Winter isn't the greatest time of the year. Usually, you and your friends are stuck inside being freezing cold and completely bored. But what if I told you there's something that can keep you warm and assure you a great time? Well there is - booze! Check out these incredible winter festivals where you can get joyously intoxicated with little to no judgement.
1. Winter Scare Away Festival
This Hungarian festival, known to locals as Busójárás, involves dressing up as a creature to scare off cold weather. The tradition started when villagers dressed up so scare the invading Turkish army. Today, the tradition continues as Hungarians dress up as monsters and consume copious amounts of spiced wine.
2. Sapporo Snow Festival
Nothing quite says winter like ordering a drink at an ice bar. That's only a small part of Japan's Sapporo Snow Festival. This week-long celebration hosts some gigantic snow and ice sculptures. At dawn, they're lit up and look absolutely incredible. There's also some delicious food around the venue to go with your blazing hot sake. Absolutely the perfect winter activity.
3. Cape Town Festival of Beer
Cape Town, South Africa: the beautiful beaches, bustling city, and an insanely amazing beer festival. This is the the largest festival of beer in the Southern Hemisphere. They'll have over 200 beers and beer enthusiasts from around the world attend. I'm getting thirsty already.
4. Quebec Winter Carnival
This 17 day festival includes dog sledding, maple taffy, an ice castle and an adorable snowman mascot named Bonhomme. What you're really looking for, though, is Caribou - the famous Quebecian drink engineered to keep you nice and toasty. Its contents are something of a mystery, but it apparently does the trick. It's also served in an ice glass. Sounds like the perfect way to stay warm in winter.
5. The Night Of Krampus
Krampus is a pretty horrifying legend about a devil with flaming coals for eyes, matted fur and twisting stag horns who slaps people with birch twigs and kidnaps and eats children. That may not seem like your cup of tea, but just wait. This Austrian festival hosts lots of people, around 1,000, who dress up as the creature and party hard. Along with celebrating with booze, they listen to Black Metal music and dance around. Perfect for the whole family.
6. Mardi Gras
Right at the end of winter, Mardi Gras takes New Orleans by storm. The only thing keeping you warm is all the alcohol you consumed and hopefully some very shiny beads. You get to wear masks, dress up, and do some super fun regrettable things. Sounds incredible.
7. Russian Winter Festival
You may well have been in college the last time to guzzled down shot after shot of vodka but it's time to start practicing again, because when in Russia, do as the Russians do. This festival includes sleigh rides, folk music, skating, and lots and lots of vodka consumption. Hey, it's Russia. What did you expect?
8. Dongzhi Festival
China sure knows how to party. Every year, the Chinese celebrate the coming of winter in everyone's favorite way: by eating and drinking a ton. It's standard procedure to cook lots of delicious Chinese meals, like balls of rice called tangyuan and dumplings. Oh yeah, lots of rice wine is also on the menu.
9. Christmas Beer Festival
Nothing says Christmas like drinking away the pain of having to be with your family. Why not do it in Belgium? Essen in Belgium is a small, beautiful village on the Dutch boarder. For two days, visitors of the festival have the chance to try more than 150 Belgian Winter and Christmas beers. I'll drink to that.
If the sun slowly receding back into the sky has made you glum and called upon those wistful winter feelings of sobriety and reflection, just get yourself to one of these festivals. Your feelings of sobriety will soon disappear!