At Shimla’s summer festival, watch dance and music shows, browse handicraft exhibitions, cheer on sporting events, and sample Himachali fare such as gyari (pork stew) and churpi (yak cheese). Family games are part of the fun.
Where: Himachal Pradesh, India | Duration 1 Jun - 9 Jun
Watch elaborately carved dragon boats race down the Victoria Harbour from June 10-12. The Chinese also perform rituals for well-being, eat rice dumplings called zongzi, and honour the poet Qu Yuan.
Where: Hong Kong, China | Duration 9 Jun - 11 Jun
Oerol, which means “all over” in the local Frisian dialect, has mime, circus acts, theatre and dance all over the island: on beaches, in woods and on streets. Artists interact with the natural surroundings of their “stage”, which results in intimate performances that relate to the land.
Where: Terschelling, Netherlands | Duration 10 Jun - 19 Jun
Every summer, the village of Champakkulam in the district of Alappuzha comes alive with spectacular boat races on the River Pamba. The skilfully led snake boats draw visitors from all over the world.
Where: Kerala, India | Duration 20 Jun - 20 Jun
Celebrate the shortest night of the year and catch the sunrise with druids, hippies and revellers on June 21, the summer solstice. People gather to drum and perform rituals; it’s also one of the few times that people are allowed to touch the prehistoric stones.
Where: Wiltshire, England | Duration 21 Jun - 21 Jun
Street parties, feasting, and even hitting the object of your affection with a leek, is part of the fun at this heady mix of pagan ritual and religious fervour. The next morning, the Portuguese town joins in mass for St. John (São João) the Baptist.
Where: Porto, Portugal | Duration 23 Jun - 23 Jun
The festival pays tribute to St. John the Baptist, and is a link to its colonial past under Portuguese rule. It’s a day of much merry-making. Locals go around the neighbourhood with drinks in hand, jumping into wells and drenching passers-by with buckets of water. Read more about the festival here.
Where: Goa, India | Duration 24 Jun - 24 Jun
“Calcio Storico Fiorentino” means “the historical soccer of Florence”; this entertaining game that originated in the 16th century combines soccer, rugby and wrestling. After semi-finals on June 11 and 12, the final match is held against the backdrop of the Basilica of Santa Croce on June 24, the feast day for Florence’s patron saint, St. John the Baptist. There is a parade in period costume, and fireworks in the evening on the banks of the River Arno.
Where: Florence, Italy | Duration 24 Jun - 24 Jun
Winter is coming in the southern hemisphere, and New Zealand is prepared. The cold season runs here from June to August, and the winter festival celebrates with street and lakeside parties, cross-dressing events, music gigs and winter sports such as mountain biking and ice hockey. It makes for a unique “summer” holiday for those from the northern hemisphere, and draws nearly 50,000 people annually.
Where: Queenstown, New Zealand | Duration 24 Jun - 3 Jul
This festival of the sun is in honour of the sun god Inti. Festivities take place over the nine days leading to the winter solstice. Lavish feasts are prepared, and colourful, ancient Incan rituals are re-enacted in full costume, culminating in a grand procession with the Incan sun god and goddess.
Where: Cusco, Peru | Duration 24 Jun - 24 Jun
The streets of San Francisco turn into a cacophonous blur as the LGBT community takes over the streets in celebration. There are live cabaret, comedy and music shows, and OTT costumes and gigantic floats dominate thePride Parade. This year’s theme is racial pride and economic justice.
Where: California, USA | Duration 25 Jun - 26 Jun
The Battle of Wine has hordes climb up a mountain to douse each other in wine. There are trucks, hosepipes and buckets full of wine to be upturned, and dancing in the streets thereafter.
Where: Haro, Spain | Duration 28 Jun - 30 Jun