This past year, I was lucky enough to be in Ireland for Saint Patrick’s Day. Having had the time of my life – I thought I had satisfied my international partying desires. That was until I read: Rough Guides World Party, a 2007 guide to World’s best festivals. Rough Guides are known for travel books on hundreds of worldwide destinations. Their latest guide has opened my eyes to festivals I never even knew existed!
The book covers over 200 ‘world parties’ and opens with a list of the Top 20 festivals (voted on by the readers of worldparty.roughguides.com). The number one choice was the Rio Carnival.
World Party was written after years of research and travel by Rough Guide authors and contributors. The guide explains all about specific festivals and gives tips and other details to help fulfill the traveler’s experience. The book is divided roughly into continents: covering Europe, the Americas and the Caribbean, Africa and the Middle East, Asia, and Australia and New Zealand.
The origins of each festival are given, for an interesting history lesson. A lot of the festivals began for either religious or political reasons. One of the more interesting festivals that the book highlights was the La Tomatiana which is located in Bunol, Spain. The origins of this bizarre festival are unclear with multiple variations of stories, but they all include a tomato fight!
Aside from the history and travel tips, basic information such as location, dates, time zone, country code and currency are laid out. They also give recommendations on places to stay, food and beverages, and night life.
What I really loved about this book was how it was set up; the authors made it easy to follow. Each section includes sidebars providing “insider info.” For example an insider tip if you’re attending The Full Moon Party in Thailand is, “If you’re hitting Hat Rin for just one night, Bring a swimsuit and sarong, to act as towel, beach rug and bed sheet.” The insider info boxes are great for readers who are just skimming over the section; with the important tips spelled out plainly.
Not only was the book made simple by organizing the festivals by location, but visually it was appealing. The photographs really capture the mood of each festival and make the reader want to experience it for themselves. I especially enjoyed opening each page and knowing right away what I was in for: drinking, music, drugs, nudity, fancy dress, religion, folklore, sports, food, or a street parade.
If you love partying, traveling, or reading interesting new books, I highly recommend Rough Guides World Party. You can pick up the book for $24.99 and get the party started!
© Jenna Spataro