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European Festivals & Events

February

Waitangi Day Pub Crawl - London, England - February 6th (related article)

There are loads of Kiwis in London and they all come out to do the Circle Line pub crawl on their national day. The tube lines are packed, and the festivities end at Westminster for a massive Haka!

Venice Carnival - Venice, Italy - Mid February

Pick a mask and hit the streets... er canals of Venice for this age old festival.

Viareggio Carnival - Viareggio, Italy - February

Famous for it's huge, mechanical floats, this carnival holds parades on each Sunday in February.

Ronciglione Carnival - Ronciglione, Italy - Mid February

Famous for its nasi rossi (red noses), locals who force feed onlookers pasta, and riderless horses, this carnival is definately unique!

Ivria Carnival - Ivrea, Italy - February (the three days before Ash Wednesday)

If you don't mind being pelted in the head by a stray orange or two, this is the festival for you! Participants ride horse-drawn carts and hurl oranges at one another. Mayhem!

Sitges Carnival - Sitges, Spain - Mid February

No carnival is complete without a few drag queens and Sitges is the place to find them strutting their stuff amongst the floats and families.

Maastricht Carnival - Maastricht, Netherlands - Mid February

Any silly costume will be fine for this short, boozy carnival amongst Maastricht's many bars.

Fasnacht - Basel, Switzerland - Late February

10,000 drum and piper troupes converge on the city at 4am on a Monday morning and marching by torch through the streets for 24 hours - refuelling in pubs along the way of course.

March

Las Fallas - Valencia, Spain - Mid March

A festival where giant creations made of paper mache, wood and wax are burned in the streets on the night of a huge feast.

St. Patrick's Day - Ireland - March 17th

Paddy's Day parties will spring up all over the country on this national holiday, but Dublin is the centre of it all with the parade and hundereds of pubs.

Oxford vs. Cambridge Boat Race - London, England - Late March

Brave the chilly weather to watch some university students battle it out on the River Thames. The 'Old Ship' pub in Hammersmith is a great place to take it all in - if you don't mind crowds!

April

The Grand National - Aintree Racecourse, Liverpool, England - Early April

Watch the jockey's fly as their horses leap over bushes for glory in one of the world's most dangerous and prestegious races.

ANZAC Day Service - Gallipoli, Turkey - April 25th (related article)

Aussies and Kiwis head in masses to Turkey to pay tribute to their fallen war heroes at this sombre dawn service.

Queen's Day - Amsterdam, The Netherlands - Late April/Early May

Celebrate the Queen's birthday in style getting boozed up and everything else in Amsterdam for this national holiday.

May

Feria De Abril - Seville, Spain - 1st week of May

A colourful annual street party with Flamenco dancing at the centre of it all.

Cannes Film Festival - Cannes, France - Mid May

Spots the stars at one of the most prestigious film festivals in the world.

Carnival in Aalborg - Aalborg, Denmark - Late May

This small Danish town is home to Northern Europe's largest festival with 30,000 participants giving the spectators a fabulous wave of colour and music.

Chelsea Flower Show - Chelsea, London, England - Late May

Wander around some amazingly posh and well manicured gardens in amazingly posh and well manicured Chelsea, southwest London.

French Open - Paris, France - Late May

One of the four Grand Slam tennis tournaments rolls into Roland Garros for two weeks at the end of May.

Cheese Rolling - Gloucestershire, England - Second Bank Holiday in May (related article)

Watch locals throw themselves down a very steep in hill pursuit of a rolling cheese wheel. If you're feeling brave and want to win a big cheese, join in!

June

Tourist Trophy Superbike Races - Isle of Man - Early June

Watch some bikers race around the narrow streets on this tiny island for glory. Then once that's all done, watch biking enthusiasts from around the world have a crack at the course themselves. Guaranteed carnage!

Wimbledon Tennis Championship - London, England - Late June (related article)

Southwest London plays host to the world's premier tennis tournament and tickets can be had for those willing to camp out on the second Saturday or those who go after 5pm midweek.

Glastonbury Festival - Glastonbury, England - Late June

As much about the atmosphere as the music, camp for up to five days with thousands of your closest friends and take in three days of great bands - if you're lucky enough to get tickets, that is!

July

Running of the Bulls - Pamplona, Spain - Early July

Gorge yourself on booze with thousands of others during the week long party while trying to avoid being gorged by an angry bull.

Love Parade - Berlin, Germany - Early July

Get off chops and participate in the world's largest dance party in the streets of Berlin. Flash floats and some the of best DJs around will keep things pumping all night.

T in the Park - Kinross, Scotland - July

Pray for good weather for this outdoor weekend music festival which attracts big acts from all over the world.

Newquay Board Masters - Newquay, England - Late July

Chill on the beach in Newquay while taking in England's premier surf competition.

August

Medeltidsveckan - Gotland, Sweden - Early August

Celebrate all things medieval with jousting competitions, music, pageants, lectures and any other event you can think of related the dark ages.

La Tomatina - Bunyol, Spain - Last Wednesday of August (related article)

Come prepared with goggles and a swimsuit to this giant tomato fight in the plastic-wrapped streets of a tiny village in Southern Spain.

Notting Hill Carnival - London, England - Late August

Not just a movie, also a street party - Europe's largest! Celebrate Caribbean music, dancing and food in the streets of London!

Edinburgh Fringe Festival - Edinburgh, Scotland - Late August (related article)

All things artsy and creative spill into the streets of Edinburgh for a few weeks in August for the world's largest arts festival.

September

Oktoberfest - Munich, Gemany - End September/Early October (related article)

Sausages, leiderhosen and beer are plentiful at this Bavarian booze fest. You don't need to be a huge a fan of the amber nectar to enjoy the party atmosphere, table dancing and debauchery!

October

The Belfast Festival - Belfast, Northern Ireland - Late October

The UK's second largest arts festival is held for two weeks to showcase the city's creative spirit.

November

Guy Fawkes Nights - England - November 5th

Spot the burning effegies of the English traitor amongst the other fabulous fireworks displays that'll be lighting up the skies for weeks.

Christkindlesmarkt - Nuremberg, Germany - Late November

Join millions of shoppers from all over the world and get in the holiday spirit at this month long market selling all things Christmassy.

Cannabis Cup - Amsterdam, The Netherlands - November

Potheads unite for the world's largest marijuana tasting festival in the world. Bring your party hat and some munchies!

December

Hogmanay - Edinburgh, Scotland - December 31st

Enjoy the largest New Year's street party in the world in a beautiful setting surrounded by crazy kilted Scotsman.

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