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December Festivals around the World

posted in: Events  |  posted by: Jennifer Gregory on December 6, 2009  |  2 Comments

The month of December is generally jam packed with incredible festivals and events. As the holiday season begins to consume us, people from around the world break out the party favors and lights and find reason to gather, celebrate, and have fun. So what are some of the different festivals you’ll find around the world during the month of December?

9. Pirates in Paradise Festival – Key West, Florida

F001DSC_2537 PIP-1

If you’re tired of the cold you’ll want to head to sunny Florida for some fun on the beaches of Key West. The Pirates in Paradise Festival lasts for a full week and is a great place for those who want to learn a bit about nautical history. There are re-enactments and fun pirate exhibits as well as a ton of amazing food vendors. Wenches and buccaneers can even walk the plank while they’re there!

8. Hogmanay Festival – Scotland


The Hogmanay Festival is held in Scotland each year on December 31st. Most popular in the city of Edinburgh, the Hogmanay Festival is more than a simple celebration of the New Year. Huge fires are lit and more than 100,000 people will hit the streets to sing Auld Lang Syne in harmony. It’s considered one of the largest street parties in the world!

7. Kerstbier Beer Festival – Belgium

24 Hours

The Kerstbier Beer Festival occurs sometime in the middle of December each year. Held in Essen, Belgium, the festival marks a gathering of more than 20 regional beer tasting clubs. You’ll find more than 3,000 beer lovers in attendance, each scrambling to taste over 100 different bottled beers as well as 100 different Belgian Winter brews. The beer list at this event is absolutely remarkable.

6. Guatemala Burning Devil Festival – Guatemala

Antigua - private beach stop - See Antigua excursion

Throughout Guatemala, but specifically in Antigua, you’ll find the celebration of the Burning Devil Festival. Held on December 7th at 6pm, groups of people will gather to burn piles of trash with representations of devils and demons in an attempt to scare any evil out of the country. After the evil spirits are disposed of there will be plenty of music, food, and fun fireworks displays to enjoy.

5. Zero Film Festival – Los Angeles & New York

Looking north from downtown New York City along the Hudson River.

The Zero Film Festival is an exclusive film festival designed to showcase the work of individuals who produce and self-finance independent films. The goal is to highlight the hard work and dedication of those who spend their hard earned money, and sometimes their life savings, to turn their artistic visions into realities. The festival is held in Los Angeles during the first week of December and in New York City during the second week.

4. Turkey Festival – France

Wild Turkey

The Turkey Festival is held during the third week of December each year, usually on the weekend before Christmas. The festival is celebrated in the small town of Licques, where you’ll find that the streets are overrun with huge turkeys. The turkeys are, during the festival, chased through the streets while locals stand around cheering them on while drinking. Later on there are dinners and dances to celebrate the day. More than 5,000 people visit Licques each year for the Turkey Festival.

3. New England International Auto Show – Massachusetts

2008 saturn astra coupe

The New England International Auto Show festival is held in Boston, Massachusetts in December of each year. Vehicle manufacturers from around the globe will flock to the Bayside Expo center to show off their newest and hottest car, van, truck, and sport models. It’s an entertaining event for casual car lovers and a serious event for collectors and hard-core enthusiasts.

2. Indio International Tamale Festival – California

Tamale Fest 12 2004 (8)

The Indio International Tamale Festival is held in Indio, California every year in order to celebrate the heritage of the tamale. Seriously. Initiated in 1992, the festival showcases the hard work and dedication of those who work in the tamale industry and has earned rankings in lists of top food festivals from around the world. Stop by for tamale tastings, incredible food, and fun entertainment.

1. Bridgewater Festival of Lights – Massachusetts

View of Lakeside Drive - Lake Nippenickit - Bridgewater MA

Also held in Massachusetts every December is the Bridgewater Festival of Lights. The festival features and incredible display of holiday lights, including a huge animated village the entire family can walk through together. The festival is open from December 10th through December 25th and only asks for donations for charity as the cost of admission. It’s a great place to take the family to get into the holiday spirit and maybe even put in a good word with Santa!

Ready to get into the holiday spirit? Visit any of these festivals, or any of the dozens of others bound to be happening in our area this month, and prepare to have an afternoon or evening full of fun and excitement!

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