Europe, in many ways, is the cultural powerhouse of the Western world. With its many languages, people, and a long and rich history, the continent is the dream place to be for globetrotters. Places such as Paris, Italy, Prague, and Vienna have long been centers of art, music, theatre, and dance. It is no real wonder that festivals in Europe are the world’s largest! Everything from folk art to metal music and modern art to natural beauty is the focus of celebrations in the various European music festivals. Make sure to visit them.
Top 20 Festivals In Europe In 2019
It is a great idea to include these 20 famous festivals in Europe in 2019 to your Euro trip itinerary. Here is a roundup of the best celebrations across the continent that you must attend at least once in your life:
- The Carnival Of Venice
- St. Patrick’s Day
- Cannes Film Festival
- Glastonbury Festival
- Edinburgh Festival Fringe
- San Fermin
- Rock Im Park
- Water Jousting
- Klapa Music Festival
- La Tomatina Festival
- The Carnival Of Ivrea
- Kettlewell Scarecrow Festival
- Lavender Mob
- Flamenco Fair
- Dead Good Fun
- Mad For Folk
- Noble Grapes
1. The Carnival Of Venice
If you are looking for festivals in Europe featuring elaborate masks, the Carnival of Venice is the place to be. Although the festival has roots that are a millennium old, the modern version only began in 1979 as an effort to revive the culture of this great city. Today, almost 3 million people attend this 20-days long biggest festivals in Europe in March of endless parties and events across the city. There is a water parade, competitions inspired from old Venetian traditions, a grand ball, and a popularity contest for best mask design.
Carnival of Venice 2019 dates: 16 February – 5 March
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2. St. Patrick’s Day
The Day of St. Patrick, the patron saint of the Catholic nation of Ireland, St. Patrick’s Day has old roots. It is celebrated on 17th March every year as it marks the arrival of Christianity into Ireland and is considered one of the best spring festivals in Europe. Over time, it has evolved into a celebration of Irish culture. Marked most distinctly by the color green of the shamrock, it includes parades and other revelries, particularly in Dublin where the Irish Volunteers march. One of the most popular festivals in Europe, it is also often called the festival of alcohol as the Lentil prohibitions on alcohol end on this day.
St. Patrick’s day 2019 date: 17 March
Maslenitsa is one of the famous upcoming cultural festivals in Europe 2019 and involves religious carnivals from the Slavic traditions of Eastern Europe. Celebrated eight weeks before Eastern Easter, it has been one of the oldest festivals in Europe in March. During the week of the festival, meat, cheese, and other dairy are permitted for Orthodox Christians, the traditions of the festival are centered so much around this relaxation of the ban that the festival is often called the Cheesefare week or the Crepe Week. One of the largest festivals in Europe, the preparation of crepes in this fest creates a buzz all around the town.
Maslenitsa 2019 dates: 4 – 10 March
Celebrated in the southern regions of Netherlands, this is one of the largest festivals in Europe, which is marked by its theme of role reversals. There is a grand feast in most homes from Saturday through Tuesday, and Bonte Avonden, meetings, balls, and parades are held everywhere in the cities. The Motley Storm, or the D’n Optocht, is the most visible face of one of the largest festivals in Europe in March, with these parades full of colorful floats. There is also a lot of traditional dance and music at various events of the festivals, with Carnaval being the foremost dance festivals of Europe. Any tourist caught in its hailstorm will not come out unamazed!
Carnaval Netherlands 2019 dates: 3 – 5 March
5. Cannes Film Festival
Cannes is a small village in France and the site of one of the largest festivals in Europe. A complete by-invitation-only event, Cannes is the world’s premier film festival and witnesses the screening of almost all genres of the most brilliant movies of the year for a select audience. Held at the beautiful Palais des Festivals et des Congrès, the festival has swayed the film world’s attention from the Venice Film Festival that had developed a fascist streak. Every year, the festival also honors the best film with the famous Palm d’Or, which is often regarded as a more prestigious recognition than the Oscars. Owing to its elegance, it is one of the best festivals in Europe.
Cannes Film Festival dates 2019: 14 – 25 May
6. Glastonbury Festival
Of all the famous European music festivals, the Glastonbury Festival has a special place. Held in Somerset, England, since the 1970s, the festival is a major part of the British culture. Major pop act performers in contemporary music among others are invited to perform and headline. The festival sees as much as 175,000 people in attendance and is the world’s largest greenfield festival. Beyonce, Dave Grohl, U2, Coldplay and almost all other pop stars have performed at the festival, and it is truly one of the most popular festivals in Europe.
Glastonbury Festival 2019 dates: 26 – 30 June
7. Edinburgh Festival Fringe
Simply called the Fringe, it is among the most important August festivals in Europe 2019. It is also the world’s largest art festival, and in 2017, it was held over 25 days and had 53,232 performances during 3398 shows spread over 300 venues across the Scottish city. Most of the events, which cover theatre, dance, cabaret, opera, music, and exhibitions, are not judged, so anyone can participate. The comedy shows during the festival have a higher profile due to the Edinburgh Comedy Awards that are given to the best shows. The Edinburgh festival is set to be the biggest festival in Europe 2019.
Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2019 dates: 3 – 27 August
8. San Fermin
This is one of the more traditional festivals in Europe in July which also a grand festival in the city of Pamplona, Spain. Over the course of the week, almost a million people come to the city to participate in the various festivities such as the San Fermin procession, the struendo (when people gather to play drums, pots, pans), and the closing sombre ceremony of Pobre De Mi. However, the festival is renowned for the running of the bulls, held at 8 AM from July 7th to 14th. The event is broadcast live on TV and the whole of Spain fixates on matadors for the week.
San Fermin Festival 2019 dates: 6 – 14 July
One of the top Europe festivals of beer, Oktoberfest is Bavaria’s most important period of celebration and one of the top festivals in Europe in September. Mainly held in Munich, Germany, the festival is a folk celebration of Bavarian culture, first instituted in the year 1810. The city comes to a standstill for much of the festival, with food and beer stalls coming up everywhere. Parades in traditional costumes held by restaurateurs and riflemen are highlights of one of the biggest upcoming festivals in Europe.
Oktoberfest 2019 dates: September 22
10. Rock Im Park
Set to be one of the most popular European rock festivals 2019, Rock Im Park takes place in Nuremberg and has been headlined by the most famous international rock acts since 1985. Held at Zeppelinfeld, the festival has seen such legends of rock like David Bowie, Eddie Van Halen, Guns n Roses, Metallica, Rage Against the Machine, and Foo Fighters perform here. In combination with the Rock Im Ring, the festival sees a footfall of 150,000 and is one of the upcoming festivals in Europe.
Rock Im Park 2019 dates: 7 – 9 June
11. Water Jousting
This is one of the best summer festivals in Europe, celebrated since 1666, majorly at the port of Sete in the town named the Venice of Languedoc. Celebrating its patron saint in boisterous style, the town stages water jousting tournaments on its canals which can be seen throughout the summer. However, it is during the month of August, that the things go overdrive in the region. One of the world’s most popular youth-centric summer festivals in Europe, Water Jousting is celebrated on a grand scale with 70-plus events which includes street parades, pop-up bars, and concerts.
Water Jousting dates: 23-28 August
12. Klapa Music Festival
With having the incredible view of the canyon in the background and the Cetina River flowing beside makes a great setup for the Klapa Music Festival which is one of the traditional European music festivals. This festival brings out the best group of singers who expressively sings at the Capella. Whereas the towns of St. Mihovil and Stjepan Radic squares stages multi-part style of singing. As the singers sing in unison during the celebration, the love and longing sound hauntingly beautiful. It is touted as the most popular European music festivals.
Klapa Music Festival dates: 29 June- 21 July
13. La Tomatina Festival
Held in the town of Buñol, La Tomatina is one of the biggest European food festivals. It is all about the food fight, especially involving tomatoes. Tons of over-ripe tomatoes are used in the streets of the town to be smashed at each other and you can surely witness the excited tinge of red being painted throughout the place. What’s more, is that it isn’t just the locals, people from all over the world get to participate in this surprisingly messy yet enjoyable festival in Spain and only 20,000 lucky ones get the ticket to this one! This is one of the most popular European food festivals.
La Tomatina dates: 28 August
14. The Carnival Of Ivrea
The Carnival Of Ivrea is held in the third week of February in Ivrea in Italy. The festival stems from the 19th century where rebellious commoners threw away food the feudal lord had given them. The game now represents a war between the thousands of commoners on the ground and the guards that throw oranges from carriages. It is counted among the weird festivals in Europe. This is one of the biggest European food festivals.
The Carnival Of Ivrea dates: Third week of February
15. Kettlewell Scarecrow Festival
The Kettlewell Scarecrow Festival was first celebrated twenty years ago. It is a nine-day celebration. Their main purpose is to raise money for the local school, the village hall, and the church. In Yorkshire Dale village, many straw-stuffed mannequins or scarecrows are put up all across town. Some of them resemble real-life people. Last year, the scarecrows of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were put up. It is one of the biggest summer festivals in Europe across all ages. It is counted among the weird festivals in Europe.
Kettlewell Scarecrow Festival dates: 10 August – 18 August
16. Lavender Mob
Lavender mob festival of France begins with a dazzling firework display over the river, followed by a 4-days lavender-themed festival that includes parades, marching bands, boats covered with mauve flowers and a nighly ball at the main square of the city. One of the most loved experiences here is the Digne’s lavender festival parade which has been running since the second world war. The festival is conducted in the month of August after the harvesting starts. This is one of the most loved festivals of Europe that attract fun lovers from across the globe.
Lavender Mob Festival 2019 Dates: 3-7August
17. Flamenco Fair
Flamenco fair of Spain is the feast of Saint Matthew that is widely celebrated across the place. It is one of the best festivals in Europe summer as it is the last big party of the prolonged summer. The festivals showcase electrifying dancing and drinking hours with a fair by night. Apart from shopping and grabbing local delicacies, you can also indulge in some traditional horse riding sessions here.
Flamenco Fair 2019 Dates: 20-24 September
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18. Dead Good Fun
This festival makes you witness something entirely different from what you usually see in festivals. The festival is organized in rural Galicia and the devout Spaniards who survived a near-death experience in the past year are paraded in coffins through the streets. It is believed to be a thanksgiving procedure of the locals to God and Santa Marta. The coffins are followed by relatives and friends, following the rules of Spanish funeral.
Dead Good Fun 2019 Dates: 29 July
19. Noble Grapes
The Noble Grapes festival is a 10-days festival of Saint Helena that is celebrated since 1787. This is one of the best wine festivals in Europe and on Saturdays, the wine-producing families from across the province gather in their historic costume to celebrate their auspicious grape harvest. You can witness the stunning carts here decorated with grapes, vines, palm fronds, ribbon, tinsel, and bells.
Noble Grapes 2019 Dates: 15 September
20. Mad For Folk
This one is amongst the most exclusive festivals in Europe which are known for celebrating folk music from all over Italy. This festival is flooded with bands, buskers, dance troupes and their electrifying performances. This is a perfect place to celebrate the traditional music as you will find all types of native Italian musicians here in Mad for the folk festival.
Mad For Folk 2019 Dates: 9-11 August
This list of the upcoming holidays and festivals in Europe 2019 is not exhaustive and there are many other fiestas that you can be a part of. Each one of these festivals in Europe will be a unique experience for you and provide you with unlimited memories. Mark these dates in your calendar and book a trip to Europe to witness its culture through these lively celebrations!
Frequently Asked Questions About Festivals In Europe
So, while you’re wondering whether to inquire more or not before indulging in the finest festival experiences that Europe has to offer, take a look at some of the common queries that people have about these European festivals:
A. Apart from the Oktoberfest, there are other beer festivals like the Berlin International Beer Festival, Belgian Beer Weekend, Pilsner Fest, and Great British Beer Festival which are quite famous in Europe.
A. Oktoberfest, Pitfork Music Festival, Amsterdam Music Festival are some of the vibrant and famous festivals in Europe in October.
A. Tomorrowland and Creamfields are two of the biggest music events in Europe where music lovers from all over the world come to enjoy their shared interest for EDM. You can even find the world’s best DJs performing at these events.
A. St. Patricks’ Day, Bastille Day, San Gennaro Feast Day, and St John’s Day are some of the holidays celebrated in Europe.
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