Event-o-Rama: 10 Must-Dos in January

There are some amazing events on tap all over the world, all the time. Here’s a taste of what you can see and do in January:

  • Celebrate the coming of a new year and the oldest folk festival in the U.S. at the Philadelphia Mummers Parade (January 1). Local clubs take to the streets to compete in one of four categories: comics, fancies, string bands, and fancy brigades in the City of Brotherly Love’s take on a British Isles tradition.
  • Ring in a second new year at Cape Town‘s longest-running street party, the Cape Minstrel Carnival (January 2). The annual festival features music and dance, and culminates with a parade of colorfully garbed minstrels.
  • You don’t have to be an Aussie to commemorate Australia Day (January 26) in Sydney Harbour. Join in on a group swim, watch the parade of ships sail by with flags flying in the 178th Australia Day regatta, and more at this family-friendly event–at an even friendlier price (free). 
  • Experience winter, French-Canadian style at the Carnaval de Quebec (January 31-February 16), the largest winter carnival in the world. Snow sculptures, a parade, and dogsled races are only a fraction of the fun you can expect during this truly bucket-list worthy event.
  • If you’re looking for the ultimate après-ski extravaganza, toast the winter season at Wintersköl (January 9-12) in Aspen, Colorado. The four-day Nordic celebration, now in its 63rd year, includes a snow sculpture competition, live music, and fireworks.
  • Feel the beat at Glasgow‘s annual folk, roots, and world music festival, Celtic Connections (January 16-February 2) as more than 2,000 artists come together to celebrate Celtic music and how it has found form in other cultures across the globe. 
  • Witness the melding of traditions at the Ati-Atihan Festival (January 10-19), the “mother of all festivals in the Philippines.” Locals clothed in traditional tribal costumes vie for attention–and prizes–in a festive parade through the streets of Kalibo on Panay Island. The music and dancing seem to never end–in the best way possible.
  • Every year, thousands of luminaries, ingenues, and cinephiles converge on Park City, Utah for ten days of movie magic at the Sundance Film Festival (January 16-26). Why not join them? With 200 independent film screenings across all genres there’s something for everyone. 
  • Embrace cultural differences of all kinds and admire Pre-Columbian artistry at the annual Carnaval de Negros y Blancos (December 28-January 6) in Pasto, Colombia. But don’t wear white: Festival-goers mark the occasion with brightly colored face paint and talcum powder that seem to find their way onto everything and everyone in spraying distance. 
  • It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s a…kite! Train your gaze skyward during the Kite Festival Jaipur (January 14-16) as thousands of brightly colored kites hover over Rajasthan’s capital city. The festival, which coincides with the Hindu harvest festival, Makar Sankranti, features food and craft stalls, cultural performances, and special night displays of illuminated kites. 

What would you add to the list? Let us know what we’re missing by leaving a comment.