From the weirdest to the wackiest, festivals and fairs across the world have been more about self – expression. And while many started off as a sacred reverence to a particular deity; today these events challenge human limits and test our mental agility. No wonder they are such crowd pullers…its time to let down you’re hair, revel in the madness. Here’s a sneak – peak into the world’s most famous festivals.
1. Oktoberfest – Munich, Germany – Okay, so we like beer. Well how about guzzling it down for two weeks straight in a big embankment for beer tents? Head to Germany for this extraordinary experience with loud music, parades and beer bellies. Starting end of September for two – weeks or when the beer kegs run dry; this is a sure way to indulge your self. It is a de-stress and makes for a really good ‘break’. Beer drinking is a competitive sport in Munich. So do keep up.
2. Fringe Festival – Edinburgh, Scotland
A small neat little town with picturesque locales, Edinburgh plays a perfect host for art festivals. Starting every August, the festival spanning 25 days hosts over 2,500 international shows from over 60 nations in 258 venues. The Fringe as the name suggests is a mix of wonderful displays, as it showcases performing arts, particularly theatre and comedy. Dance and music are ofcourse a part of any festival and here too it is well represented.
3.Burning Man – Nevada, U.S.A.
An alternate way for self expression, this community festival has recently gone main-stream. As multi-faced as America’s community; the festival showcases off-beat art exhibits, musicals amidst all sorts of mayhem. The date is every end August; this festival makes Nevada’s desert a virtual community that connects over many interesting ways. Even cooler, as the name suggest, the festival culminates with the burning of a massive, building-sized effigy.
4. Carnivale – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Bawdy music, street dances and giant clowns swaying to Samba did you say? Nothing beats Carnivale as it is in Brazil. Dressed head – to –toe in ornate, lavish costumes; this is the place to be for gorgeous street dances and larger than life floats. Held end February the festival is a week long party. Be there for infectious music, in fatigable dancers packed with high energy.
5.International Jazz Festival – Montreal, Canada
Now from jagged music to legendary classics… Montreal is known for its love affair with Jazz. Here people’s knowledge in Jazz is unquestionable. Little wonder that we have the best musicians travel across the world to perform at this festival. It is the best Jazz music you can get. Laden in Montreal’s beautiful town, it is the right place for soul rejuvenation. Organized in July the festival calumniates with a free concert, staged by the best players in the world.
6.Festival of San Fermin – Pamplona, Spain
Time to check you’re stamina? Well how about running with the bulls, or to put it more correctly letting bulls chase you? The historic festival, crazy as it may sound, gives the best adrenalin thrust that anyone can ask for. “Running of the bulls” is where men pit themselves against mad bulls in a frantic dash for their lives. Organised as part of a very sacred event, the famous bull-run is the top tourist draw in Pamplona. It is held in early July amidst a throng of tourists cheering the scared participants as well-wishers look on with cheer and hope.
7. La Tomatina in Spain
While talking of Spain how can, one not mention world’s most sought out food fight? It starts every last Wednesday of August in the town of Bunol near to Valencia in Spain. Imagine splattered in tomato squash, as you take aim for the perfect throw… only to get hit first by a mould of ripe tomatoes? Thousands gather from all corners of the world to throw over – ripe tomatoes at each other and onto the streets. It is a cherished experience.
The week long event unwinds with music, parades, dancing, and fireworks. On the night before the tomato fight, participants of the festival compete in a paella cooking contest.
8. Glastonbury (June) So you think the English don’t know how to have fun? Head to Pilton (England) in June for some mud swinging mayhem, accompanied by great music. It is the place to be for contemporary music; but also features dance, comedy, theater, circus, cabaret and many other arts. The weather is great and the music just right. For a few days, fields turn into giant tents as everyone camps around looking out for some fun.
Location: Emir Palace Rd, Kano, Nigeria
After a period of fasting, Durbar truly rewards you for time spent in penance. Held in the end of Ramadan; it is a culmination of the two great Muslim festivals Eid al Fitr and Eid al Kabir (Eid al Adha). The big day is celebrated elaborately, in Katsina and Kano with a parade of ornately dressed horsemen, Emirs dressed in ceremonial robes, muscle-bound wrestlers and lute players in headdresses. This of course is complemented with intoxicating food and grand sweets.
10.International Film Festival – Cannes, France
So this may seem only for movie buffs. But Cannes, the mother of all film festivals in the world is truly the place to be when the festivities begin. Held every May since 1939, whatever the reason – be it to glimpse the stars, critics, power brokers or the media; the entire city is dressed to perfection. The atmosphere is electric and it feels like you are in the center of the world….
So the next time you plan a holiday make sure to time it around these events. As diverse as they are, who knows such fest trip may soon become part of your regular itinerary.