Wakakusa Yamayaki Japan (Nara)
8 January 2007 (Every year)
The ritual burning of the grass on Wakakusa Hill, Nara, during which the whole 342-metre hill is set ablaze, is surely one of the most stunning sights of Japan's festival year.

Bikaner Camel Festival India (Bikaner)
13-14 January 2007 (Every year)
The Bikaner Camel Festival begins with a fantastic procession of these magnificent animals, bedecked with incredible Rajastani textiles in brilliant colors. The camels have plenty to show off about as they engage in numerous displays of racing, dancing and acrobatics. There's even a beauty competition!

Ati-Atihan Philippines (Kalibo)
13-15 January 2007 (Every year)
The Ati-Atihan is a confusing blend of the sacred and the profane, a festival held to honor Jesus Christ on one of the world's most beautiful islands. Each January the inhabitants of Panay Island, Filipinos, others from around the 7107 islands and tourists from all over the world flock to Kalibo, the capital of Panay Island, for this amazing spectacle.

Thaipusam at Batu Caves Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur)
25 January 2007 (Every year)
Every year, more than a million devotees gather at the Batu Caves - a spectacular site outside Kuala Lumpur - to celebrate the Hindu festival of Thaipusam. As well as taking part in a parade, many of the penitents express their devotion in ways which may well seem strange to outsiders.

Auckland's Big Day Out New Zealand (Auckland)
19 January 2007 (3rd Fri of every Jan)
Australia's huge touring music festival, Big Day Out, spreads its wings to include New Zealand and starts its annual tour in Auckland, at the Ericsson Stadium.

Sydney Festival Australia (Sydney)
7-26 January 2007 (Every year)
Australia's leading cultural festival, the Sydney Festival has been a force to be reckoned with since 1976. Welcoming the world's best theatre, music, art and dance and running throughout the height of the Sydney summer, the festival starts each New Year off with an avalanche of artistic activity and traditionally ends on Australia Day (26 January).

Sydney's Big Day Out Australia (Sydney)
26 January 2007 (Every year)
Australasia's huge touring music festival, Big Day Out, hits Sydney in its time-honored position on Australia Day at Homebush Bay's RAS Showgrounds.


Chiang Mai Flower Festival Thailand (Chiang Mai)
3-5 February 2007 (Every year)
During this fragrant festival, sculptures of temples, animals and even scenes from the Ramayana (the Hindu stories of the Gods) are made from flowers and paraded through the streets of the beautiful northern city of Chiang Mai.

Thaipusam Singapore (Singapore)
11 February 2007  (Every year)
Singapore's Thaipusam festival, some aspects of which may seem strange to Westerners, is a Hindu festival of thanksgiving celebrated in honor of Lord Subrahmanya (also known as Lord Murugan) who represents virtue, youth and power and is the destroyer of evil. A spectacular four-kilometer procession begins at Serangoon Road and goes on to the Layan Sithi Vinayagar Temple at Keong Siak Road.

Sapporo Snow Festival Japan (Sapporo)
5-11 February 2007 (Starts 1st Mon of every Feb)
The Snow Festival is Sapporo's biggest event of the year, with approximately two million people turning up to view the glittering ice sculptures created by professional artists in spaces all over Odori Park, Makomanai Park and Susukino (the main shopping district).

Inazawa's Naked Festival (Hadaka Matsuri) Japan (Inazawa City)
17 February 2007 (3rd Sat of every Feb)
Bare-bottomed men aged 23-43 ensure their good luck for the coming year by crowding the streets of Inazawa City in the hope of touching a naked man! Since 767BC the Naked Man, aka Shin-otokoa, has walked this seasoned route through thousands of sweaty, desperate men to reach the Kounomiya Shrine.




San Marcos National Fair
15 April - 13 May 2006 Every year (Mexico)
The event began life as a livestock fair in 1604 and to this day remains much in the same vein. The program also includes the choosing and crowning of the reina (festival queen), various arts, sports and gastronomic competitions, exhibitions and cinema, to name just a few.

Keukenhof Gardens in Spring
23 March - 19 May 2006 Every year (Netherlands)
The growers compete for the most imaginative display, interplanting species for effect. The impact on the eye and nose of overwhelming color and scent is an unforgettable experience.

Seville April Fair
25 - 30 April 2006 Every year (Spain)
On the south side of the Puente de la Barqueta (bridge), which crosses the Río Guadalquivir, there is a canvas city known as Real de la Feria.


Waisak Festival at Borobudur
13 May 2006 Every year (Indonesia)
The five-mile pilgrimage from Mendut to the serene sitting Buddha on the top of Borobodur is walked by hundreds of monks in saffron robes carrying offerings of flowers and candles.

Bun Festival
May 2006 Every year (China)
The origins of this Taoist rite can be traced back hundreds of years to the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), when Cheung Chau was devastated by a storm, followed by an outbreak of the plague which claimed many lives.

Sanja Matsuri
Starts 3rd Fri of every May (Japan)
The beautiful gold and black lacquer mikoshi are the vehicles of the shrine's kami (deities) and the purpose of the processions is to bring luck, blessings and prosperity to the area and its inhabitants.


Ritual Pilgrimage for the Snow Star
June 2006 Every year (Peru)
This movable, age-old festival takes place in May or June and lasts for two days, beginning in the evening and continuing the next day.

Red Earth Festival
2-4 June 2006 Every year (USA)
Established in 1987, the Red Earth Festival has grown to attract almost 2000 Native American artists and dancers.

Tuen Ng (Dragon Boat Festival)
June 2006 Every year (China)
The teams race the elaborately-decorated boats to the beat of heavy drums. The boats, more than ten meters in length, have ornately-carved and painted dragon heads and tails and each carries a crew of 20-22 paddlers.

Fez Sacred Music Festival
2 - 10 June 2006 Every year (Morocco)
The spread of the gypsy-inspired style is such that musicians from France to Rajasthan can find common ground - and they certainly do over the course of this event, with double bills and collaborative performances forming the majority of the program.


Battle of Gettysburg Re-enactment
July 2006 Every year (USA)
The battle took place in 1863, two years before the conflict finally finished. The key issue at stake was slavery.

Rath Yatra
July 2006 Every year (India)
Each June or July, the image of the Hindu God Krishna (who is known as Jagannath in the state of Orissa) is taken out with great ceremony in an awesome procession, and pulled through the streets to a nearby temple 2km away.

Palio of Siena
July 2006 Various dates (Italy)
The race consists of bareback riders making three circuits of the main square and is over in 90 seconds, but it is preceded by five hours of flag-throwing acrobatics.


Medellín Flower Fair
July - August 2006 Every year (Colombia)
Colombia is famous for its flowers and exports them all over the world. This annual celebration has been going strong since 1957 and is always held during the first two weeks in August.

Nebuta Matsuri
August 2006 Every year (Japan)
The festival is both a celebration of the short northern Japanese summer and a preparation for the harvest.

Kandy Perahera (Esala Perahera)
30 July - 9 August 2006 Every year (Sri Lanka)
The procession includes fire-juggling acrobats, sumptuously-decorated elephants, traditional dancers, oboe-tooting musicians, banners, palanquins, whip crackers, torch bearers and thousands of barefoot pilgrims and swordsmen.

Burning Man
28 August - 4 September 2006 Every year (USA)
Bring your own installation, be it an adorned bicycle, a costume, an art installation; wear your creativity on your sleeve and abandon yourself to the beauty and mystery of the desert and the friendship of your fellow human beings.


Braemar Royal Highland Gathering
September 2006 Every year (Scotland)
In the stunning setting of the rolling Cairngorm hills, the gathering dates back nearly a millennium, ever since King Malcolm Canmore first held traditional games here more than 900 years ago.

16 September - 3 October 2006 Every year (Germany)
Each year, some six million visitors fill the Munich breweries' festival tents, downing roughly six million liters of beer and devouring 300,000 pork sausages, 600,000 roast chickens and 80 oxen.

Rhine in Flames - Overview
May, July, August, September 2006 Various dates (Germany)
Renowned all over Europe, Rhine in Flames is one of the rare attractions that is equally popular amongst locals and tourists.


Custer State Park Buffalo Roundup
1st Mon of every Oct (USA)
The dust flies and the ground trembles as the largest herd of buffalo in the country is rounded up and driven past by cowboys on horseback.

Naga Fireballs at Nong Kai Province
7 October 2006 Every year (Thailand)
These occurrences are now the centerpiece of a two-day celebration that incorporates many elements or other traditional Thai festivals: light and sound shows, an illuminated boat contest, the King's Cup long-tailed boat race and food offerings.

October 2006 Every year (India)
Local customs inevitably color the forms and interpretation that the festival receives regionally, but Rama's victory is always the centerpiece of the celebrations.

Confucius' Birthday
October 2006 Various dates (China)
Deep respect for Confucius has turned his philosophy into something of a religion and this festival should offer a fascinating ticket into the complexities of the Chinese psyche.


November 2006 Every year (India)
The common name of the festival is a corruption of the Sanskrit word Deepavali, Deepa meaning light and avali, which means row.

Pushkar Camel Fair
November 2006 Every year (India)
Indians flock with their camels to the small town on the edge of the Thar Desert a week in advance of the festival, which officially lasts for the three days of the full moon.


Chichibu Yomatsuri
December 2006 Every year (Japan)
This is counted as one of the three grandest float festivals in Japan. Huge floats become stages upon which children perform traditional Kabuki dramas and folk dances.

Whirling Dervishes Festival
10 - 17 December 2006 Every year (Turkey)
At the Mausoleum of Mevlana in Konya, mystical ceremonial dances are performed in honor of the great teacher and thinker.

New Year's Eve Fireworks
December 2006 Every year (Australia)
There are, in fact, two sets of fireworks. At 9pm there is an eight or nine-minute display from two barges in the harbor, but most famously there are the midnight fireworks that are fired from Sydney Harbor Bridge and broadcast across the globe.

December 2006 Various dates (Bahamas)
In the early days of the Junkanoo, itinerant entertainers used to go from house to house on stilts. Nowadays, it is a full scale parade and is none the worse for it!

This is a festival unique for its raw Afro-Caribbean flavor.