The month of June is jam-packed full of international events and festivals; the southern hemisphere starts winding down for winter just as the northern hemisphere bursts into summer. Check out some of the quirkiest events happening across the globe in June:
Football World Cup
When? 14 June – 15 July, 2018
Feel the passion at the largest and most watched sporting event in the world, the FIFA World Cup. For the first time in the nation’s history, Russia will host the tournament, welcoming the world’s best footballers to battle it out for the immortalising glory of the championship’s ultimate prize, the World Cup. The tournament begins with 32 separate nations, were only one can win the coveted prize of the world cup. The event will be played across 11 different cities within Russia, with over 3 billion viewers expected to tune in for the tournaments 64 games from every corner of the globe. Expect excitement, drama and emotion at this year’s tournament, with all matches leading towards the final on July 15 in the capital, Moscow.
When? 15 – 24 June, 2018
Where? Hobart, Australia
Steeped in mythology, darkness, death and artistic expression, Dark Mofo is a festival like no other. The main exhibitions will be hosted at the breathtaking Museum of Old and New Art (Mona), with the festival welcoming a range of local and international acts to perform around the city, inspiring and challenging their audience. Festival highlights include the procession accompanying The Burning, the Nude Solstice Swim, and highly anticipated performances from artists such as Tim Minchin and St.Vincent. The most shocking piece from this year’s Dark Mofo is by artist Mike Parr. Parr will be buried beneath the bitumen of a main road in the city for 72 hours without any food or contact. Such defying pieces embody the essence of the Dark Mofo festival, pushing the boundaries of art and performance and celebrating all things that go bump in the night.
Batalla de Vino, Spain
When? 29 June, 2018
Where? Haro, Spain
The town of Haro, located in northern Spain, is well known for its fine red wines. However, the townspeople of Haro take their love of wine to a whole new level on the 29th of June each year. This date marks the Haro Wine Festival, a celebration of wine made infamous by its most popular event: the Batalla de Vino. The day starts with a procession led by the town’s mayor, who rides on horseback, to the cliffs of Bilibio. After a mass and some opening traditions, it’s time for the world’s biggest wine fight! Participants (all dressed in white) use a variety of weapons to deliver their alcoholic ammunition: bottles, water pistols, old boots and entire buckets of wine are all part of the artillery. At noon, exhausted and drenched combatants return to the Plaza de la Paz to continue the celebrations with music and bullfights.
Phi Ta Khon, Thailand
When? 16 – 18 June, 2018
Where? Dan Sai, Loei province, Thailand
Sometimes called Ghost Festival, Phi Ta Khon is somewhat similar to the Western world’s Halloween celebrations. This event forms part of Bun Luang, a festival which is unique to northeast Thailand and held over three days between March and July. Phi Ta Khon is said to originate from when Prince Vessantara (an incarnation of the Buddha) returned to his city; legend says the celebrations were so loud that they awoke the spirits of the dead. Festivities include games and processions featuring music, rockets, colourful costumes and eerie spirit masks. After gaining favour and protection from Phra Upakut, the spirit of the Mun River, villagers gather on the last day to listen to the monks at Wat Ponchai, the local temple.
Feast of Saint Anthony, Portugal
When? 12 June, 2018
Where? Lisbon, Portugal
In the 13th century, Saint Anthony found himself preaching in the Italian town of Rimini. Dismayed that his words were falling on deaf ears, Saint Anthony wandered to the shore and confided in the fish who—to the villagers’ astonishment—raised their heads above the water to listen to him. Today, the 12th of June is marked in Lisbon by city-wide celebrations in honour of the Catholic saint. Avenida da Liberdade plays host to a huge parade, and the streets and balconies of the Alfama district are filled with colourful streamers, paper lanterns, Portuguese folk music and the smell of grilled sardines. This is also an important time for love and match-making, with hundreds of men presenting their lovers with basil plants containing love poems. The beer and sangria flow freely, and church bells ring across the city as dozens of couples celebrate in one of the most joyous days in Lisbon’s calendar.
Inti Raymi, Peru
When? 24 June, 2018
Where? Sacsayhuaman, Cuzco, Peru
A 500-year-old ritual, Inti Raymi commemorates the winter solstice and the Incan New Year. A modern dramatisation of the ceremony takes place on June 24 at the ancient citadel of Sacsayhuaman, on the outskirts of Cuzco. Beginning at the sun temple, a nominee representing Sapa Inca (the emperor) is carried through the streets in a golden chariot. The colourful procession includes music, dancing and prayers, with participants scattering flowers and sweeping brooms to brush away evil spirits. Once the procession has reached its hilltop destination, the priest delivers a speech in the traditional language of the Incas, Quechua. Although Inti Raymi traditionally involved a mass sacrifice of llamas, this modern re-enactment is decidedly more child-friendly. The end of the ceremony is marked by bonfires and a final procession back to Cuzco.
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