Carnival di Venezia, Carnival of Venice
Place: Venice, Italy
Time: 27 January – 13 February
Venice already seems like a scene out of a romantic fairytale. Now imagine walking around Venice seeing everyone dressed in extravagant outfits hiding their faces behind sparkling decorative masks. We wouldn’t blame you if you momentarily thought you were transported to some fantasy novel. Masks, mystery, and grand parties, the carnival of Venice has it all. Originating around 1162 AD this is one of the oldest festivals still in practice today. During this event, the picturesque city comes alive with parades, theatrical performances, and parties.
Sanfermines, Running of the bulls
Place: Pamplona, Spain.
Time: 6-14 July
The title is itself pretty self-explanatory. In this event people literally run with the bulls. Men and women, over the age of 18 dress in white outfits and red scarves and get ready to race with the bulls. A herd of bulls is released into the narrow streets of Pamplona as people try to escape the hooves of these beasts. This is the perfect event for any and all adrenaline junkies. If, however, running for your life doesn’t sound very appealing, not to worry, there are lots of other things to do and see, such as parades, fairs, fireworks, flamenco dances and so much more.
Cannes Films Festival
Place: Cannes, France
Time: 8th to 19th May
Regarded as one of the most prestigious film festivals. The Cannes film festival is a place where the who’s who of the international film industry is present. Filmmakers, studio executives, and distributors gather there to witness the screenings of the most anticipated films of the year. However, it’s not really recommended for the casual tourist, as the festival is strictly invitation only. You can still go to see the beautiful place and the surrounding scenery. Also, you never know, you might just catch a glimpse of your favorite movie star.
Keukenhof, Amsterdam’s Tulip & Flower Festival
Place: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Time: 22 March – 13 May
Keukenhof is one of the world’s largest flower gardens. The place also has historical significance, as in the 15th century it used to be the herb garden of Jacqueline, Countess of Hainaut. An annual festival where all of Netherlands and Europe’s flower growers and bulb purveyors come to show off their flowers. The event was established in 1949 by the mayor of Lisse to help the Dutch flower export industry. Considering all the different colors, types and hybrids of flowers present, it is bound to be one of the prettiest festivals anywhere in the world.
Place: Valencia, Spain
Time: Held on the last Wednesday of August
If you’ve seen Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, you know exactly what this festival is about. Simply put, people come to the town square and throw tomatoes at each other. It started in August 1945 and slowly became an extremely popular event with more and more participants every year. Of course, there are a lot of rules to make sure that the event is safe and injury free. Rules include all the tomatoes thrown have to be squashed and no hard object can be thrown.
Place: Munich, Germany
Time: 22 September-7 October
One of the most well-known festivals in Germany, the word Oktoberfest is synonymous with dousing oneself with beer. It is estimated at around 6 million people come to the event annually from all over the world. An estimated 7.7 million liters of beer is served. Beer may be the main attraction but that is not all. The festival is also a celebration of culture, with orchestras, parades, and fun ride all around.
St Patrick’s Day
Time: 17 March
St Patrick’s Day is an official Irish holiday. St Patrick is Ireland’s foremost saint. Nowadays St Patrick’s Day is celebrated in many countries especially in the USA. The celebration includes parades, parties, dancing, and singing. There are also a lot of traditional Irish music sessions. Green clothes, green-tinted beer, shamrocks, and leprechauns can be seen all around.
Written by Zuyairia Moslemeen Khan