Where to Go in the World: Festivals in August

Looking for a last minute trip? There’s no better way to explore a new country or immerse yourself in a culture than scheduling a trip around a festival. We’ve rounded up the top festivities around the world in August for you to consider.

The People’s Festival, Iceland

During the first week of August, you’ll find the people of Haimey on the Westmann Islands in Iceland celebrating the country’s constitution in 1874. All over Iceland, bonfires are lit and vodka is shared to celebrate. Around 10,000 people flock to Iceland for this music festival and celebration. It sounds like a party that shouldn’t be missed.

Seven Sisters Festival, Hong Kong

On the seventh day of the seventh lunar month, the people of China celebrate the Seven Sisters Festival. This festival, Qi Xi, is the Chinese equivalent of Valentine’s night. The tradition dates back to pre-Christ, as single girls carry out tasks to impress potential suitors. You may also hear this night referred to as “Night of the Skills,” since the event has girls showing off their talents as domestic duties. Girls make offerings of flowers, food and face powder to the stars representing the couple.

Il Palio, Siena, Tuscany, Italy

On August 16th, a famous bareback horse race takes place and lasts for about a minute and a half. During the short race, jockeys are allowed to do anything to their opponents other than tug their reins. People come from all over to watch the short race. The winning horse is often riderless.

Elvis Week, Memphis, Tennessee, USA

Around August 16th, Elvis impersonators and fans flock to the King of Rock and Roll’s hometown to celebrate the anniversary of his death. Events that take place at Graceland include trivia treasure hunt, and music and film nights, featuring screenings of his classics like Viva Las Vegas. You can even participate in an Elvis scrapbooking class or Elvis art contest.

Tomato Throwing Festival, Plaza del Pueblo, Valencia, Spain

If you aren’t scared to get a little dirty, consider attending the tomato throwing festival in Valencia, Spain. People flock from all over to get pelted with tomatoes, but it’s all in the name of fun at La Tomatina. The last Wednesday in August is a tradition for this small town of Bunol in eastern Spain. This festival has been dubbed the world’s greatest tomato fight.

Turning of the Bones, Madagascar

Malagasay culture is rooted in respect for its ancestors. During the Turning of the Bones, living family members gather at the clan’s tomb, where stone and mud are pried open and straw-wrapped ancestors passed out above bobbing, dancing heads. Unless there’s a crisis, the ritual won’t be repeated for another 7 years, although this is good news for the family because they have to pay for the huge party.

posted July 6, 2016

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