Holidays and Festivals

January

  • 1 January - New Year’s Day Street Festivals in Scotland carry over from the Hogmanay New Year’s Eve parties the night before.
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  • 2 January - Berchtoldstag in Switzerland.
  • 5 January - Twelfth Night (also called Wassail Eve or Eve of Epiphany) in England.
  • 6 January - Epiphany as observed by Catholics across Europe.
  • 6-13 January - Ivrea Carnival in Ivrea, Italy. Quite a rager…complete with bonfires and citrus fights!
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  • 20 January - St. Agnes Eve in Great Britain.
  • 25 January - Australia Day. Expats will find many celebrations in London.
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  • 3rd Sunday  - The Truffle mushroom festival held in Uzes, France (near Nimes).

February

  • 1st Sunday - Hamstrom on first Sunday in Switzerland.
  • 11 February - Dusseldorf Carnival Parade in Dusseldorf, Germany.
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  • Mid Feb-March - The Lemon Fesival in Menton, France.
  • Mid Feb-March - The Carnival Of Venice.

March

  • March-April - Carnival/Lent/Easter.
  • The Carnival Of Venice – Feb 16- Mar 5
  • St. Patrick’s Day – Mar 17
  • Maslenitsa – Mar  4-10.
  • Carnava – Mar 3-5.
  • 1 March - St. David’s Day- (Wales).
  • 3 March - Bulgarian National Day.
  • 8 March - International Women’s Day across UN member nations.
  • 17 March - St. Patrick’s Day in Ireland and North Ireland (fireworks in Dublin).
  • 19 March - St. Joseph’s Day in Italy and Spain.
  • 25 March - Independence Day in Greece Lady Day (Quarter Day) in Great Britain.
  • 26 March - Fiesta del Arbol (Arbor Day) in Spain.
  • 29 March - The Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race on the Thames River. The starting point is near Putney Bridge (southwest London) and finish is near Chiswick Bridge in Mortlake. The whole race lasts under 20 minutes and posits rivals Oxford (69 victories),wearing dark blue, against Cambridge (77 victories), wearing light blue, on the 4 mile 374 yard course up the River Thames. Mostly a big piss-up for spectators, the nearly 150 year old tradition has seen 3 total sinkings.
  • Mid March - Las Fallas - a huge week of all night partying, fireworks, and processions held in Valencia, Spain.
  • Last Week in March - Salon de Mars - Paris’ most important flower show on the Champ de Mars.

April

  • 1 April - Victory Day in Spain and April Fools’ Day (All Fools’ Day) in Great Britain.
  • 7 April - World Health Day in all UN member nations. The Paris Marathon - Nearly 30,000 runners begin from the Champs-Elysees near the Arc de Triomphe and finishes at Foch Avenue.
  • 3rd Week - The Moros y Cristianos festival in Alcoy, Spain re-enacts the historical battles between Moors and Christians.
  • 14 April - London Marathon - nearly 30,000 runners complete the 26.2 mile course which begins in Greenwich Park and Blackheath.
  • 22 April - Queen Isabella Day in Spain.
  • 23 April - St. George’s Day in England Good Friday & Easter Monday – Europe-wide. In Florence Piazza del Duomo, they apparently have a cart full of fireworks that they explode. If all goes well, it’s a sign of a great year to come.
  • 25 April - Feast of St Mark in Venice. Liberation Day in Italy. Anzac Day for Australians and New Zealanders. A festival is also held in Gallipoli, Turkey.
  • 30 April  - King's Day, a celebration in the Netherlands. In Amsterdam the city center streets are closed off and the whole place becomes a street party and market.
  • 30 April  - Walpurgis Night in Germany and across Scandinavia.
  • 30 April  - Beltane Fire Festival in honor of the Ancient Celts who celebrated the summer solstice on this day, complete with bonfires, costumes, and dances.

May

  • 1 May - Labour Day/May Day- observed across Europe.
  • 8 May - Victory in Europe Day.
  • 9 May - Victory over Fascism Day in Great Britain.
  • 15 May - Festival of San Isidro in Madrid.
  • Mis May - Cannes Film Festival held at the Palais de Festival for 10 days, everyone is competing for the 14 prizes, especially the Palm D’Or Award.
  • 24 May - Procession of the Holy Blood in Brugge, Belgium.
  • 25 May - Aalborg Carnival- join 10,000 people as they celebrate the close of winter and the beginning of springtime.
  • May 27-June 9 - French Open in Paris, France.
  • Last week May to 1st week of June - Dresden International Dixieland Jazz Festival (yup, that’s right, Dixieland).
  • Mid May- Mid June - Vienna Festival, featuring loads of cultural & music concerts.
  • May to June -  Romeria del Rocio- Aan up to 1 million person festive pilgrimage/procession to the shrine the shrine of the Virgin in Andalucian village of El Rocio (Pentecost weekend, 7th after Easter).

June

  • Various days in June - Pride parades across European cities.
  • Beginning of June - Rock Im Park, a musical festival in Germany.
  • Beginning of June - Glastonbury Music Festival.
  • Early June - Annual Cheese Rolling Contest held at Cooper’s Hill in Brockworth, Gloucester, England. Competitors chase an 8 pound Double Gloucester down a very steep hill with a one-in-three gradient.
  • 2 June  - Founding of the Republic Day in Italy-celebrates the formation of a unified Italy into a Republic on June 2, 1946.
  • 5 June- Constitution Day in Denmark. World Environment Day for all UN members.
  • 6 June - Flag Day in Sweden.
  • 2nd Sat in June - Rose Flower Festival at the Valsaintes Abbey (near Avignon).
  • 10 June - Portugal Day- celebrates the 1580 union of Spain and Portugal under King Philip.
  • 12 June - Republic Day in Great Britain.
  • 12-17 June - International Art Festival, Basel, Switzerland.
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  • Mid June    Queen’s Official Birthday celebrated on the Second Saturday in Great Britain.
  • Mid June    Midsummer’s Celebrations in Sweden.
  • 21 June to 7 July - Viking Festival- relive Nordic Sagas at this 2 week festival celebrated by open-air theatre plays and banquets.
  • 24 June - Feast of St John the Baptist in Florence.
  • 29 June - Feast of St Peter & St Paul in Italy, Spain, and Vatican City.
  • End of June - Free rock, jazz and folk concerts in Vienna.

July

  • San Fermin - Jul 6-14.
  • 5 July - Cyril & Methodius Saints Day in Czech Republic.
  • 6 July - Jan Hus Day, Prague.
  • 6 July - Tour de France bicycle race begins in Luxembourg. The grand finale takes place on the Champs-Elysees in Paris.
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  • 6-14 July - San Fermines (Running of the Bulls), Pamplona.
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  • 12 July  - Orangemen’s Day in North Ireland.
  • Early July - early Aug The Avignon Festival which hosts more than 300 venues of theatre, music, dance, poetry, film, and circus productions.
  • 14 July - Bastille Day, France- (celebrated countrywide) commemorates the storming of the famous Bastille prison by French revolutionaries in 1789 with a military parade down the Champs-Elysees beginning at the Arc de Triomphe.
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  • 18 July - National Day in Spain.
  • 21-22 July - Belgium Independence Day-celebrates their independence from the Netherlands and the ascension of their first king, Leopold 1 on July 21, 1831.
  • 22 July  - National Liberation Day in Poland.
  • 24-25 July - International Cliff Diving Championship in Ticino,Switzerland where contestants jump into water that is 18 meters deep from heights of up to 26 meters.
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  • 25 July - St. James Day in Spain.
  • 25 July-4 Aug - Commonwealth Games in Manchester, England.
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  • Late July - Lavender Festival in Valensole, France (near Aix-en-Provence).
  • 31 July - Pipesmoking World Championships in Thisted, Denmark. Current record is 1 hour, 36 minutes and 36 seconds.
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  • No specified date - Munich Opera Festival, German/American Folk Festival, Berlin Copenhagen Jazz Festival- one of Europe’s best including indoor/outdoor concerts (some of which are free).

August

  • 1 August - Doggett’s Coat and Badger Race in London. Lammas Day in England. Bank Holiday in Ireland. National Day in Switzerland.
  • Palm Sunday to August 15 - The Lourdes Pilgramage, France.
  • 3-27 August - Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland.
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  • 1st or 2nd Weekend - The Parade of Lavender Floats in Digne, France.
  • 11 August - Geneva Festival.
  • 14 August-13 Sept - Lucerne Festival.
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  • 15 August - Assumption Day in all Catholic countries.
  • 15 August-1 Sept - Summer Fest, Munich, Germany.
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  • Mid-August - Lavender Festival in Sault, France (near Avignon and Aix-en-Provence).
  • 17-19 August  - Dresden City Festival.
  • 17-25 August  - Brugge Festival.
  • 21-25 August - World Air Guitar Championships in Olou, Finland.
  • 23-28 Aug - Water Jousting.
  • 24-28 August - Rose of Tralee Festival in Tralee, Ireland.
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  • 24-26 August - Notting Hill Carnival, London, UK. Europe’s biggest street carnival with over a million in attendance.
  • 27-30 August - Redding Music Festival in Redding and Leeds.
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  • Last Wednesday of August - La Tomatina Festival in Bunol, Spain (40 km west of Valencia) –World’s largest tomato fight takes place in the steets.

September

  • Sept & Oct  - Berlin Festival of Music & Drama.
  • Early Sept -  Ars Electronica in Linz, Austria.
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  • Mid Sept.  - Sherry Wine Harvest in Jerez, Spain Autumn Festival, Paris, France.
  • 21 Sept - Rhine in Flames, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany.
  • 22 Sept – 9 Oct -  Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany.
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  • Throughout Sept - The Grape Harvest begins throughout France

October

  • Throughout Oct.  Berlin Jazz Festival.
  • 26 October - Austrian National Day - celebrates passing of 1955 law officially giving sovereignty and neutrality to Austria. Cork Jazz Festival.
  • 28 October - Okhi Day (National Holiday) in Greece. Republic Day (Czech Republic).
  • 31 October - Halloween.

November

  • First 2 weeks - Dijon International Food and Wine Festival-gastronomic/wine festival.
  • 1 November - All Saints Day celebrated Euro-wide.
  • 2 November - All Souls’ Day in Luxembourg, San Marino.
  • 4 November - National Unity Day in Italy.
  • 5 November - Guy Fawkes Day (Bonfire Night) in Great Britain.
  • 9 Novermber - The Lord Mayor’s Show, London, England.
  • 11 November  - Armistice Day in Belgium Veterans Day in France. Commemorated by the President of the Republic who lays a wreath before the tomb of the unknown soldier at the base of the Arc de Triomphe.
  • 17-20 November - The Cannibis Cup, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. 19 November National Holiday in Monaco.
  • 28 Nov-1 Dec - St. Andrew’s Week, St. Andrews, Scotland

December

  • 8 December - Feast of the Immaculate Conception-observed in most Catholic countries.
  • 10 December - Human Rights Day for all UN member nations.
  • 10-12 December - Escalade, Geneva, Switzerland.
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  • 19 December - Floating Lights, Zurich, Switzerland.
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  • 24 December - Christmas Eve- celebrated Euro-wide in all Christian countries Christmas Service at Westminster Abbey, London.
  • 25 December - Christmas Day-celebrated Euro-wide in all Christian countries.
  • 26 December - Boxing Day in Great Britain and North Ireland St Stephen’s Day in Austria, Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein, San Marino, Switzerland.
  • 31 December - New Year’s Eve throughout the world Hogmanay Day in Scotland.

Others

  • Klapa Music Festival – 29 Jun - 21 Jul.
  • Kettlewell Scarecrow Festival – 10-18 Aug
  • Lavender Mob – 3-7 Aug
  • Flamenco Fair – 20-24 Sep
  • Dead Good Fun – 29 Jul
  • Noble Grapes – 15 Sep
  • Mad For Folk – 9-11 Aug
  • Pizzafest – 29 May - 7 Jun
  • La Tamborrada (Drum Festival) – 20 Jan
  • Creamfields – 27-30 Aug
  • Up Helly Aa – 28 Jan
  • Amsterdam Light Festival – 28 Nov – 19 Jan.
  • Dimensions Festival – 13 – 18 Aug.
  • Bratislava Music Festival – 25 Sept – 1 Oct.
  • Tomorrowland – Fri, 17 Jul – Sun, 26 Jul.
  • Sziget Festival – 5th August to 12th August
  • Colours Of Ostrava – 15th Jul to 18th Jul.
  • Soundwave Festival – April, 20th
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