Top 10 global cultural events to look out for on your next business trip

It is often said that the best way to understand a country and its people is by experiencing its culture. And what better way to do this than by spending a few minutes to explore a cultural festival on your next business trip?

Our top 10 global cultural events feature festivals from six of the UK’s major export markets with festivities ranging from the literary Cairo International Book Fair in Egypt to the spectacular ice and snow culture festival in China. So, whatever your hobbies, we’re sure you’ll find something of interest from our list.

And without further ado, here, in no particular order, is our list of top 10 global cultural events.

1. China – Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival

The month-long spectacular Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival takes place in Harbin, north-east China, and is now the largest ice and snow festival in the world. The festival dates back to 1963 and in 2015 starts on 5 January.

2. Italy – Festa Della Sensa

The Festa Della Sensa festival celebrates the political, cultural and social expansion of the Venetian republic and takes place from 19–20 May each year. The main event is the ‘Wedding with the Sea’, in which heritage boats parade on the sea from St Mark’s Square.

3. Egypt – Cairo International Book Fair

This is the oldest and biggest book fair in the Arabic world, reaching up to two million visitors a year, and is held annually in the last week of January. It is also the best way to discover the latest Arabic literary talent, in one place.

4. Russia – Scarlet Sails Festival

The Scarlet Sails Festival takes place in June, in St Petersburg, and forms part of the White Nights Festival. This free event is known for its stunning fireworks, a mock pirate battle on the river Neva, and concerts.

5. Brazil – Carnival

The Carnival of Brazil is held every year from the Friday to the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday. It marks the beginning of Lent, the 40-day period before Easter. It is the most famous holiday in Brazil – the country almost completely shuts down for up to a week of intense festivities.

6. India – Pushkar Camel Festival

This 14-day November event is one of best known in India, attracting over 400,000 visitors from all over the world. More than 11,000 camels are decked with headdresses, shaved and presented to traders to buy and sell.

7. Thailand – Songkran Water Festival

Songkran, or Thai New Year, is a Buddhist festival and the country’s most important public holiday. It is celebrated as a national holiday, every year, from 13–15 April. Celebrations include participants throwing water on each other with anything that comes to hand, including buckets, hoses and even water pistols.

8. Mexico – Día de los Muertos

Also translated as the ‘Day of the Dead’, this festival is held each year in November. Food, colourful clothes and art celebrate those who were loved and are now gone.

9. Burkina Faso – Panafrican Film and Television Festival of Ouagadougou (FESPACO)

French-speaking Burkina Faso is in West Africa and the home of FESPACO, the African film festival. A trip to the festival gives unique insights into the diversity of the African continent and is also a refreshing break from the Hollywood norm. The next festival takes in place in February 2015.

10. Ireland – St Patrick’s Day

Suffice to say, no list of global cultural events would be complete without St Patrick’s Day. The event takes place on 17 March (the death date of Ireland’s patron saint, Patrick) and is celebrated with parades, music concerts and, of course, Guinness!

A cultural event is just one way of understanding a country’s customs. However, in business, the best impact is made when you communicate in the same language. We work in over 200 languages and deliver expert translations across different business sectors and requirements. So, if you would like to take your cultural experience and business investment that much further, give us a call + 44 (0) 1926 335 681 or email

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