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European Festivals

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European Festivals

Europeans always seem to have something to celebrate which is great for visitors, there’s everything from festivals and fiestas to pageants and markets. Choose your holiday activities carefully however; whilst some are tame affairs, others risk you being pelted with tomatoes. You have been warned!

orange-battle
The Battle of the Oranges, Ivera, Italy – 26th January – 13th February 2014
This is Italy’s answer to Spain’s Tomantina, instead of tomatoes; oranges are used as the weapon of choice. The event is actually a carnival which is celebrated for the three weeks preceding Fat Tuesday (dates differ annually). Sundays, Mondays and Tuesday are carnival days and the main focus of the celebration is the ‘battle’. Nine teams battle it out in a giant orange fight; spectators (behind nets) line the route and cheer on the fighting. The origins of this particular festival are conflicting but whatever the background; it’s a sight worth seeing.

 

 

Carnevale
Carnevale, across Italy - 2nd March 2014
One of the biggest celebrations on the Italian calendar is Carnevale. Leading up to Easter celebrations, many towns in Italy come alive and celebrate. The carnival atmosphere is electric and visitors will be drawn into the celebrations which include music, parades and masked balls. As it’s one of the most popular calendar events then accommodation is best booked well in advance.

 

 

 

nice-carnival
Nice Carnival, Nice, France - 14th February - 4th March 2014
Click here to read about the Nice Carnival.

 

 

 

las_fallas

Las Fallas, Valencia, Spain – 15th – 19th March
This Spanish fiesta drives a real sense of community with each neighbourhood crafting giant papier mache caricatures which are used in the parade. The five-day festival is one huge party which is enjoyed by locals and tourists alike. People pack the streets to see the parades and enjoy the carnival atmosphere which is fuelled with paella and sangria. At the end of the festival the papier mache caricatures are set on fire and then the party really starts. This is the ultimate place to see a street party Spanish-style. Click here to find out more about a wider range of festivals available throuhout Spain in the springtime.

 


rome-birthday
Rome’s Birthday, Rome, Italy – 20th April 2014
Despite being a (young) 2767 years old in 2014, Rome continues to celebrate each birthday with as much fervour and enthusiasm as the last. Think gladiators marching, fireworks, events and shows against the beautiful backdrop of the coliseum. Plan a trip to Italy to take in this spectacle and you won’t be disappointed.

 

 

 

april-fair-seville
Seville’s April Fair, Seville, Spain – throughout April
It must take eleven months of the year to plan a month-long extravaganza like the April Fair in Seville. The event is a must-see for those seeking out the traditional side to Spanish culture. Every day the Paseo de Caballos, roughly translated as ‘ride horses’, parades through the streets. Women in full flamenco regalia are transported through the city in horse drawn carriages. Bullfighting at Plaza de Toros de Maestranza is also a sold out event which is part of these celebrations.

 

 

bastille-day-fireworks
Bastille Day, France – 14th July
Being anywhere in France on Bastille Day is a real treat. Across the nation celebrations of French culture are held and whilst you’ll need to head to Paris to experience the military parade, you’re bound to find street parties, fireworks and festivities throughout the country.

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