Best Festivals to Celebrate in December
Festivals bring a great level of excitement and belonging within a community, and each season comes with its own set of festivals that bring people together to celebrate in harmony. We present you with a list of the

best festivals to celebrate in December 2023

worldwide , which is truly the coolest of the year. As the chill reaches its peak in most regions, you get several opportunities to indulge in mulled wine and hot cider to overcome the fear of the extreme chill. With the festivities carrying on until the last day of the month, New Year’s Eve, you will never be short of excitement when you travel in December anywhere in the world. Take a look at the top festivals around the world; each festival in December brings a unique perspective and insights into the cultural heritage of that particular region.

Al Dhafra Festival in Abu Dhabi

Al Dhafra Festival

This more than three-month festival kicked off on October 21, 2023 and will last till February 8, 2024. This festival, hosted by the UAE’s Crown Prince and the deputy commander in chief of the UAE armed forces, celebrates the unique Bedouin lifestyle. Camels and tribes descend into the desert to celebrate this vivid festival together. The festivities include traditional falconry displays, handicrafts, Saluki dog races, and delightful cuisines. However, camel racing competitions and trading share the limelight here.

Location: Madinat Zayed, Al Dhafra region, Abu Dhabi

Date: October 21, 2023, to February 8, 2024

UAE National Day

National Day Celebrations

It is one of the country’s most significant holidays, as the UAE was formed 52 years ago on this day (December 2). Since then, UAE National Day has been observed with utmost fervor, enriched by fireworks, parades, shopping deals, and exclusive events. The whole region, along with its malls, iconic attractions, leisure centers, government offices, etc., is decorated with the four colors of the UAE flag (red, green, white, and black).

Location: All over the UAE

Date: December 2

Chichibu Yomatsuri in Japan

Chichibu-YomatsuriImage Credit:

This night festival features vibrant lights, a magnificent fireworks display, and ornate floats on the 2nd and 3rd of December 2023. This two-day event celebrates the 300-year-long history of the local shrine. A team of Japanese men carries a Mikoshi; this ornately carved and gorgeously decorated palanquin floats throughout Chichibu town. Then, 10-tone floats head towards the sky at the hill to the plaza at the city hall, witnessed by thousands of people. This journey is physically demanding, and only the tough can maintain the memento. However, the journey is finally rewarded with colorful fireworks.

Location: Chichibu, about two hours from Tokyo

Date: December 2 and 3, 2023

Miami Vegandale Festival

Vegandale-FestivalImage Credit:

The thriving gastronomic scene in Miami is celebrated to the fore with this festival, to be held on December 2, 2023. The Virginia Key Beach Park in Florida will host this event, which is a treat for vegans. Check out over 100 stalls from all over the country, offering delights as diverse as home-baked cookies, ice creams, milkshakes, and fried snacks.

Location: Virginia Key Beach Park, Miami

Date: December 2, 2023

Amsterdam Light Festival

Light FestivalImage Credit:

Visit Amsterdam between November 30, 2023, and January 21, 2024, and you get the chance to participate in its breathtaking light festival. See the exceptional light artworks created by international artists in its 12th version, making it one of the best places to visit in December 2023.

Location: Amsterdam

Date: November 30, 2023 to January 21, 2024

Krampusnacht Festival in Vienna

Krampusnacht-FestivalImage Credit:

This festival allows all the people to behave liberally to make it to the good books of Santa. This festival originated from the German legend of the demon Krampus, which dates back to the pre-Christian era. The Austrian Vienna festival will be hosted on December 5, 2023. A person dressed as a Krampus demon competes in a race. Alcohol is served in plenty and acts as a liquid fuel to keep the costume-themed party going. Unfortunately, the demonic activities and costumes do end up scarring the little ones, and because of this, the Austrian authorities are looking to ban this festival completely.

Location: Klagenfurt, Austria

Date: December 5, 2023

Fete des Lumieres in Lyon

Fete-des-LumieresImage Credit:

This festival is celebrated from December 7 to 10, 2023, to honor the Virgin Mary. Lyon believes the Virgin Mary was her savior and celebrates the same by honoring her annually with the dazzling Fete des Lumieres in France. The festival clearly calls out the significance of the Virgin Mary and her blessing that saved the French population from destruction when the city was fighting deadly diseases like the plague. Each house in Lyon is decorated with candles and lamps outside in their windows to honor the Virgin May. The lit-up Basilica of Fourviere and the Place des Terreaux light show are some of this festival’s striking highlights.

Location: Blandan Park and Place Abbé Pierre

Date: December 7 to 10, 2023

Mother City Queer Project in Cape Town

Come December 16, 2023, Cape Town in South Africa will kick off its summer with spangled jeans, queens, and love machines. This festival was incepted in 1994, when apartheid waded out and equality was given more importance, providing gay people a platform to showcase their identity. The festival has garnered momentum over the years, and the flamboyant fancy dress has taken over the theme in the last decade. Join the momentum, but read the requirements, as people who do not comply with the annual theme are not accepted with ease.

Location: DeWaterkant, Cape Town

Date: December 16, 2023

Burning the Clocks in Brighton

Burning-the-ClocksImage Credit:

This family-based themed festival will be celebrated in England with great vigor and vivaciousness on December 21, 2023. Massive crowds line up on the streets of Brighton with paper lanterns. The community art charity organization, Same Sky, has led this event since 1994. These lanterns are added to the bright bonfire as families witness the magical brightness together, contemplating the past year and enjoying the fireworks displays.

Location: Brighton

Date: December 21, 2023

Night of the Radishes in Mexico City

Night of the RadishesImage Credit:

Every December, Mexico welcomes this great festival where locals compete at night to carve some of the amazing radish display that impresses all the audiences. Nache de Rabanos is the local name given to this festival, which originated almost a century ago here in Mexico. It was initially created to bring people out of their homes and into the plaza as a medium of social interaction. Some of the iconic radish carvers feature the local wildlife, the Nativity scene, and replicas of the local architectural marvels. True to the nature of Mexico, the festivities include plenty of traditional fun throughout the night, with the carvings and displays taking all the limelight.

Location: Oaxaca City, Mexico

Date: December 23, 2023

St. Kitts-Nevis Carnival

St. Kitts-Nevis

This year-end festival kicks off on December 23, 2023, and continues until January 3, 2024, ending the past year and the start of the New Year. The celebrations and festivities occur for two weeks, from Christmas Eve to the New Year. This is the most vividly celebrated festival in St. Kitts, in the Caribbean. True calypso colors, tunes, and dance moves coupled with parades, performances, and parties are hosted at various sites on St. Kitts Island, making it a perfect place to escape the usually busy Christmas festivities. The calypso contest, the Grand Parade, and the Carnival Queen are other key highlights of this festival.

Location: St. Kitts and Nevis

Date: December 23, 2023, to January 3, 2024

Junkanoo Parade in the Bahamas

Junkanoo ParadeImage Credit:

This weeklong festival in the Caribbean kicks off on December 26 and continues until January 1, 2024. This full-on party witnessed the locals spend months preparing themselves with floats, special dance movies, vibrant music tunes, and sturdy costumes. The parade, however, is the highlight of the festival. The Junkanoo Parade celebrates the amazing Garifuna culture with vibrant cowbells, drums, and vivid dance moves in typical Caribbean flavor. The festivities of this grand festival have featured James Bond thrillers like Thunderball, Miami Vice, and Jaws the Revenge.

Location: Bahamas, Nassau

Date: December 26, 2023, to January 1, 2024

Snowglobe in Lake Tahoe

This Christmas-loving December music festival brings music lovers to bundle up in the winter chill as they dance and sway to popular tunes without fearing the winter chill in California. In addition, the Lake Tahoe location is a beautiful ski resort decorated with snowflakes all around that make you wear warm clothes and a stiff body due to frost bites and winter chills. The Snowglobe takes place on December 29 and continues the festivities until the New Year.

Location: South Lake Tahoe, California

Date: December 29

Hogmanay in Scotland

HogmanayImage Credit:

New Year’s Eve, December 31 each year, has a Scottish version of celebrating New Year. This brings along complimentary laughs, ceilidh numbers, English musical numbers, and plenty of alcohol to celebrate the New Year in grand style. Full-scale parties are a must, even though the Edinburgh and Glasgow cold raves will try to pull you out. This party was initiated primarily because Christmas celebrations were muted as Bonnie Scotland was not going well with the church. However, this party woke up all Scottish citizens, and they got to see decorated streets and bells all around every corner. You can take advantage of this festival if you are anywhere near Scotland. The festivities will surely pull you in.

Location: Edinburgh, Scotland

Date: December 30, 2023, to January 1, 2024

Final Thoughts

The weather in December in most parts of the world may be chilly and cozy, but it is super vibrant and fun-packed, especially with some fantastic events and festivals. If you don’t want to miss out on them, be sure to bookmark this page and plan a perfect holiday with the above festivals in your itinerary.

A free spirited girl who loves to eat and talk about street food. During spare time, she loves to read, travel, and experiment with ingredients in kitchen, while cherishing those moments by chronicling them.

  • Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Contact Us