Europe, a haven of natural wonders and cultural extravaganza, is a dreamland for travel enthusiasts. Dominated by its rich cultural heritage and historical value, the continent serves as the centre of excellence for music, art, and entertainment. No doubt, the festivals in Europe are the most significant and largest in the world. The prominent places being Italy, Paris, Vienna, and Prague beaming with the magnificence of the unique musical experiences of the continent. In this article, you will be mesmerized with the famous festivals in Europe, their extraordinary themes and concepts and their grandeur.
1. The Carnival of Venice
The Carnival of Venice is a traditional festival in Europe, one of the best of its kind. The 20 days long festival is primarily celebrated to glorify different decorative masks. The masks are elaborately designed by skilled artists and worn by the participants. You can find the festival arena enlivened with people adorned by the traditional vibrant coloured dresses and the exclusive masks. It is denoted as one of the best festivals in Europe, happening in February or March. Attended by millions of locals and tourists every year, the festival entertains all with its endless array of events, parties, parades, events, and contests.
If you are planning to visit the Carnival of Venice, dress in one of the colourful traditional attire of Venice to enjoy the festival at its best.
Maslenitsa is one of the oldest cultural festivals in Europe. Celebrated mainly by the people of Eastern Europe of the Slavic traditions, it is also one of the largest fe stivals in Europe. It happens for a continuous eight weeks before Eastern Easter with great pomp and galore. Throughout the weeks, crepes are prepared with great enthusiasm. It is a traditional festival of Europe centred on permitting consumption of cheese, meat and dairy products by the Orthodox Christian community.
Due to the unique tradition of the festival removing the food restrictions of the Orthodox Christians, it is popularly known as Cheesefare week or Crepe week.
3. Glastonbury Festival
Glastonbury is considered to be one of the renowned European music festivals. The popularity of the festival has reached its climax, alluring millions of people from all around the world. Celebrated mostly during June every year, it was started way back in the 1970s in Somerset, UK. World-famous singers and musicians participate in the grand musical event, offering the audience with spectacular entertainment shows. Prominent performers like U2, Beyonce, Coldplay famous for holding several concerts in Europe, had entertained the people with their incredible talents, terming it as one of the most astonishing musical festivals in Europe.
4. Edinburgh Festival Fringe
Among all the festivals in Europe, the Fringe is the biggest in Europe and also the largest art festival in the world. Held almost throughout August every year, the festival venues are located in many areas in the city of Edinburgh. Music, dance, opera, exhibitions, theatre, cabaret, and many more entertainment shows captivate the audience with their fascinating performances.
Did you know?
The main attraction of the festival is the comedy shows where the best ones are granted the Edinburgh comedy awards.
5. Rock Im Park
Held in Nuremberg in June, Rock im Park is one of the famous rock festivals in Europe. It hosts some of the popular concerts in Europe performed by world-renowned rock singers like Guns n Roses, Eddie Van Halen, Foo Fighters, Metallica and many more. Attended by millions of audiences every year, the festival has earned international recognition and popularity.
6. La Tomatina Festival
La Tomatina is one of the fun-filled and jovial festivals in Europe. Held in Spain every year for a day during August, it is famous for tomato fights. Almost 100 metric tonnes of ripe tomatoes arrive at the town of Bunol in 6 trucks and are poured over the participants. The action instigates the crowd to start throwing the tomatoes at each other, leading to an amusing activity. The entire place turns into a red pool with the tomato pulps scattered on the ground. It lasts for 1 hour ending at the sound of a loud siren. Large hose pipes spray water to clean the place and the participants.
The festival has an entry fee with a limit of 20,000 participants permitted to attend. Hence you must book your tickets early if you want to immerse into the vibrancy of the festival.
7. Carnaval in the Netherlands
Carnaval is one of the unique and largest festivals in Europe, with the main theme of it being social roles and norms reversals. People of all ages and generations come out in the streets of the Netherlands with a disguise by dressing and painting their faces, contrary to their usual roles and behavioural norms. Carnaval is a Dutch word which in the English language means Carnival. The primary purpose behind the theme of the festival is to spread awareness about the daily events and activities in life, allowing people to portray the character they desire to achieve. The traditional festival occurs for three days marked with meetings, parades, balls, music, food feasts.
8. Cannes Film Festival
The Cannes Film festival is one of the largest and best festivals in Europe. It has internationally reclaimed fame attended by eminent movie personalities from all over the world. You can attend the event by invitation only to witness the screening of the most prestigious movies of the year. The red carpet at the Cannes Film Festival is the most spectacular place to observe the brilliant attires of the world-famous actors and actresses. One of the key attractions of the film festival is the Palme d’Or award granted to the best film of the year.
Did you know?
Palme d’Or award is considered as more esteemed than the award at the Oscars.
9. Oktoberfest Germany
Held in Germany every year in September for a day, Oktoberfest is one of the famous festivals in Europe. The venue of the festival is the city of Munich and was started in 1810 to commemorate the Bavarian culture. It is a traditional festival, especially for beer lovers. Different types of local and international brands of beer stalls are put up in the festival arena to entertain the guests. Other foods and beverage stalls and shops are also set up in the area. Restaurant owners and riflemen participate in colourful parades wearing traditional European costumes.
Also Read: Best Places in Germany to Have Beer
10. Water Jousting Festival
Venice of Languedoc, a small town at the port of Sete, transforms into a youth dominated vibrant atmosphere during the last few days of August. The town celebrates the Water Jousting Festival, one of the most prominent summer festivals in Europe. It is fun to watch the water jousting tournaments held in the adjacent canals, bursting with liveliness and energy. More than 70 events are held at the festival premises with parades, musical concerts, food, and beverage stalls and pubs.
Venice of Languedoc earned its name since it is connected to the Thau Lagoon by a network of canals that originated from the Mediterranean Sea.
11. Klapa Music Festival
Klapa Music Festival is one of the popular European music festivals. It is a traditional festival where the local European singers and musicians perform at the Capella. The other genres of music are performed in the towns of Stjepan Radic and St. Mihovil. It is a wonderful experience to hear the melodious voice of the performers echoing through the rippling waters of the River Cetina. The lively sound of the music with the rhythmic beats captivates the mind and the soul of the audience.
12. The Carnival of Ivrea
The Carnival of Ivrea is one of the strangest and weirdest food festivals in Europe. Every year it is held in Ivrea, Italy in the third week of February. It originated from the 19th century when the commoners used to discard the food given to them by the feudal lord. They used to throw away the food to show disgruntle. In the festival, the people play a game acting as commoners and fight a fun war with the guards who arrive in carriages throwing oranges to the crowd.
Suggested Read: 12 Best Places to visit in Italy in 2020
13. Kettlewell Scarecrow Festival
The Kettlewell Scarecrow Festival is celebrated for nine days in August every year. Along with the Carnival of Ivrea, it is also considered as one of the strangest and weirdest food festivals in Europe. The festival started approximately 20 years ago with a noble objective of collecting funds for the schools, churches and the community halls in the villages. It is celebrated in the village of Yorkshire Dale where scarecrows or mannequins are stuffed with straw and placed throughout the place. They are sometimes mimicked to represent real-life characters.
In 2019, the scarecrows representing the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were put up during the festival.
14. Lavender mob festival
Lavender mob festival is one of the most beautiful festivals in Europe. Held in France for four days, it is celebrated to enjoy the lavender harvest in August. The event is inaugurated with spectacular and dazzling firework along the river waters. The festival attracts millions of tourists every year from all over the world, to be fascinated with the parades, boats adorned with the marvellous lavender flowers, the marching bands, and a night ball held at the centre of the city of Paris. The principal attraction of the festival is the Digne’s lavender festival parade, being organized since World War II.
15. Flamenco fair
Flamenco fair is one of the best summer festivals in Europe. Held in Spain for five days in September, it is celebrated to signify the feast of Saint Matthew. Horse riding, dancing, drinking, tasting the exquisite local delicacies are the key attractions of the festival. You can witness the elegant and skilled dancers performing at different stage shows throughout the festival days.
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16. Noble Grapes
The Noble Grapes festival is an auspicious and traditional festival celebrated in Europe. It started way back in 1787, organized for ten days in Saint Helena. On one of the Saturdays in June every year, traditional families producing wine display their harvest in the city. They dress up in their local traditional costume and come across in the city with carts decorated with bells, vines, grapes, ribbons, etc.
Did you know?
The festival is one of the best wine festivals in Europe, attended by the locals in huge numbers.
Also Read: 9 Best Cities to Visit in Europe
17. Mad for Folk
Mad Folk is one of the authentic folk festivals in Europe. The festival is held in Italy in August for three days to celebrate the local folk music. The exclusive festival is significant in showcasing spectacular and astonishing performances by the gorgeous dancers, bands, and musicians. It is a famous traditional festival of music in Europe where you can witness the fabulous performances of folk musicians in Italy.
Pizzafest is one of the renowned cultural festivals in Europe where millions of people from all over the world visit Napoli or Naples in Italy. Held every year in September for 11 consecutive days, it welcomes the food lovers with 100,000 pizzas of numerous kinds presented by the world’s famous pizza chefs. About 50 varieties of Pizzas are delivered in this grand food festival including Napoletana, Margherita, and Marinara. The village of Napoli is transformed into dreamland with the delicious aroma of the pizzas with the guests relinquishing every single bite of the pizzas.
19. La Tamborrada, the Drum festival
La Tamborrada counted among the best music festivals in Europe where drummers from various areas of Spain arrive at the location for a rhythmic display of their skill at the drums. If you have an ardent desire for drums, then you can also try your hands at the drums and display your skill at the festival processions. A grand parade is organized at the festival premises at San Sebastian in Spain attended by men, women, and kids in huge numbers playing the drums. It happens in January every year for a day.
If you really want to attend the festival then be prepared for the big noises of the drums.
Creamfields is considered one of the biggest European music festivals, organized at Daresbury and Liverpool in the last week of August for four days. It is essentially a dance festival, started by Cream – a British club promoter. Initially, it was a one day show, but now it has gained immense popularity alluring thousands of visitors every year from the continent and abroad. Skilled and talented dancers perform during all the four days showcasing their elegance and passion for music in front of a vast audience.
21. Amsterdam Light Festival
The Amsterdam Light Festival is a colourful and vibrant festival where the city is illuminated and brightened up by lights. The lights are put up into the city by imminent light artists from the local areas and of international fame. Every year designers and architects from various parts of the world submit their artistic creations to be displayed at the light festival. Only 30 designer works are selected to be showcased in the city centre. The bright lights dazzling by the innovations and creativity are a treat to the eyes.
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The light festival occurs for a long duration starting from the last week of November till mid of January every year. You have ample time to visit the festival and witness the brilliant display of the lights.
22. Subotina Festival
Buzet, the stunning small town in Istria, beams up with the energy during the Subotina Festival. It is essentially a food festival, initiated every year by the preparation of a giant omelette made of eggs and truffles. The locals of the town dress up in their traditional European attire highlighting the rich cultural heritage and historical significance of the continent. Celebrated for two days in September every year, the town serves a wide variety of foods and beverages like manestra, fuzi, fritule and many more local delicacies.
Did you know?
Manestra is a speciality soup in Italy. Fuzi is a type of pasta that is usually served with truffles. Fritule is doughnut which is generally fried before serving.
23. St. Patrick’s Day
It is one of the best festivals in Europe held in the spring season on 17th March every year. St. Patrick is the saint of Ireland who patronized Christianity into the country. It is a traditional festival now considered as an inherent part of the Irish culture. Both the male and the female participants are dressed in green as they parade and march along the streets of Dublin.
Did you know?
St. Patrick’s Day is popularly known as the festival of alcohol as the restrictions on alcohol consumption as part of the Lentil prohibitions, ends on this day.
Also Read: 11 Best places to visit in Ireland
24. San Fermin
It is a traditional festival in Europe, held every year in Pamplona of Spain for eight days in July. The main attraction of the festival is the running of bulls in the streets with the participants trying to flee away and defend themselves from the raging bulls. Millions of people arrive at the city to witness the grand festival amid a wide variety of festivities like playing drums, music, danced and many more.
Europe is a continent with a plethora of festivals occurring in various regions, inviting millions of globetrotters from all over the world. The grandness and charm of the festivals are astounding and incredible.