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The Church of El Rocío, in Andalusia's Huelva province, is the focal point of the El Rocío pilgrimage. Many pilgrims travel on foot or in covered wagons. (Photograph by Jose Antonio Moreno Castellano, Alamy)

World Calendar: Must-Attend May Events

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 May: 

  • Got itchy feet? Grab your walking shoes and head to southern Spain for one of the world’s most famous pilgrimages: Romería de El Rocío (May 24). Each year, on the seventh weekend following Easter, up to a million people from all over the region and beyond flock to Andalusia‘s Huelva province to honor the “Virgin of the Dew” with flamenco song and dance, bonfires, and a rousing procession to the El Roció chapel.
  • Help “bring the fire” at this year’s MTN Bushfire Festival (May 29-31) in the heart of Swaziland. This international event draws thousands of visitors to Southern Africa’s rural Malkerns Valley for three days of entertainment—including live music, puppetry, dance, art exhibits, and a handicraft market—united by one mission: to promote social change.
  • Enjoy some fun in the sun (with a side of canned meat) at the Waikiki Spam Jam (May 2) on Oahu. This family-friendly foodie fest dishes up free live music while paying proper homage to the beloved culinary staple (Hawaiians consume more Spam per capita than residents of any other U.S. state) and raising funds to help end hunger on the islands.
  • Have a more sophisticated palate? Set your sights on the New Orleans Wine & Food Experience (May 20-23) for a weekend of world-class cuisine and tippling. Whet your appetite with a food seminar, discover the French Quarter’s legendary nightlife, or simply nosh your way through the Big Easy. You’ll be glad you did.
  • Celebrate the bounties of spring in the Philippines at the Pahiyas Festival (May 15). Though the town of Lucban keeps the conviviality going through the month of May—when residents pay homage to San Isidro Labrador, the patron saint of farmers, by adorning their homes with colorful agriculture-themed decorations—the highlight of the festivities happens on the 15th, when a parade, dancers, artists, and revelers take to the streets.

What would you add to the list? Let us know what we’re missing by leaving a comment below.