Europe 5 – Fiesta de San Fermin

Fiesta de San Fermin (1) Where? Pamplona, Spain When? July 6-14 How long? 9 days For one week every year, the Spanish town of Pamplona parties so hard that the foothills of the nearby Pyrenees start to shake. Nothing can prepare you for your first Pamplona experience: the constant flow of beer and sangria, the outrageous drunken partying, the hordes ... Read More »

Europe 4 – Festa do Sao Joao

Festa do Sao Joao (2) The celebrations Preparations for the party begin several days before June 23, with virtually every bairro (district) of Porto decorating its streets with coloured ribbons. You’ll also see cascatas – models representing everything from religious figures to workers to whole townscapes – which are constructed by various bairros, schools and businesses, with a prize given ... Read More »

Europe 3 – Festa do Sao Joao

Festa do Sao Joao (1) Where? Porto, Portugal When? June 23 and 24 How long? 2 days The old cliche that Porto works while Lisbon plays is redundant on June 24, when Portugal’s second city teaches the capital a thing or two about having fun. The Festa do Sao Joao is a magnificent display of midsummer madness – one giant ... Read More »

Europe 2 – Common Ridings

Common Ridings (2) Evening entertainment The races finish around 5pm, after which the Foot Soldiers stagger back into town to reacquaint themselves with Hawick’s pubs or – for those lucky enough to get tickets – don their finery for the highlight of the festival, the Common Ridings Ball, a black-tie affair held in the town hall, and an event so ... Read More »

Europe 1 – Common Ridings

Common Ridings Where? Hawick, Scotland When? First week in June How long? 3 days The Common Ridings of the Scottish Border towns of Hawick, Selkirk, Jedburgh and Lauder are one of Britain’s best-kept secrets. The focus of each event is a dawn horseback patrol of the fields that mark each town’s boundaries an equestrian extravaganza that combines the thrills of Pamplona’s ... Read More »

Europe – List of Festival

List of Festival of Europe – Common Ridings – Festa do Sao Joao – Fiesta de San Fermin – Galway International Oyster Fest – Glastonbury Festival – Hogmanay – Ibiza Closing Parties – Il Palio – La Tomatina – Las Fallas – Lewes Bonfire Night Love Parade Monaco Grand Prix Oktoberfest Queen’s Day St Patrick’s Day Tenerife Carnival Venice Carnival ... Read More »

Carnival 2

The Christian year Carnival is the biggest “Christian” celebration worldwide, and although Easter is also celebrated with as much vigour around the world, it’s a dour event on the whole, enjoyable as a spectacle – for example, in Seville – but not something in which you’d participate unless you’re a believer. Instead, saints’ days, particularly in Catholic countries, provide an ... Read More »


Carnival, carnaval, carnevale. Call it what you like, but the first huge global parties of the year are the celebrations that lead up to Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday, which marks the beginning of Lent. Traditionally, this pre-Lenten build-up is a full-on session of drinking, parades, partying and all-round riotous revellery. Carnival celebrations evolved through a combination of influences; pagan ... Read More »

Introduction 2

How to find the perfect party Before you pick that perfect festival to begin your conquest of the World Party circuit, it’s worth remembering that there are some significant barriers in the way. All too often, festivals can be the worst time for travelling to – and staying in – the place in which the event is held. Accommodation prices ... Read More »


There’s nothing like the life-affirming buzz of a major festival, whether it’s toasting the arrival of summer in Iceland, chugging beers at Munich’s Oktoberfest, or joining in the orgy of beats at Ibiza’s closing parties. This book is a guide to over two hundred of the greatest events on earth, and represents the culmination of years of research, travelling and ... Read More »