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20 Festivals & Events Worth Travelling This Season

9th March 2016

Attending a festival, event or celebration when travelling is the perfect way to immerse yourself in the local culture and customs. No matter how big or small the event, the experience is often enriching – a chance to bond with the locals and create holiday memories to last a lifetime.

Autumn has arrived in Australia, so to inspire your holiday this time next year, we've highlighted some of the many annual festivals and events happening around the world in the coming months.


1. National Grape Harvest Festival, Mendoza, Argentina

Argentina’s biggest wine festival is a celebration of wine makers and wine drinkers with fireworks, dancing and plenty of high-class vino, all taking place among the Andes. 28 February to 8 March 2016

2. Maha Shivaratri, Kathmandu, Nepal

A Hindu day of worship, devotees of the deity Shiva observe sacred customs including fasting, bathing and nightlong vigils with hymn singing. Expect a crowd of millions. 7 March 2016

Maha Shivaratri, Kathmandu, Nepal on 7 March 2016. Image: Getty

3. Calle Ocho, Miami, USA

This one-day fiesta showcases Miami’s Cuban culture with dancing, live music and traditional cuisine. It’s also broken a few World Records including the world’s longest conga line. 13 March 2016

4. Las Fallas, Valencia, Spain

For five nights this non-stop street party delivers fireworks, live music, parades, costumes and huge bonfires in celebration of Saint Joseph. 15 to 19 March 2016

5. St Patrick’s Day, Dublin, Ireland

The entire city of Dublin closes down for wild parties, street parades and plenty of Guinness on a day when everyone wants to be Irish. 17 March 2016

St Patrick’s Day, Dublin, on 17 March 2016. Image: Getty

6. F1 Grand Prix, Melbourne

Round One of the Formula 1 World Championship takes place in Melbourne with exhilarating and high-speed racing from the world’s best drivers. 17 to 20 March 2016

7. Opera in the Arboretum, Pearl Beach, New South Wales

This annual charity event in its 11th year brings home-grown talent to the fore with inspiring performances by Australia's leading opera singers. Big-name acts this year include Teddy Tahu Rhodes, James Egglestone and Clarissa Spata. 19 March 2016

Holi Colour Festival, Mumbai, India on 23 March 2016. Image: Getty

8. Holi Colour Festival, Mumbai, India

Revellers at Holi run through the streets colouring each other in dry powder while enjoying traditional Indian music, food and drink. The atmosphere is one of love and kindness, with much singing and dancing. 23 March 2016

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9. Thai New Year (Songkran), Thailand

Highlighted by the iconic water festival where entire towns turn into watergun arenas, this event also includes parades and pageants. 13 to 15 April 2016

Thai New Year (Songkran), Thailand on 13 to 15 April 2016. Image: Getty

10. Thrissur Pooram Elephant Festival, Kerala, India

One of Kerala’s most famous festivals, Thrissur Pooram features traditional music, decorative elephants and the colourful exchange of crafted umbrellas. 17 April 2016

11. Naghol Land Diving, Pentecost Island, Vanuatu

Male members of Vanuatu's Sa tribe dive off a 30-metre tower with only vines to stop their fall in hopes of yielding a bountiful harvest. 19 April 2016

Naghol Land Diving, Pentecost Island, Vanuatu on 19 April 2016. Image: Getty

12. Jazz & Heritage Festival, New Orleans, USA

This year’s festival boasts an impressive line-up of famous musicians, such as Neil Young and Beck, along with craft stalls, traditional Louisiana cuisine and diverse cultural attractions. 22 April to 1 May 2016

13. ANZAC Day, Gallipoli, Turkey

A truly memorable day. Begin with the Dawn Service before paying respect to fallen soldiers on the Gallipoli battlefield through stories and exploration. 25 April 2016

ANZAC Day, Gallipoli, Turkey on 25 April 2016. Image: Getty

14. King’s Day, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Get among this outdoor festival, which incorporates street markets, night and day merrymaking, family activities, boat parties and orange-coloured costumes. Live bands and DJs provide the soundtrack. 27 April 2016


15. Cinco de Mayo, Mexico

Cinco de Mayo is best experienced in the Mexican city of Puebla where battle re-enactments and a large parade take place, accompanied by traditional Mexican fare. 5 May 2016

Cinco de Mayo, Mexico on 5 May 2016. Image: Getty

16. Kangaroo Island FEASTival, South Australia

Locals and visitors rejoice in Kangaroo Island’s gastronomic delights during a week-long culinary event filled with local flavours, innovative dishes and delicious wine. May 2016

17. Cannes Film Festival, France

One of the world’s most famous film festivals features ground-breaking documentaries, Hollywood, independent and foreign films, and renowned actors and directors. 11 to 22 May 2016

F1 Grand Prix, Monaco on 24 May 2016. Image: Getty

18. F1 Grand Prix, Monaco

One part of motorsport’s Triple Crown, this annual race provides high-octane excitement with narrow lanes, tight corners and aggressive driving. 24 May 2016

19. Chelsea Flower Show, London, UK

A fashion parade for gardeners, the Chelsea Flower Show reveals stunning floral arrangements and includes gardening workshops and flower sellers. 24 to 28 May 2016

Chelsea Flower Show, London. Image: Keith Prowse Travel

20. French Tennis Open, Paris, France

One of four Grand Slam tournaments, ‘Roland-Garros’ is a premier tennis competition hosting the best players battling it out on clay in Paris24 May to 7 June 2016