PEDESTRIAN.TV has partnered with Geckos Adventures to get you hooked up with some of the most authentic travel experiences going ’round. Keen to win a trip to one of the below festivals? Gecko Adventures are giving away six of ’em – head HERE to enter.

Travel: we’re all gunning for it. When we’re afforded the opportunity to actually go (praise be, annual leave), it’s hard to choose where to head. Sure, there’s the go-to locations with their textbook attractions like Paris and the Eiffel Tower, but we reckon you’re just like us – you’re craving something a lil’ more authentic, something a lil’ more real. 
That why a lot of us turn to cultural events like La Tomatina and Oktoberfest, but then again, we’ve all heard of them. We all know what they’re about. 
While we’re not trying to say they’re not the best things since sliced bread, there’s a lot going on around the world in the same vein that you mightn’t have heard of. So, good people of the internet, let us hook you up with the ultimate festival pass to some of our blue marble’s more unusual, kick ass festivals. 
#1. KIMCHI FESTIVAL – SOUTH KOREA
Photo: Republic of Korea / Flickr.
South Korea is getting a rep with travellers chasing an immersive, non-traditional experience. The country’s hotter than Hansel atm. Its little undercurrent of modern culture (read: K-pop and the like) makes it a worthwhile place to travel in its own right. But then there’s the Kimchi Festival, which is a whole different level of deliciousness. 
Kimchi, if you’re not familiar with it, is fermented dish made of veggies like napa cabbage, radish, scallion, garlic, ginger and cucumber + traditionally seasonings. It’s also the best thing since sliced bread in terms of something you can chow down on. 
The Kimchi Festival sees thousands gather to make their signature variations of the dish, and if you attend, you can get amongst the action to create your own (or just eat everyone else’s).
  
#2. GNAOUA FESTIVAL – MOROCCO
Photo: Gecko Adventures. 
While Coachella and Glastonbury bring a lot to the table in terms of music and general awesomeness, Gnaoua Festival makes ‘em look like a small congregation of off-bone losers dancing in someone’s backyard. This is chiefly because the festival brings in over half a million folks from around the globe, making it one hectic / busy affair. 
Besides enlisting the help of some of the world’s biggest acts in jazz / rock / pop, one of its main draws is its location. Surely saying you boogied to bangers in Morocco and generally got amongst the best of North African music will generate some serious bragging rights?
If you’re a music lover and this isn’t on the bucket list, we recommend changing that ASAP. It’s something you’ll never forget.
#3. SANTIAGO DE CUBA CARNIVAL – CUBA
Photo: Sven Creutzmann / Getty.
There’s two camps of people: those who are game to go to Cuba because Jay Z and Beyoncé looked like they had a hell time there a few years back, and those that are keen to suss it out after the US has made a start at patching up their relationship.
Regardless of where you sit on the pop culture / political spectrum, Cuba is somewhere you want to be getting yourself to as soon as humanly possible. And what better time to go than when one of the country’s biggest cities, Santiago de Cuba, is having a big ol’ party? 
Santiago de Cuba’s carnival is a mix of Spanish colonial + Afro-Cuban influences that everyone comes out to celebrate. Thinking: dancing, drums, more dancing, and general rowdiness.
#4. HALLOWEEN – AMERICA
Photo: Gecko Adventures. 
Okay, yes, Halloween isn’t a festival per se. But then again it’s practically celebrated as such in America
So, considering how those in the US tackle it, why don’t you get amongst the action both before and during the spooky holiday? Think about it: how epic would it be to hit up Salem a few days before the 31st to learn all about the literal burning of witches? Or attempting to tap into your sixth sense / going full Ghostbusters in the notoriously haunted Newport? NOTHING. NOTHING I TELLS YA. 

New York even holds its own Village Halloween Parade on the night of the 31st, which would be a great way wrap the whole thing up. 
C’mon, guys. Go creep it real.

#5. WINTER FESTIVALS – CANADA
Photo: Banff & Lake Louise.
Just like Halloween in the States, Canada‘s got more than one festival for you to get around over the course of Jan to Feb. In fact the US’ northern neighbour has five bloody festivals to attend. Here’s what’s going down:
  1. Whistler Pride & Ski – a celebration of diversity + snow = a guaranteed fab time.
  2. January in Jasper – a whole month’s worth of events in one of the world’s most beautiful locations.
  3. Lake Louise Ice Magic – watch humans more talented than you create spectacular ice sculptures and art. 
  4. SnowDays In Banff – a host of events that celebrate winter’s cold but ace embrace.
  5. Canmore Winter Carnival – a fortnight of celebrating snow / ice like a certified Canadian. 
If you’re not a fan of winter, you will be after attending the above – like, saying ciao to summer bikini shots and hello to pics on the slopes, kinda love. 
#6. DAY OF THE DEAD – MEXICO
Photo: Gecko Adventures. 
You’ve seen basics interpret this celebration into their Halloween costumes, but do you really know what the Day of the Dead is all about? Well, if the US’ way of celebrating Halloween didn’t tickle your fancy, then this might. Mexico – particularly the central and south regions – comes alive as its citizens remember their loved ones now passed on over the course of three days. Yes, it’s a tad confusing considering ‘Day of the Dead’ implies its a 24-hour celebration, but the occasion on the 31st is just one element of it. 
Although the masks / face painting are a bit, “WHAT THE HELL IS THAT” / generally creepy, the event is mostly upbeat and uplifting. For those of you considering going along, it’s a brilliant opportunity to be an observer of one of the most fascinating approaches to the cycle of life and death – one that’s really not comparable to anything else in the world. 
There’s a lot going on in the world outside of the traditional, rather bleh, adventures you’re witnessing your mates having via Instagram. And if you’re deadset keen on any of the above festivals, or just generally want a holiday, then cop a load of this: Geckos Adventures are giving away trips to each of those locations. Yep, not a drill. A free pass to some of the world’s most unusual festivals (including flights) Go on, head on over HERE to enter.
Photo: Sven Creutzmann / Getty.