaxaca, Mexico, starting at $1,099. Tourists will be able to tour artisan villages, observe cemetery vigils, watch parades and more.

5. Running of the Bulls - Spain

Revellers run with the Tajo and the Reina's fighting bulls entering Estafeta street during the third day of the San Fermin Running of the Bulls festival in Pamplona, Spain. © David Ramos/Getty Images Revellers run with the Tajo and the Reina's fighting bulls entering Estafeta street during the third day of the San Fermin Running of the Bulls festival in Pamplona, Spain. From July 6 to July 14, tourists travel to Pamplona, Spain for the San Fermin festival to see the famous running of the bulls where thrill seekers put themselves in the path of six bulls set loose in the streets. The run is followed by music, fireworks and more festivities.

Pamplona-Tours.com usually offers reasonable deals for those who want to attend the festival. This past year, it offered a four-night package for $1,945 that included an evening at the bull fight, a walking tour of the bull run route, a banquet dinner, a tapas happy hour and more.

6. Oktoberfest -- Germany

Visitors enjoy beer during the Oktoberfest in Munich. © MICHAELA REHLE/Newscom/Reuters Visitors enjoy beer during the Oktoberfest in Munich. What started off as a celebration of the marriage between Bavarian Prince Louis and Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen later became an annual festival in Munich, Germany. Today's Oktoberfest includes more than 6 million people going to parades, dressing up in costumes and drinking lots and lots of beer.

Spyglass Tours offers a package that includes a three-night, double occupancy hotel stay from Oct. 2 to Oct. 5, tent reservations, a Munich transportation pass and more for as low as $795 a person.

To save money, "do some of your beer sampling at local pubs and not at the festival itself -- brews inside the festival grounds can go for 10 euros or more," said David Bakke of Money Crashers.

7. Burning Man -- Nevada

Members of the Kenna Tribe fire conclave perform during the Burning Man 2014 "Caravansary" arts and music festival in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada. © JIM URQUHART/Newscom/Reuters Members of the Kenna Tribe fire conclave perform during the Burning Man 2014 "Caravansary" arts and music festival in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada. Burning Man bills itself not as a festival but as a "temporary metropolis" in Nevada's Black Rock Desert. From Aug. 30 to Sept. 17, thousands of people gather to explore art, self-expression and community. The event encourages attendees to participate by creating art installations, theme camps or mutant vehicles. Inspiring creativity, individuality and inclusion, Burning Man will likely leave you feeling enriched and connected.

Individual tickets cost $390 this year, and vehicle passes are $50 plus applicable fees.

8. Glastonbury Festival -- England

Revelers on the front row of the Pyramid stage during the Glastonbury Festival in Somerset, Britain. © Jonathan Hordle/REX Revelers on the front row of the Pyramid stage during the Glastonbury Festival in Somerset, Britain. The world's biggest music event, according to the New York Times, takes place in Somerset County near Pilton, England. The Glastonbury Festival celebrated its 45th anniversary back in June, and its line-up included Kanye West, Foo Fighters, The Who, Florence & The Machine, Pharrell Williams and more.

Tickets for the 2015 event were £225 apiece or about $350. The 135,000 available tickets sold out about 25 minutes after they went on sale, so make sure you have your credit card ready to go when ticket for the 2016 festival go on sale.

Related: Your Ultimate Guide to Summer Festivals and Concerts in 2015

9. Loi Krathong -- Thailand

Locals light a "kom-loy" flying lantern on the banks of the Ping River in Chiang Mai. The city is famed for its annual Loi Krathong festival. © REUTERS/Gillian Murdoch Locals light a "kom-loy" flying lantern on the banks of the Ping River in Chiang Mai. The city is famed for its annual Loi Krathong festival. Loi Krathong festival is a centuries-old festival that typically marks the end of the rainy season, according to CNN. Those celebrating make a wish and create decorated, lotus-shaped boats and baskets with candles or lanterns to float on the river. It's a symbolic way for people to get rid of bad feelings or prevent bad luck. Loi Krathon is also know for its flying lanterns the light up the sky.

Last year, a survey by the Center of Economics and Business Forecasting of the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce found 77.2 percent of Thai respondents planned to attend festival events, generating an estimated 11.1 billion baht in spending.

10. Inti Raymi -- Peru

Images of the Cuzco festivities leading up to the Inti Raymi festival in Cuzco. © Brent Stirton/Getty Images Images of the Cuzco festivities leading up to the Inti Raymi festival in Cuzco. The Inti Raymi -- or Festival of the Sun -- in Cusco, Peru is a nine-day winter solstice celebration, according to Fest300.com. The festival features colorful costumes, copious feasting and reenactments of Incan rituals that will transport visitors back to the culture's ancient past. The festival occurs every June.

Reserved seating at the Sacsayhuaman fortress cost $100 to $140 for the 2014 festival, according to TheOnlyPeruGuide.com. For those who don't want to pay for a reserved seat in the fortress, Jacquie Whitt, co-founder of Adios Adventure Travel, said, "It's possible to enjoy parades and processions beginning next to Qoricancha temple -- to and from Sacsayhuaman -- for free."

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