20 Best February Festivals Around the World 2024-2025

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There are so many festivals that are held in February each year, so here are 20 of the best February festivals around the world to add to your bucket list!

You have survived the silly season i.e. Christmas and New Year, so now it is time to start looking for some travel inspiration for the month of February! Being the most popular month for festivals in the year, there are loads of festivals in February to enjoy.

In the Northern Hemisphere, some countries have many celebrations in February as it is the last month of the meteorological winter, whilst countries in the Southern Hemisphere are celebrating the last month of summer. As a result, there are plenty of choices of festivals to attend from cultural, spiritual, and religious festivals, through to food and wine, holiday celebrations and music festivals.

There are so many amazing festivals in February around the world to experience, so here is our bucket list pick of the 20 best February festivals that offer something to suit every type of traveller / visitor.

N.B. We will updating this list regularly, so if you have any fun festivals around the world or events you think should make the list, please let us know in the comments section.

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Did You Know?

  • The Welsh call February “y mis bach” which means “little month”.
  • The month is named after the Latin word ‘februum’ which means purification.
  • Every four years is a leap year and February gets an extra day, the 29th, to give the year 366 days. This helps keep the calendar in sync with the earth’s trips around the sun.
  • January is the month to celebrate World Nutella Day (5th), National Pizza Day (9th), Valentine’s Day (14th), National Drink Wine Day (18th), and National Love Your Pet Day (20th).

“Mardi Gras is the love of life. It is the harmonic convergence of our food, our music, our creativity, our eccentricity, our neighbourhoods, and our joy of living. All at once.”

– Chris Rose

February Festivals Around the World

Here are the best February festivals and celebrations to add to your bucket list travel calendar.

1. Cap Go Meh Festival (Tatung Parade) – Singkawang, Indonesia

Vihara Tri Dharma Bumi Raya Temple at Cap Go Meh February Festival
Cap Go Meh Festival – Vihara Tri Dharma Bumi Raya Temple, the oldest temple in Singkawang, is the perfect base to observe and take photographs of the Tatung Parade.
  • Where: Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore
  • When: Annually on the closing day of the Chinese New Year: 24 February, 2024 | 12 February, 2025
  • Duration: 1 day

Cap Go Meh comes from the Hokkien dialect, which derives from the words Cap (ten in Hokkien), Go (five), and Meh (night). Cap Go Meh is celebrated to mark the closing day of the Chinese New Year, which falls 15 nights after the New Year. Since the date of Chinese New Year doesn’t follow the Gregorian calendar, the date of Cap Go Meh can be different every year.

The festival is known as the Yuanxiao or the Shangyuan Festival in China, while Cap Go Meh is mostly used in Southeast Asian countries like Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore. While many people of Chinese descent celebrate Cap Go Meh, the Tatung Festival in Singkawang is one of the most popular Cap Go Meh celebrations.

Tatung Parade, the festival celebrated during Cap Go Meh, is one of the many ways to showcase how they can assimilate cultural differences amongst themselves. It is a mixed festival that embodies the Chinese and Dayak cultures that are rich with superstitious and philosophical values.

Tatung” describes a person who is believed to be possessed by gods or supernatural spirits and the local people come to them to ask about their future, love, career or life in general.

In order to prepare for the parade, Tatungs follow a certain code of conduct in the month leading up to the parade. If they pass the test at a monastery the day before, they can perform the Tatung ritual and join the parade without running the risk of getting injured.

The Tatung Parade starts with a ceremony in a monastery where a spiritual leader gives offerings to the god of prosperity ‘Tua Pe Kong’, before inviting the spirits to possess the Tatungs. The Tatungs then go into a trance like state and perform supernatural rituals by stabbing themselves with sharp objects and piercing their skin. Afterwards, the Tatungs parade through the city streets as a way to banish evil spirits from Singkawang.

2. Carnival – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Exit45 Travels-February Festivals-Carnival in Rio lady dressed with a feather headress
Carnival in Rio: Image by Julian Myles at Unsplash
  • Where: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • When: Annually the week before Lent (February / March): 9 – 14 February, 2024 | 28 February, 5 March, 2025
  • Duration: 9 days

Everyone has heard of Carnival in Rio de Janeiro as it is one of the best world events and biggest festival in the world. Carnival is celebrated in many countries around the world, but Rio de Janeiro and Venice are the most popular!

This iconic Brazilian festival arose from the tradition where everyone removed all temptation to wine and dine during the fast for Lent. They did this by eating and drinking lots in the five days leading up to Lent.

Today, the streets of the city are filled with millions of people for these five sleepless days leading up to Lent, celebrating at the biggest street party on earth. Expect to see flamboyant costumes, feathered headpieces, and Brazilian dancers dancing to the sounds of Samba and steel drums.

The best way to enjoy the celebration of Carnival in Rio is to line the streets and watch the parade go by.  It is hard not to be impressed by the floats and costumes which take months to make and are some of the most amazing you’ll ever see.

To enjoy this experience of a lifetime, make sure you book early. Accommodation in Rio de Janeiro at this time of year is booked out up to 12 months in advance, and expect to pay double the price for a room than at any other time of the year.

3. Carnival of Venice – Venice, Italy

Exit45 Travels-February Festivals-parade goer in costume with a gold mask at Carnival in Venice
Carnival in Venice: Image by Livia Chauar at Unsplash
  • Where: Venice, Italy
  • When: Annually the week before Lent (February / March): 3 – 13 February, 2024 | 22 February – 4 March, 2025
  • Duration: 11 days

The Carnival of Venice or Carnevale di Venezia, is an annual festival held in the beautiful city of Venice, Italy. The most important days of the Venetian Carnival are Fat Thursday (the last Thursday before Lent – 24 February), and Shrove Tuesday (the day before Ash Wednesday – 1 March, the first day of Lent), but the majority of festival goers visit during the weekends of the festival.

With much the same traditional beginning as Carnival in Rio de Janeiro, Venetians have celebrated since the 12th Century with parties, and copious amounts of food and wine in the weeks leading up to Lent so they don’t feel like they were missing out during the fasting of Lent.

The first details about carnevale in Venice date back to 1094. Back then, the carnival was an event dedicated to the people from the lower classes, who, through the anonymity guaranteed by masks, could relate with the nobility of the time. The tradition of wearing masks has continued and the locals’ love of them is revived every year with masked balls, mask contests and masquerade pub crawls.

In addition to the official events, various private parties and masked balls are organized in the beautiful Venetian palaces. In these venues, due to the almost unchanged furnishings and atmosphere, it is possible to relive the ancient splendours of Carnivals of the past. Some of the highlights of the Venice Carnival are the Venetian Feast on Water which is the grand opening of the carnival, Festa delle Marie, Flight of the Angel, Flight of the Eagle, and the Best Mask Contest, which is the Grand Final concluding the festivities.

4. Chinese New Year’s Festival – Worldwide

Exit45 Travels-February Festivals-Chinese New Year's Festival young boy in dragon parade
Chinese New Year’s Festival: Image by Nikita Belokhonov at Pexels
  • Where: Worldwide
  • When: Annually in January and/or February: 10 – 27 February, 2024 | 29 January – 14 February, 2025
  • Duration: 16 days

Chinese New Year, also known as the Spring Festival, is the most celebrated event on the lunar calendar. The exact dates are decided by the lunar calendar and normally fall between mid-January and as late as the end of February. 

Traditionally the Chinese New Year festival lasts for 16 days with these notable dates:

  • New Year’s Eve on February 9th, 2024 | February 28th, 2025
  • New Year’s Day on February 10th, 2024 | February 29th, 2025
  • The Lantern Festival on February 24th, 2024 | February 12th, 2025

The official public holiday marks the turning of a new leaf for most as they spend time with their family and loved ones. 2024 marks the year of the Dragon and 2025 is the year of the Snake in the Chinese zodiac.

Although not a religious festival, families have their own rituals and traditional activities scheduled throughout the week including visiting a temple to make an offering to the Buddha or the gods, for blessings for a prosperous new year. Generally, ancestors are honoured in the home with incense, flowers and candles. However, Chinese New Year is publicly celebrated all around the world and a walk through any city’s Chinatown is an amazing experience.

You will see festivities such as street parades, lion dances, elaborate dragons, and stilt-walking. What makes Chinese New year celebrations special is how the Chinese people come together, with the spirit of their cultural identity on display.

5. Fashion Week – New York, London, Milan and Paris

Exit45 Travels-February Festivals-a fashion parade with models on the catwalk at Fashion Week
Fashion Week: Image by Michael Lee at Unsplash
  • Where: New York, London, Milan and Paris
  • When: Annually in February and September
  • New York: 2024 & 2025 dates TBC
  • London: 2024 & 2025 dates TBC
  • Milan: 2024 & 2025 dates TBC
  •           Paris: 2024 & 2025 dates TBC
  • Duration: 6 days

New York, London, Milan and Paris Fashion Weeks are clothing trade shows that take place twice a year – in February and September and are the most exciting times of the year in the fashion calendar. Showcasing over 250 designers to a global audience of fashion lovers, influential media and buyers, these are the ‘Big Four’ fashion weeks in the world.

The shows bring new collections and trend inspiration for the coming season, whereby the February show displays the coming Autumn / Winter fashions, whilst the September show displays the coming Spring / Summer fashions.

The fashion shows are exclusive and ticket only, but there are parts of the events which are open to the public and you may even catch a glimpse of one of your favourite models. For example, in London Somerset House is open to the public and you can freely walk around taking photos.

6. Harbin Ice Festival – China

Exit45 Travels-February Festivals-Harbin Ice Festival ice sculpture of life size buildings
Harbin Ice Festival: Image by Erica Li at Unsplash
  • Where: Harbin, Heilongjiang province, China
  • When: Annually in December through to February: 17 December 2023 – 28 February 2024 | 2024 / 2025 dates TBC
  • Duration: Approx. 68 days

We have added the Harbin Ice Festival to our post on the ‘Best Festivals in January” as the opening ceremony officially takes place in this month. However, this festival can also be enjoyed from December through to February each year.

7. Jaisalmer Desert Festival – Jaisalmer, India

A camel dressed in colourful accessories at Jaisalmer Desert Festival in India
Jaisalmer Desert Festival: Image by Nina Luong at Unsplash
  • Where: Jaisalmer, India
  • When: Annually in February: 8 – 10 February, 2024 | 2025 dates TBC
  • Duration: 3 days

The Jaisalmer Desert Festival is an annual event that takes place in February in the city of Jaisalmer in Rajasthan, India. It is held in the Hindu month of Magh, three days prior to the full moon. The festival is celebrated amongst the sand dunes of the Thar Desert. This festival showcases the traditional culture of Rajasthan and is considered to be one of the best Indian festivals in February.

The legend about the beginnings of this festival is that Lord Krishna, ruler of Yadav community told Arjuna (one of the Pandavas) that a successor belonging from the Yadav community will set up his kingdom on the Trikuta Hill. In the year 1196, the prediction made by the Lord Krishna came true, when Rawal Jaiswal, a descendant of the Yadav clan, established his kingdom in Jaisalmer. Celebrations were organized throughout the kingdom, when the people came to know that the prophecy had come true. 

The festival commences with a procession in the morning and locals dress in traditional and bright costumes. They sing and dance depicting the tragedies and accomplishments of the desert. The Gair and the fire dance are highlights of the festival, as are the gymnastic acts by the Kalabaz, a group of local nomads. Festival goers will also enjoy the folk music and ballads.

Other unique festivities to watch or participate in include contests from camel racing and camel polo to turban tying. One of the highlights is the moustache competition! Long beards and moustaches are symbols of honour in Rajasthan so there is some serious competition. The selection and crowning of Mr. Desert and Miss Moomal involves the men dressing up in traditional finery with swords while young, unmarried girls deck up in heavy, traditional clothes and jewellery, looking like brides.

8. Mardi Gras Festival – New Orleans, USA

One of the many floats at mardi gras new orleans in February
A float in the street parade at Mardi Gras, New Orleans
  • Where: New Orleans, USA
  • When: Annually on a Tuesday in February or March: 13 February, 2024 | 4 March, 2025
  • Duration: Approx. 14 days around Fat Tuesday date

The Famous (and often infamous) Mardi Gras Festival in New Orleans, Louisiana, occurs yearly beginning twelve days after Christmas and culminating in an epic final day, Fat Tuesday, which is the day before Ash Wednesday.  This is one of the best February celebrations around the world and the festival brings party seekers from all over the world for family fun, mostly, but a bit of debauchery awaits for some.  

Parades highlight the days with colourful floats carrying mask-wearing revellers from different krewes (groups or organisations) tossing beads, doubloons, and other trinkets to the kids.  And following the daily parades, party-goers attend street concerts with dedicated cajun music and dance, eat the best food and drink in the world, and enjoy a little bit of chaos and a lot of indulgence.

And in the morning, unless you are sleeping off the night before, grab a cup of strong coffee and chicory from Café Du Monde and a plate of beignets, and start over.  It’s all part of the experience.

Mardi Gras in New Orleans is not all hedonism and adult entertainment as is its reputation. There is something for everyone, from daily family fun to a night out with your besties or date night with your significant other.  You may attend a lavish five-course meal prepared in front of you by a world-renowned chef or a Black Tie ball where you can dress red carpet ready.

Mardi Gras is also a time for family bonding, making new friends, appreciating traditional religious rituals, or simply enjoying the company of good people on the streets of New Orleans.

And one more thing, the King Cake, which is basically pastry dough twisted into a circular cake resembling a crown, covered in purple and gold icing and sugar crystals.  There is always a plastic baby hidden in the King Cake.  The tradition states that whoever has the slice that holds the baby has to supply the King Cake for the next party.

9. Maslenitsa – Russia, Belarus and Ukraine

Exit45 Travels-February Festivals-Maslenitsa festival in saint petersburgh dolls in traditional costume stuck into snow
Maslenitsa Festival in Russia, Belarus and Ukraine
  • Where: Russia, Belarus and Ukraine
  • When: Annually in the week before Orthodox Easter (February and/or March): 11 – 17 March, 2024 | 24 February – 2 March, 2025
  • Duration: 7 days

Maslenitsa is one of the oldest Slavic holidays celebrated throughout places like Russia, Belarus and Ukraine and traditionally marks the end of winter. The festival lasts a whole week. In the Orthodox calendar it falls on the week before Lent and the eight weeks before Orthodox Easter. Although the exact dates are different each year it is usually somewhere at the beginning of March.  

Because it is the week before the fasting period of Lent, it is the last chance for people to indulge themselves in sugar and dairy products that are soon no longer permitted. Therefore it is also known as ‘butter week’ or ‘pancake week’. The pancakes are not only delicious, but also symbolize the sun. 

Maslenitsa fairs pop up all over the country with 7 days of activities and merrymaking. Here you can find lots of different pancakes and other baked goods rich in butter, milk and eggs. Most popular are pancakes with sour cream and caviar. As the snow will soon disappear, traditional games like sleigh riding and snow ball fighting are also very popular. Even organized fistfights are part of the game.   

10. Nagasaki Lantern Festival – Nagasaki, Japan

Exit45 Travels-February Festivals-lots of colourful lanterns at the Nagasaki-Lantern-Festival
Nagasaki Lantern Festival at Minato Park: Credit: Life Of Doing
  • Where: Nagasaki, Japan
  • When: Annually based on the Lunar calendar (January or February): Late January / Early February 2024 & 2025
  • Duration: 15 days

What is unique about this festival is that there are over 15,000 lanterns in the Chinatown area and around the train station. You can see these colourful lanterns at any time of the day. Yet, evenings are a special time to visit since the whole area lights up.

You don’t need to travel far to see these lanterns as they’re along the canal, parks, and main tourist areas such as the Spectacles Bridge (Meganebashi Bridge) to see these gorgeous lanterns. There are also colourful sculptures of zodiac signs and historical figures.

During the festival, check out daily shows such as Chinese acrobatics, lion and dragon dancing, Mazu procession, and Emperor’s Parade. They’re fun to watch and give more insight to Chinese culture. The shows are located at venues around the area, yet many occur at Minato Park and Chuo Park. Most of the shows are free to watch, but the temples charge a small fee for admission.

Enjoy your visit to Nagasaki Lantern Festival!

11. Rann Utsav– Kutch, Gujarat, India

Exit45 Travels-February Festivals-Children in traditional dress at Rann Utsav in India
Children in traditional dress at Rann Utsav: Image by Sambit Nayak at Unsplash
  • Where: Kutch, Gujarat, India
  • When: Annually during Winter: 2024 / 2025 dates TBC
  • Duration: approx. 100 days

We have added Rann Utsav to our post on the ‘Best Festivals in January” as it is said the best time to visit this festival is in January. However, this festival can also be enjoyed from November through to February each year.

12. Sanremo Music Festival – Sanremo, Italy

Exit45 Travels-February Festivals-sanremo music festival sign in city centre
Sanremo Music Festival
  • Where: Sanremo, Italy
  • When: Annually in the first week of January: 2024 and 2025 dates TBC
  • Duration: 5 days

Sanremo Music Festival (‘Festival della canzone Italiana di Sanremo’ in Italian) is the most famous Italian singing contest and awards ceremony since 1951. It is held annually in Sanremo, a city on the Mediterranean coast of Liguria in north-western Italy. Also, Sanremo is well known as a tourist destination on the Italian Riviera

The festival does usually takes place in the first week of February and lasts for 5 days, Tuesday to Saturday. In the first 4 days, many Italian artists present unreleased songs to the public and on the last day, there is the proclamation of the winner. He or she will participate in the Eurovision Song Contest representing the country.

The songs presented in the contests are original and real; the singers sing live and are all accompanied by one of the biggest Italian orchestras. Also, throughout the week of exhibitions, there are many international artists as guests. Just to mention a few, the Sanremo Music Festival hosted celebrities like Queen, Ray Charles, Duran Duran, Whitney Houston, Bruce Springsteen, Madonna, Bono Vox, Christina Aguilera, Elton John, and many more!

The Sanremo Music Festival is the most famous song event in Italy and it is broadcast live on one of the main channels on Italian TV and all over the world. If you are passionate about music and would like to enjoy a night of incredible live performances and culture you cannot miss the Sanremo Music Festival. The price for one night is around 150€, 1290€ for the full 5 days.

13. Sapporo Ice Festival – Sapporo, Japan

Exit45 Travels-February Festivals-Tiger Ice Sculpture at Sapporo Ice Festival
Sapporo Ice Festival –
  • Where: Sapporo, Japan
  • When: Annually at the end of January / early February: 4 – 11 February, 2024 | 2025 dates TBC
  • Duration: 8 days

The Sapporo Ice Festival is held annually in Hokkaido’s capital city of Sapporo. It is one of Japan’s most popular winter events and is held during one week every February. It is said to be one of the most beautiful festivals in the world!

The festival showcases a fascinating world of amazing snow and ice sculptures attracting more than two million visitors each year from Japan and across the world.

The main site for the festival is in Odori Park in the centre of Sapporo which exhibits approximately a dozen of the largest snow sculptures, some measuring more than 25 meters wide and 15 meters high. In addition, you can also see more than one hundred smaller sculptures, and the park hosts several concerts and events on stages made from snow.

Make sure you visit the Odori site at night as well as during the day as the ice sculptures are illuminated until 10pm. To get the best views, head to the observatory at the Sapporo TV Tower.

14. Sa Sartiglia – Oristano, Sardinia, Italy

Exit45 Travels-February Festivals-sartiglia-festival with 3 men on white horses
Sa Sartiglia in Sardinia, Italy
  • Where: Oristano, Sardinia, Italy
  • When: Annually on Shrove Tuesday and Ash Sunday in February and/or March: 11 February + 13 February, 2024 | 2 March + 4 March, 2025
  • Duration: 15 days

Researchers suggest that the first time Sa Sartiglia was held in Oristano was in 1546, when a parade was organized in honour of the then King Charles V of Aragon, Castiglia and Sardinia. This is to say that this celebration is more than 500 years old!

The core of the festival is a horse race that involves around 120 knights per day, each dressed in traditional costumes and riding beautifully adorned horses. They carry a sword or spear with which they have to catch a star-shaped token that’s hung in the streets of Oristano, while galloping at full speed. 

Another race is all about acrobatics: groups of three knights gallop along the streets of the city while making acrobatic figures on their horses’ backs.

There also are smaller side events such as the dressing of the knights, each of them with a particular role. 

Sa Sartiglia is an incredibly heartfelt festival in Sardinia, and should you visit in the right season (usually between February and March). You should not miss the opportunity to attend.

15. Sun Festival – Abu Simbel, Egypt

Sun Festival in Abu Simbel, Egypt - Visitors admire the Great Temple at Abu Simbel shortly after sunrise
Sun Festival in Abu Simbel, Egypt – Visitors admire the Great Temple at Abu Simbel shortly after sunrise
  • Where: Abu Simbel, Egypt
  • When: Annually on the 22 February and 22 October each year: 22 February + 22 October, 2024 | 22 February + 22 October, 2025
  • Duration: 1 day

Visitors from Egypt and around the world travel to the small town of Abu Simbel, at the southernmost edge of Egypt, for a brief glimpse of the sun’s rays lighting the carved figures. As sunrise approaches, crowds gather and anxiously await the opportunity to file quickly through the inner chamber, cameras at the ready. For two days before and after each festival the solar alignment is less precise but still observable, and visitors looking for a more peaceful experience can enjoy the phenomenon with less of a crowd.

The imposing temples at Abu Simbel – a UNESCO World Heritage Site that towers over the banks of Lake Nasser – are impressive enough any day of the year. It’s special just to stand and look up at the massive figures of Ramses II decorating the outer wall, but during the Sun Festival it’s possible to glimpse the true magnitude of effort and engineering that went into the temple’s construction over 3000 years ago. 

16. Tapati – Easter Island, Chile

Exit45 Travels-February Festivals-Tapati Festival Easter Island Jewelry making from shells
Tapati Festival on Easter Island – Jewellery making
  • Where: Easter Island, Chile
  • When: Annually in the first 2 weeks of February: 1 February – 16 February, 2024 | 2025 dates TBC
  • Duration: 15 days

The festival celebrates the traditional culture of the island.  It’s organized around a competition between two young women vying for title of “queen” of the island for the next year.  Each of the two contestants is supported by her extended ‘family’, representing the old tradition of rival tribes, and she earns points when members of her team win various competitions held throughout the festival. Competitions include artistic, culinary, handicraft, and sporting activities. 

There are shows and performances each night with traditional singing, storytelling, dancing, and bodypainting contests. Handicraft competitions include traditional stone and wood carving for men, as well as reed-mat and jewellery making for women.

Sports range from Polynesian canoe racing to a local ‘triathlon’ that includes rowing a reed raft, running while carrying large bunches of bananas, and swimming with a reed float.  Another local sport, haka pei, involves tobogganing down a hillside on a sled made from two banana tree trunks! The winner is the person who goes furthest.

The cultural festival culminates in a large parade behind each of the two women contestants.  Travellers are encouraged to join in, since points are awarded for the largest number of followers.

The Tapati Festival is a wonderful way to experience Easter Island traditions.

17. Tết Festival – Vietnam

Exit45 Travels-February Festivals-lady hanging red envelopes in tree at Tet Festival in vietnam
Tet Festival in Vietnam
  • Where: Vietnam
  • When: Annually in late January, early February: 10 February, 2024 | 29 January, 2025
  • Duration: generally 5 days around the dates listed above

Tết means “festival of the first morning of the first day of the New Year” and marks the end of the lunar calendar and the arrival of spring. It is the most important festival in the Vietnamese calendar when families gather together for a huge celebration.

This celebration generally lasts for 5 days, but can continue for one week or longer. The festival is split into the day before New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Eve, and New Year’s Day.

The Vietnamese travel long distances to go back home and visit their families in countryside provinces. As a result, and something to be aware of if travelling in Vietnam during this time, is most cities are virtually empty, and some shops and most restaurants close down over this period.

Preparations by the Vietnamese begin well before Tết and many traditional rituals are practiced. Families clean their family graves, worship their ancestors at their family altars and decorate their homes with apricot blossoms, peach blossoms and kumquat trees, symbolizing the hope of prosperity and well-being. Temples can get very crowded, special foods are prepared, debts paid, conflicts resolved, and every part of the house is cleaned.

Other festivities include dragon dancing performed along the streets and fireworks are set off to repel any evil spirits before the New Year begins. During this time there is a real sense of celebration in the air, making it a festive time to visit Vietnam.

18. Up Helly Aa – Shetland Islands, Scotland

burning of a viking ship at up helly aa festival in scotland
Up Helly Aa on the Shetland Islands in Scotland
  • Where: Lerwick, Shetland Islands, Scotland
  • When: Annually between January and March, but the largest in Lerwick is held annually on the last Tuesday in January: 30 January, 2024 | 28 January, 2025
  • Duration: 1 day

We have added Up Helly Aa to our post on the ‘Best Festivals in January” as the biggest of these festival is held in Lerwick in January. However, this festival can also be enjoyed from January through to March each year.

19. Verona in Love Festival – Verona, Italy

Love messages on entrance to Romeo and Juliet balcony in Verona (Italy).
Love messages on entrance to Romeo and Juliet balcony at Verona in Love: Image by Felix Lemke at Unsplash
  • Where: Verona, Italy
  • When: Annually on the closest weekend to / and Valentine’s Day: 14 – 17 February, 2024 | 14 – 17 February, 2025
  • Duration: 4 days

Looking for a special and unique way to celebrate Valentine’s Day this year? Then head to the most romantic destination in Italy, the city of Verona, for the annual Verona in Love Festival. The programme of events give everyone the chance to experience the city that has been the backdrop to one of the most poignant love stories in romantic literature, ‘Romeo and Juliet’ by William Shakespeare.

Visitors can spend four full days enjoying lots of cultural events including live music, attending book presentations and theatrical performances, or visiting the most romantic parts of the city of Romeo and Juliet such as Juliet’s balcony, Piazza dei Signori and the Lamberti Tower. You can even participate in the Giulietta and Romeo Half Marathon if that is the way you want to celebrate Valentine’s Day with your loved one!

During this festival, the streets and squares of Verona are filled with red decorations and lights with different neighbourhoods competing with each other to display the best decorations while shopkeepers fill their windows with romantic treats.

20. Winterlude – Ottawa, Canada

  • Where: Ottawa, Canada
  • When: Annually within the first 3 weeks of February: 2 – 19 February, 2024 | 2025 dates TBC
  • Duration: Approximately 2 weeks

If you are looking for fun during the Canadian winter, stop by the National Capital Region of Ottawa-Gatineau for the annual Winterlude Festival, which celebrates the northern climate and unique culture of Canada with lots of fun winter activities. 

The main attraction of this festival is the Rideau Canal Skateway, which is the world’s largest skating rink, with a total length of 7.8 kilometres (4.8 miles). The canal, which is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, freezes over and is actively maintained for skating in the winter season. Skate rentals and refreshments like hot chocolate and traditional cinnamon sugar fried pastries are available at several points along the skating path. For visitors who are not comfortable skating, there is always the option to walk along the canal and still fully enjoy the festivities. 

In Summary – The Best February Festivals Around the World

You can find many major festivals around the world which are held throughout every month of the year. You will be spoilt for choice if you choose to celebrate at a festival in February as there are lots of both larger and smaller festivals out there for you to pick from and enjoy.

What is your favourite February festival in the world and why? Have you been to any of our list of the best February festivals around the world listed above? Have we missed any you think we should add? Post your tips, comments and questions below.

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