With the ever popular Coachella music festival kicking off in a couple of days, we've pulled together our pick of festivals around the world. From dance festivals and carnivals to paint fights and beer festivals, there is something around the globe to suit everyone!
1. La Tomatina, Spain
The world’s largest vegetable fight - La Tomatina takes place annually on the fourth Wednesday in August in the Valencian town of Bunol. While no one is entirely certain how the event actually originated, one of the most popular theories is that disgruntled townspeople attacked city councilmen with tomatoes during a town celebration. Aside from the tomato fight - the festival runs for a week and features music, parades, fireworks and dancing. A word to the wise – book your accommodation early. Approximately 20,000 to 40,000 visitors come to the small town of Bunol for this festival every year!
2. Mardi Gras, United States
Mardi Gras in New Orleans, is a well-known Carnival celebration that usually kicks off in February each year. To New Orleanians, ‘Mardi Gras’ specifically refers to the Tuesday before lent and celebrations occur for two weeks prior, with major parades taking place each day. The largest and most elaborate parades take place over the last five days of the season so be sure not to leave early.
3. Rio Carnival, Brazil
The world famous festival is a four day celebration that is always celebrated the weekend before the beginning of lent, usually occurring in February at the height of the Rio summer. Known as the biggest street party in the world, a major highlight is the spectacular Sambadrome parade. For first timers – organise your accommodation and your costumes well in advance, it’s estimated that 500,000 foreign visitors attend the carnival every year!
4. Oktoberfest, Germany
Munich’s famous beer festival is one of the largest and well known in the world. Taking place from 22 September – 7 October 2012, the party is estimated to attract over six million people every year who consume an estimated 1.5 million gallons of beer, 200,000 pairs of pork sausage and 480,000 spit-roasted chickens during the beer and meat extravaganza.
5. Holi - The festival of colours, India
The religious spring festival that is celebrated by Hindus, Holi is primarily observed in India, Bangladesh, Nepal and countries with large Indian populations. The festival involves throwing vibrant colours at each other and dancing in the streets – imagine the largest paint fight you’ve ever experienced and multiply it!
6. Coachella, United States
Often referred to as one for the bucket list, Coachella is in a world of its own. With a desert setting, the annual music and arts festival features a variety of music including rock, indie, hip hop and electronic music, as well as large sculptural art. For the first time ever, 2012 is seeing the festival run over consecutive weekends and as always, it has a line up to die for. Tie it in with a road trip across the US and you’ve got yourself a dream holiday!
7. Glastonbury, United Kingdom
Perfect for all of those Kiwis that are heading to the UK on their big OE, Glastonbury is the most well-known and popular festival in the UK and is an absolute must for anyone that loves music and the outdoors! Starting on a farm in 1970, Glastonbury typically attracts over 150,000 fans every year. Part of the appeal is that the event donates millions of pounds to various local and international charities each year and aims to be among the greenest and cleanest events held throughout the world.
8. Full Moon Party, Koh Phangan, Thailand
Koh Phangan is famous for its Full Moon Party, held every month on the night of the full moon, attracting thousands of party lovers to the island. Relax under the coconut trees on a white sandy beach by day and enjoy the party atmosphere at night with over 12 major sound systems running the length of Had Rin beach.
9. Creamfields, United Kingdom
If you enjoy energetic dance parties then Creamfields is the one for you! A two-day festival held in Warrington, Creamfields was named the Best Dance Event by the UK Festival Awards in 2011. Held in August over bank holiday weekend, it has gained a reputation as the closing party of the summer, with a consistently impressive array of world class live acts and DJs.
10. Las Fallas, Spain
Head to Valencia to take party in one of the most unique and crazy festivals in Spain! What began as a feast day for St. Joseph, the patron saint of carpenters, has evolved into a five day celebration involving bonfires, fiestas and fireworks. The focus of the fiesta is the creation and destruction of over 400 ninots, giant paper-mache figures, depicting everything from celebrities and political figures to exotic creatures!