The best festivals in Europe
Ahh Europe...so calm, cultured and elegant. Think again! Europe is full of quirky festivals and traditions that keep us thoroughly entertained. The crazier the better! Get your Viking gear ready and be prepared for the fireworks as here are our 10 Crazy Festivals in Europe.
1. La Pourcailhade (Pig Festival), France
Think you like pigs? You haven’t seen anything yet. This town in France goes crazy over them! On the second Sunday every August, everyone dresses up as a pig with competitions such as who can act like the most realistic pig through different stages of life.
2. King’s Day, The Netherlands
The Dutch love a good party and King’s Day is when the entire country comes to a halt just to celebrate the birthday of the King. The streets are full of people drinking beer, singing and having a good old time. The festivities start early in the evening on the 26th (King’s Night) with people partying for 24 hours...Get stuck in with this lively atmosphere but remember to wear the nation’s favourite colour; orange.
3. Hammer Festival (Festa de São João), Porto, Portugal
This crazy festival happens each year in Porto on Midsummer’s Eve (June 23rd). It’s one big street party with a twist; people run around with hammers. If hammers don’t excite you as much as it does the locals, there is music, dancing, food and fireworks throughout the night.
4. La Tomatina, Spain
Do you like tomatoes? You’d better do if you are planning on going to La Tomatina in Bunol, near Valencia, in Spain. Truckloads of tomatoes are used to throw at each other in this huge tomato fight. There is absolutely no way to escape the tomatoes if you go, so get ready to get nice and messy!
5. Venice Carnival, Italy
The city of Venice comes alive during Carnival, with everyone adorned in intricate traditional masks and gowns. There are also masquerade balls and fancy evening dinners in this mysterious and romantic city. It’s exciting, full of surprises and you’ll feel transported back in time. The Carnival lasts for roughly two weeks and ends with the beginning of Lent.
6. Baby Jumping Festival (El Colacho) Spain
This strange festival sees men dressed as the devil jumping over new-born babies laid on a mattress on the street...bizarre.
7. Bastille Day, France
This national holiday on July 14th is celebrated all over France but is particularly good in the capital Paris. The festival signifies the start of the French Revolution over 200 years ago. There is music and merriment the evening before, and on the day itself the largest military parade in held on the Champs-Elysees.
8. Viking Festival, Hafnarfjörður, Iceland
Every second weekend of June, the town of Hafnarfjörður in Iceland transforms back in time to the Middle Ages. The festivities last for 5 days, with a market and various activities being taught such as how to shoot and throw axes and spears.
9. Wife Carrying World Championships - Sonkajärvi, Finland
This isn’t as straightforward as it sounds...not only do you have to carry your wife in a relay race, you also have to tackle various obstacles such as water and fences to climb over. It’s a physical challenge that’s great fun, and will no doubt cause arguments between the couples!
10. Duke’s Day, Luxembourg
Luxembourg might be small, but it doesn’t mean they don’t know how to celebrate in style. Duke’s Day is celebrated on June 23rd, with celebrations beginning on the evening of the 22nd. There are free open air concerts, fireworks, DJs and parades across the city the next day.