One of the best things about Europe is that there is always a festival or holiday to celebrate, regardless the time of year. Majority of music festivals are held in the summer months, but other traditional festivals are spread throughout the year.
La Tomatina – Bunol, Spain
If you like tomatoes and throwing things at people, this festival is going to be your heaven on earth. Over 30,000 people descend to the town of Bunol every August, to throw tomatoes at one another. And I’m not talking about one or two tomatoes; I’m talking about tonnes of tomatoes. Dump trucks find their way through alleys to unload the ripe tomatoes onto the awaiting food-fighters. The food fight only lasts an hour or so, as the whole tomatoes turn to sauce, slowly making its way downhill to their demise. Locals pull out all the stops afterwards and provide cleanup stalls and water hoses so those who want to rid themselves of tomato sauce can.
Oktoberfest – Munich, Germany
This has been an ongoing celebration since 1810 when the King of Germany married a princess. Since then, Oktoberfest has become a mainstream phenomenon that has welcomed millions of people each year. The 16-day festival is held in the middle of September to October in the city centre of Munich where families and tourists can come together to celebrate. There’s food stalls, costumes, fair rides, dancing and of course beer. Sing along to the traditional Germany songs and cheers to your new found friends. Bring a big wallet, as this festival is not cheap and you’ll want the extra money for when you need to stay another night to recoup.
King’s Day- Amsterdam, Netherlands
Previously known as Queen’s Day, King’s Day is the celebration of the King’s birthday. Celebrated every year on April 27th, Amsterdam goes absolutely nuts, painting the town orange and filling every canal with boats and festival goers. DJ’s perform sets all throughout the day and night while spectators peruse the markets, shops and pubs for special gifts and great drinks. Word of warning: don’t get caught without wearing orange unless you want to be bothered with.
Possibly the best music festival in all of the world, Glastonbury is a five-day festival at the end of June that brings in the most famous international music acts on planet earth. With five straight days of music, art, comedy, dancing, singing, and camping, you’ll have stories to share for years to come. Don’t forget your wellies! Glastonbury is famous for its wet weather, creating muddy fields and muddy fans. Act fast though, tickets sell out within minutes online.
If you’re interested in hitting up an art and music festival that is independent, then Secret Garden Party is your best bet. SGP started off as a small alternative festival to the big ones like Glastonbury, but in the last few years it’s doubled its size due to its popularity. The festival is also for a good reason. Money is raised through ticket sales and merchandise for a charity that helps prevent male suicide in the UK. SGP is held every year on the last weekend of July.
Carnival Venice, Italy
Carnival is said to have been celebrated since 1162 with its meaning changing throughout the centuries. Now the festival is the celebration of Venice and its culture, reflecting on its origins. People attend parties dressed up wearing a variety of different masks. Masks are judged at the end of the festival, and the one who wins becomes an honoured citizen of Venice. Different masks were used to differentiate people’s jobs. Now, they are used for celebrating. Over three million people visit Venice for Carnival each year, hoping to gain entry to the city’s elaborate parties. Held on the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday every year, Carnival is a festival full of history you do not want to miss.
Will you be attending any of these festivals this year? Please comment below and let us know!