2014 Expat Calendar

Worldwide festivals expats should attend

New Year’s Race Berlin
1st January

A 4km run through the streets of Berlin, the perfect New Year's hangover cure
1st-2nd January

The Scottish celebration of New Year, Scottish traditions are observed and there is an extra bank holiday on the 2nd.
  Chinese New Year
31st January

Can take place in either January or February, with celebrations lasting for approximately 2 weeks.
Sydney Mardi Gras
7th Feb – 2nd March

A celebration of the LGBT community that takes its origins from the Sydney gay rights marches of the 1970’s.
  Venice Carnival
22nd Feb – 4th March

A festival dating back to 1162, finishing as lent begins and synonymous with Venetian masks.
  Rio Carnival
28th Feb

A colourful blend of Brazilian traditions, dancing and music, dating back to 1823.
Holi festival in India
17th March

The Hindu festival of colours celebrates the victory of good over evil, taking its name from the Hindu story depicting the defeat of the evil demon Holika.
  St Patrick’s Day
17th March

What began as a religious festival is now a celebration of all things Irish and where better to spend St. Patrick’s Day than in Ireland?
Songkran Water Festival
13th – 15th April

Huge water fights herald the start of Thai New Year, symbolising cleansing and a fresh start for the year ahead.
27th April

This Dutch national holiday sees citizens taking to the streets in celebration of the king, typically wearing orange.
Cinco de Mayo
5th May

This celebration of the cause of freedom and democracy during the opening period of the civil war takes place in Mexico and parts of the USA.
  Cannes Film Festival
14th-25th May

Film stars and celebrities from across the globe gather for this world famous film festival.
  White Nights Festival
23rd May – 10th July

Midnight twilights occur as a result of phenomena in the Arctic and Antarctic circles, with Russians celebrating all things art during this period.
Midnight Sun Festival
20th-21st June

In Sweden, sunlight is visible at midnight as a result of the same natural phenomenon and is celebrated with a 24 hour festival packed with traditional activities.
US Independence Day
4th July

The celebration of the independence gained in 1776, it features carnivals, family gatherings, traditional meals and, of course, firework displays.
  Running of the Bulls
7th-14th July

Pamplona is the most famous incident of this Spanish tradition, where a bull chases people through a section of the town.
  Bastille Day
14th July

A celebration of French independence, celebrated on the anniversary of the storming of the Bastille.
Venice International Film Festival
27th Aug – 6th Sept

The world’s oldest international film festival attracts a host of famous actors and filmmakers each year.
  La Tomatina
27th Aug

This hugely enjoyable Spanish event sees people throwing tomatoes at each other in the streets, for fun! It takes place in Bunol, Valencia.
BBC Proms in the Park
13th Sept

An outdoor music event in Hyde Park, London, taking place at the culmination of the BBC Proms.
20th Sept – 5th Oct

A German festival that predominantly involves drinking beer, hence why it’s so popular! However, there are events tailored towards families during Oktoberfest.
Phuket Vegetarian Festival
14th October (date TBC)

Locals spend 10 days as vegetarians, believing that it will cleanse their spirits and bring good fortune.
31st October

Celebrated across the world, yet celebrations in America are far more extravagant and houses can stay decorated in the festive spirit for weeks.
Dia de Muertos
1st-2nd November

A Mexican celebration of lost friends and family members, during which altars are built using sugar skulls, marigolds and food/beverages enjoyed by the deceased.
23rd-27th November

A 5 day celebration for Hindu New Year that takes place in India, also known as the festival of lights.
27th November

On the 4th Thursday of November each year, Americans give thanks for the previous year and spend time with their families watching American football and the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
Full Moon Party
25th or 31st December

Parties take place in Ko Pha Ngan before or after every full moon, meaning that they take place throughout the year. However, visiting at either Christmas or New Year offers the best experience.