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Festivals in Europe - Farbenfest (Color Festival) - California Globetrotter

Festivals in Europe!


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I am a lover of festivals! Big festivals, little festivals, historic festivals, music festivals, summer festivals, you name it, I want to go! Since living in Europe, I am constantly surrounded by an endless number of possibilities, from the fun related festivals to the ones of historical importance. Now I try to go to as many as I can, the others, over time will come! Until there here are the festivals I have been to and the ones I want to go to!

The Festivals I’ve Been To!

The Flower Carpet Festival 2014

IMG_2309Every other year, on even numbered years, Brussels turns the already magnificent 17th Century Grand Place into a beautiful flower carpet with over 750,000 Begonias! This is a festival not to miss for those who love beautiful things, as this festival is for one weekend only, usually in August!

Open to the public for free to walk around it but for the best view of the Flower Carpet, pay just a few euros per person to go up inside the stunning Hotel de Ville which dominates the main square and step out on to the balcony.

When: Next August 12-15th, 2016

Where: Brussels, Belgium

How much: Free!


Fasching 2008 & 2015

Faschingzeit - Festivals in Europe - California Globetrotter

Every year, cities around Germany have their own parades which stretch on for a couple of hours, everyone participating in the fun in order to celebrate Fasching (Carnival)! From babies to old folks, people of all ages dress up in costumes and take part in the festivities!

When: Rose Monday

Where: all of Germany, most commonly Cologne!

How much: free!


Notting Hill Carnival 2012

IMG_2545Two strands of carnivals converged into one to create the Notting Hill Carnival. First, a “Caribbean Carnival” began in response to racial tensions in the 60s. The second, was a more hippie strand to promote cultural unity in 1966. Now one of the world’s largest festivals, for three days in August, people flock to the greatest street party to watch beautifully handcrafted floats parade down the street with DJs and music blaring from the floats. The Nottinghill Carnival is not actually related to carnivals for Lent, but is simply a street festival. Dancers flock around in rival colorful peacocky outfits drawing the attention of thousands of festival goers!

When: August 30-31st, 2015

Where: Nottingham, England

How much: free!


Ludwigsburg Pumpkin Festival 2014

IMG_3082Every autumn, just outside of Stuttgart in a small town called Ludwigsburg, the Palace Gardens are turned into an orray of oranges. No, not the fruit, the color, as the gardens are turned into a Pumpkin Festival. Here, there is fun for all as you stroll through the gardens to find pumpkin sculptures, pumpkin food, pumpkin stalls and even pumpkin sports!

When: Septemer 4-November 8th, 2015

Where: Ludwigsburg, Germany

How much: Prices vary – check the site for more information


Oktoberfest 2007

A Beginners Guide to Oktoberfest, Munich Germany - California GlobetrotterOfficially the world’s largest fair, every year since 1810, this beer festival has been held in Munich, Germany. What started out as a wedding festival for King Ludwig I, it has become the world’s most popular beer festival lasting 17 days with multiple tents from local brewers supplying 6 million people with 6.7 million liters of beer! Don’t be confused though, Oktoberfest is not actually in October! The festival begins in the middle of September every year and ends in October after German Reunification Day.

When: September 19 – October 4, 2015

Where: Munich, Germany

How much: Entrance is free, but beer can cost up to 10€ a Maß (1 liter)


Mai/Herbst Dult 2012 – present

Regensburg Dult - California Globetrotter

Twice a year in my German hometown of Regensburg, we have a similar and quainter version of Oktoberfest called Dult! Dult is even older than Oktoberfest and was created by the people, for the people of the town! For two weeks in May and August, Dult comes to town. Rides, food stalls and beer tents are set up and everyone flocks to the tents for Maß beers, cheaper than at Oktoberfest!

When: May 8-25th, 2015 & August 23 – September 13th, 2015

Where: Regensburg, Germany

How much: Entrance is free, but a beer can cost up to 8.50€ a Maß (1 liter)


Adlersberg Palmator Starkbierfest 2015

IMG_2028Just outside of Regensburg, is a small former abbey perched upon a hill called Adlersberg. Monks needed a way to survive the long 40 days of Lent and found a loophole which allowed them to brew beer. Not just any beer. STARKbier. The beer is extra strong as it is filled with more nutrients so as to fill the bellies of the monks through the entire Lent season. Every year, for one day only on Palm Sunday, the brewery has a little festival inside the abbey walls. The tradition is that the people of Regensburg and surrounding villages hike to the abbey before enjoying the Starkbier.

When: Palm Sunday

Where: Pettendorf – village outside of Regensburg

How much: free!


Farbenfest 2015 (Color Festival)

Farbenfest - 10 Things to Think About Before Moving Abroad - California Globetrotter

Relatively new to Regensburg and other towns around Germany, this Color festival is inspired by the Indian tradition of Holi and is one of the happiest festivals around! The perfect festival to kick off the summer season, dance along to music and throw you chalk of rainbow colors in the air or at your friends. Be sure to wear white so the colors show up better!

When: Check the dates for a festival near you!

Where: Check the webpage for a city near you!

How much: Prices vary depending on the package you want!


Würzburg Wine Festival 2014

IMG_3238One of Germany’s greatest wine regions, Franconia is home to Würzburg – a romantic town along the Main river with endless rolling hills of vineyards. Every summer, Würzburg is overloaded with an infinite amount of wine festivals throughout the city. The most enjoyable is the Würzburg Weindorf, when the entire city center of Würzburg turns into a little wine village with stalls and tents sent up throughout the town where one can plop down and enjoy a glass or two…or three of local wines!

When: Check the dates of different wine festivals below!

Where: Würzburg, Germany

How much: Entrance is free!


My Festival Bucket List!

Carnival in Venice, Italy

Carnival in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Giants for the Baptism of Fiere Margiet, Leuven, Belgium

Lemon Festival in Menton, France

La Fete des Lumineres – Lyon, France

Regata Storica – Venice, Italy

Perugia’s Eurochocolate Festival – Perugia, Italy

King’s Day (Queen’s Day) – Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Keukenhof Tulip Festival – Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Las Fallas Festival – Valencia, Spain

Flower Carpet – Malaga, Spain

Feria de Abril – Seville, Spain

La Tomatina – Buñol, Spain

Pamplona Bullrunning – Pampalona, Spain

Up Helly Aa – Scotland

Hogmanay on New Year’s Eve – Edinburgh, Scotland

What are some other great festivals around Europe you can recommend?



Author: California Globetrotter

At 14 I started traveling the world with my parents and was hooked! By 21 I was studying abroad in Heidelberg, Germany. By 26 I sold all of my belongings and bought a one way ticket to Germany to teach English. Little did I know, I'd meet the love of my life and end up traveling to the most romantic and idyllic towns in Europe and becoming a long-term expat in Bavaria! My name is Lorelei and I'm just your typical CaliGirl, Sunset Chaser, Fairytale Dreamer, Dress Lover, Traveloholic, Beer Drinker!

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