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The best spring events

Where to party?

From lively beer festivals to fun national celebrations: now that the dark winter months are behind us, people around the world celebrate the arrival of spring. These are the nine best events to celebrate the new season.

This is where to party!
Where To Go Q2 02 Nl En De April
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Where To Go Q2 03 Songkra


A wet welcome

Starting on 13 April, the Thai people kick off their 3-day traditional New Year's celebration known as Songkran. What began as an ancient tradition of pouring a glass of water over each other to start the year with a clean slate has grown into the world's biggest water fight. Armed with water guns, water balloons, garden hoses and buckets, the locals set out to soak anyone they encounter. Resistance is futile: those who look dry become an immediate target. As the event takes place during the hottest time of the year, the splash of cold water is actually a fun way to cool off.

Where To Go Q2 03 Turijn


Colourful eggs

Turin is said to have more chocolatiers than France and Belgium combined. Ever since the 16th century royal family of Savoy had its first taste of cioccolato, the city has quickly blossomed into the chocolate capital of Italy. Chocolate bars, chocolate paste and ice cream all originated here, as well as Nutella, Ferrero Rocher and Kinder. And there is no better time of year to visit Turin than around Easter, when grandmasters, such as Guido Gobino, fill their shop windows with colourful chocolate eggs.

Where To Go Q2 03 New Orleans

New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival

A tribute to music

Back in the beginning of the 19th century, African slaves in New Orleans would gather every Sunday to make music. This was the beginning of the city's rich musical history. Long before jazz conquered the world, saxophones could be heard in New Orleans. Other musical genres also owe their existence to the New Orleans music scene. Local musicians played everything from the blues to R&B, gospel, hip-hop, zydeco and bluegrass. The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, also known as the Jazz Fest, has paid tribute to all these musical styles for over half a century. Starting 27 April, the festival will once again rock the foundations of this city with great music. And this year's event promises to top all previous editions as it celebrates the city's 300th birthday.

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Where To Go Q2 04 En May
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Where To Go Q2 05 Grand Prix
Kevin Bennett / Alamy Stock Photo

The Monaco Grand Prix

Sports cars and celebrity yachts

Monaco is no stranger to swanky parties, but there is one day of the year when the designer dresses, glamourous jewels and champagne glasses shine even brighter. On 27 May, the Formula 1 race tears through the narrow streets of the principality during Monaco's Grand Prix. Watch the free test rounds, qualification rounds and the actual 78-lap race, and see the future racing heroes of the GP2 and GP3 classes compete for a win. This is the perfect excuse for the local jet set to see and be seen. 

Where To Go Q2 05 Cinco De Mayo
Efrain Padro / Alamy Stock Photo

Cinco de Mayo

Conga in Puebla

On 5 May 1862, a motley Mexican army pulled off an impressive defeat of the much larger French army at the Battle of Puebla. Ever since then ‘Cinco de Mayo’ has been celebrated as Mexico's national holiday. However, no celebration is more exuberant than the one in Puebla. Residents of all ages parade in traditional dress through the historic city centre. There is plenty of dancing and on every corner you will catch a whiff of the fragrant mole poblano, a spicy chocolate sauce and one of the many culinary calling cards of this metropolis.

Where To Go Q2 05 Cheung Chau Fest
dbimages / Alamy Stock Photo

Cheung Chau festival

Towers of bread

Some festivals are visually overwhelming. A great example is the Cheung Chau festival, which takes place from 19-23 May on the homonymous island in Hong Kong. The festival is a tribute to the god Pak Tai who, according to legend, once saved the island from a deadly epidemic. Admire the colourful fishing boats bobbing in the harbour and watch the children in bright dresses stand securely on poles, floating high above the crowds. But the literal highlight of the event are the 20-metre-high bamboo towers, packed with buns. During various climbing competitions, participants compete with each other to pick as many buns as they can or reach the highest ones. The sacred buns of dough represent good fortune and also create an unforgettable sight to behold.

Where To Go Q2 06 June Bg Mobile
Where To Go Q2 06 En June Mobile

Mondial de la Biere


SchuimfeesRijkelijk gehopte IPA's, hooggegiste trappisten, frisse saisons en loodzware doppelbocks. Je telt als kroeg al lang niet meer mee zonder een flinke dosis specialbieren op de toog. In het Canadese Montreal droomden drie fervente bierliefhebbers een kwart eeuw geleden al over deze craft beer revolution. Hun jaarlijkse proeverij is inmiddels uitgegroeid tot Mondial de la Bière: het grootste bierfestival van Noord-Amerika. Dit jaar vindt het plaats van 6 t/m 9 juni. Het is bovendien de 25e editie van het festival, een extra reden dus om het glas te heffen.

Where To Go Q2 06 June Bg
Where To Go Q2 06 En June Mobile
Where To Go Q2 06 Mondiale De La Biere
Festival mondial de la bière: Olivier Bourget

Mondial de la Biere

A foamy celebration

Hoppy IPAs, yeasty Trappist beers, refreshing saisons and heavy doppelbocks. These days any respectable bar will serve up a selection of fine specialty beers. In Canada's city of Montreal, three beer aficionados have been dreaming of this craft beer revolution for more than 25 years. Their yearly tasting event has grown into the Mondial de la Bière: the largest beer festival in North America. This year's event takes place from 6-9 June. It marks the 25th anniversary of the festival, all the more reason to raise a toast of craft beer.

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Where To Go Q2 07 Midsummer
Anna Yu / Alamy Stock Photo

Midsummer Night

Dance around the maypole

Girls with braided flower garlands in their hair, lively folk dances around the maypole and a table laden with strawberry pies. Celebrated on 22 June this year, the Midsummer's Eve festival in Sweden is filled with traditions. In addition to a day of charming events, the yearly midsummer evening celebration also kicks off a summer of parties. Every village will organise its own Midsommar party and everyone is welcome. The capital Stockholm will be practically deserted as everyone flocks to the countryside. 

Where To Go Q2 07 El Colacho
Nick Gammon / Alamy Stock Photo

El Colacho

The devil's jump

The world is full of intriguing and unusual festivals. But El Colacho, held during the first week of June in the Spanish town of Castrillo de Murcia, may just take the cake. After a week of song and dance, some locals dress up in red and yellow devil outfits. They get a running start and jump over a group of... yes, wait for it: babies! According to legend, the devil's jump is a spiritual cleansing ritual for infants. Fortunately, the little ones are laid out on a silky soft mattress. This curious tradition has been drawing revellers since 1620.


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