From cultural occasions and artistic exhibitions, to music events and national festivals, there are numerous fantastic and diverse proceedings being held around the globe. Upon retirement, people can really make the most of their free time and hard earned savings, by making their way to the particular events they have always wanted to attend, but past commitments made it near impossible.
One fantastic idea is to spend a year attending all those things you’ve always wanted to – and some you never knew you did. Travelling to various earmarked events during a period of 12 months is a great alternative to a gap year, as it means that while you enjoy the thrill of frequent travelling, you won’t be away from loved ones for too long. This would not cause any problems when it comes to insurance either – simply opt for an Annual Multi-trip Travel Insurance, which allows you to jet off as many times as you fancy during the year.
With this in mind, Rachel Fox, publishing manager at Insight Publishing, as well as publisher of Insight and Berlitz travel guides, has compiled a list of some of her must-see events around the world – although she admits: “This is really hard because there is a fair bit to choose from.”
The Dragon Boat Festival – Singapore
First on Rachel’s list is The Dragon Boat Festival in Singapore, which takes place in May and June every year. This promises to be a breathtaking spectacle, and is something that draws residents and tourists alike, being “a really big thing in Singapore”.
“It has lots of colourful boats all with prows carved to represent dragons or birds and propelled by several pairs of strong arms and it is an international class event and draws teams from Australia, Europe and the US,” Rachel explains.
Montreal International Jazz Festival – Canada
Described by The New York Times as “The King of Montreal’s assorted summer cultural festivals”, the Montreal International Jazz Festival is a must-see for anyone who loves the sound and the vibe of Jazz – and those who do not know that they do yet. The philanthropic organisers ensure that they make jazz accessible to anyone who wants to hear it, and there are over 300 free shows as well as the ticketed events, meaning a lack of money really is no obstacle.
Revellers will enjoy just walking the streets and soaking up the infectious atmosphere of this event. The Montreal International Jazz Festival takes place in late June/early July each year.
The Edinburgh Fringe Festival and the International Festival – Scotland
It may be closer to home than some of the other destinations on the list, but the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and the International Festival can be just as enjoyable to experience. Set against the breathtaking backdrop of Edinburgh’s stunning skyline, revellers make their way to the city’s unique performance spaces to see their favourite comics and artists. As many iconic performers have started out at Edinburgh, visitors can even try to scout for the success stories of the future. As Rachel underlined: “There is a huge range of stuff to choose from. From street theatre, from subversive to stand up, to opera and ballet, art and all kinds of stuff that is free and paid for.”
Oktoberfest – Germany
British people may be of the impression that the iconic German beer festival Oktoberfest is simply a place people go to drink a lot, but Rachel assures us that for most of the German people who visit, it is simply “a really lovely family event”. The festival features a great big jamboree, folk musicians, rides, a circus, bands and all kinds of other things.
The expert enthused: “People go there every year and big families go together and have a really lovely time so it is not just about drinking lots of beer, there is other stuff too – lots of music and really nice food as well.”
The Lantern Festival – China
The Lantern Festival is traditionally held to celebrate the full moon and hope for a big harvest, but it really is unique in its beauty and sense of community. Iconic of the Lantern Festivals are moon cakes – pastries filled with a sesame paste – which revellers buy.
Rachel described the spectacle of the luminous festival in Hong Kong, by saying: “They have these beautiful lantern parades – you can go through the parks in Hong Kong and there are people sitting out there with all the lanterns and it is really beautiful thing to see.”