As we roll full-steam ahead into 2014, it’s time to start dialing in those travel plans for February. Whether you’re a foodie who wants to nosh with some of the biggest names in the industry, or you’d rather watch throngs of nearly naked men fight for good luck talismans in Japan, February has you covered. Here’s a look at six of February’s best fests around the world.
Chinese New Year, Worldwide, Jan. 31
Although Chinese New Year technically falls on Jan. 31 this year, countries throughout Asia and Chinatowns around the world will take their celebrations to the streets during the first weekend of February. For some of the world’s best celebrations, consider San Francisco, Sydney, Singapore, New York City and Hong Kong.
Sapporo Snow Festival, Sapporo, Japan, Feb. 5-11
February brings one of Japan’s biggest festivals to the winter wonderland of Sapporo. The city becomes a chilly art gallery filled with larger-than-life snow and ice sculptures depicting things like beloved cartoon characters.
Saidai-ji Eyo Hadaka Matsuri, Okayama, Japan, Feb. 15
If the Sapporo Snow Festival sounds a little too tame for your taste, you might consider heading to Okayama to watch 9,000 loincloth-laden men wrestle over a pair of sacred lucky sticks said to bring blessings for a year of happiness. The naked festivities are held at Saidai-ji Temple in the Okayama Prefecture.
SoBe Food & Wine Festival, Miami, Fla., Feb. 20-23
If the thought of nearly naked men wrestling over lucky sticks hasn’t put a damper on your appetite, don’t miss the SoBe Food & Wine Festival in Miami later this month. One of the premier events in the industry, the SoBe Food and Wine Festival brings together heavy-hitting foodie names like Anthony Bourdain, Andrew Zimmern, Giada De Laurentiis and Rachael Ray.
Venice Carnival, Venice, Italy, Feb. 15-March 4
The Italian city of Venice erupts in an elegant flurry of baroque and Renaissance-inspired costumes during this annual carnival, but it’s not the whimsical dresses that serve as the focal point of the Carnival of Venice: it’s the masks. Several distinct full-mask styles shroud the people of Venice for nearly three weeks, and mask contests are held regularly throughout the carnival.
Wanderlust Festival, Oahu, Hawaii, Feb. 27-March 2
If you’d rather get your ohm on this February, head to Oahu at the end of the month for the Wanderlust Festival at Turtle Bay Resort on the North Shore. Yoga, island rhythms and surfing create a weekend of zen on the shores of Hawaii from Feb. 27 to March 2.
(Main image: heatherbroster)