Europe has been the centre of attraction for some good reasons. A continent so diverse traditionally and culturally sees an influx of tourists on a much larger scale. Home to various music, arts and classic festivals, your holiday can have a wonderful turnaround. Come; see why these intimate and fun festivals are so popular in the European belt. The ambience will be food for the soul. Here's a brief insight to some unmissable best European festivals that one should experience.
La Tomatina, Spain
What began as a scuffle ended up being one of the most acclaimed festivals in Europe. After several controversies, this loony event was adopted by the Spanish authorities, of course, with some rules. Since then, every year, on the last Wednesday of August, tomatoes are hurled on other participants, giving a boost to a full-grown food war. The riotous tomato fight usually takes place between 11 am to 1 pm. By the end of the fest, people are soaked with tomato skin and juice.
From tomatoes, we bring you to the drink the world loves - yes, Beer it is. Another festive uproar that resounds all over Europe, apart from Germany's lovely beaches the Oktoberfest is identified with being saturated in beer. No doubt, it is one of the most lovable beverages in Germany. The festival takes place under large tents in the city of Munich. Believe it or not, these tents take 3 months to be completed.
Beginning in September and ending on the first Sunday of October, the festival extends up to 16 days. Visitors can sample different beers, enjoy live concerts and experience fun rides.
Edinburgh Festival Fringe
The Edinburgh Festival Fringe is one large art festival that takes place in the month of August. With over 35,000 performances, 4,000 shows and performers from more than 60 countries, the festivals draw a congregation of about 2.5 million people. Other than the displayed and performing art, performance such as opera, comedy, and ballet can be witnessed and enjoyed on your European holidays. What started as a noble event became a phenomenal overnight.
Notting Hill Carnival, England
The Notting Hill Carnival is extremely lively and colourful, that was absorbed by the Indo-British culture, bearing roots from the intricate racial conflict.
At present, it is one of the largest street festivals in Europe with participants from all over the neighbouring regions. The enthusiastic crowd dressed in gaudy outfits take over the lanes and alleys of London. The electrifying Caribbean music creates a carnival atmosphere that takes you to another world. More than 60,000 participants take part in the parade. The fun, frolic and food are not to be missed.
Mardi Gras, Italy
Mardi Gras or The Carnival of Venice is one of the largest in Europe that began in the 1100s. Held every January and February, this interesting fest ends 40 days prior to Easter. What was once banned during the renaissance period was freshly revived to expand and improve tourism.
To enjoy the first sightings of the festival, the crowd flocks towards St. Mark's Square. As the fest takes its flow, several events such as musical shows, costume contests and play entertain the people. Traditionally, participants cover their faces with some beautiful masks to enjoy without being recognised.
A huge music festival that takes place in Belgium, the Tomorrowland Festival is outstanding. Though there are other musical events, nothing like Tomorrowland. The enchantment begins from the stage itself, where one can see the stage designed as a castle or as a bookcase. The laser and lights are totally mind-blowing.
Tomorrowland is not just a festival; it is much more than music. The heart-pounding music is sure to give you the chills.
Henley Royal Regatta, England
Treated as one of the most elite sporting festivals in the world, the Henley Royal Regatta is a rowing activity that takes place for 5 days in the month of July on River Thames. The rowing race takes place over a course of 1 mile and the Grand Challenge Cup for Men is the most esteemed event of the festival. Apart from the race, do not miss the variety of drinks served.
Las Fallas de Valencia, Spain
Crazy as a Mad Hatter, Las Fallas festival is held in Valencia for five days and made it to the UNESCO cultural heritage. In the course of the festival, locals from the nearby villages come together for fun and frolic. Puppets are the main attraction in this festival. These weird puppets are placed on platforms with firecrackers. At the end of the parade, they are burnt. If you're planning for Spain holidays in March, you could leave your sanity behind and enjoy Las Fallas.
Also, famed as Palio di Siena, this festival is actually a horse race that is held twice a year in July and again in August. The horses and the jockey are all dressed up in vibrant colours depicting their wards. The race takes place around the Piazza del Compo and it is as violent as it can be. Gape with awe at the speeding horses that throw off their riders and head towards the finishing line. It's an event that people watch with bated breath.
Running of the Bull, Pamplona
Last, but not the least, the Running of the Bull is known to be one of the most moronic festivals in Europe. It's just putting your life in danger by running in front of these vigorous animals. Disregarding on how reckless this event may be, the festival does hold importance among the young people and among the crowd that gathers to view the spectacle. Our world is magical. The European festivals and cultural events are a way to appreciate the unity and diversity. It may not be possible to experience everything in our lifetime, but you can at least visit a few.