Quintessential Events from Around the World

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What better way to immerse yourself in a country’s culture than to hit up one of its festivals? Some have spanned hundreds of years while others may only have cropped up a decade or so ago. However, it is a big wide world out there and picking the event that will best represent a country’s customs and traditions can be hard. Not to worry though, I have kindly scoured the web so you can make like a local and get stuck in. When in Rome…

Scottish Highland Games

Where: Scotland Obvs
When: May – June annually


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If you like the idea of strapping kilted men tossing massive logs across a field for a laugh, then this is the place for you. The centuries-old Highland Games are held in no single location but instead celebrated the country over in various towns, villages and cities during the spring and summer months. Expect tartan, bagpipes and the incredibly impressive Scottish hammer throw. Do not expect sunshine and clear skies.


Deià International Music Festival

Where: Deià, Majorca
When: June to September annually


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Burrowed into the Majorcan coast 10 miles from Valldemossa, Deià cuts quite the idyllic figure. The whimsical village is all olive groves, stone buildings and winding alleyways. It’s therefore only fitting that an equally serene classical music festival should grace its streets. Held nominally in the former mansion of an archduke, the venue boasts grand interiors and sweeping ocean views. Throw in some world-class performers and you’ve got an event as chic and beautiful as the island itself.


Mongol Derby

Where: Mongolia
When: July annually

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When many envisage Mongolia, they imagine vast, stark plains and far-off mountain ranges. This just so happens to be the exact setting for the Mongol Derby. A horse-riding race of a cool 1000km, the derby holds the title for the world’s longest endurance race. The route takes competitors through the beautiful grasslands of the Mongolian-Manchurian Steppe, recreating a horse-powered messenger route designed by Gengis Khan back in the 13th century.


NZ Bomb Comp

Where: New Zealand
When: February annually


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What could be more Kiwi than pelting yourself off a 10m high platform into a picturesque lake, all in the name of achieving the largest splash? Bomb Comb graces the shores of varying lakes every summer, with 2019’s held on the serene Lake Tikitapu in Rotorua. If you’re not competing then go along just for the great atmosphere, lively music and free-flowing beer. If you are taking part then form is everything, keep an eye on the local competitors’ techniques and ready the aloe for those back-slap marks.


Day of the Dead

Where: Mexico
When: October or November annually


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An annual day dedicated to celebrating the lives of passed loved ones, the Day of the Dead is a massive event in the Mexican calendar. The tradition is thought to date back to indigenous celebrations that have taken place for centuries. Families will visit the resting places of loved ones to invite their spirits back by decorating the graves with orange marigolds, favourite foods, photos and beloved possessions. Altars are often built at home too, with pillows and blankets left outside of front doors to allow spirits to rest after their long journey home.