There are many reasons to love Europe. Free universal healthcare, six-hour dinners, siestas, bier gardens, quaint villages, and modern cities are some of the things to love about Europe. One aspect of life that separates our culture is Europe’s willingness to celebrate; and hold a festival for, pretty much anything. It’s such a part of the culture, you may not even realize it, but there are strange festivals that take place nearly every day of the year throughout Europe. From delicious deserts, to the downright bizarre, here are a couple of festivals that sound pretty neat.
Our Favorite Unique Festivals in Europe
Chocolate culture in Europe pretty much trumps anything we have here in America, with a few small exceptions. While most of America is okay consuming mass produced, prepackaged treats from corporations that also sell pharmaceutical products, Europeans have quite a different standard. Sure you can still buy gas station candy, but a walk into any of the many chocolate shops in France, Italy, or Germany will have you asking yourself how you ever lived without these hand crafted delights. Many shops are family owned and have secrets that are taught with patience and time, and not written down anywhere. One bite and you will be taken away to a world of chocolaty bliss. It remains a mystery how Europeans stay so fit with shops like these all over the place. It’s not like they don’t celebrate their love of the sweet treats. Take a look at the Eurochocolate Festival in Perugia, Italy. This year it runs from the 16-25th of October, and will feature conferences, exhibitions, hands on activities for adults and children, as well as a special chocolate show, which features more chocolate than most people can handle. It might be a good idea to skip Halloween this year and head go on the Italian vacation you have always wanted!
Generally, the wineries in La Rioja, Spain produce two kinds of wine. One is a distinct regional variety that is served on tables and with meals throughout the region. The other is essentially the “schwill” of wines, that serves one purpose: to be dumped onto as many people as it can at the annual Batalla del Vino, or Wine Battle! No one is really sure how the it started, but one thing is for sure, it has evolved into one of the most unique events in Europe. A week of celebration and festivities lead up to the main event, where a crowd of horsemen parade through the town and place a flag on top of a big hill. As the crowds ascend the slopes, some good natured chaos ensues, as the streets and spectators are covered with wine. This is of course followed by more eating, drinking and merriment. Sounds like an excellent Spanish vacation!
When searching for events online, remember that many festivals don’t give as much information on the internet as you would expect, simply because the purpose of their sites is only to inform dates, times and events, not necessarily to attract newcomers. Don’t let that stop you though, you wouldn’t want to miss out!