Open’er Festival – Gdynia, Poland (July 01)
Poland’s largest annual music event is uncommonly cool. Many fans refer to it as a low-cost Glastonbury Festival (the UK’s big rock and arts ta-do), since it has similar big-name bands and avant-garde theater and arts, but for a much smaller price tag.
Manchester International Festival – Manchester, England (July 02)
The Manchester International Festival is a biennial international arts festival, with a specific focus on original new work, held in the English city of Manchester. The festival is a biennial event, first taking place in June–July 2007, and subsequently recurring in the summers of 2009, 2011 and 2013.
Wife Carrying World Championship – Sonkajarvi, Finland Jul 03
The World Wife-Carrying Championship is yet another tongue-in-cheek event from those crazy folks in Finland. The race, which has been held since 1992, draws over 40 couples and almost 10,000 spectators. While the sport has been considered by some as nothing more than a joke, competitors take it very seriously, just like any other sport.
Fiesta de San Fermín – Pamplona, Spain (July 06 – 14)
Ernest Hemingway meets sprinter Usain Bolt at one of the world’s most famous and adrenaline filled festivals, la Fiesta de San Fermín . With a million revelers visiting from all over the world and a dozen bulls in every run, the streets of Pamplona provide the backdrop for a festival with a nearly mythical reputation.
Bastille Day – Paris, France (July 14)
Like July 4th in the US, France is decked out in red, white and blue, but instead of beer and backyard barbecues, this more formal celebration features decorated military, lush banquets and red wine. Across the world freedom is celebrated with a bang at Bastille Day , and on this night, The City of Light shines brighter than any.
Melt – Grafenhainichen, Germany (July 17)
Set in one of the most unique festival locations in the world, Melt! Brings life to the gigantic monuments of the machine age with its colorful lighting and thumping tech beats. This is the ultimate “Industrial Meets Electronic” music festival that takes place in the massive industrial museum of Ferropolis , Germany. The event location spreads over 6 floors, and has a line-up of nearly 100 live acts over the weekend.
Maine Lobster Festival – Maine, United States (July 29)
Lobster is synonymous with the state of Maine . So much so that until 1999, a bright red lobster was the only ornamentation seen on the Pine Tree State’s license plates. The Main Lobster Festival —part culinary celebration, part arts and crafts fair, part music fest, and part maritime exploration—is classic Americana.
Gay Pride Parade – Netherlands (first weekend of August)
Amsterdam Pride is a citywide gay-festival held annually at the center of Amsterdam during the first weekend of August. The festival attracts several hundred-thousand visitors each year and thus one of the largest publicly held annual events in the Netherlands. Amsterdam Pride was originally organized in 1996. The peak of the festival is during the Canal Parade, a parade of boats of large variety on the first Saturday of August.
Cannes International Firework Festival – Cannes, France (August 24)
It is in the fantastic setting of an open bay between the Iles de Lérins and the Pointe de l’Estérel, in a natural setting and the 400 metre wide and 200 metre high, star bedecked screen of the City of Cinema, that the best pyrotechnicians will come to compete and win before an audience of 200,000 people, their heads craned skywards. This is a meeting of the gods of the world of fireworks.
Burning Man – Nevada, United States (August 25)
Burning Man conjures up all kinds of outrageous images for the uninitiated: from naked New-Agers dancing till dawn to polyamorous pursuers fueled by drugs. Yes, the Playa (the desert stage location where the Man, the temple and much of the art is) is a culturally curious place, one part hedonistic, one part idealistic. But, amidst the hippies and Silicon Valley CEOs that populate this pop-up town, the common thread is an appreciation of the life-affirming nature of the artistic spirit.
La Tomatina – Valencia, Spain (August 26)
La Tomatina is a festival that is held in the Valencian town of Buñol, a town located 30 km from the Mediterranean, in which participants throw tomatoes and get involved in this tomato fight purely for fun. It is held on the last Wednesday of August, during the week of festivities of Buñol. La Tomatina started the last Wednesday of August in 1945 when some young people spent the time in the town square to attend the Giants and Big-Heads figures parade.
Labor Day – USA & Canada (September 1)
Labor Day in the United States is a holiday in September. It is a celebration of the American labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of workers. After the Haymarket Massacre, which occurred in Chicago on May 4, 1886, U.S. President Grover Cleveland feared that commemorating Labor Day on May 1 could become an opportunity to commemorate the affair. Thus, in 1887, it was established as an official holiday in September to support the Labor Day that the Knights favored
Mid-Autumn Festival – China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore (September 8)
The Mid-Autumn Festival is a harvest festival celebrated by ethnic Chinese and Vietnamese peoples. The festival is held on the 15th day of the eighth month in the Chinese Han calendar and Vietnamese calendar (within 15 days of the autumnal equinox), on the night of the full moon between early September to early October of the Gregorian calendar.
Hajj – Mecca, Saudi Arabia (September 09 – 14)
Two thousand years before Christ was born, Abraham’s wife (Hager) and baby son (Ishmael) were stranded in the desert. Ishmael was about to die of thirst, the story goes, when the angel Gabriel created a source of water for the baby to drink: the Well of Zemzem. In gratitude, Abraham built the Kaaba—the the black-cloth-draped cubical building at the center of Hajj—at the exact place where Gabriel had placed the spring for his family. Over the millennia, people of different religions traveled to worship at the site, but in the year 630, Mohammed (RSAW)brought some of his followers there, making for the first-ever Hajj. While the Muslims were there, they removed the idols placed there by non-monotheists and dedicated the site to Allah. Since then, the Kaaba has become the focal point for Muslim prayer all around the world, and a source of unity for worshipers.
Oktoberfest – Munich, Germany (September 19 – October 4)
Oktoberfest is the world’s largest funfair held annually in Munich, Bavaria, Germany. It is a 16-day festival running from late September to the first weekend in October with more than 6 million people from around the world attending the event every year. Locally, it is often simply called Wiesn, after the colloquial name of the fairgrounds (Theresienwiese) themselves. The Oktoberfest is an important part of Bavarian culture, having been held since 1810. Other cities across the world also hold Oktoberfest celebrations, modeled after the original Munich event.
Balloon Cup – Kirchberg, Austria (September 21)
For the 25th time already, the “Libro”-Balloon Cup takes place in September 2014 in Kirchberg in Tyrol. Over 30 teams from Austria, Germany, Great Britain and Switzerland meet in Kirchberg to compete in the skies. The ‘Balloon Night’ in particular will draw in the crowds of spectators.
Galway Oyster Festival – Galway, Ireland (September 24)
Founded in 1954, the Galway International Oyster and Seafood Festival celebrates the lowly but inspired mollusk, Ostrea edulis , aka European flat oyster, or a belon, in menu-speak. Pubs along the city’s Oyster Trail sell oysters by the thousands during the three-day culinary festival. Of course, an oyster’s decidedly salty nature only encourages the eater’s thirst, a remedy roundly suggested by participating pubs in the form of pint of Guinness.
Alba International White Truffle Fair – Alba, Italy (October 11)
The festival’s origins date to 1928, initially conceived as a harvest festival with several exhibitions and floats; one in particular by Giacomo Morra was so successful that he decided to turn the whole thing into an actual festival. There are many truffle festivals in northern and central Italy in the fall harvest season, but this one’s the mother of them all. And you don’t have to shell out big bucks to purchase truffles in order to enjoy the occasion. The pungent, particular smell is everywhere, and it’s not hard to find a dish of pasta, risotto or grilled vegetables featuring the revered mushroom.