Add some zip to your summer fun this year. All around the world there are fabulous and unique festivals to enjoy. They all involve special music, great food and some even take you back to childhood where you can indulge your former uninhibited personalities. Each August festival date has something special to offer.
Berlin Beer Festival, August 3-5
The sixteenth annual Berlin Beer Festival, featuring cultural and entertainment presentations will be held this year on August 3-5. Held at the Karl Marx Allee which is two km. long, there will be over 2,000 varieties of beer from 180 breweries to enjoy. Add great food and eighteen stages with live music and you’ve got yourself a good time. And, the entry to this wonderful event is free.
Raksha Bandhan Festival, India
All over the country of India on the full moon day in the month of August is the celebration known as Raksha Bandhan. It’s a festival honoring the relationship between siblings—a time to pray for longevity and happiness for brothers and sisters. An amulet, or string is tied to the wrist of the brother or sister as a symbol of their love. If your sibling lives far away, it’s a time to make a phone call or send a note expressing your love for them. Sweets are purchased and exchanged as well. Various Indian legends are linked to Raksha Bandhan including the one about King Bali and the goddess Laxmi in which Laxmi disguises herself as a poor woman and Bali gives her a gift. Bali was favored by the gods with immortality.
La Tomatina, August 29th
In Bunyol, Valencia, Spain on August 29th, you can enjoy the biggest food fight in the world. That is the day the entire town lets its hair down and throws caution to the wind, along with a ton of squishy tomatoes. On that day at 11:00 a.m. five tomato-packed rockets are shot off signaling the beginning of two hours of tomato chaos. The rules are simple. You can only throw squishy tomatoes and you can blast anyone and everyone until the end of the event at 1:00 p.m. Then everyone goes indoors to clean up, the streets are hosed off and everyone enjoys an afternoon and evening of wine, food and song. This event which began in 1944 is great, messy fun.
Maine Lobster Festival, August 1-5
In the American state of Maine, you can’t eat anything more delicious than lobster. At the Lobster Festival, held in the city of Rockland at Harbor Park, the yummy crustaceans are honored each August. There is an amateur seafood cooking contest, fine arts for sale, the coronation of the Sea Goddess, and all sorts of music performances from jazz to celtic to reggae. The sumptuous lobster meals sold at the event include lobster with steamed or fried clams, fried shrimp, mussels in wine or vegetable sauces, corn, coleslaw and desserts of strawberry or blueberry cobbler. You’ll leave this event fat and happy.
Ghost Festival, Chung Yuan, Taiwan, August 31st
The Ghost Festival in this Taiwan city is a day to stay home to celebrate and honor the dead. The streets and malls are empty as it is considered bad luck to go out of doors. But there is still fun to be had. Large banquet tables are filled with exotic foods, incense is burned and money is offered to honor the dead. Alcohol is available in abundance and Taiwanese opera is heard in every home. The festival began with a good son named Mu Lan who visited his dead mother to take her a gift. When the gift was lost, he was told to offer food and drink offerings instead. He obeyed and the tradition began.
Festival Fringe, Edinburgh, Scotland, August 3-27
The entire month of August is given over to this huge festival that offers an open invitation to any and all entertainment groups. Innovation and creativity are honored. All manner of entertainment is presented in a variety of venues in the city over the month’s time. Everything from children’s presentations to storytelling, cabaret, comedy and theater events, music of all sorts and even circus acts fill the programme. Food and drink accompany this month-long festival of fun.
For more information about some of the events in August including of course the Olympics 2012, summer fun and festivals all around the world go to What’s on When. You will certainly find some things to do this weekend too!