There are a lot of interesting international festivals that occur around the world throughout the summer months. If you and your family are planning to travel overseas you might want to consider the annual celebrations that might be happening during your visit. These events are often a way for you to experience cultural events that are important to the locals and to take part in moments that define their heritage. Here are a few festivals to check out.
1. La Tomatina: Bunol, Spain
This annual tomato throwing festival has been around for over 50 years and no one is exactly sure how it got started. It is typically held on the final Wednesday of the month of August each year. Tens of thousands of participants come from around the world to take part in the tomato fight. The harmless battle includes more than one hundred metric tons of over-ripe tomatoes that are thrown in the streets. The week-long festival features music, dancing, and fireworks and on the night before the tomato fight, there is a paella cooking contest. Nearly 30,000 people participate in the fight, which has a significant impact on the local economy as there are only 9,000 residents in the town normally.
2. The Encierro/The Running of the Bulls: Pamplona, Spain
There are several festivals that are celebrated in Irunea/Pamplona every year from the 6th-14h of July. Perhaps the most well-known festival to those outside of the region is The Encierro, which is better known as “The Running of the Bulls.” This event is held in high regard for the locals and is a festive event that might not even be imagined in other parts of the world. Its origins began many, many years ago with a simple need to move bulls from outside of the city into the bullring. The festival starts at the corral in Calle Santo Domingo when the clock strikes eight in the morning. At that time, the bulls are released behind a group of runners who are then chased by and lead the bulls into the corral.
3. Carnival: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Literally the biggest carnival in the world, this is a festival that must be experienced to be believed. It starts at Lent each year and includes nearly 2 million locals and visitors who line the streets to celebrate. There are parades with floats, dancers, fire eaters, scantly clothed participants, amazing food, sing and dancing that fills the streets in celebration. Taking part in the festivities is an experience you will not soon forget.