The United States is described as “the dominant economic and military force”. But the country also has a great cultural impact on the world because its popular culture is manifested in books, films, music and TV shows.
Festivals are marked as a nation’s hefty relationship with its culture and values.In same fashion, the world’s greatest nation, United States of America, celebrates its festivals with full frenzy; inexhaustible energy and endless passion.Despite, people from various ethnic, racial and religious identities, the nation showcaseunswerving affiliation and affection with its culture and heritage by celebratingin full swing.Along with admiration to the iconic sites of its mega cities and ferocious natural beauty, the tourists in millions each year visit the country to cherish and recognize the festivals in America.
The festivals in United States are celebrated throughout the year.Here are the “Top 3 festivals in USA” that are worth attending for the visitors.
Holy Ship Festival (January 5-9)
The Holy Ship Festival is full of music, fun, energy and endless entertainment. The music lovers from around the globe gather at one place, sailing through the sea with dancing, chilling, drinking and enjoying life to the fullest.Ever since its inception in 2012, the popularity of the event is multiplying with every passing year. The event celebrations kick off in January each year and lasts for three consecutive days and nights. The event gets tremendous appreciation with the tickets sold out in pre-booking phase. The three days event not only offers the electric musical performances and beach dances, nevertheless, people are served with variety of delicious dishes while sailing through the sea.
The cruise ship with a capacity of more than 4000 people, left from Port Canaveral, Florida to its final destination in Bahamas. The cruise is jam-packed with electric crowd, music, fun and excitement. The festival is famous for its beach parties, never ending music and pool dances.Moreover, the excitement is not merely confined to cruise ship, the people are boarded to private islands, and where the beach party goes on the whole day with an un-announced artist charged the crowd with music and dance performance.The festival lasts for 3 days with the electric musicians along with exclusive cuisine packages. Music never ends in the event and can equally beenjoyed from poolside to the dance floor or even in your private cabins. In addition to music, artists leading workshops and activities like yoga, mini golf, DJ lessons, speed dating, karaoke are also part of the package.
The Festival is famous particularly among young generation and the music lovers.In 2020, the event organizers announced resort based event at the Hard Rock Hotel in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. This would provide with another exciting and thrilling experience to its audience.
New Orleans Mardi Gras (March 5)
Mardi Gras is most colorful and thrilling festival of all the American festivals and bring almost 1.4 million visitors to the streets of New Orleans. The Mardi Gras festival is celebrated since 1833 in USA, when a rich plantation owner raised money to celebrate this colorful event. In 1875, the Louisiana State marked Mardi Gras as official state holiday, since then the event is massively admired in the country.
The event starts with city’s Shrove Tuesday parades and festivities. The New Orleans Mardi Gras is organized by social clubs in the city and it starts with Fat Tuesday parades and festivities. People used to dress colorful costumes and march around the city and the streets are decorated with giant floats. The festival attendees throw colorful beads and light colorful objects in the air and to the Carnivals to celebrate the Mardi Gras festival. The colors used in the festival reflect certain theme in it. The dress code of the event consists of three colors gold, purple and green which represent the power, justice and faith.
The festival has traditional and religious connections and start with Shrove Tuesday and lasts for two weeks before the Ash Wednesday or with the start of lent in Christian traditions. Each day of the festival, a major parade is organized through the streets of the city. However, last five days of the event, the largest and most elaborated parades are observed in Mardi Gras season. In the last week, along with parades, many other events are also organized in the surrounded communities of New Orleans. This massive and long event is organized by a Social clubs known as krewes. Mostly people particularly visitors from other states follow the same parade and event organized by aforementioned clubs.Zulu and Rex are both social cub parades, the former represents the African-American club and latter belong to Caucasian. The Zulu parades emerge first and followed by the Rex parade and both end in Canal Street. In addition, lots of smaller parading organizations with truck floats follow the Rex parades through the streets. Social clubs also host Mardi Gras balls, at which Queen of the parade and King present themselves. The Festival ends with the “Meeting of the Courts”. It’s a ceremony where the King and Queen of the carnival meet with Comus (God of festival) and his queen at the balls of Mistick Krewe of Comus.
Mardi Gras in not limited to parades only. Since, it celebrated before start of the lent, the Christian fasting period, so the Mardi Gras is the celebration of fun and food before fasting. Mardi Gras is translated as Fat Tuesday, so fatty foods are liked at the festival. The New Orleans local cuisine at Mardi Gras contain Crawfish, Shrimp and Grits, Crabs, Pan Cakes, Dirty Rice and Red beans with rice. The tourist from the other states and internationals, used to have lots of fun and entertainment by attending the parades and taste the delicious Mardi Gras dishes. New Orleans become alive during the festival, the hotels are fully booked and streets are crowded with fun lovers. However, there are other attractions too for the visitors in New Orleans. Jackson Square. Basin St. Station and St. Louis Cathedral are most attractive places for the tourists in the city.
Groundhog Day (February 2)
Groundhog Day is a popular event celebrated each year on February 2 in various parts of United States. Some states adopted their own official groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil, lives at Gobbler’s Knob near Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania.The town has attracted thousands of visitors over the years to experience various Groundhog Day events and activities on February 2.
The Groundhog Day event was brought to USA by the German communities, and earliest history of the event is dated back in 1840. It is the event derived from a superstition associated with weather prediction by groundhog dog. On this day, if the animal comes out from its den and able to see its shadow clearly due to a fine sunny day, it means the winter will continue for another six weeks. In contrary, if the animal does not observe its shadow due to cloudy weather, the spring will fall early. Scientifically, there is no relationship with groundhog shadow observation and predicting spring time. However, the event is still popular in the Pennsylvania as a historic and traditional event.The official Groundhog Day festival is held at Punxsutawney, and become the central place of the entire festival. The festival is organized by Punxsutawney Groundhog Club. The people gathered at Gobbler’s Knob and wait for Phil’s public appearance and weather prediction. Other states of USA and Canada also adopted this festival, as it attracts lots of visitors each year.
Groundhog festival is a family event and particularly popular among children. The event is not limited to weather prediction only, the parties with Groundhog Dog costumes, baking traditional Groundhog Day cookies and festival songs are also part of the celebrations. Some people in groups take a natural walk through the forest to spot the groundhogs. They stay in the forest for some time, sing winter songs, enjoy food and party with friends and family. Children used to wear Groundhog costumes and eat candies and cakes shaped in groundhog. Last but not the least;fun and celebrations overtake the entire city at the Groundhog Dog Festival.
That really nothing stands in your way to your next trip to the United States, go and visit the German website Backpackertrail to find useful information about the US such as must sees for travelers and recommended accommodation.
List of other major festivals
- New Year’s Eve, Times Square, New York, January
- Sundance Film Festival (Park City, Utah), January – February
- Super Bowl Sunday, Atlanta Georgia, February
- Noise Pop, San Francisco, February
- Comic-Con International San Diego, California, March
- Aloha Festival, Honolulu, Hawaii, March
- Snow Ball Festival, New Orleans, March
- Coachella Valley Music And Arts Festival, Indio, California, April
- The Boston Marathon, Boston, Massachusetts, April
- Jazz and Heritage Festival, New Orleans, Louisiana, April to May
- Kutztown Folk Festival, Kutztown, Pennsylvania, June – July
- Boston Seafood Festival, Boston, Massachusetts, August
- Lollapalooza, Chicago, Illinois, August
- Burning Man Festival, Black Rock Desert, Nevada, August – September
- Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, Albuquerque, New Mexico, October
- Fantasy Fest, Key West, Florida, October
- Halloween, throughout USA, October
- Thanksgiving Day, throughout USA, November
- Christmas, throughout USA, December
- Electric Zoo Festival, Randall’s island, New York