Global Calendar Events
by Type

Global Festivals and Events Guide

Rock star, rock climber or rocking chair jockey?

Whatever gets your rocks off, our Festival Calendar has something going on in the world somewhere just for you. This time, we organized by type.

If that doesn't do it for you, try our Festivals Calendar by Date to help you plan your next vacation.

Or, Festival Calendar Events by Country is just one more option to help rock your world. . .you're bound to find something fun to do somewhere.

Calendar Events by Type | Things to Know

How did we organize these world festivals and events? There are eight major categories listed below.


ARTS

Generally refers to music festivals, museum events, ice carving, and other public displays and celebrations of creativity.

Museum Openings and World Exhibits on Tour
Japanese Festivals and Events
Global Music Festivals and Large Concerts
World Film Festivals

Continent and CountryBeginning/ End DatesWorld Festivals and EventsDescription
Baltics & Russia: MoscowDEC 15, 2012 to JAN 15, 2013 (approximate)Moscow Winter Festival ARTS: Russian festivals abound throughout the country, but the Winter Festival in Moscow is the largest. Expect public performances, crafts, food, games and ice sculputres.
Asia: India: JaipurJAN 24, 2013 to JAN 28, 2013Jaipur Literature FestivalARTS: International writers, celebrities and Nobel Prize Winners from Bollywood and beyond flock to Diggi Palace for the event.
Islands: JamaicaJAN 24, 2013 to JAN 26, 2013Jamaica Jazz and BlueARTS: We're jazzin. I wanna jazz it with you. We're jazzin, jazzin and I hope you like jazzin too.
Asia: Japan: SapporoFEB 5, 2013 to FEB 11, 2013Sapporo Snow FestivalARTS: Two million people gather in Sapporo to watch snow and ice sculptures take shape. Teams of three from around the globe compete. Music and bushwalkig on skis, authentic local cuisine and entertainments abound.
New Zealand/ So.Hemisphere: AucklandMAR 9, 2013 to MAR 10, 2013Pasifika Festival 2013, AucklandARTS: Two days of food, music, arts and dance representing 10 different cultures of Polynesia.
Middle East: IsraelMAY 2, 2013 to MAY 4, 2013Jacob's Ladder FestivalARTS: Jacob's Ladder Festival is a world music extravaganza featuring every genre of music from bluegrass to Irish folk, to Balkan and world rock. Limited hotel rooms, but free camping included in ticket purchases. Music workshops, crafts, concerts and more.
North America: USA: CaliforniaSEP 20, 2013 to SEP 22, 2013Monterey Jazz FestivalARTS: The oldest jazz fest in the world, over 500 artists perform throughout the weekedn on eight stages.
Baltics & Russia: EstoniaJUL 2014 to JUL 2014 (TBD)Estonia Song and Dance FestivalARTS: An 18,000 voice choir, and a 10,000 member dance troupe, this festival has origins in the 19th century. Held at the Tallinn Song Festival Grounds, it happens once every five years, and is declared a Masterpiece of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO.


CONTEST or RACE

Generally refers to everything from balloon races to motor cross challenges, to tomato throwing fights and wife carrying contests. You'll be able to participate in some of these. Compete for the prize, or just the fun, not all contests are tests of strength or endurance here.

Joust Competing for Favors, Mi'Lady
Worldwide Motor Vehicle Races
Dog Sledding is not for the Faint of Heart
Xtreme Sporting Events

Continent and CountryBeginning/ End DatesWorld Festivals and EventsDescription
Europe: FinlandJUL 5, 2013 to JUL 6, 2013World Championship Wife Carrying ContestCONTEST or RACE: Need we say anything more than this? "Generally the best wife is the wife of one’s own, all the more if she is harmonious, gentle and able to keep her balance while riding on the shoulders of her man."
Africa: KenyaAUG 24, 2013 to AUG 26, 2013Maralal Camel DerbyCONTEST or RACE: Major camel race, professional jockeys. Amateurs may compete as well, but don't expect to do well. The event boasts other festivities and contests, including a cycling race for those of you who compete on wheels instead of hooves.
North America: USA: MaineOCT 10, 2013 to OCT 10, 2013North American Wife Carrying ChampionshipCONTEST or RACE: Brush up on your fireman's carry and get ready to plow through some obstacles. If you win, you qualify to compete in Finland next. You must be 21 years old or older, and you may win the female participant's weight in beer. You don't have to be married, teams must consist of one male and one female.


CONVENTION or TRADE SHOW

Usually means a gathering place for like-minded fans or people with common buinsess interests. Could be a boat show or a Furry Convention.

Every Major City Seems to Have a Variety of Conventions and Trade Shows
Cosplay a Major Player on the Convention Circuits
Vegas Becomes Convention Capitol of the World
Robotics Conventions for All Ages

Continent and CountryBeginning/ End DatesWorld Festivals and EventsDescription
North America: USA: Las VegasJAN 16, 2013 to JAN 19, 2013AVN Adult Entertainment ExpoCONVENTION or TRADE SHOW: Held every January in Las Vegas, this is a trade show exhibit to be held for three days in the Hard Rock Hotel.
North America: USA: MassachusettsJAN 18, 2013 to JAN 21, 2013ArisiaCONVENTION or TRADE SHOW: Complete with Masquerade contest, Arisia is a gathering of science fiction and fantasy fans and dealers.
Asia: India: New DelhiFEB 8, 2013 to FEB 10, 2013Comic Con IndiaCONVENTION or TRADE SHOW: Inspired by Comic Con San Diego, this convention isn't nearly as big. But it is growing fast. Here's a sampling of what you'll find there: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indian_comics
North America: USA: FloridaFEB 14, 2013 to FEB 18, 2013Miami Boat ShowCONVENTION or TRADE SHOW: Billed as the greatest boat show in the world, over 200 exhibitors and a quarter million boat enthusiasts from all over the globe converge in South Florida every year for this event. The hotels are packed.
Africa: South AfricaAPR 26, 2013 to APR 28, 2013South African Cheese FestivalFOOD or LIBATIONS: Because apparently, cheese is big in South Africa.
North America: USA: ChicagoAPR 26, 2013 to APR 28, 2013Chicago Comic & Entertainment ExpoCONVENTION or TRADE SHOW: Pop Culture and Comic book convention for all fans.
North America: USA: New YorkOCT 10, 2013 to OCT 13, 2013ComicCon New YorkCONVENTION or TRADE SHOW: Comic book convention for all fans.
North America: AtlantaOCT 16, 2013 to OCT 18, 2013Humanoids 2013CONVENTION or TRADE SHOW: The International Conference on Humanoid Robots will take place in Atlanta. Proposal deadline for workshops is June 1.


FOOD or LIBATIONS

Epicureans, wine addicts, celebrity chef groupies and anyone who likes beer should look for this category. But remember, sometimes the best foods are served in four star restaurants, and sometimes they're discovered in the oddest places while traveling. So keep your eyes peeled and your nose sniffing.

Sample the Wines of the World
Anything the Italians Cook Up is Usually Good
Epicurean Tastes
Germany's Oktoberfest is in September

Continent and CountryBeginning/ End DatesWorld Festivals and EventsDescription
North America: USA: MassachusettsFEB 16, 2013 to FEB 17, 2013Boston Wine ExpoFOOD or LIBATIONS: Special events and vintner hosted dinners, the greatest wine growing regions of the world are all represented here in Boston. Learn about wine at seminars for amateurs and connoisseurs, or watch celebrity chefs steam up two special stages.
North America: USA: New JerseyAPR 5, 2013 to APR 6, 2013Atlantic City Beer and Music Festival 2013FOOD or LIBATIONS: Tickets available through TicketMaster. But don't let that deter you.
Africa: South AfricaAPR 26, 2013 to APR 28, 2013South African Cheese FestivalFOOD or LIBATIONS: Because apparently, cheese is big in South Africa.
North America: USA: Santa BarbaraJUL 18, 2013 to JUL 20, 2013California Wine Festival - Santa BarbaraFOOD or LIBATIONS: Wine, song, chocolate. Yum.
Europe: FranceSEP 20, 2013 to SEP 22, 2012Fete De La GastronomieFOOD or LIBATIONS: This is an international celebration of French cooking, with gastronomic events slated throughout France, as well as in Tokyo and in New York.
North America: USA: ColoradoOCT 10, 2013 to OCT 12, 2013Great American Beer Festival - DenverFOOD or LIBATIONS: The Great American Beer Festival is in the Convention Center in Denver. Aside from sipping beer in many styles, one of the highlights of the festival is the beer competition, in which a panel of judges will vote for America's best. Be sure to check out the Silent Disco, especially if you've been imbibing!
North America: USA: New YorkOCT 17, 2012 to OCT 20, 2012New York City Wine and Food FestivalFOOD or LIBATIONS: Year number 5 of Food & Wine's gastronomical fest to benefit Share Our Strength and Food Bank of New York City. Get tickets for individual culinary experiences, or buy a pass to sample a selection of dinners and tastings.
Europe: FranceOCT 30, 2012 to NOV 3, 2012Salon du Chocolat, ParisFOOD or LIBATIONS: The best chocolatiers of the world meld at the Versailles Exhibition Center every year. Expect over 400 vendors and exhibitors, tastings, and the world famous Chocolate Fashion Show. Someone tell Lady Gaga so she can finally give up the meat dresses.


PROFESSIONAL SPORTS

Also includes the Olympic Games and other non-professional but still televised athletic events. . . in case you were wondering why the pubs were so crowded or people seem to be glued to their television sets.

Rugby is Big Business in Western Cultures
Professional and Amateur Surfing Competitions Around the World
Biting the Dust in Xtreme Sports
Winter Olympics and Other Cold Weather Events

Continent and CountryBeginning/ End DatesWorld Festivals and EventsDescription
North America: New OrleansFEB 3, 2013 to FEB 3, 2012Super Bowl XLVIIPROFESSIONAL SPORTS: National Football League's annual bowl game to determine the greatest of the gridiron. The Super Bowl has been played since 1967.
Australia/ Southern Hem.: MelbourneMAR 15, 2013 to MAR 17, 2013Formula 1 Races AustraliaPROFESSIONAL SPORTS: Formula One's 1st race of the 2013 series.
Asia/ : Kuala LumpurMAR 22, 2013 to MAR 24, 2013Formula 1 Races MalaysiaPROFESSIONAL SPORTS: Formula One's 2nd race of the 2013 series.
Asia: China: ShanghaiAPR 12, 2013 to APR 14, 2013Formula 1 Races ChinaPROFESSIONAL SPORTS: Formula One's 3rd race of the 2013 series.
Middle East: SakhirAPR 19, 2013 to APR 21, 2013Formula 1 Races BahrainPROFESSIONAL SPORTS: Formula One's 4th race of the 2013 series.
Europe: CatalunyaMAY 10, 2013 to MAY 12, 2013Formula 1 Races SpainPROFESSIONAL SPORTS: Formula One's 5th race of the 2013 series.
Europe: Monte CarloMAY 24, 2013 to MAY 26, 2013Formula 1 Races Monte CarloPROFESSIONAL SPORTS: Formula One's 6th race of the 2013 series.
North America: MontrealJUN 7, 2013 to JUN 9, 2013Formula 1 Races CanadaPROFESSIONAL SPORTS: Formula One's 7th race of the 2013 series.
Europe: SilverstoneJUN 28, 2013 to JUN 30, 2013Formula 1 RacesGreat BritainPROFESSIONAL SPORTS: Formula One's 8th race of the 2013 series.
Europe: TBDJUL 5, 2013 to JUL 7, 2013Formula 1 Races GermanyPROFESSIONAL SPORTS: Formula One's 9th race of the 2013 series.
Europe: BudapestJUL 26, 2013 to JUL 28, 2013Formula 1 Races HungaryPROFESSIONAL SPORTS: Formula One's 11th race of the 2013 series.
Europe: Spa-FrancorchampsAUG 23, 2013 to AUG 25, 2013Formula 1 Races BelgiumPROFESSIONAL SPORTS: Formula One's 12th race of the 2013 series.
Europe: MonzaSEP 6, 2013 to SEP 8, 2013Formula 1 Races ItalyPROFESSIONAL SPORTS: Formula One's 13th race of the 2013 series.
Asia: SingaporeSEP 20, 2013 to SEP 22, 2013Formula 1 Races SingaporePROFESSIONAL SPORTS: Formula One's 14th race of the 2013 series.
Asia: YeongamOCT 04, 2013 to OCT 06, 2013Formula 1 Races KoreaPROFESSIONAL SPORTS: Formula One's 15th race of the 2013 series.
Asia: SuzukaOCT 11, 2013 to OCT 13, 2013Formula 1 Races JapanPROFESSIONAL SPORTS: Formula One's 16th race of the 2013 series.
Asia: New DelhiOCT 25, 2013 to OCT 27, 2013Formula 1 Races IndiaPROFESSIONAL SPORTS: Formula One's 17th race of the 2013 series.
Middle East: Abu DhabiNOV 1, 2013 to NOV 3, 2013Formula 1 Races United Arab EmiratesPROFESSIONAL SPORTS: Formula One's 18th race of the 2013 series.
North America: AustinNOV 15, 2012 to NOV 17, 2012Formula 1 Races Texas, USAPROFESSIONAL SPORTS: Formula One's 19th race of the 2013 series.
South & Central Americas: Sao PauloNOV 22, 2012 to NOV 24, 2012Formula 1 Races BrazilPROFESSIONAL SPORTS: Formula One's 20th race of the 2013 series.
Baltics & Russia: SochiFEB 7, 2014 to FEB 23, 20142014 Winter OlympicsPROFESSIONAL SPORTS: Tickets should go on sale late 2012. If you need to be the first to know when they are available, register on the Official Sochi 2014 site.
South & Central Americas: Brazil: Various CitiesJUN 12, 2014 to JUL 13, 2014FIFA World CupPROFESSIONAL SPORTS: The Federation of International Football Association's World Cup will be hosted in multiple venues in Brazil.


PUBLIC FESTIVALS

Generally, there's something happening in a public place that you may attend or participate in. Could be a city-wide Bacchanalian Bash, or just one street of vendors selling local crafts and produce.

Chinese New Year Celebrations Ring the Globe
Some Street Fairs Have Ferris Wheels or Fireworks
Mingle with the Locals
March to a Different Drum in Edinburgh

Continent and CountryBeginning/ End DatesWorld Festivals and EventsDescription
North America: USA: PennsylvaniaFEB 2, 2013 to FEB 2, 2013Groundhog DayPUBLIC FESTIVAL: Since 1887, people have been trekking out to Gobbler's Knob to pull poor Puxsutawney Phil out of his hibernation hole. . . just so he can forecast the weather. Instead of trekking out to PA in the middle of winter, we suggest you watch the movie, Groundhog Day, instead, starring Bill Murray.
South & Central Americas: BrazilFEB 8, 2013 to FEB 12, 2013Carnival, Rio de JaneiroPUBLIC FESTIVAL: The world famous Carnival of Rio is held every year just before the Christian Lenten season. Expect magnificent parade floats and costumes, as neighborhoods come up with competing themes to win top honors in the parades. Aside from the major parades and balls though, a variety of smaller street festivals offer slightly quieter entertainments. Overall, it's probably the largest party in the world.
South America: Brazil: Rio de JaneiroFEB 8, 2013 to FEB 12, 2013Rio de Janeiro CarnavalePUBLIC FESTIVAL: It's not just one Samba parade, it's a series of parades. And street parties. And mingling, mingling, mingling.
Islands: TrinidadFEB 11, 2013 to FEB 12, 2013Carnival of the CaribbeanPUBLIC FESTIVAL: A world-renowned pre-Lenten festival that takes place Trinidad, Dominica, Haiti, Martinique and other islands. Each island has something slightly different to offer, but Trinidad hosts the largest party.
North America: USA: LouisianaFEB 12, 2013 to FEB 12, 2013Mardi Gras New OrleansPUBLIC FESTIVAL: Mardi Gras occurs on Fat Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday which marks the beginning of Lent for Christians. But festivities leading up to Fat Tuesday start two-three weeks before then. Stock up on beads.
Asia: China: National CelebrationFEB 24, 2013 to FEB 24, 2013Lantern FestivalPUBLIC FESTIVAL: It's like Rapunzel in "Tangled", but different. A lunar holiday, the Chinese hang lanterns everywhere, and some will include riddles and a shopkeeper's address. Answer correctly and you May earn a small gift!
Asia: ThailandAPR 14, 2013 to APR 17, 2013Songkran 2013, ThailandPUBLIC FESTIVAL: The word Songkran has roots in Sanskrit and means to pass or move into. It''s really the Thai New Year and a time to clean house, honor Buddhist monks, and sprinkle water on elders in a sign of respect. Anyone not an elder though, is fair game for a MASSIVE water fight. Celebrations occur throughout the country.
Europe: PamplonaJUL 6, 2013 to JUL 14, 2013Running of the BullsPUBLIC FESTIVAL: Bully for you, if you want to run with the bulls. But know that this festival is dangerous, and you should be saying your prayers to San Fermin if you give it a go.
Europe: BunolAUG 28, 2013 to AUG 28, 2013La Tomatina, SpainPUBLIC FESTIVAL: Possibly the world's largest fruit fight, this giant festival has been going on since World War II. The City Council instructs that you must squash your 'maters before you throw them, throw nothing but 'maters, and try not to rip anyone's shirt off in the process.
Asia: China: Hong KongSEP 29, 2013 to OCT 1, 2013Hong Kong Mid-Autumn Festival and Fire Dragon DancePUBLIC FESTIVAL: The harvest moon festival and celebration of a 14th century rebellion against Mongol overlords is on Sep 30. Head for a public park to take in the colorful surroundings alight with thousands of paper lanterns. The Tai Hang Fire Dragon commemorates a symbolic ritual to rid a coastal village of plague and livestock-eating pythons. The dragon dance takes place over three days.
Europe: IrelandOCT 23, 2013 to NOV 3, 2013Wexford Festival OperaPUBLIC FESTIVAL: Music, food and unfolding tragedy since 1950. This is a two week festival for those who want to dress up and watch high art on stage. Daytime packages include short form opera and musicales.


RELIGIOUS OBSERVANCE

For general reference. Sometimes religious holidays will mean crowded buses, trains and planes as people travel home to be with their families, and sometimes it means storeowners will shut down their shops for a day or week. Remember to respect local traditions when you travel.

Japa Mala, or Buddhist Bodhi Beads
Ramadan Ornaments
Christian Church Stockholm
Hannukah Festival of Light

Continent and CountryBeginning/ End DatesWorld Festivals and EventsDescription
InternationalDEC 25, 2013 to DEC 25, 2013ChristmasRELIGIOUS OBSERVANCE: Whether secular or religious, Christmas usually means at least one day off for many around the world. Many businesses will be closed.
InternationalJAN 24, 2013 to JAN 24, 2012Prophet Mohammed's BirthdayRELIGIOUS OBSERVANCE: Birthday of the Prophet Mohammed. The Shias celebrate five days earlier than the Sunnis, while many Muslims do not recognize the occasion as a holiday at all.
InternationalSEP 4, 2013 to SEP 4, 2013Rosh HashanahRELIGIOUS OBSERVANCE: Rosh Hashanah is the Jewish New Year, in which observers typically spend the day in synagogue.
InternationalSEP 13, 2013 to SEP 13, 2013Yom KippurRELIGIOUS OBSERVANCE: The most important Jewish holiday, Yom Kippur is a Day of Atonement.
InternationalNOV 5, 2013 to NOV 5, 2013Al-HijiraRELIGIOUS OBSERVANCE: Al-Hijra is the Islamic New Year, a time to make resolutions and reflect on the Prophet Muhammad's move from Mecca to Medina.
InternationalNOV 14, 2012 to NOV 14, 2012AshuraRELIGIOUS OBSERVANCE: Ashura marks the day Noah disembarked from his Ark, and the day that Allah saved Moses from the Egyptians.
InternationalNOV 27, 2012 to DEC 5, 2012HanukkahRELIGIOUS OBSERVANCE: Hanukkah is the Festival of Lights with deep, historical roots dating back to Alexander the Great, subsequent Jewish oppression by Antiochus IV, and keeping lights burning in the Temple of Jerusalem throughout the night.


Contribute to the Whirled! | Global Calendar of Festivals and Events database form is here. You can contribute to the wall of knowledge, have your friends comment on your post, and if your information is good, we'll add it to our spreadsheet

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