There are some amazing events on tap all over the world, all the time. Here’s a taste of what you can see and do in June:
- What do a giant head, a larger-than-life house, and a flying ship have in common? They will be on display at the Greenwich and Docklands International Festival (June 20-28) in London. This free outdoor performing arts festival features music and dance, art installations, and street performances for a creative spectacle you have to witness first-hand.
- Let the rhythm move you during Senegal‘s annual St.-Louis Jazz Festival (June 4-9). The streets of this UNESCO World Heritage site will be filled with the musical talents of some 500 musicians—but the party doesn’t end there. Pick up a souvenir at the festival’s fair, then join an impromptu jam session at a local cafe or bar to keep the music going into the wee hours of the morning.
- Celebrate cultural heritage during the annual Smithsonian Folklife Festival in Washington, D.C. (June 25-29 and July 2-6). Over two weekends, this free exposition will bring to life the community-based traditions of China and Kenya through music, live performances, interactive storytelling, hands on demonstrations, and so much more. This educational celebration attracts more than one million visitors each year, and is perfect for the entire family.
- Dragon boat races are a plenty, but none hold a candle to the International Dragon Boat Carnival (June 6-8) in Hong Kong. Hundreds of international teams will race to the beat of the drums in Victoria Harbour, but don’t worry, the fun doesn’t stop on dry land. The San Miguel BeerFest will be offering up live entertainment and ice cold brews. What more could you ask for?
- Swirl, sniff, and sip your way through France’s beautiful wine country—and a UNESCO World Heritage site—at the Bordeaux Wine Festival (June 26-29). A wine trail, tastings, and guided vineyard tours showcase the regional vin, while daily live music, art exhibitions, and fireworks round out this biennial party.
- Indulge in musical mastery beneath the bright summer skies of St. Petersburg during the Stars of the White Nights Festival (May 28-July 31). The annual art extravaganza packs opera, ballet, musical performances, and a fireworks show into three months of outdoor celebrations you won’t want to miss.
- For one night in June, the streets of Porto, Portugal, are filled with hammer-wielding party-goers in celebration of the annual Festa de São João (June 23). Extended in 2014 to include six weeks of entertainment (May 24-June 29), the festival encourages attendees to hit one another with soft hammers in the name of love. Live music, street vendors, and fireworks on the beach complete this lively celebration.
- Step into a dream world at the 17th annual World Bodypainting Festival (June 29-July 6) in Carinthia, Austria. Art, music, and fashion collide at this colorful event, featuring artists from more than 40 nations. Visitors can try their hand at this unique form of self expression, take in live musical performances, and shop at the festival marketplace. This family-friendly event has something for everyone.
- Witness a friendly theatrical competition at the annual Boi Bumbá festival in Parintins, Brazil. Each evening, two teams bring a local legend to life in front of a live crowd using elaborate costumes, music, dance, and floats. After each performance, the party moves to the streets for nights of dancing, fireworks, and a parade of legendary creatures.
- The largest art parade in the United States is back with over 1,500 costumed individuals channeling their inner Mardi Gras through the streets of Brooklyn, New York. The Coney Island Mermaid Parade (June 21) is the perfect kick-off to summer. Sign up to march in the procession, or simply join the crowds and take it all in.
What would you add to the list? Let us know what we’re missing by leaving a comment.
- Nat Geo Expeditions