Google the phrase ‘Full Moon Party’ and page after page of information will come up about Thailand and Koh Phangan’s infamous all-night ragers. Young party-goers drinking buckets of alcohol, skipping flaming jump-ropes, painting themselves with car paint, taking various drugs, dancing to outdated Lonely Island songs, and setting off fireworks make up just some of the activities you can expect at these events. However, the concept of a full moon celebration began with none of these activities in mind.
Celebration and worship of the moon is as old as recorded history itself. References to a sacred moon can be found in the oldest Egyptian, Babylonian, Indian, and Chinese writings. In Greek mythology, the moon was originally known as the Goddess Selene, and later Artemis. In ancient Rome, they celebrated the moon Goddess Luna, and later Diana.
The basis of moon worship is founded on the premise that the phases of the moon are related to plant, animal, and human life. For example, the term ‘lunatic’ originally referred to someone who went mad with every moon cycle.
Even today the moon is celebrated among many religions; most notably those with Pagan roots. However, in popular culture, full moon parties have morphed into a symbol of creativity and rebirth. Perhaps it is because of this that the popularity of full moon parties have exploded all over the world.
Here are just some of the bangin’ full moon parties you can go to:
Montanita, Ecuador is well-known for its year-round wild parties, and especially so during the full moon. While it is a small town, Montanita is jam-packed with bars and food carts.
Dance until the sun comes up under the full moon and let the vibe take you over!
Goa, India – Anjuna Beach
The state of Goa in Western India is known as a bohemian haven amid a country of seemingly perpetual hustle-and-bustle. Because of this, the beautiful white-sand coast is a tourist mecca that has a great party scene. Hit up Anjuna beach during the full moon to experience the full extent of what the scene has to offer.
Zanzibar, Tanzania – Kendwa Beach
Kendwa Beach is on the north-western tip of the island of Unguja. The full-moon party events began in 1996 and are put on by local hotel, restaurant, and bar, Kendwa Rocks. In its early days, the full moon parties on Kendwa Beach were led by traditional drum and dance groups. However, over time these small gatherings have morphed into all-night wild parties. Go to Kendwa Beach on the Saturday night before the full moon to experience the parties in all their glory.
Until the mid 1990s, Croatia was caught up in an intense civil war, so the need for the Croatians to let loose and party is immense. Unlike other full moon parties though, the one in Zadar happens only once a year in August.
Also unlike other destinations, in this case the entire city partakes in the festivities. Parties are held in the streets and in squares and often go all night long.
For more fun during the Croatian full moon, hit up the city of Hvar. The famous club Carpe Diem hosts wild full moon parties with world-renowned DJs.
When I think ‘Ibiza,’ I think all night clubbing, loud raucous beach parties, horny college boys, DJs, and of course, taking pills. The extremely picturesque island off the mainland of Spain has a reputation for being one of the best party islands in the world, and the nights of the full moon hold no exception.
The main full moon party on Ibiza happens on Benirras Beach on the northern coast.
Gili Islands, Indonesia
Also known as the ‘turtle capital of the world’, the Gili Islands are home to some great full moon parties. Head to the enclosed beach area on the south of Trawangan Island. The party is hosted by the local people and the music is a mixture of DJ’s playing house, trance and techno all night long.
Of course these parties are only suggestions if you happen to be travelling. I have also heard of full moon parties in cities like Toronto and New York City. Check your Facebook Events for local soirees!