London is one of the most international cities in the world, which makes it a great destination to explore and enjoy not only the culture of Great Britain, but also what the rest of the world has to offer. London hosts almost 70 festivals a year, each with a different flare and spice. Even more festivals are organized across England, so there are plenty of good excuses to get out of the big city for a day or two.
If live music is your thing, the Glastonbury Festival held in June is an event that is not to be missed.Glastonbury is located in the beautiful southwestern county of Somerset, characterized by picturesque English villages and farmland that stretches as far as the eye can see. International superstars young and old grace the stages of this festival, and also many up and coming acts that are surely to gain worldwide popularity thanks to their performances in this famous concert. It began as a hippie-inspired event in 1970. It still continues to carry the free festival vibe, while fans enjoy eclectic and diverse sounds from all genres. This year performances were given by U2, Coldplay, Beyonce, B.B. King, Paul Simon, Wu-Tang Clan, Radiohead, Mumford and Sons, The Chemical Brothers, Queens of the Stoneage and more.
You have most likely heard of “Carnival” festivals in Brazil in February to celebrate the beginning of Lent. However, did you know that London celebrates Carnival as well? The Notting Hill Carnival is in August but the fiesta is quite similar to those held in other parts of the world. The celebration began in the early 1960’s as a way to unite Londoners of all backgrounds, mainly organized by the Trinidadian and Tobagonian British in London. It has since grown into a very popular celebration of the diverse cultural landscape of London. Although there has been some violence in the past at this event, it is now generally a very safe and fun way to expose oneself to unique experiences within a new and distinct culture while studying abroad. This year they expect that 1 million people will visit theNotting Hill Carnival to enjoy a party with decades of tradition.
Other English festivals include: Cooper’s Hill Cheese-Rolling, Battersea Beer Festival, Birmingham International Jazz Festival, Brick Lane Festival, Bristol International Balloon Fiesta, Cambridge Folk Festival, London Pride, and the list goes on and on.