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International festivals and events July 2017

July 04, 2017

International festivals and events you don’t want to miss in July 2017

Local festivals and celebrations are a great way to experience the culture and traditions of a country. From bull runs to boat races, oil wrestling to parades, here are some unique and colourful festivals and events that you wouldn't want to miss this July:

1. San Fermin, Running of the Bulls

Location: Pamplona, Spain
Dates: 7 - 14 July

The most internationally renowned fiesta in Spain, the festival of San Fermin, or the Running of the Bulls as it’s commonly known, draws over one million people each year. Part of the festivities dedicated to the town’s patron saint, San Fermin, it is celebrated every year from July 7th to 14th. The Bull Run starts at the corral in Calle Santo Domingo at 8 am, when the bulls charge behind hundreds of runners for 825 metres through the streets of the old quarter. An unpredictable and adrenaline filled experience for spectators and runners alike, the run usually lasts between two and five minutes until the bulls enter the bull ring.

2. Champakulam Snake Boat Race

Location: Kerala, India
Date: July 8

Snake boat races are very popular in the south Indian state of Kerala from the months of June to September. The oldest and first boat race of the season, the Champakulam Boat Race is held on the River Pampa in Champakulam village of Alappuzha district. The grand Chundan vallams or the snake boats of Kerala are long, canoe style boats with elevated prows that resemble the hood of a raised snake, hence the name. Originally conceived as war boats, present day snake boats are anywhere between 100 to 140 feet long, and are used mainly for racing. Each snake boat can hold 100 people, which includes the rowers, helmsmen (who stand and help steer the boat), and two musicians who sing songs and beat the fire platforms with poles to maintain the rowing rhythm. The exotic water floats and artists that perform before the race, the vibrant energy of the oarsmen and the rhythmic sound made by hundreds of oars cutting through the water in unison makes this boat racing festival a big hit with tourists, both local and international.

3. World Bodypainting Festival

Location: Klagenfurt, Austria
Date: 28 - 30 July

The biggest annual bodypainting festival and competition, the World Bodypainting Festival takes place in Austria. The festival, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, offers visitors a colourful blend of art, fashion and music in the Open Air art park "Bodypaint City". Artists from more than 50 different countries express their creativity by painstakingly decorating the bodies of their human canvasses (models), in an amazing array of colours and intricate designs. Spectators are treated to an explosion of colour in competitions such as UV Bodypainting, Face painting, Special effects Make-up and Creative Make-up. Workshops are organized by leading artists in categories such as brush and sponge, airbrush, special effects, beauty make-up and head dressing. Other popular events include the Surreal Costume Ball (Body Circus) and the newly added (Zombie Crawl) with international DJs and musical stage performances.

4. Marrakesh Popular Arts Festival

Location: Marrakesh, Morocco
Dates: 17 - 21 July

Marrakesh Popular Arts Festival is the oldest festival in Marrakech, featuring traditional music, theatre, poetry and art, spread over 5 days. The festival attracts ancient folk and belly dancers, pop, fusion and traditional Berber musicians, acrobats, theatre groups, storytellers, magicians, fortune tellers, snake charmers and entertainers from all over Morocco, Africa, Asia, Europe and other parts of the world. While major events of the festival are performed at the grounds of El Badi Palace, other events take place in Djemaa El Fna, Marrakech’s main square.  Not to be missed is Fantasia, a Moroccan Dinner and Cultural Show, just outside Marrakech city, which features exotic singers, belly dancers, acrobats and fire-eaters, along with electrifying displays of tribal horsemanship.

5. Kirkpinar Oil Wrestling

Location: Edirne, Turkey
Dates: 1 - 7 July

The Kirkpinar Oil Wrestling Festival, held annually in Turkey since 1361 (Ottoman times), holds the Guinness World Record for being the longest continuing sporting competition in history. Hundreds of wrestlers from all over Turkey, in the age group of twelve to forty, compete in this three-day elimination tournament held in the Sarayici district of Edirne. To make holding difficult during the bouts, wrestlers cover their body with olive oil and wear tight short leather trousers made of water buffalo hide or calfskin breeches called “Kispet”. To win a bout, a wrestler has to pin his opponent to the ground or lift him above his shoulders.

6. Tomorrowland

Location: Boom, Belgium
Dates: 21 - 23 July, 28 - 30 July

A must visit for music lovers, Tomorrowland is the largest electronic dance music festival in the world, offering the best of House, EDM, techno, drum and bass, hardstyle and every other style of electronic music.  A party marathon with an entire weekend of pulsating electronic music, some of the most renowned DJs in the industry perform at Tomorrowland, making it the ultimate EDM festival. To accommodate more fans, the festival will be extending to two weekends this year, from 21 - 23 and the 28 - 30 of July.

7. Comic Con International

Location: San Diego, USA
Date: 20 - 23 July

A four-day comic-based convention and related popular art forms, Comic-Con International is held annually at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, California. One of the largest conventions of its kind in the world, San Diego’s Comic-Con offers the latest in comic books across various genres and related merchandise, gaming, movies, television, collectibles, cosplay and more.  Top attractions include the Children's Film Festival, Anime screenings, Games, The Art Show which offers original works for sale by both amateurs and professionals and the Masquerade, where you get to see some amazing costume creations. Fans can get autographs of their favourite comic artists in the Artists' Alley, watch previews of upcoming feature films and television shows, and meet famous movie and TV personalities

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8. Pride in London Parade

Location: Trafalgar Square, London
Date: 8 July

Pride parades or festivals are events which celebrate lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) culture and pride. The Pride in London Parade is one of the biggest LGBT+ annual parades in Europe. This year’s theme is ‘Love Happens Here’ and marks the 50th anniversary of homosexuality being legalised in the UK. Soak up the spectacular entertainment in Trafalgar Square, which hosts the main stage and stalls on the day of the Parade. The Parade starts in Portland Place at 1 pm and takes a 2.3 km route, moving from the BBC's Broadcasting House to Oxford Circus, down Regent Street, and across Piccadilly Circus to Pall Mall, then heads towards Trafalgar Square, and finishes in Whitehall at 4.30 pm. With more than 300 groups marching down the route, the LGBT community's big day in London is going to be big and colourful this year. People interested in watching and supporting the parade can do so behind the barriers along the route.

9. Blue Dot Festival

Location: Cheshire, England
Date: 7 - 9 July

A celebration of science, arts, music, and the exploration of space, the Blue Dot Festival returns for a consecutive year to Jodrell Bank, a deep space observatory in the Cheshire countryside. Named “Bluedot” after a photograph of planet Earth taken from the Voyager 1 space probe, this year’s festival promises to be an exciting weekend of discovery, with live scientific experiments, workshops and talks by expert, interactive installations and an incredible line-up of music, set against the backdrop of the iconic Lovell Telescope.

10. International Youth Arts Festival

Location: Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames
Date: 7 - 16 July

The International Youth Arts Festival is a platform for emerging artists under 27 years old, held in the historic town of Kingston upon Thames. A 10 day multi-arts festival, with over 200 events, it showcases the best talent of innovative, young artists from around the world, in the field of theatre, music, dance, visual arts, film, comedy, spoken word, carnival and circus. 

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