World’s Best Outdoor Parties
Carnival? Mardi Gras? Octoberfest? Been there. Done that. Got the t-shirt. Everybody knows about these parties. They’re wicked. They’re famous. That said, most people go to them just once and never return. Let’s talk about great parties which attract the same people back year in year out.
Here’s our pick of top ten must-see parties:
What: No one really knows how it all began – practical joke? A prank? Or a harmless food fight between 2 merchants? Nobody knows but this messy party has been a popular tradition since the late 1940s. In August on the last Wednesday, approximately 30,000 people come to this little town to take part in possibly the world’s biggest food fight. If you never had that huge canteen food fight when you were little, here’s your chance.
When: August (last Wednesday)
Where: The small town of Bunol in Valencia, Spain
Bring: Unwanted clothes and goggles – trust us, tomato juice in the eye really stings!
Full Moon Party
What: Rumour has it that the Full Moon Party began as a privately held birthday party in the late 1980s. Then the backpackers decided to return over and over again. Soon enough, word quickly spread and every month, thousands of backpackers would head to Ko Pa Ngan to party. Some people will tell you it has lost its charm over the years but for a genuine dose of all night partying in Thailand, this is the place!
When: During the monthly full moon
Where: Ko Pa Ngan, south of Thailand
Bring: Throw-away clothes, drinking shoes, a couple of red bulls and face paint.
What: This must be the ultimate arts extravaganza! An eight day festival culminating in the burning of a gigantic wooden man, Burning Man is where you can certainly cut loose. There’s a different theme every year and last year some 50,000 people decided to join the great fun.
When: Eight days before the US Labour Day in September
Where: Nevada, USA
Bring: Absolutely everything bar money! This party runs on a total barter system and you can only buy water and ice. Apart from the obvious supplies you would take camping, other essentials include sunblock and goggles.
What: The Thai New Year is widely known as Songkran. It’s a spiritual festival intended to cool you down and more importantly wash away the sins of the passing year. There is no better way of doing that than by committing a couple of new ones! Songkran is celebrated all over the country with everybody embarking on probably the largest water fight in the world.
When: 13-15 April
Where: Anywhere in Thailand (Bangkok and Chiang Mai have the best, biggest parties)
Bring: Anything to wear only once, a water pistol, cold water and a good attitude.
Glastonbury Music Festival
What: A three-day music festival held to celebrate the earth, the arts and music, Glastonbury brings in people from everywhere in the world. Last year’s event attracted nearly 200,000 people and some 700 musical acts.
When: The last week of June
Where: Pilton, UK
Bring: Your tickets, a sleeping bag, tent, food and anything you need to have a good time.
What: Similar to Songkran, Holi is a 2-day Hindu festival taking place in northern India. People mark the first night with bonfires and spend the second day splashing water and flour over everyone. The locals say it’s a renewal celebration.
When: During the full moon in March
Where: Northern India
Bring: Green, orange and red flour, loads of water and clothes you no longer need!
Bay to Breakers
What: It’s a seven mile costume party and keg race going through central San Francisco. It started in 1906 to cheer people up after a major earthquake and the locals have since been keeping it well alive. Almost 80,000 people congregate in costumes and trolleys filled with kegs. There’s some serious fun to be had.
When: The 3rd Sunday in May
Where: San Francisco
Bring: A stupid costume and loads of beer!
What: The Aussies love 2 things: beer and BBQs. There is no day that brings out the best of the two than Australia Day, when everyone celebrates the first European settlement in Australia. A highly festive bunch, the Aussies kick it up a notch across the country with BBQs, beer and music. They’re really all out in full force. If you ain’t got no Aussie mate to take you under their wing, head to the nearest beach with beer and make some!
When: 26th January
Where: Anywhere in Australia
Bring: Your Aussie passion, a crate of Carlton draught and something for the all important grill.
What: The relatively reserved Dutch on this particular day cut loose to celebrate their the long-awaited birth of their Queen. The day was originally designed to celebrate the birth of Juliana but it now instead celebrates the birth of Beatrix whose birthday in January makes it too cold to party. Across the country, the Dutch flock outside with their favourite beer and music, flood streets in the lovely orange before cruising up and down the long canals in revelry.
When: 30th April
Where: Holland (Amsterdam has by far the biggest party)
Bring: Orange stuff!
What: A ten-day rodeo which attracts nearly one million people during its course. This festival involves a massive parade and is the biggest event in Canada. But don’t just come to watch the rodeo, the party is a lot more fun! The massive crowds flocking to Calgary are there for the beer, the revelry and the girls (or lads).
When: 2nd week of July
Where: Calgary, Canada
Bring: Your craziest cowboy outfit and a bit of a tolerance for annoying country music.