Top 10 Most Popular Winter Festivals in The World

Take a look at the below list of Top 10 Most Popular Winter Festivals in The World 2017. For some people, winter is a time to wrap up warm and stay indoors. However, it is a wonderful time of year and there is lots going on around the world. It is a fantastic time to explore and see what is going on. There are winter based activities and events that take place and you would not want to miss out on the opportunities that are available. Here we take a look at ten of the most popular winter festivals from around the world.

List of Top 10 Most Popular Winter Festivals in The World 2017

10. Yukon Quest, Fairbanks, Alaska, USA


The dog sledding race across the Yukon, based at Fairbanks in Alaska, is probably the most challenging dog sledding challenge on the planet. Set in February, often in harsh weather condition, mushers from across the world compete for the championship. It usually takes competitors between ten and twenty days to complete the course which covers over 1000 miles of icy conditions between Fairbanks in Alaska and the Yukon in Canada. It is a great example of a trans border epic race and it is an amazing spectacle to watch.

9. Carnevale, Venice, Italy

Carnevale, Venice, Italy Top Popular Winter Festivals 2017

The Venetian Carnevale is famous around the world for its dressing up and its glamour. It is held every year in the city before the Christian celebration on Lent begins and it has deep roots, stretching back to the twelfth century. It attracts costume and mask designers from across the world who are all keen to show off their ideas as well as the rich and famous who come for the masked balls. At the centre of the celebrations is a parade where all of the best designs are shown off. Perhaps not a typically ‘wintry’ celebration (although some of the designs do incorporate it as a theme) but nonetheless, an amazing activity and event to take part in during the winter months.

8. Sapporo Snow Festival, Sapporo, Japan


Japan can get very snowy in the winter and so it is a perfect location for this, the Internation Snow Sculpture Contest. It is set across three distinct sites across the city and millions of people come to watch. The main bases are usually Odori Park, Suskino and Satoland. There are usually hundreds of sculptures on display from both professional sculptors and amateurs who fancy having a go. The festival goes beyond just the sculptures though and there is lots to do. People who come along will be entertained with Japanese music which is performed on stages made out of ice. There are also mazes made out of snow, slides and of course lots of food, including regional specialities.

7. Rio Carnival, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Rio Carnival, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Top Most Famous Winter Festivals 2018

The Rio Carnival is probably the biggest festival in the world full stop. Again, it isn’t ‘winter’ feelings that spring to midn when you think of the carnival here but warmth and amazing colours. This is of course because Brazil is experiencing its summer at the time. It takes place just before Lent each year, rather like the Venice Carnevale and it attracts milions of tourists and festival goers every year. The samba takes centre stage and samba school students engage in dance competitions that are taken incredibly seriously every year. There are also the famous festival parades which seem to involve the entire city. Rio comes to life even more than usual during festival season.

6. Winter Carnival, Quebec City, Quebec

Winter Carnival, Quebec City, Quebec Top Famous Popular Winter Festivals 2019

From one carnival to the next, this one is quite a bit colder! It is considered to be one of the biggest and the best in the world but it is themed around cold and crisp white, rather than the amazing diversity of colours of Rio. In this way, they don’t really compete with each other. They are both very different occasions. It is an old festival and has been held in the city since the late 19th Century. There are parades, ice sculptures, balls, dog sled racing and even ice canoeing. Whatever you are into this magical festival will inspire you for the rest of the year. An amazing spectacle. This is one of the Top 10 Most Popular Winter Festivals in The World 2017.

5. Hwacheon Sancheoneo Ice festival, Hwacheon, South Korea


South Korea is of course on a peninsula, surrounded by the sea, so you might be forgiven to think that it doesn’t get that cold in the winter. However, like Japan, there are areas of the country that certainly do. Hwacheaon is located in Gangwon Province and is one of the first places in the country to freeze up in the winter period. This annual festival is held to celebrate this fact. There is lots on offer from ice fishing and skiing to ice sculptures and the most amazing seafood. Go along and enjoy this unique celebration of the South Korean winter.

4. Winterlude, Ottawa, Canada

Winterlude, Ottawa, Canada Top 10 Most Popular Winter Festivals

Another celebration of winter from Canada, the ‘winterlude’ in Ottawa is a strong rival to the festival in Quebec City. It is held over three weekends in February each year and there is a huge range of things to get involved in. If you are into sport (which many Canadians are) you could go an watch ice hockey or figure skating. If you are into food and drink then there are food walking tours that you can take part in. There is also loads going on in other parts of the city and Ottawa is also home to the largest skating rink in the world.

3. Altitude Festival, Mayrhofen, Austria

Altitude Festival, Mayrhofen, Austria Top 10 Most Popular Winter Festivals 2017

The altitud festival is a celebration of Comedy in the Austrian Alps. Mayrhofen is of course a famous ski resort and there is certainly a lot of skiing on offer but this can be matched by the comedy. It is often dubbed the ‘funniest show on earth’ and comics from around the world come to make people laugh.

2. BRITS Music and World Festival, Laax, Switzerland


If you have ever been on a skiing trip you will know that most people like to ski by day and party by night. At Laax, the BRITS festival brings live music and djs from around the world together to give you the party of a lifetime. It is run in conjunction with the British Snowboard and Freeski Championships which draws contestants from across Europe. Laax has a reputation for being both snowy and sunny which is a great combination.

1. Harbin Ice Festival, Harbin, China

Harbin Ice Festival, Harbin, China Top Most Winter Festivals 2018

Top of the list has to be the Harbin Ice Festival in China which is a massive celebration of snow and ice. For two months in the winter (January and February) Harbin becomes a homage to snow. There are loads of festivals across the city with displays, sport, tours, sculptures and all sorts of food and drink stands. You can go on sleigh rides in the countryside or go and watch Siberian tigers at the nearby wildlife park. Quite a spectacle and one that should be on most people’s bucket lists if they enjoy going to amazing festivals around the world.

These are the Top 10 Most Popular Winter Festivals in The World 2017. This list certainly provides variety and it goes to show that even though the sunny summer months have gone (with the exception of the southern hemisphere!) you can still go along to great events and enjoy yourself. The festivals are not in the top ten for no reason. They are amazingly well organised and attract thousands, sometimes millions of people. Go along and have a great time this winter!