June is an interesting month for 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:
Glastonbury Festival, England
When? 21–25 June, 2017
Where? Pilton, England
Held on a farm in Somerset, England, Glastonbury Festival has grown to become the largest event of its kind in the world. This five-day festival celebrates contemporary music as well as dance, theatre, circus, comedy, cabaret and other art forms. With roots in the hippie counterculture of the 1970s, today’s events see more than 175,000 festivalgoers descend on a pop-up city sprawling over 900 acres. With a dozen or so major stages which have played host to the likes of David Bowie, Radiohead, Adele, Stevie Wonder, Massive Attack, Bob Dylan, Coldplay and Bjork, Glastonbury has earned a place on many music-lovers’ bucket lists.
Batalla de Vino, Spain
When? 29 June, 2017
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? 24–26 June, 2017
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, 2017
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? 21 June, 2017
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 21 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.
Ready to take on the world in June? Book cheap flights to destinations across the globe with Webjet!