Five Festivals to Check Out this Summer

Five Festivals to Check Out this Summer

Missed out on Glastonbury? Then check out some of these international festivals this summer instead!

Yep, I did it again. I missed out on getting a Glastonbury ticket.

Every year I say to myself “this is the year that I’m finally going to get a ticket,” and do I ever get one? Nope. Never. Not once.

I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve set a reminder on my phone, got a crew together to increase the chances of getting a ticket, woken up at the crack of dawn to hit the refresh button a million times, had my phone on speed dial, still to no avail.

Well, as this year was no different I decided to look a little further afield than Glastonbury. From the world’s biggest water fight in Thailand to a wine festival in Spain (much more my sort of thing), here are some amazing international festivals you’ve got to check out this summer.


Songkran, Thailand

This is always the water fight of the year beating anything you ever did as a kid! Songkran is just around the corner being celebrated on the 13-15th April and I’m gutted to be missing it this year. Songkran is the Thai New Year and it is an event where you wash away the bad spirits and start anew. No matter where you are in Thailand everyone’s prepared for Songkran with water pistols, buckets, balloons, and any other implement to get someone wet. It’s every bit as amazing as it sounds!

Songkran, Thailand

Hemis Festival, India

When I went to India back in 2009 I never made it up to Jammu or Kashmir, but I did hear about the Hemis Festival. Every year on July 3rd, the Hemis Festival celebrates the birth of Guru Rimpoche, the spiritual leader of Tantric Buddhism. Expect masked dancers representing the fight between good and evil (we love a good fight) depicting animals, skeletons and wizards alike. The dancing is slow and ritualistic, performed to the sound of mesmerising drums and trumpets, and everyone gets on this weird ethereal plane (as they put it). It’s a festival that’s always fascinated me though as being one of the most traditional in India.

Hemis Festival, India

Naadam Festival, Mongolia

The Naadam Festival is the equivalent of Scotland’s Highland Games and it is an event that dates back in one form or another to the 13th century. Starting on July 11th the Naadam Festival covers three of the country’s most popular sporting activities: archery, wrestling, and horse racing. Rather than just a single event, the festival takes place throughout the countryside so everyone can watch. There’s a huge tournament in the capital Ulaanbaatar, but you can venture well into the depths of the Gobi Desert to watch epic wrestling matches in an incredibly stunning location.

Naadam Festival, Mongolia

Teatro del Fuoco – International Fire Dancing Festival – Sicily, Italy

This is another festival I missed, but if you head to Sicily at the end of June you can experience a festival like no other – the Teatro del Fuoco, the international fire dancing festival. There’s a reason why it’s on Sicily – the island is home to Mount Etna after all, one of the most active volcanoes in the world. Anyway, every day there are events with music and dancing, but as soon as the sun goes down that’s when things really kick off. Every night there’s a fire poi show on the beaches and the pyrotechnic display really is something else. 🔥🔥🔥

Teatro del Fuoco, Sicily, Italy

Rioja Wine Festival, Rioja, Spain

The title of this festival says it all! If you’re a Spanish wine lover (much like I am!), don’t miss the chance to visit the Rioja region of Spain in the summertime. This festival runs from the 20th till the 25th September but the main day is the 21st. With a number of different wine tasting events and tapas to enjoy, it’s very easy to lose track of time here, but the main event is the “Batalla de Vino” or wine fight. The battle begins with a massive street party before everyone gathers the next day to duke it out armed with buckets of wine. Bring your water pistol and an old Funidelia women’s costumes to get in the spirit of things. Oh, and be prepared – things are going to get very messy…

Rioja Wine Festival, Rioja, Spain

Am I gutted to be missing out on Glastonbury again this year? Of course I am. But if I make it to one of these festivals this summer I think it’ll more than make up for it! Now where’s my water pistol…

Which of these festivals would you go to? The Rioja Wine Festival or the International Fire Dancing Festival? Let me know in the comments below!

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Festivals to check out this summer

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