Event-o-Rama: 10 Must-Dos in April
There are some amazing events on tap all over the world, all the time. Here’s a taste of what you can see and do in April:
- Need some light in your life? More than 100,000 illuminated lanterns flood the streets of Seoul during the Lotus Lantern Festival (April 25-27), a yearly tribute commemorating the birth of Buddha. The three-day celebration, which features traditional song, dance, and art–and street food galore–culminates with a massive parade through the heart of South Korea’s capital city.
- Celebrate the arrival of spring–in 360-degree splendor–at this year’s Tulpenfestival (April 16-May 4) in the central Netherlands. Each year, thousands of visitors flock to the Noordoostpolder region–the country’s tulip capital–to hike, bike, or travel by wagon or carriage through fields that practically explode with color.
- Follow the beat of the drums to the biggest powwow in North America. Thousands of indigenous dancers, drummers, and singer, artists, crafters, and traders representing more than 500 tribes will converge on Albuquerque, New Mexico, for the Gathering of Nations (April 24-26).
- Hear the music of J.S. Bach played where he lived and created during the Thuringian Bach Festival (April 11-May 4) in Thuringia, Germany. The theme of this year’s annual musical tribute, which features scores of concerts staged in venues related to the composer’s life, is “Father and Son”–a nod to the 300th anniversary of the birth of Bach’s son, Philipp Emanuel, who followed in his famous father’s footsteps.
- Be a part of a time-honored tradition in a peerless setting at Semana Santa (April 6-13) in Antigua, Guatemala. You don’t have to be a Christian to appreciate the artistry of the elaborate float processions that characterize this Easter celebration–or the beautiful “carpets” made of flowers and dyed sawdust that transform this colonial city into a work of art.
- Let your inner pagan come out to play on Walpurgisnacht (April 30) in Schierke, Germany (April 30). Don your best witch costume and join thousands of visitors at the foot of highest peak in Northern Germany to pay homage to the coming of spring and ward off evil spirits around a roaring bonfire. Live music and a rousing parade round out this devilish event.
- Georgia may be known for its peaches, but there’s another tree that turns heads around this time of year. Head to the Atlanta Dogwood Festival (April 11-13) to see the delicate blossoms in peak bloom. Now in its 78th year, this beloved event features “every kind of art imaginable,” an array of musical offerings, “backyard barbecue,” and a village that’s just for the kiddos.
- Experience the beauty of Asheville, North Carolina, with a side of electronic music at Moogfest (April 23-27). This annual festival–which is dedicated to the synthesis of technology, art, and music and honors the legacy of music visionary Dr. Robert Moog–is in a league of its own and girded by a lofty mission: “[to chart] the course for a future of unknown sight and sound.”
- Want to test your limits? Thousands of runners will test their stamina at the annual Dead Sea Ultra Marathon (April 4) in Amman, Jordan. Beginning in the Bayader Wadi Seer neighborhood, runners will pound the pavement for 50 kilometers (just over 31 miles) as they make their way to the lowest lying land on Earth. Shorter runs are offered for the less ambitious among us, so lace up your running shoes and register today.
- Speaking of stamina, you’ll need some at the Feria de San Marcos, a 23-day party in Aguascalientes, Mexico (April 19-May 11). This ancient festival has it all–rodeo shows, traditional food, handicrafts, bull fighting, horse racing, carnival rides, you name it–and doesn’t stop when the sun goes down. By night the Bajío city is “literally buzzing with Mariachi brass.”
What would you add to the list? Let us know what we’re missing by leaving a comment.