Top 10 Summer Festivals Around the World
The warm weather and laid-back nature of summer makes it the perfect time of year for huge, fantastic festivals. If you’ve been trying to plan a vacation for this summer – but are having trouble getting adequately inspired – you might want to think about planning your trip around one of the world’s best summer festivals. With themes that range from mouthwatering food to the unleashing of a herd of wild bulls, there’s bound to be something that will pique your curiosity. Ten top picks are highlighted below.
The Montreux Jazz Festival – Montreux, Switzerland:
Although jazz continues to be the main attraction at the sublime Montreux Jazz Festival, several other genres are represented these days as well. For music lovers, there’s no better festival in the world today. Held every year in the middle of July, the Montreux Jazz Festival is a great option for anyone who wants to immerse themselves in a culture of music and fun – all set against a beautiful Swiss backdrop.
The Christchurch Arts Festival – Christchurch, New Zealand:
From the end of July to early August, the biannual Christchurch Arts Festival is a premium choice for anyone who wants to enjoy a broad array of different artistic and cultural attractions. While local and national talent tends to dominate, artists from around the world often make appearances as well. Venues from all around the city participate, turning this into a truly unforgettable city-wide event.
Ljubljana Festival – Ljubljana, Slovenia:
Although Slovenia may be off the beaten path for many travelers, its impressive Ljubljana Festival is ample reason to include it during a European tour. This eclectic festival revolves around high culture, including opera, theatre, ballet and dance, among other things; it goes on for nearly two months, primarily in July and August. The majestic backdrop of the Alps adds to this unforgettable festival’s allure.
Copacabana Beach New Year’s Eve – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil:
For those of us from the Northern Hemisphere, New Year’s Eve is a cold and wintry affair. If you’d like to ring in the new year in warmth and style, hit the Copacabana Beach New Year’s Eve party in Rio. Down there, New Year’s Eve falls squarely in the summer, making it a perfect opportunity to enjoy some warm summer fun in January.
Edinburgh Festival – Edinburgh, Scotland:
Every August, the city of Edinburgh puts on one of the most engaging and exciting festivals in all of Europe. The Edinburgh International Festival – which is the largest festival in the world – is actually the collective name for a large number of festivals that all happen around the same time. Three weeks of exhilarating celebration ensure that everyone has an amazing time.
Burning Man – Black Rock Desert, Nevada:
Bohemian fun and spirituality doesn’t get much better than the Burning Man festival that is held each year in the Nevada desert. Starting on the last Monday in August, people from around the world arrive and create a makeshift city; when it’s through, everything is taken down and not a trace is left behind. During the event, participants get in touch with their inner selves and bask in the glow of brotherly love.
Running of the Bulls – Pamplona, Spain:
Although better known as the “Running of the Bulls,” this unique event actually takes place during Pamplona’s annual Festival of St. Fermin and is held during the second week of July each year. People from around the world flood Pamplona to take part in the half-mile-long race, but stay to enjoy the camaraderie, fun and food.
Love Parade – Berlin, Germany:
Berlin’s famous Love Parade was born out of the spontaneous joy that occurred upon the reunification of Germany after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Its focus is – and always has been – a celebration of love and unity. Although it’s not the most organized festival in the world, it’s definitely one of the most free-spirited. House, techno and other eclectic music takes center stage, as does general revelry in the streets.
Maine Lobster Festival – Rockland, Maine:
Lobsters and Maine go hand in hand, and the economy of this state has relied on the red crustaceans for centuries. During the first week in August, the Maine Lobster Festival pays homage to these tasty sea creatures – and puts on an incredible celebration to boot.
White Nights Festival – St. Petersburg, Russia:
If you only get one chance to experience the famous Midnight Sun, St. Petersburg’s White Nights Festival is one of the best times to do so. This annual event – which runs from May to July – boasts classical ballet, music and opera from Russian and international stars and cultural icons. The huge fireworks display of the Scarlet Sails celebration is a definite highlight, as are the many performances that are held in the Palace Square.