Holidays are good fun and holidays where the intention is to attend an event or festival are even more exciting! There is an event or a festival almost every week in some corner of the globe and while this article won’t be able to delve into all of them, here are some favourites that should make it onto your must-attend list.
Taking place at the end of February mainly in the Southern and Eastern regions, carnival in Holland is a joyous occasion starting six weeks before Easter Sunday and traditionally lasting three days until Ash Wednesday begins. Nowadays, it isn’t uncommon for certain areas to start their celebration on the preceding Thursday evening, making it a six-day festival of music, drinking and laughter.
Marking a time in history where the stored foods of winter would need to be consumed before the spring, the carnival is a time to enjoy delicious foods and often includes an emphasis on challenging social norms. With men dressing as women and encouragement to dress in costume and become someone outside your normal self for a few days.
Dutch carnival is loud, jubilant and full of drink so is better for social groups or couples rather than families although there are some activities during the day that accommodate the kids.
A Muslim festival that takes place at the close of Ramadan, Eid is a fun-filled three days where the month-long fast is broken with delicious meals and gifts exchanged between families. Families and communities come together on the first day of Eid to make their Zakat contributions to charity and make the Eid prayer before attending the day’s festivities together. Eid takes place in many Muslim countries and there are also Eid events taking place in the UK from Birmingham to London.
Eid is traditionally only attended by practising Muslims who have fulfilled their duty of fasting during the month of Ramadan. Talk to your local mosque to learn more about Ramadan and Eid ul-Fitr and what you can do to support your local activities and festivities.
Arguably one of the biggest and best festivals in the world, the Brazilian carnival taking place in Rio De Janeiro is for everyone to enjoy. Attracting almost 5 million visitors each year, Carnival is another seasonal carnival taking place in February or March on the 5 days before the start of Lent, a Catholic season. Each year, a different theme will be announced, and the local samba schools gather their costumes and bust out their best dance movies to take home the grand prize and of course, bragging rights for the year.
Rio Carnival is a full-on colourful affair and begins with the competition between samba schools in the dedicated Sambadrome arena before the festivities and crowds spill out onto the streets for fun and exuberance.
Taking place in Turkey between 2015 and 2018 and making a return in 2020, Cappadox is a multi-disciplinary cultural festival welcoming musicians and entertainers from Turkey and around the world to entertain attendees. Greatly loved for its incredible scenery, Cappadox welcomes guests with delicious culinary dishes, music fusions, art showcases and an incredible display of hot air balloons rising over the area at sunrise. While the date has yet to be confirmed, keep an eye out for word on the horizon of Cappadox’s returns and the headlining artists which are sure to delight young and old.
Aptly known as the ‘tomato festival’, you’d be forgiven for thinking La Tomatina is nothing more than a giant food fight on the streets of Valencia, Spain. Starting in 1945, the legend behind La Tomatina is diluted but is thought to have come about after some unruly lads joined a local parade, accidentally knocking a parade entertainer from his stilts and in turn, the entertainer used goods from the local vegetable stand to exact his revenge.
Today, La Tomatina is a great attraction for locals and tourists alike and attracts thousands of visitors from all other the world but has become a ticketed event to stop the normally 9,000 strong towns of Bunol becoming overwhelmed. There are official rules for the chaos, you must not carry or throw anything hard, you must squish tomatoes to reduce impact, you must remain a safe distance from the tomato lorries and at the second shot (after an hour) you MUST stop throwing tomatoes.
There are plenty more recommendations for enjoying the event and it’s certainly a sight to behold so if flinging fruit is high on your to-do list, consider booking your ticket for La Tomatina this year!
Every country has its own customs and cultures, often including a festival or two that has developed throughout the decades. It’s a fantastic way to experience a city or town in an entirely different way and it’s a time where locals are often more welcoming of visitors and wish to engage and educate them on their proud country’s traditions. Remember, if you are attending an event or festival in another country, you must abide by that country’s customs and not cause offence or worse, break the local laws.
Take nothing but photographs, leave nothing but footprints and love wherever you go.
Exciting Events from All Around the World 1
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Group of people around the world. Chalk drawing.
Exciting Events from All Around the World 2
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La Tomatina wooden sign on a beautiful day
By Gustavo Frazao