Tibetan Prayer Flags at Festival

World Festival Calendar: Events Worth Travelling For

01 Jun 2017

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There are fabulous events happening around the world every month, and each season we gather them in a calendar to help you enhance your holiday itinerary. With summer in the air in the Northern Hemisphere, some of the world's most fantastic events on on the cards for June, July and August. From Burning Man to La Tomatina, you're sure to find a festival in this list that's worth travelling for.

Plan your trip around one of these incredible festivals, sporting events or celebrations and discover your destination from a whole new perspective.

1 - 18 June: The NBA Finals, USA

Watch as the legends of the USA basketball courts battle it out for the top spot. If you’re visiting a city with a team in the playoffs, be sure to succumb to the electric atmosphere of game night and cheer your support along with the locals. 

2 - 11 June: Melbourne International Jazz Festival

This annual, world-class festival takes place in jazz clubs, concert venues and arts venues throughout Melbourne and boasts a musical program designed to appeal to all ages. Concerts, late night parties and kid’s events all embrace the joy of jazz.

9 June: Kailish Saga Dawa Festival, Tibet

The most important religious festival of Tibet, Saga Dawa celebrates the life and enlightenment of Buddha. The beautiful religious customs are even more poignant against the backdrop of Mount Kailash, the most sacred peak in the Himalayas. 

14 - 17 June: Bordeaux Wine Festival, France

Food and wine tasting is at the heart of this event in the world’s vino capital, but there are activities and amusements galore. Enjoy everything from light show spectaculars and orchestra performances to barrel rolling competitions and educational wine workshops.

17 June: 24 Hours of Le Mans, France

Known as one of the most prestigious automobile races in the world, this sports car endurance race has been held annually since 1923. Racing enthusiasts flock to observe the year’s latest Triple Crown event, and a range of entertainment adds to the festive ambience.

24 June: Hunter Valley Wine Festival, NSW

The best of the Hunter Valley is yours to experience at this extravaganza of dining and drinking. Enjoy wine, beer and cider tastings, sample gourmet local food and watch live entertainment while the kids are entertained by a variety of child-friendly activities.

28 - 30 June: Batalla del Vinos (Battle of the Wines), Haro, Spain

This unique festival dates back to the 12th century, when Haro locals made a twice yearly pilgrimage to the Bilibio Cliffs. Sometime during the 1700s the procession broke out into a friendly wine-slinging fight, and today the traditional parade and exuberant wine fight continues.

1 - 23 July: Tour de France

Millions of spectators gather to cheer the racers in the world’s most famous cycling event, held every summer throughout France. Countless scenic spots invite you to soak up the festive atmosphere of the crowd and enjoy various amusements and live performances.

7-23 July: Heiva, Paeete, Tahiti

Beauty, strength and grace are celebrated at this traditional Tahitian celebration of dance and sport. Fabulous dance competitions are the focal point, but athletic contests of stone lifting, javelin throwing, and palm tree climbing also thrill the lively crowds.

9 July: Beer Can Regatta, Mindil Beach, Darwin

Create your own motorised boat out of empty beer cans, soft drink bottles and milk cartons and enter it into this yearly race, where littering is prohibited but hilarity is guaranteed. Other festival activities include a Sandcastle Competition, Tug-of-War and the Thong Throw. 

11 - 13 July: Naadam Festival, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

With roots in the wedding and hunting extravaganzas of ancient Mongolia, this festival showcases two days of horse racing, wrestling and archery. There is plenty to see and do outside the arena, from food stalls and local crafts to live music and performances.

17 July: Gion Matsuri, Kyoto, Japan

One of the most famous festivals in Japan, Gion Matsuri is known for its grand processions of gorgeous floats and a unique combination of religious observance and jubilant street parties. The evenings preceding the parades boast an abundance of traditional activities.

22 - 25 July: Queenstown Winter Festival, New Zealand

Queenstown celebrates the start of winter with a four-day extravaganza of street parties, fireworks, live performances and kids’ events. Get into the spirit of things with the Mountain Mayhem snow events, including the Suitcase Race, Snow Dig and the Dash for Cash.

4 - 28 August: Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Scotland

During this three-week event the city of Edinburgh hosts the world’s biggest celebration of arts and culture. Enjoy a jam-packed program of theatre, comedy, dance and circus shows, along with opera, art exhibitions and musical concerts from artists of all ability levels.

7 - 13 August: US PGA Tour

A collection of North America’s most prestigious golfing tournaments, the PGA Tour is a contest between the masters of the green. High stakes and big name players draw a dedicated crowd, who enjoy all the trappings of a festival as well as world-class golf.

August Full Moon Festival, Athens, Greece

The August full moon is celebrated with reverence in the ancient capital of Athens, where historical sites and museums are open to the public free of charge. Many sites host special performances, and extended opening hours take advantage of the moonlight.

10 - 23 August: Tango Festival, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Passionate, undiscriminating and evocative, tango is the soul of Buenos Aires and the Tango Festival is one of the biggest events in the city’s calendar. Professional performances, tango-related films and plenty of milongas (dance parties) fill a fabulous two-week calendar.

27 - 4 August: Burning Man Festival, Black Rock Desert, USA

Held deep in the desert of Nevada, this yearly gathering celebrates community and self expression through a vast collection of mind-boggling installations. Participation is highly encouraged, whether your talent is interactive sculpture, musical performance or interpretive dance.

30 August: La Tomatina, Bunol, Spain

Over 50,000 people squeeze into Bunol for the world’s biggest food fight, where participants pelt each other with over-ripe tomatoes purely for the fun of it. The famous tomato fight is the crowning jewel in a week of music, parades, dancing and fireworks.

Emma Lee

Emma is a travel writer and blogger living in Brisbane, Australia. She followed the snow around the world for many years, and still considers Lake Louise her happy place. Emma's other passion is food; a love that has led her down many sketchy looking alleys in Asia, South America and Europe.