All over the world, it seems as though there is a festival or special event to celebrate virtually anything and everything – from food, music, dance, film and so much more. A festival is a great fun-filled addition to a holiday itinerary, and with so many to choose from, it’s hard to know where to start. Here are just a few of the wonderful annual events taking place all around the globe.
La Tomatina, Spain
La Tomatina, also known as the Tomato Battle, is one of the world’s more bizarre popular events. As the name suggests, the Tomato Battle is a giant food fight, which centres around tens of thousands of people simply pelting tomatoes at each other. What makes La Tomatina such a spectacle is the sheer scale of it – with an incredible 150,000 tomatoes being thrown by around 40,000 visitors who descend on the small town of Bunol, about 40km from Valencia. There are a number of theories as to how the festival started, but it’s thought to have simply evolved from a food fight between friends in the village in the 1940s.
The iconic Glastonbury, the largest outdoor music and performing arts festival in the world, has become almost a rite of passage for popular music lovers, and set the standard for music festivals everywhere. Each year in June, Worthy Farm in the English countryside is transformed into a virtual tent city for five days. Glastonbury is about much more than just the music – yes, some of the world’s biggest bands grace the stage every year – but there’s also a dance village, circus and theatre fields, activities for the children, fireworks, displays, jazz fields and much more.
Dia de Muertos, Mexico
The Dia de Muertos, or Day of the Dead festival is held all around the world, but is particularly celebrated in Mexico on the 1st and 2nd November of each year, where it’s a national holiday. Rather than being something scary or frightening, Day of the Dead is about remembering and paying tribute to friends and family members who have passed away. Friends and family members gather in large groups and dress in colourful costumes, hold parties cemeteries, indulge in food and drink, and listen to the sounds of mariachi bands. Skeletons are the theme of the day – with the image featured in everything from outfits, to lollies and toys.
Rio Carnival, Brazil
Taking place just before Easter every year, the annual Rio Carnival easily takes out the title of the world’s biggest party, with more than two million people lining the streets on each of the event’s four days. Carnival is a dizzying and dazzling spectacle of bright, shimmering costumes, sexy samba, thumping music, and much more. If you want to be right in the thick of the action, head to the Sambadrome, where more than 200 of the city’s Samba schools compete and try to outdo one another, through incredibly elaborate floats adorned with hundreds of lights, huge feathers, and of course, sulty and seductive dance moves.
Sundance Film Festival, United States
The Sundance Film Festival, held each year in January, is one of the world’s biggest and most prestigious film festivals, showcasing the very best in independent cinema. Taking place in Park City, Utah, over a ten day period, the festival attracted nearly 50,000 visitors in 2012. The festival has become well-known partly due to the involvement of its inaugural chairman and Utah resident, famous actor Robert Redford, but is a must-do event for any budding filmmaker or movie buff, with many films premiering at the festival going on to receive Academy Award accolades, particularly in the documentary category.
Crave International Food Festival, Sydney, Australia
The Crave International Food Festival is held annually over the entire month of October in Sydney. There’s a huge array of activities as part of the festival, with the iconic harbour serving as the backdrop. Many of the world’s top chefs are in attendance at the festival as part of the World’s Chef Showcase, which consists of presentations, talks, tastings and cooking demonstrations. There’s also the special Night Noodle Markets in Hyde Park, and great deals at many of the city’s best restaurants. With Sydney being named by the International Festival and Events Association as the world’s best Festival and Events City, Crave is just one of many great festivals taking place through the year in the Harbour City.
Find out more from your local personal travel manager.