Five seasonal festivals in Europe you must not miss

Take notes so that you do not forget to include these on your next trip to the continent...
Five seasonal festivals in Europe you must not miss
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Europe is a treasure trove of cultural festivities, each season bringing its own vibrant celebrations that reflect the continent’s rich history and traditions. Here are four must-visit seasonal festivals that offer unique experiences and unforgettable memories.

Carnival of Venice, Italy (winter)

As winter's chill embraces Europe, Venice warms up with the extravagance of its famous Carnival. Held in February, this festival is a mesmerising blend of history, mystery, and beauty. The streets and canals fill with revelers dressed in opulent, hand-crafted costumes and intricate masks, reviving the grandeur of Venice's golden age. Parades, masked balls and theatrical performances transport visitors to a bygone era. The highlight is the 'Flight of the Angel', where a costumed figure descends from the St. Mark’s Campanile, marking the official start of the festivities.

Tulip Festival, The Netherlands (spring)

Spring in the Netherlands is synonymous with the blooming of millions of tulips and the Keukenhof Gardens near Lisse become a floral wonderland from March to May. The Tulip Festival showcases an astonishing array of tulips in every color imaginable, set against the backdrop of charming Dutch windmills and serene waterways. Visitors can wander through the gardens, take boat tours, or cycle along picturesque routes lined with vibrant fields. This festival is a photographer’s paradise and a testament to the beauty of Dutch horticulture.

Midsummer Festival, Sweden (summer)

As the summer solstice approaches in June, Sweden comes alive with the joyous Midsummer Festival. This celebration, rooted in pagan traditions, marks the longest day of the year with an exuberant display of Swedish culture. Communities gather to dance around the maypole, adorned with flowers and greenery, while traditional folk music fills the air. Feasting on herring, potatoes and strawberries, participants revel in games, songs, and the magical light of the midnight sun. It’s a time of unity and festivity, deeply cherished by Swedes and visitors alike.

Oktoberfest, Germany (autumn)

When autumn leaves begin to fall, Munich hosts the world’s largest beer festival, Oktoberfest. Starting in late September and running into October, this festival is a colossal celebration of Bavarian culture, beer and camaraderie. The city’s Theresienwiese grounds transform into a bustling hub of massive beer tents, amusement rides, and traditional German music. Visitors don dirndls and lederhosen, indulging in hearty foods like pretzels, sausages and roast chicken, all while raising steins of specially brewed Oktoberfest beer. It's a convivial atmosphere that epitomises the spirit of togetherness.

Each of these festivals offers a unique window into Europe’s diverse cultural tapestry, making them experiences that are not to be missed. Whether you’re drawn by historical pageantry, floral splendor, ancient traditions or communal revelry, there’s a European festival for every season.

(Written by Sanjana Pulugurtha)

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