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Lia Schopmeyer - Digital marketing executive at Confused.com

Your 2015 festival calendar

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If you're a frequent globetrotter but aren't sure where to go next, here's a handy guide of brilliantly unique events around the world.

packing suitcase

Starting the year with...

Up Helly-Aa

January - Shetland Islands

Up Helly-Aa
Geograph.org.uk

No, you didn’t just step onto the set of Game of Thrones - this is an actual festival in Lerwick.

Celebrating the end of the yule season, a group of men called the Jarl Squad and their leader the Guizer Jarl march in costume, holding flame torches at nightfall.

They circle a Viking longship and set fire to it to much merriment. Beautiful and slightly scary.

Menton Lemon Festival

February - South-East France

lemon festival
Paul Downey

If life hands you lemons, make art. This spectacular display of citrus fruits to ring in the beginning of spring is beautiful and unique.

The town of Menton transforms a large part of its city into zesty sculptures with different themes each year.

St Patrick’s Day

March - Dublin, Ireland

st patricks day
Miguel Mendez

If you’re looking for a party, Dublin is the place to be during March. As you might expect, St Patrick’s Day is celebrated with much enthusiasm in the Emerald Isle.

4,000 performers, parades and a mass of people adorned with the Irish flag and wearing bright green bring a cheery atmosphere to the city.

Songkran

April - Thailand

songkran
John Shedrick

Thailand celebrate the new year traditionally by pouring water all over the shop, making it the biggest water fight in the world.

The event symbolises washing away all bad luck and sins while also being good fun at the same time.

So if having strangers pelt you with water balloons is your idea of a fun time,grab your super soaker and head to Thailand.

Chelsea Flower Show

May - West London

chelsea flower show
Herry Lawford

Visitors can marvel at the fabulous show gardens, get advice and inspiration, and see the latest in garden design and equipment.

This event is not only for professionals but for anyone with a green thumb or an appreciation for the flowery things in life.

Pack your antihistamines for this one though – it’ll be a bad time to discover you have hayfever.

Haeundae Sand Festival

June - Haeundae, South Korea

haeundae sand festival
tylerj_davis

If you always enjoyed building sand castles at the beach, you should definitely pay Haeundae beach a visit.

Gigantic sand figures and castles are built along the beach - Cute to quirky, they’regreat for photo ops and the odd holiday selfie.

At night it turns into a beach party with lovely temperatures and a great atmosphere. It’s hard to resist it.

Wimbledon Tennis Championships

July - South-west London

wimbledon
Rakkhi Samarasekera

Here’s your chance to enjoy two weeks of tennis, strawberries and cream and the odd glass of Pimms while watching your favourites compete, if you’re lucky enough to get a ticket that is.

Wimbledon is also a terrific time to spot celebrities and enjoy sports without breaking into a sweat. As festivals go, it’s about as sophisticated as they come.

La Tomatina

August - Bunol, near Valencia, Spain

la tomatina
shortCHINESEguy

What started as a group of students pelting tomatoes at one another quickly became one of Spain’s most beloved events.

Once the city took charge and organised La Tomatina, the event grew in popularity each year.

These days, there is a cap on the number of attendees and tomatoes are grown for the purpose of throwing them about.

Burning Man

September - Nevada, USA

burning man
Hawaii Savvy

Burning Man is a festival like nothing else. Once a year in the Black Rock Desert in Nevada, thousands of people gather to celebrate creativity, self-expression and art.

This culminates in the burning of a tall effigy.In some years it was as tall as 100 ft.

Oktoberfest

October - Munich, Germany

oktoberfest
46137

Oktoberfest is often thought of as a beer festival when it’s much more than that.

It celebrates Bavarian traditions and is a folk fest where you’ll see Lederhosen-clad men do dance routines and women dressed in traditional Dirndl.

Of course the beer is what draws so many people all over the world to Munich and how can you fault them, it’s delicious. Prost.

Day of the dead

November - Central Mexico, South America

day of the dead
Tom Hilton

Day of the dead could easily be mistaken as the South American Halloween.

But while the latter is often an excuse to dress up in silly costumes, Día de Muertos is a celebration and remembrance of close relatives who’ve died.

Families prepare altars with decorations and offerings to keep the spirits happy It’s a beautifully macabre festival , but it’s one not to miss.

Dresden Christmas market

December - Dresden, Germany

christmas market
Daikrieg el Jevi

The Dresden Christmas market, locally known as "Striezelmarkt", has been around since the 15th century. This stunning market is like the Christmas you read about in fairy tales.

It captures the magic of Christmas with traditional decorations and delicious treats like Stollen cake.

With the tendency for Germany to have white Christmases, you may be lucky enough to wander the large market on a bed of snow. Magical.

Remember that with the large number of people attending these festivals, there’s a greater chance of injury or getting your luggage stolen.

Make sure that your travel insurance policy covers festivals and events before you head out.

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