Europe 15 – Ibiza Closing Parties

Ibiza Closing Parties (1) Where? Ibiza, Spain When? Last 3 weeks of September How long? 3 weeks Notorious for its dynamic nightlife, Ibiza’s summer clubbing season is an annual orgy of hedonism that reaches a messy climax during September, when the main club promoters and venues host a series of stamina-sapping closing parties to round things off and extract a ... Read More »

Europe 14 – Hogmanay

Hogmanay (2) Hogmanay night It’s always been a common tradition for residents of a town or city in Scotland to gather around a central market cross or tollbooth on New Year’s Eve, to wait for the hands of the town clock to reach midnight. At “the bells” there would be a great cheer, all the other church bells would ring, ... Read More »

Europe 13 – Hogmanay

Hogmanay (1) Where? Edinburgh, Scotland When? Hogmanay is the name Scots give to New Year’s Eve, although events are organized between December 29 and January 1 How long? 4 days For a wild mix of fireworks, whisky, music and mass dancing, there’s nothing like the street party in Edinburgh to celebrate New Year’s Eve. They greet the arrival of New ... Read More »

Europe 12 – Glastonbury Festival

Glastonbury Festival (2) Getting tickets Tickets can only be bought via a link on the official website or on the telephone ticket line, the number for which changes each year and is disclosed online the day before tickets go on sale (generally at the start of April). And they go like hotcakes – tickets for the 2005 event (£125 for a ... Read More »

Europe 11 – Glastonbury Festival

Glastonbury Festival (1) Where? Glastonbury, England When? End of June How long? 3 days Glastonbury is quite simply the finest music festival in the world. It may not always attract the biggest-name bands, but there’s something special about the vibe in the surrounding countryside of southwest England – Druid burial mounds, crop circles, converging ley lines and the like – and ... Read More »

Europe 10 – Galway International Oyster Festival

Galway International Oyster Festival (2) The Guinness Oyster Trail Even if you can’t get into the festival marquee, you’re still likely to have a ball. Entertainment for the masses comes in the form of the Guinness Oyster Trail – the real backbone of the party and a permanent feature for the past forty years. The Trail consists of some thirty ... Read More »

Europe 9 – Galway International Oyster Festival

Galway International Oyster Festival (1) Where? Galway, Ireland When? Last full weekend in September How long? 3 days Ireland’s longest-running and best gourmet extravaganza, the Galway Interntaional Oyster Festival celebrates the arrival of the new oyster season with a three-day furore of drinking, dancing and crustacean guzzling. Most of the official events are based in the enormous red- and-white striped ... Read More »

Europe 8 – Fiesta de San Fermin

Fiesta de San Fermin (4) The Running of the Bulls: Participating It’s up to you whether or not you want to run with the bulls. But if you do, take it seriously. The people who get injured or killed each year are almost always tourists. There have been 14 deaths and 205 serious “horn injuries” between 1924 and 2006. You ... Read More »

Europe 7 – Fiesta de San Fermin

Fiesta de San Fermin (3) Statue diving If the ambulance team engraved the name on the St Cecilia statue of every injury that had occurred as a result of the statue diving that takes place there, they would have run out of space years ago. Every afternoon during the festival, once the sangria and beer has really soaked in, people, ... Read More »

Europe 6 – Fiesta de San Fermin

Fiesta de San Fermin (2) The build-up The town’s mayor makes a speech at noon on July 6 from the balcony of the ayuntamiento (town hall) in Plaza Consistorial, for which the crowds gather from 10am. After the speech, the mayor lets off a rocket to announce the start of the Fiesta, and the assembled mob erupts in a shower ... Read More »