9 Rad Worldwide Festivals in January

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Start the new year off right with these action-packed festivals in January

New year, new me. How many times have you heard that one before? As important as health, beauty and all of the other cosmetic related things to improve on, here at Rad Season nothing is quite as important as traveling the world. Whether it’s bucket list locations or just getting out of your hometown a bit more, we’ve put together some of the Raddest worldwide festivals in January. Kick off this kick ass year the right way!

1. Harbin Ice and Snow Festival – China

The greatest show.. On Ice!

Event organizers only draft the most creative ice and snow engineers to participate in this incredible winter festival. Harbin city is home to the world’s largest ice festival where attendees can gawk at the wide variety of sculptures from the end of December to the end of February. The special winter travel experience is sure to rock your world with its ice lantern art fair, sculpture art expo and winter swimming watching. Even snap a pic next to a Siberian tiger for a one-of-a-kind experience.

Dates: December 24th to late February 2021 
Location: Harbin, China
Where to stay: Harbin

2. Bagan Ananda Pagoda Festival – Myanmar

A historical celebration to bring in the New Year..

Rich history runs deep in the city of Bagan where the annual pagoda festival is considered one of the oldest festivals in Southeast Asia. Myanmar hosts an epic event during the first week of January where people from across the world assemble to watch music and theatre performances, dance and shop locally made crafts. Oddly enough, folks travel to the festival in bullock carts keeping a tradition that started centuries ago.

Dates: January 4 – 19, 2021 (always starts on the Full Moon Day of Pyatho)
Location: Ananda Temple, Bagan, Myanmar
Where to stay: The Hotel at Tharabar Gate, Bagan

3. Sundance Film Festival – USA

An independent film-fan must..

Feature films and shorts come in bunches during Park City’s world-famous independent film festival. It is the ultimate gathering of storytellers with original ideas, entertaining an audience which seeks fresh perspectives and inspiring motion-picture works. From series, shorts and episodic content, the Sundance Film Festival is sure to keep film-fans captured all week long. Daily panel discussions, live music events and filmmaker conversations also await those who attend.

Dates: January 28 – February 3, 2021
Location: online / Park City, Utah
Where to stay: Park City

4. Alfonso Ortiz Tirado Festival – Mexico

Explore the arts and music at the ultimate Mexican cultural festival..

Alfonso Ortiz Tirado Festival week-long celebration is held at a variety of venues across Alamos, Mexico in the later part of January. Festival-goers will be greeted with countless performances of jazz and folk music as well as film, literature and a diverse range of lectures and workshops. Nearly 140 million will gather around the festival grounds during Mexico’s ultimate cultural festival of the year.

Dates: TBA
Location: Alamos, Mexico
Where to stay: Alamos

5. Tromso International Film Festival, Norway

A cultural enclave filled with tradition and memories..

Layer up for this epic January event as the small harbour town of Tromso hosts Norway’s go-to film festival of 2019. The Arctic Ocean town is best known for its historical cathedrals, wooden houses and amazing observatory for viewing the constellations. Its lively nightlife and incredible restaurants make this a town to visit all-year round. The film festival itself is held across seven different venues within the city and hosts outdoor screenings, giving viewers a chance to watch a film under the Northern Lights.

Dates: January 18 – 24, 2021
Location: Tromso, Norway
Where to stay: Tromso

6. Momentum Ski Festival – Switzerland

Tear up the slopes by day, party by night..

This epic event is a combination of the City Ski Championships, Alpine Business Forum and a plethora of apres ski entertainment. The Momentum Ski programme is stuffed with gut-piercing comedy shows, rockin’ live music and entertaining club nights. Switzerland’s ski festival has changed its venue location to the elegant Courmayeur resort at the base of Mont Blanc. You definitely don’t want to miss this one.

Dates: TBA
Location: Courmayeur Resort, Italy
Where to stay: Courmayeur 

7. Snow Bike Festival – Switzerland

Fat Biking at its finest..

Another Swiss-inspired festival takes place at an upscale ski resort in Gstaad amid the Swiss Alps. Visitors will be highly entertained by the fat bike races, rides and endless partying with an inspiring mountainous backdrop. When you are not catching the action-packed races, make sure to secure a lift ticket and take on some of the most pristine slopes in the world at Snow Bike Festival. Grab your tickets now, this event will go quick!

Dates: January 21 – 23, 2022
Location: Gstaad, Switzerland
Where to stay: Gstaad

8. New Year’s Dive – Netherlands

Brace yourself, chilly waters await..

This New Year’s Day festival is not for the weak. The tradition started back in 1960 and includes diving into the frigid waters of the North Sea in more than 60 locations throughout the Netherlands. The most popular dive can be viewed from the famous Scheveningen beach where over 10,000 swimmers jump in the water together! If you are feeling brave, throw on some shorts and a cap and dive on in.

Dates: January 1, 2021 (New Year’s Day)
Location: Scheveningen beach, Netherlands
Where to stay: Scheveningen

9. Up Helly Aa – Scotland

Celebrating viking heritage in the most epic fashion..

Also known as Europe’s largest fire festival, Up Helly Aa takes place in the main port of the Scottish Shetland Isles. The astounding event celebrates Viking heritage with torch-lit crowds dressed in buccaneer gear partying to traditional music. Over 1,000 participants end the festival by throwing their burning torches into a Viking longship. The celebration originated in the late 1800s and hosts several events throughout the festival.

January 26, 2021 (Last Tuesday every January)
Location: Lerwick, Shetland, Scotland
Where to stay: Lerwick

Related Articles: 9 Rad Worldwide Festivals in December and 10 Of The Best New Year’s Eve Celebrations Around The World

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Harry R Bennett III

Harry R. Bennett III is a Los Angeles native who grew up addicted to playing sports. His love for the game of baseball eventually landed him several scholarships to play college ball across the United States. After receiving his B.A. in journalism, he pushed himself out of his comfort zone and moved to New York City in an effort to pursue his passion in the sports industry. Bennett has worked with major companies such as Fox Sports and Major League Baseball and has written for several online publications covering a variety of sports content. Although his playing days are over, he enjoys the endless pursuit of competition from athletics and action sports. In his free time, Harry can be found surfing, snowboarding, golfing, playing basketball and selling homes in Brooklyn. Follow him on Instagram @hb3_estates


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