The best travel pictures of 2016
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Fireworks light up the sky over Copacabana beach during New Year’s Eve celebrations, on Jan. 1.
People with colourful wooly hats and swimming caps take part in the traditional New Year’s dive, or Nieuwjaarsduik, on Jan. 1.
Fireworks light up the Burj Khalifa skyscraper during New Year celebrations.
Pathum Thani Province, Thailand
Buddhist monks begin their pilgrimage during the fifth annual Dhammachai Dhutanaga on Jan. 2, where they journey on foot, across the provinces of Pathum Thani, Nontha Buri, Suphan Buri, Nakhon Pathom, Samut Sakhon, Phra Nakhon Sri Ayutthaya and Bangkok Metropolitan.
People walk around ice sculptures during the Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival on Jan. 5.
Members of an ice swimming club take a dip in the Orankesee lake during the annual carnival swimming meeting on Jan. 9.
A Hindu devotee dressed as the goddess Kali begs for alms at Gangasagar Island on Jan. 12.
The Light of the Spirit project by artist Patrice Warrener is exhibited at Westminster Abbey during the Lumiere London light festival on Jan. 16
San Bartolomé de Pinares, Spain
A man rides a horse through a bonfire as part of a ritual in honor of Saint Anthony the Abbot, the patron saint of domestic animals, on Jan. 16.
People throw turnips at a man dressed as the devil-like character Jarramplas, as he makes his way through the streets beating a drum during the Jarramplas festival on Jan. 20.
Artists from Telangana perform traditional dance during a press preview of the 30th International Surajkund Art Crafts Mela on Jan. 31.
A participant is hit by an orange during the annual carnival battle on Feb. 7. Traditionally a group of men ride in a horse-drawn carriage and pelt ‘foot soldiers’ with oranges as thousands of people gather to re-enact a Middle Age battle when the townsfolk overthrew an evil king.
A man wearing a mask, locally known as a Careta, performs in the street during Carnival on Feb. 8.
Revellers participate in a flour fight during the week-long “O Entroido” festival on Feb. 8.
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil,
Performers from the Portela samba school during Carnival celebrations on Feb. 9.
A child plays with a drum before a new year ritual at Qiannan Buyei and Miao Autonomous Prefecture on Feb. 9.
People burn incense to worship the God of Fortune at Guiyuan Temple on the fifth day of Chinese Lunar New Year on Feb. 12.
La Paz, Bolivia
A man dressed as Chuta and a woman representing Chola dance as part of the carnival celebrations on Feb. 14. The Bolivian festivity comes to an end with the symbolic burial of Chuta, Chola and Pepino, the main beloved carnival characters who represent gaiety and never tire of dancing.
Hindu priests hold traditional incense lamps as they perform a ritual known as “aarti” on the banks of Sangam – the confluence of the Ganges, Yamuna and mythical Saraswati rivers – during the annual religious festival of Magh Mela on Feb. 14.
Hindu devotees take part in a bathing ritual on the last day of the month-long Swasthani festival in the Hanumante River at Bhaktapur on the outskirts of Kathmandu on Feb. 22, 2016. Devotees mark the festival with fasting, and with women in particular undertaking rituals in the hope of prosperity and conjugal happiness.
Ethnic Miao people celebrate the lantern festival with fireworks on Feb. 22.
Hundreds of people release lanterns into the air in hope of good fortune and prosperity at the traditional lantern festival during the Chinese New Year on Feb. 22.
Spectators watch hundreds of skiers descend from a slope while holding lit torches on Feb. 27. Local residents organise the annual winter torch festival to promote sports and a healthy lifestyle.
A woman enjoys the sun as hundreds of kites soar through the sky at the Jumeirah beach during an international kite festival on March 19.
Penitents wearing masks, known locally as “Moriones,” take a selfie during the start of Holy Week celebrations on March 21.
Kites take flight during the 30th International Kite Festival on April 10.
A Hindu girl has her face painted before taking part in a ritual during the annual Shiva Gajan festival on April 12.
People release balloons with the likeness of Yuri Gagarin, the first man in space, during a gathering to mark the Cosmonautics Day near the Memorial Museum of Cosmonautics on April 12.
Young monks take a break from their studies at Changangkha Lhakhang temple on April 13.
A woman is drenched during a water fight at Songkran Festival celebrations on April 13.
An Indian man dressed as the Hindu goddess Kali participates in a procession to celebrate the Ram Navami festival on April 15.
People enjoy during the water-sprinkling festival at a square on April 15.
Pathum Thani, Thailand
Over 100,000 Buddhist monks and novices gather to receive alms at Wat Phra Dhammakaya temple on April 22.
Revelers during the pillow fight day on April 24.
Visitors from Australia and New Zealand attend a dawn ceremony marking the 101st anniversary of the World War I battle of Gallipoli at Anzac Cove on April 25.
An owner adjusts flags on his boat during the Inland Waterways Association’s annual Canalway Cavalcade festival, at Little Venice, on May 2.
Seoul, South Korea
Two boys smile after having their heads shaved during a service to celebrate Lord Buddha’s 2,560th birthday on May 14, at the Jogyesa Temple.
People of all ages attend the Hindu celebration of Holi, or the festival of colors on May 14.
Rowers enter the Cannaregio canal during the 42nd Venice Vogalonga on May 15.
Shot with a long exposure, the photograph shows devotees walking in circles while pulling a 32-feet long wooden chariot during celebrations of the Matsyendranath or Rain god festival on May 17.
Lanterns fly in the air at Borobudur temple during celebrations for Vesak Day on May 21. The festival commemorates the birth, enlightenment (nirvāna), and death (Parinirvāna) of Gautama Buddha.
A view from the Chelsea Flower Show in front of the Royal Hospital on May 22.
Rongshui Miao Autonomous County, China
Terraces surrounded by fog in Fengmu Village on May 24.
A visitor takes a photo of the “Cathedral of Light” installations at the Royal Botanic Gardens on May 25.
Nablus, West Bank
Palestinian Muslims pass an entrance to the old city, decorated with colorful umbrellas, as they welcome the fasting month of Ramadan on June 4.
Participants run through colored powder during the YARKOcross colour run race on June 5.
People participate in the tenth annual tomato fight festival, known as “La Tomatina,” on June 5.
Students sit in circles during a Quran recital class on the first day of the holy fasting month of Ramadan at Ar-Raudlatul Hasanah Islamic boarding school on June 6.
Lake Iseo, Italy
People walk on the installation entitled “The Floating Piers,” created by artist Christo Vladimirov Javacheff, on June 18.
Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S.
Fireworks during the 20th annual Electric Daisy Carnival at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on June 18.
Camels arrive at Bondi Beach as part of the Bondi Winter Magic Festival on June 19.
Hot air balloons fly over the city skyline on June 19.
Whirling dervishes perform during the fasting month of Ramadan at Karabas-i Veli Dervish Convent Cultural Center on June 19.
New York City, New York, U.S.
Participants practice yoga at Times Square on June 20.
Participants on International Yoga Day at Sydney Harbor Bridge on June 21.
Revellers gather at Stonehenge to celebrate the Summer Solstice on June 21.
St. Petersburg, Russia
People watch a frigate with red sails on the Neva River during a rehearsal of “Scarlet Sails” festivities, marking school graduation, on June 24.
People take part in an attempt to break the Guinness world record for playing the biggest drum in the world, on June 25.
Jabalia, Gaza City
Palestinian youths play with fireworks as they celebrate during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan in Jabalia refugee camp on June 26.
A Hindu devotee performs a stunt with fire during a rehearsal for the annual Rath Yatra, or chariot procession, on June 26.
Revellers spray drinks as they enjoy the atmosphere during a bullfight on the third day of the San Fermin Running of the Bulls festival on July 8.
Mount Buller, Australia
Australian freestyle skier athlete Anton Grimus takes to the slopes on July 11.
Fireworks light up the sky over a port during the first day of the Ama Matsuri festival on July 16.
Boryeong, South Korea
Festival-goers at the annual Boryeong Mud Festival at Daecheon Beach on July 16.
A member of British Airways staff looks out of the i360 passenger pod during a press preview on August 2, 2016 in Brighton, England. The British Airways i360, designed by David Marks and Julia Barfield, is the world’s tallest moving observation tower, standing at 162 m (531 ft).
Castellers (people who build human towers in Catalan) celebrate during Les Festes de Gràcia on Aug. 20.
Fireworks over the Danube River during St. Stephen’s Day on Aug. 20.
Participants hold smoke flares as they slide down a chute to cross a pool of water and foam during the Letniy Gornoluzhnik festival at the Bobroviy Log Fun Park on Aug. 21.
Pyongyang, North Korea
A waitress is silhouetted against an advertisement board as she carries jugs of beer during the Taedonggang Beer Festival on Aug. 21.
Children in devil costumes dance beneath exploding fireworks during the “correfocs” fire-runs at the end of the Festa Major de Gràcia, on Aug. 21.
St. Julian’s, Malta
A child tries to grab a flag on the gostra, a pole covered in grease, during the religious feast of St. Julian on Aug. 27.
Remo Schuler throws an Unspunnen Stone, weighing 184 pounds (83.5 kg), during the Federal Alpine Wrestling Festival on Aug. 28.
A youngster tackles a sumo wrestler during the Hakkiyoi KITTE Sumo event, on Aug. 28.
Police look on as a performer dances during the Notting Hill Carnival on Aug. 29.
Crowds of people throw tomatoes at each other during the annual “Tomatina” festival on Aug. 31.
Performer Morag, of The Tea Ladies, entertains children during the Vintage By The Sea Festival on Sept. 3.
New York City, New York, U.S.
Celebrants participate in the annual West Indian Day Parade on Sept.5.
Ahuachapán, El Salvador
A girl dressed as the Virgin Mary poses for a photo during the Lantern Festival celebrating the eve of the Nativity of Mary on Sept. 7.
Hot air balloons light up the grounds at the Longleat hot air balloon Night Glow Event on Sept. 17.
Australian knight Philip Leitch (R) has a floral basket on his helmet smashed by an opponent at the St. Ives Medieval Fair in Sydney, on Sept. 25.