Try something different next year by sampling one of the inspirational, unusual or bizarre 300 Unmissable Events and Festivals Around the World, published in a new guidebook on 12th October.
This new offbeat Frommer’s® guide to exciting global events includes the condensed wisdom of www.whatsonwhen.com, the definitive events website used by three million people every month.
Frommer’s® 300 Unmissable Events & Festivals Around the World www.whatsonwhen.com/300festivals is designed to help travellers plan unforgettable trips and is packed with essential tips and practical advice from the events experts about when to buy tickets and how to get there. Researchers distilled the 300 events chosen from more than 30,000 published on whatsonwhen. Unlike any other events guide, the £14.99 book is usefully divided into special interest themes such as music and family, through to spiritual, or downright weird and it features hundreds of full colour images.
Anna Goldrein, editorial manager at whatsonwhen said: “this guide is a labour of love and we think it’s the perfect gift for adventurous, or armchair travellers. We know increasing numbers of people want more than a tan when they go on holiday. They want to take part in local life and take home fabulous memories. So we’ve picked out our favourite events that we believe will inspire people to do just that - from free festivals to blow-the-budget events, through to gourmet experiences and natural wonders. Each event in the book has approximate dates and cost ranges and once people have been inspired they can check more detail, dates prices and web links in a dedicated website.”
Examples from among the 300 unmissable ideas from each category in the book include:
Culture - Buenos Aires Tango Festival in Argentina, August
Buenos Aires Tango Festival in Argentina, runs over ten days in August, with organised championship events and spontaneous street-corner dances. Concerts take place between 6 and 11pm but there are also tango films and exhibitions during the day. www.festivaldetango.gov.ar.
Family – Vancouver International Children’s Festival, May
Vancouver International Children’s Festival in Canada runs over eight days in May with ticketed shows as well as free workshops and activities ranging from juggling and hula hooping to an interactive sound tent with sound sculptures and instruments. It’s claimed this is where children’s face painting originated. www.childrensfestival.ca.
Food and Drink – Melbourne Food and Wine Festival, March
Melbourne Australia reasserts itself as the culinary hotspot down south every year over 17 days in March when you can savour one of 200 gourmet events at the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival. Or sip the best from more than 60 of Victoria’s boutique wineries. www.melbournefoodandwine.com.au
Glamorous – Rose Ball, Salle des Etoile, Monte Carlo, Monaco, March
With a guest list of royalty and A-listers you’d be forgiven for thinking that Monaco’s Rose Ball is invitation only. Think again then shimmy into your finest gown and gear for the fragrant rose-filled Salle des Etoile for a champagne dinner in aid of charity. The ball is held on the final Saturday in March every year. www.montecarloresort.com
Music - Exit Festival, Novi Sad, Serbia, July
Over three days in July the medieval Petrovaradin Fortress in Serbia hosts international rock bands. World-class DJs rock the party crowd thronging in the grassy moat and campsite looks out over the shimmering calm of the blue Danube. www.exitfest.org
Natural wonders – Naga Fireball Festival, Mekong River, Thailand, October
Gaze in wonder at the red, pink and orange fireballs that soar from the river into the night sky. This natural phenomenon is believed by Buddists to be the underwater serpent Phaya Nak’s homage to Buddah and is the centerpiece of a two-day celebration with light and sound shows and boat contests. www.tourismthailand.org
Spectacular – Day of the Virgin of Guadalupe Cliff Diving, Acapulco, Mexico, December
Feel your stomach turn as dare-devil divers plunge 45m off rugged cliffs into an impossibly narrow strip of water in honour of their patron saint, the Virgin of Guadalupe. At night, divers raise the bar even further by leaping through a circle of flames. www.clavadistadelaquebrada.com.
Spiritual and Religious – Beltane Festival, Edinburgh Scotland, April
Edinburgh’s neo-pagan Beltane Festival is a dramatic take on an ancient Celtic fertility festival. Wrap up for a sunset picnic or join the white witches and crowds after dark and watch the May Queen, Green Man and White Woman arrive on the hill accompanied by hooded figures with flaming torches to enact the birth of summer. www.beltane.org
Sport and adventure – Yukigassen Finland, April
Find six friends, strap on your crash helmets and get ready to snow battle. Unlike any old snow ball fight, the Yukigassen tournament has rules, referees, tactics and spectators. Go just to watch or take part by entering at least 30 minutes prior to the first match. www.yukigassenfi.aazilla.com
Weird and wonderful – Santa Clause World Championship, Samnaun, Switzerland, November
Spectators flock here for the unique site of teams of pseudo-Santas battling it out in disciplines such as chimney climbing, gingerbread decorating and delivering gifts, as well as skiing and parties. www.clauwau.com