Attending a festival or event is a wonderful way to immerse yourself in the local culture of a destination. The experience is often enriching and creates lifelong holiday memories. Here are some of the many annual events happening around the world in the coming months.
Tulip Festival, THE NETHERLANDS
There are few things more quintessentially Dutch than a field of tulips in bloom and there is no better time to admire them than during the annual Tulip Festival in April. Whether you choose to visit the flower farms of Bollenstreek or the Keukenhof Gardens, a riot of colour is assured.
1 to 30 April 2019
Hong Kong Sevens, CHINA
If you like your rugby fast and furious, then head to Hong Kong for one of the most popular annual sporting events in Asia. Join spectactors from around the globe to watch some of the world’s greatest rugby players battle it out for victory.
5 to 7 April 2019
Tasting Australia Festival, SA, AUSTRALIA
Known for its fresh local produce and world-class wines, South Australia plays host to one of the country’s longest-running food and wine festivals. Delectable dining, celebrated chefs, foodie experiences, spirit tastings and more are on the menu at the Tasting Australia Festival.
5 to 14 April 2019
Songkran (New Year), THAILAND
Thailand’s New Year celebrations are among the most joyous in the world. Grab a water pistol and join the locals as they cleanse themselves of the past year in a free-for-all water fight that will leave you smiling from ear to ear but also wet from head to toe!
13 to 15 April 2019
Fruhlingsfest, MUNICH, GERMANY
The Fruhlingfest is a must for beer lovers visiting Germany in spring. Essentially a smaller, less crowded version of Munich’s world-famous Oktoberfest, it’s held in the same festival grounds, so be sure to pack your lederhosen or your dirndl.
25 April to 14 May 2019
New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, USA
Celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2019, this years promises its most impressive lineup yet, with artists including The Rolling Stones, Van Morrison, Diana Ross, Herbie Hancock, Santana and more, as well as diverse cultural attractions and traditional Louisiana cuisine.
25 to 28 April & 2 to 5 May 2019
World Fireknife Championships, LAIE, HAWAII
If you find yourself in Hawaii in May, be sure to head to the Polynesian Cultural Centre for the annual Fireknife Championships. Part of the island’s We Are Samoa Festival, this highly entertaining spectacle sees dancers twirl, spin, throw and catch lit knives in a celebration of Polynesian culture.
9 to 11 May 2019
Singapore International Festival of Arts
Singapore’s annual performing arts festival offers and diverse array or theatre, music, dance, film and visual arts performances. The full program is yet to be released, but always includes a range of free events that will appeal to all, such as public film screenings and street performances.
16 May to 2 June 2019
Vivid Sydney, NSW, AUSTRALIA
See Sydney in a blaze of neon glory during this 23-day festival. Be amazed at stunning outdoor light sculptures, view innovative light installations and watch mesmerising grand-scale projections at venues around the city – all free to enjoy.
24 May to 15 June 2019
Qoyllur Rit’i (Snow Star Festival), MAHUAYANI, PERU
Ancient traditions live on high in the Peruvian Andes as thousands of pilgrims flock to the Sinkara Valley each year for the Snow Star Festival. Expect dancing, processions, pan pipes and ‘Ukukus’ – men dressed in half-man, half-bear costumes.
18 to 20 May 2019
Cooper’s Hill Cheese Rolling, GLOUCESTER, UK
Nowhere in the world does quirky festivals quite like the UK, and this one has been around since the 1800s. Although officially cancelled in 2010, loyal competitors continue the tradition of trying to catch a 3.5kg round of Double Gloucester Cheese as it rolls down the hill.
27 May 2019
Cricket World Cup, UK
What better way to while away an English summer’s day than watching a game of cricket? The 2019 Cricket World Cup will be played out at venues across England and Wales, with the opening game being England vs South Africa at Lord’s.
30 May to 14 July 2019
Dark MOFO, HOBART, TAS, AUSTRALIA
Music concerts, major art exhibitions, a public art playground, a Bacchanalian Winter Feast and a cheeky nude solstice swim are all part of MONA’s seductive, boundary-pushing winter festival set on Hobart’s magnificent waterfront.
7 to 23 June 2019
Fez Festival, MOROCCO
This 10-day festival is a spiritual celebration of sacred music from around the world that aims to unite people from different cultures. Enjoy a varied program of events as well as free evening concerts held in front of the Royal Palace.
14 to 22 June 2019
Le Mans 24-hour Race, FRANCE
Known as one of the most prestigious automobile races in the world, this sports car endurance race has been held annually since 1923. Racing enthusiasts gather to enjoy the year’s latest Triple Crown event, while a range of entertainment adds to the festive ambience.
15 to 16 June 2019
Queenstown Winter Festival, NEW ZEALAND
Queenstown marks the start of the winter season with a festival that has a little something for everyone, from live music, to comedy, fireworks and winter mayhem both up the mountain and around the lake, including the dog derby, birdman contest and polar lake plunge.
20 to 23 June 2019
Boi Bumba PARATINS, BRAZIL
This Amazonian folklore festival presents the region’s myths, legends and tribal rituals through music and theatre, dance and even a puppet show. After the evening performances, energised spectators party the night away in the city’s main square.
28 to 30 June 2019
Yuru Kabgyat, LADAKH, INDIA
Held at the Lamayuru Monastery, the oldest in the Ladakh region, the Yuru Kabgyat festival features masked dancers accompanied by traditional music, played on cymbals, drums and long pipes. The event is attended by holy Lamas from Tibet, Japan, Korea and China.
29 to 30 July 2019