Check out the festival calendar 2016!
Where: Somerset, England.
Why: Glastonbury is one of the largest Greenfield music and art festivals in the world. A heaven for those interested in contemporary music. Founded in 1970, the five-day festival has remained true to its hippie and counterculture roots.
How it is celebrated: Performances are held over 900 acres of verdant farmland, hence giving it the title of the largest greenfield music festival in the world. In addition to music, visitors can also catch live theatre, circus, and cabaret shows.
Other festivals you can check out in June: Electric Daisy Carnival, Chicago Blues Festival and Boi Bumba.
Running of the Bulls
Where: Pamplona, Spain
Why: This festival is celebrated in honour of Saint Fermin (Catholic saints) in Pamplona, which mixes a variety of contrasts like culture and religion, the old and new, and order with chaos. Internationally known because of the rampaging runs made by the bulls.
How it is celebrated: Every year people from Pamplona and tourists from all around the world dress up in traditional white clothing with red scarfs around their neck. The bull race starts with the traditional launching of fireworks and rockets. The bulls are led through the streets of the Old Quarter as far as possible from the bull ring by runners while the crowds chant “Viva San Fermin!” (Long live).
Other festivals you can check out in July: Mud Festival, Salzburg Festival, and Crop Over Festival.
Where: Nevada, United States
Why: Started in 1986, this annual festival is held in the Black Rock Desert in Nevada. It’s all about culture, art, kinship, and self-reliance.
How it is celebrated: Over 5 miles of desert is turned into a black canvas covered with weird and incredible art. Around 75,000 people gather here for a full week of partying. Merge in this temporary community, where a huge wooden structure of a man is set on fire every year.
Other festivals you can check out in August: La Tomatina Festival, International Mariachi Festival and Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
Galway Oyster Festival
Where: Galway, Ireland
Why: One of the best seafood festivals in the world, Galway International Oyster and Seafood Festival will be celebrating its 62nd edition. Enjoy world class seafood prepared by several renowned chefs and savour them with the finest European wines.
How it is celebrated: chefs from all over the world thronged to Galway City in Ireland along with thousands of food lovers and critics to savour the very best of seafood and oysters. There are several culinary demonstrations, chef talks, classes, celebrity chef cook-offs, and plenty of food and wine tastings.
Other festivals you can check out in September: Ibiza Closing Parties, and Birdsville Races.
Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta
Where: Albuquerque, United States
Why: When hundreds of air balloons are floated, it’s definitely a sight to behold. This is the world’s largest hot air ballooning event. The first week in October brings the beautiful, magical moving pictures of hot air balloons sailing silently through the crisp fall air and is a delight for the sore eyes.
How it is celebrated: For nine days during the first full week of October, hundreds of colourful balloons float above the high mountain meadows. It’s no wonder this visual feast is said to be the world’s most photographed event.
Other festivals you can check out in October: Oktoberfest, The Village Halloween parade and Amsterdam Dance Event.
Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos)
Where: Mexico, United States
Why: Mexicans believe that the gates of heaven are opened at midnight on October 31, and the spirits of loved ones are believed to return to earth to celebrate with friends and family. It’s also a time for reflection for those who have recently lost their loved ones.
How it is celebrated: On this day, this huge city is dressed up marigold flowers. It’s all about decorating the graves of their loved ones with flowers, honouring them with food, candles, parades, decorative masks, sugar skulls and dancing skeletons.
Other festivals you can check out in November: Diwali, Lantern Festival, and Melbourne Cup Festival.
New Year’s Eve – Sydney Harbour
Where: Sydney, Australia
Why: Celebrating the New Year’s Eve at the Sydney Harbour is a great way to welcome in the New Year with your family. The inspiration to use this bridge as a launchpad for fireworks display came from the Brooklyn Bridge on its 100th-century celebration.
How it is celebrated: Sydney boasts of two fireworks displays at 9pm and at midnight, with each continuing for almost for 10 minutes. The legendary fireworks display, synchronised with popular soundtracks, adds magic and sparkle to the Sydney skyline, with rockets firing from four barges in front of the bridge.
Other festivals you can check out in December: Sunburn Festival, Junkanoo Parade and Mevlana Whirling Dervishes.
Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival
Where: Harbin, China
Why: Started in 1963, this festival is celebrated in northeast China during the winters, when the temperature reaches freezing point so much so, that the local people start making sculptures through the ice.
How it is celebrated: Ice sculpture creates a real winter wonderland. A festival exhibiting the most exquisite ice and snow sculptures in the world. Every year people build incredible things out of ice and snow, decorating them with lights and lasers. This exhibition has a lot to offer, one can only find out after visiting it…and it is phenomenal!
Other festivals you can check out in January: Carnival of Venice, Holy Ship, and Sundance Film Festival.
Where: New Orleans, United States
Why: Also popularly referred to as ‘Fat Tuesday’, this carnival begins after the Christen feast – Three Kings Day. This carnival came to North America from Paris, where it has been celebrated since the Middle Ages.
How it is celebrated: On this day, everyone comes dressed in selected parade theme with purple, green and gold coloured masks and costumes, which are the official Mardi Gras flag colours. This parade is the symbol of colours and each colour has its own meaning. Purple signifies justice, green stands for faith, while and gold shows power.
Other festivals you can check out in February: Battle of Oranges, Chinese New Year, and Rio Carnival.
Where: India, Nepal
Why: ‘’The festival of colour’s” or “Festival of Love’’, is a popular festival of India and is celebrated throughout the country.
How it is celebrated: Visit India during this period and you will see the streets abuzz with colour, sounds, people making merry. Thousands of people come together to spray coloured water on each other, and also sing and dance to the beat of a dholak (a two-handed drum). People also enjoy drinking bhang (edible preparation of cannabis).
Other festivals you can check out in March: Saint Patrick’s Day – Ireland, Las Fallas and National Grape Harvest Festival.
Why: Songkran – perhaps the most typical Thai festival, is the traditional end of the dry season and is the start of the Buddhist New Year. Traditional Water sprinkling is meant as a symbol of washing sins and for good fortune. Soaked in Buddhist traditions, this festival is all about giving respect to their elders and take blessing in return.
How it is celebrated: Having fun on holidays is one thing but having fun with water and that too in the hottest month of April, is totally crazy. So be ready with your weapons – water balloons to get wet in this water fight. Apart from water sprinkling, Songkran is also popular for shows, dancing, eating, parades and Thai beauty contests.
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Other festivals you can check out in April: Beltane Fire Festival, Coachella and New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival.
Stars of the White Nights
Where: St. Petersburg, Russia
Why: The White Nights Festival is an annual International Music and Arts Festival This is the largest public event held anywhere in Russia with an annual estimated attendance of about 1 million people. White Night isn’t really one festival, rather it is a collection of events like Scarlet Sails and White Night Carnivals.
How it is celebrated: It consists of a series of classical ballet, opera and music events and includes performances by Russian dancers, singers, musicians and actors, as well as famous international guest stars.
Other festivals you can check out in May: Cinco de Mayo and Cannes International Film Festival.