Different people travel for different reasons. Plenty of people travel to find new places to relax; others enjoy seeing stunning natural scenery. However, if you travel to experience different cultures, you must make it a priority to visit certain destinations during their festival season.

Festivals bring people together in celebration; they create joyous atmospheres and often include special food, music, dancing — and even fireworks. If you love exploring different cultures and appreciate a good fireworks display when you see one, you might consider traveling the world for the following festivals:

New Year’s Eve

New Year’s Eve is an international celebration of the year that is about to finish and the year that is about to begin. Almost every city in the world celebrates New Year’s Eve with fireworks, but if you want to experience an incredible party with an over-the-top sky show, you might consider the following destinations at the end of December:

Rio de Janeiro. Copacabana Beach in Rio hosts the largest New Year’s celebration in the world, with millions gathering for cultural rituals to bring luck in the coming months.

Sydney. The first city in the world to celebrate the new year — thanks to time zones — boasts a fireworks display that involves more than 30,000 pyrotechnic effects.

London. London celebrates the new year up and down the Thames, but the epicenter is the London Eye, a huge Ferris wheel that shoots off fireworks at midnight.

American Independence Day

If you are American, you understand the drive to buy fireworks online and set them off come the beginning of July. To the true patriot, fireworks symbolize the cannon and musket fire of the Revolutionary War, in which the U.S. became the first colony in the world to gain its independence and the first country in the world to consciously develop its own form of government. If you aren’t American, you should consider visiting a historic colonial site, like Philadelphia, New York City or even Williamsburg, VA, which will have gorgeous fireworks displays in addition to important events like readings of the Declaration of Independence. Plus, you can buy fireworks online and set them off yourself to get in the spirit of revolution.

Chinese Spring Festival

Also called the Lunar Festival or Chinese New Year, the Spring Festival is not only China’s biggest fireworks event, but it is also easily the grandest and most exciting festival of the entire year. Every Chinese city, town and village has some sort of celebration for the lunar new year, but if you want to see the biggest sky shows, you should head for the following destinations:

Beijing. The country’s capital has the largest and most diverse Spring Festival, with days of fireworks shows and massive festival grounds spanning the entire city.

Xi’an. In central China, Xi’an was once the end of the Silk Road. Still wealthy and thriving, Xi’an is known for its Spring Festival Lantern Fair.

Harbin. Way in China’s northern provinces — north of Korea — Harbin’s Spring Festival is usually still covered with snow, giving its festivities a unique, frosted flair.

Guy Fawkes Night

On November 5th in 1605, revolutionary Guy Fawkes attempted to explode the House of Lords and assassinate the king, but he was thwarted — and people celebrated across London with bonfires. Despite a civil war not long after and centuries of dissatisfaction with the government, the tradition of setting illumination to remember Guy Fawkes’ treason has continued to this day. You can catch fireworks almost anywhere in England on Guy Fawkes Night, but as the original location of the plot, London’s parliament building offers some of the best pyrotechnics for visiting revelers to watch.


Diwali is India’s Festival of Lights, celebrated by Hindus, Jains, Sikhs and Buddhists. Because so many residents of India celebrate Diwali and because the holiday is celebrating illumination, almost every city has a major fireworks display and dozens of other exciting pyrotechnic events for visitors to enjoy. However, if you want to feel the spiritual impact of Diwali, you should head for the following destinations around India:

Varanasi. The spiritual capital of India balances spectacle and spirituality with its Diwali celebrations. Religious chants and recitals take place against a backdrop of lanterns and firecrackers, creating a fascinating show.

Amritsar. In Punjab, Amritsar has a larger population of Sikhs, who illuminate the Golden Temple and host special prayers throughout the city during this holy time.

Jaipur-Udaipur.  Some of the longest-running Diwali celebrations in India take place in Jaipur, which tends to focus on folk traditions like music, dancing and lamp-making.

You can see fireworks any time of year, but traveling to a fireworks festival makes the experience feel special. You might plan your next trip around one of these exciting events to make fireworks as exciting and memorable as possible.