There’s something about festivals, be it a giant, joyous party or a respectful honoring of tradition; a seemingly bizarre adherence to ritual or a celebration of a quirky obsession; it’s a uniquely human thing to be involved in. We like to get together to dance, sing, eat, laugh, drink, dress up, light fires, take our clothes off, throw tomatoes at each other, roll around in mud – just about anything really, but we seem to like doing it in really large groups with bags and bags of enthusiasm.
Why is it that we behave in this way? Because we’re pleasure seekers? Be- cause we’re obsessives? We think it’s because festivals are a life-affirming example of the inherent goodness in humanity. They take our desire to have a good time with our friends to a global level.
They kick-start because of our passions and our wish to spread and share our joy with as many other people as possible. But they continue and thrive be- cause they ignite curiosity and go on to promote understanding, compassion and a greater acceptance of the human race, and all the crazy fun and fervour that comes with it.
1 Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, Albuquerque, USA
What are we talking here? party balloons?
If you go in expecting something like that, then you are going to be totally blown away (pun intended). This annual fiesta in New Mexico is the largest hot-air balloon festival in the world, with more than 500 of these spectacular aircraft taking to the skies for nine days each October.
The sky looks magical.
The sight of enormous balloons floating serenely through the New Mexico skies in all their kaleidoscopic color is breathtaking. Keep your eyes peeled for the quirky and unusually shaped balloons – there’s nothing quite like seeing a skyscraper-sized turtle floating overhead.
Can we JUMP on board and get a view from up high?
While the festival is flooded with hardcore enthusiasts and serious professional balloonists who compete in races and other exhibition events, it’s also open to curious onlookers. It’s possible to walk around the field while the balloons are being lit and inflated and book a ride on one also. Get in early though, as rides in the balloons sell out fast.