Inspirato Members frequently travel over their favorite holidays: Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s Eve, and more. But across the club’s collection of 175+ destinations around the world, there are dozens of lesser-known international holidays worth celebrating too. These are days that locals have off work, banks and offices are closed, and lively festivities abound for residents and visitors alike. Below are a few of our favorites that members might like to join — or if they’re looking for a more standard vacation or holiday, they can consider traveling to these destinations outside of these dates.
Epiphany – January 6
A national Italian holiday, Epiphany is a bit of an extension of Christmas. The Christian holiday commemorates the Three Kings’ arrival in Bethlehem, and also marks the Santa Claus-like journey of La Befana, an old woman who brings gifts to children. The main celebration occurs in Florence, where a lively parade of people dressed in traditional Renaissance costumes meanders through the city’s ancient streets.
Koningsdag (King’s Day) – April
In a city known for its fantastic parties, Koningsdag is perhaps the most fantastic of all. Meant to celebrate the birthday of Dutch King Willem-Alexander, the day sees nearly every Amsterdam resident — and hundreds of thousands of other visitors — don bright orange attire and hit the streets for the festivities. Participants flock to a bevy of street food vendors, flea markets, bar and pub parties, and, naturally, houseboat parties in the canals.
Jounen Kwéyòl (Creole Day) – October
This lively celebration of Creole culture occurs on the Sunday closest to International Creole Day (October 28). This is a great time to get a taste — literally — of St. Lucian culture, as delicious local cuisine is abundantly offered in the four communities across the island chosen to host official events each year. Beyond food, Jounen Kwéyòl is full of music, dance, and storytelling: locals are encouraged to speak the Creole language as much as possible, and visitors are encouraged to give their best shot at joining the conversations.
BVI Emancipation Festival – July/August
Spanning two whole weeks, the Emancipation Festival is a joyous celebration of the British Virgin Islands’ heritage and commemorates the freeing of slaves on the islands in 1834. Only three days are official public holidays, but locals and visitors alike keep the party going for the full two weeks, celebrating through concerts, parties, and pageants, primarily in Tortola’s capital, Road Town. The climax is the grand parade — anyone can join in —ending at a beach party, where everyone jumps in the water.
It’s good to know what to expect before checking out these or any other international holiday. Here are a few tips worth considering:
- Check before you go. It’s best to check for local holidays before traveling, so you can plan around any potential closures or, even better, find out which events you can join!
- Be able to adjust your plans on the fly. On local holidays, most residents will have the day off work, and thus businesses will be closed, even ones you might not expect. Be prepared to make changes to your itinerary if a certain activity or vendor is not available due to the holiday.
- Respect local customs. Many international holidays welcome foreigners to come celebrate alongside locals, but always take a cue from the people around you as to what you can participate in. And remember that your favorite holiday traditions at home may be celebrated differently in a different country.
- Remember different holiday dates. Holidays in your home country might not align perfectly in other countries. For example, in Canada, Thanksgiving is celebrated on the second Monday in October, rather than the fourth Thursday in November, as it is in the United States.
- Ask your Inspirato Member Care team. Inspirato Members can always check in with their Member Care team to check on any holidays or festivals happening during their vacation. Inspirato’s team of travel experts have insider connections around the world, and can offer even more tips and ideas for having the best holiday vacation, no matter where or when.