Oktoberfest is a 16- to 18-day festival held each year in Munich, Bavaria, Germany, running from late September to the first weekend in October. It is one of the most famous events in Germany and the world’s largest fair, with more than five million people attending every year. Oktoberfest is an important part of Bavarian culture. Other cities across the world also hold Oktoberfest celebrations, modelled after the Munich event.
New Orleans Mardi Gras, Louisiana
This festival occurs on the day before Ash Wednesday or the first day of Lent. Mardi Gras (‘Fat Tuesday’ in English) in New Orleans, Louisiana, is a carnival celebration well-known throughout the world. The New Orleans Carnival season, with roots in preparing for the start of the Christian season of Lent, starts after Twelfth Night, on Epiphany (January 6). It is a season of parades, balls (some of them masquerade balls) and king cake parties.
Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, California
The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival is an annual music and arts festival held at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, California, located in the Inland Empire’s Coachella Valley, in the Colorado Desert. It is one of the largest, most famous, and most profitable music festivals in the United States. The event features many genres of music, including alternative rock, hip hop, and electronic music, as well as large sculptural art. The dates for the next festival would be between April1 13 and 22, 2018.
Glastonbury Festival, England
Glastonbury Festival is a five-day festival of contemporary performing arts that takes place near Pilton. Somerset is the largest green field open-air music and performing arts festival in the world. Regarded as a major event in British culture, the festival is inspired by the ethos of the hippie, counterculture, and free festival movements. The festival is best known for its contemporary music, but also features dance, comedy, theatre, circus, cabaret and many other arts.
Rio Carnival, Brazil
The Carnival in Rio de Janeiro is a festival held every year before Lent and considered the biggest carnival in the world with two million people per day on the streets. The first festivals of Rio date back to 1723. The typical Rio carnival parade is filled with revellers, floats, and adornments from numerous samba schools which are located in Rio (more than 200). Some of the most famous events of Rio Carnival are ticketed events.
Sydney New Year’s Eve, Australia
Sydney New Year’s Eve is an annual multi-tiered event held every New Year’s Eve over Sydney Harbour, centering on the Sydney Harbour Bridge in Australia. Its main features are two pyrotechnic displays, the “9pm Family Fireworks” and the “Midnight Fireworks”, both of which are televised nationally with the latter televised around the world. Synchronised to a soundtrack, the fireworks explode off the arches, catwalk and roadway of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, and also the city buildings. The barge in front of the bridge features occasionally during the show to synchronise with the bridge’s fireworks. The closing sequence of the show features the bridge before all firing points explode in an “all-white” finale.
Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Scotland
The Edinburgh Festival Fringe is the world’s largest arts festival, which in 2016 spanned 25 days and featured 50,266 performances of 3,269 shows in 294 venues. It was established in 1947 as an alternative to the Edinburgh International Festival and it takes place annually in Edinburgh, Scotland, in the month of August. It is an open-access performing arts festival, with no selection committee and anyone may participate, with any type of performance. The programme categorises shows into sections like theatre, comedy, dance, circus, cabaret, musicals to name a few.
Wakakusa Yamayaki, Japan
The name of the festival literally translates as ‘The Mountain Roast’ and is celebrated on the fourth Saturday of January every year. The dead grass on the hillside of Mount Wakakusayama is set ablaze after an epic fireworks display. There are two theories of the evolution of the festival. The first claims that the burning of the mountainside began during boundary conflicts between Nara’s great temples, while another claims the fires were used to drive away wild boars. Once set ablaze, the mountain can burn for up to an hour and because of the mountain’s elevation it can be seen from anywhere in the city.
La Tomatina Festival, Spain
La Tomatina is a festival that is held in the Valencian town of Buñol, a town located in the east of Spain, some 30 km from the Mediterranean, in which participants throw tomatoes and get involved in a tomato fight purely for entertainment purposes. Since 1945, it has been held on the last Wednesday of August, during the week of festivities of Buñol. Usually the fight lasts for an hour, after which the town square is liberally covered with tomato debris. Fire trucks then hose down the streets and participants often use hoses that locals provide to remove the tomatoes from their bodies.
Bordeaux Wine Festival, France
This festival, organised by the town of Bordeaux, is an opportunity for fans of fine wine, good food and culture to enjoy a great festive moment. It will be a celebration of the senses on the largest square in Europe, right on the banks of the Garonne. The riverbanks and the Esplanade des Quinconces welcome more than 3,00,000 gastronomers throughout the four-day event held in June.