I can’t believe we’re at the end of May already! This month has been full of university deadlines, exams, returning to work and getting back to some sort of normality, so it honestly feels like its gone by in a flash. Over the last few months I’ve been sharing some of my favourite festivals from across the globe. From the truly unique, to the most colourful and vibrant occasions, here are my top festivals from around the world in the month of May!
Culture and Literacy Day
24th May – Bulgaria
Bulgaria’s Culture and Literacy Day celebrates the Bulgarian Language and Cyrillic Alphabet. May 24th is also the official day of the two Holy Brothers – St. Cyril and St. Methodius – who wrote the first Slavic Alphabet in the 9th Century and translated many religious texts into Bulgarian. Its a national holiday for the nation, and so many people are off work, schools are closed and shops are shut for the day. Many cultural and religious events take place throughout the country, making it one of the most popular holidays throughout the year!
Cinco de Mayo
5th May – Puebla, Mexico
Although Cinco de Mayo is celebrated across Mexico, Puebla is thought to be the central location for this huge Mexican festival. Held to commemorate the 1862 Battle of Puebla, celebrations include cultural performances, battle re-enactments, street parties and parades.
Hamamatsu Kite Festival
May 3rd – May 5th – Japan
This Japanese festival celebrates the year’s new-born babies, originating from the 16th Century where kites were flown in celebration of the birth of the Lord of Hamamatsu’s son. Hundreds of kites are flown until the sounding of the trumpets, when kite fliers compete to cut each other’s kite strings to bring them back down to earth.
Cheung Chau Bun Festival
Early May – Hong Kong
Cheung Chau Bun Festival is one of the most important festivals on the Island of Cheung Chau (off the coast of Hong Kong). Although the festival coincides with Buddha’s birthday, the events are dedicated to the god Pak Tai who saved Hong Kong from a deadly plague. In readiness for the celebrations, bun-covered bamboo towers are erected before vibrant parades take to the streets in which participants dress as folklore characters. The main event of the Festival is a ‘bun scrambling’ competition where participants climb a huge 60-foot tower to collect as many buns as they can.
Bergen International Festival
May – June – Bergen, Norway
Attracting almost 100,000 visitors each year, the Bergen International Festival is one of the most popular arts festivals in northern Europe. Beginning in 1953, the festival includes over 200 individual events hosted by 15 different venues, and features components from music, theatre, dance, opera, and the visual arts.
Have you ever been to any of these Festivals? Let us know in the comments below!