World Party

Europe 56 – The best of the rest

The best of the rest (16) Wine War Where? Haro, Spain When? June 29 How long? 1 day One of the truly great events of the summer in Spain, the Wine War (Batallo de Vino) is the modern-day remnant of ancient feuds between the wine town of Haro and its Riojan neighbours, and basically boils down to a massive wine-fight ... Read More »

Europe 55 – The best of the rest

The best of the rest (15) Vogel Gryff Where? Basel, Switzerland When? January How long? 1 day This is a very strange and very Swiss festival that dates back to the sixteenth century and involves the mascots of the three Basel neighbourhoods – a dancing lion, a tree­carrying bushman and the Vogel Gryff itself, a griffin that bears an uncanny ... Read More »

Europe 54 – The best of the rest

The best of the rest (14) Semana Santa Where? Seville, Spain When? March or April How long? 2 days Every year a million or more Spanish and foreign tourists flock to Seville to witness the spectacular processions of Holy Week (Semana Santa), one of Europe’s most affecting and unforgettable events, and worth experiencing whether you’re a Christian or not. Sweeping ... Read More »

Europe 53 – The best of the rest

The best of the rest (13) Palio of Asti Where? Asti, Italy When? September How long? 1 day Less well known than the Siena palio, Asti’s bareback horse race (®www.palio.asti.it) dates back to the thirteenth century but was only revived in 1967, since when it has been held annually on the third Sunday in September. It’s very similar to the ... Read More »

Europe 52 – The best of the rest

The best of the rest  (12) Montreux Jazz Festival Where? Montreux, Switzerland When? July How long? 15 days               Even if you don’t know anything about jazz, the chances are you’ll have heard of the Montreux Jazz Festival , one of Europe’s most prestigious music events, and guaranteed to pull in the biggest international names. It’s not just what you might ... Read More »

Europe 51 – The best of the rest

The best of the rest  (11) Lajkonik Festival Where? Krakow, Poland When? June 1 How long? 1 day This procession celebrates a famous defeat of the Mongols, who were repelled from the gates of the city back in the thirteenth century. Basically, everyone follows a “Mongol warrior” on a hobby horse around the streets for three hours until they get ... Read More »

Europe 50 – The best of the rest

The best of the rest (10) Gotland Medieval Week Where? Gotland, Sweden When? August How long? 1 week Commemorating a mid-fourteenth century battle with the Danish when the Gotland capital of Visby was an important Hanseatic port, and which saw the town valiantly, but comprehensively, defeated, this is a week of music and dance, medieval markets – and, not surprisingly, ... Read More »

Europe 49 – The best of the rest

The best of the rest (9) Fiesta de Sant Joan Where? Ciutadella, Spain When? June 24 How long? 1 day Celebrating both midsummer and the saint’s day of Sant Joan (St John), this amazing equestrian event takes over the centre of the Menorcan town of Ciutadella. With thousands of people, and cavalcades of riders on black stallions racing and jousting ... Read More »

Europe 48 – The best of the rest

The best of the rest (8) Feria de Abril – best of the rest  Festa del Redentore Where? Venice, Italy When? July How long? 2 days Venice’s Festa del Redentore – the Festival of the Redeemer – is a high point of the city’s summer, both for tourists and locals, and a superb maritime event. Originally conceived to give thanks ... Read More »

Europe 47 – The best of the rest

The best of the rest (7) Feast of St George Where? Skiros, Greece When? April 23 How long? 3 days The English are far too reserved to make a fuss about their patron saint’s day, but the Greeks go absolutely mad for it. In Greece, St George – Ayios Yioryios – is the patron saint of shepherds, and he has ... Read More »

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