The period around the end of March and the beginning of April marks the start of spring in many countries around the world, and, perhaps because of this, it is a time of the year peppered with different events, happenings and attractions. Clearly, there is only room here to highlight a few of the vast number of festivals, parties and celebrations which will be taking place, so the focus is on the more unusual and perhaps lesser known events which may not receive wider publicity.
The towns surrounding the volcanic Mount Aso in southern Japan stage a Fire Festival every year. Events include setting fire to the plains surrounding the mountain, something which is called No-yaki and is done to keep the grass in the best possible position, and, most spectacularly, the Dai Himonjiyaki.
This takes place on the second Saturday in march and involves a gigantic version of the Chinese symbol for fire, measuring some 350 metres, appearing on the side of the mountain.
The city of Funchal, in Portugal, plays host to the annual Festival de Jardins do Funchal (Festival of the Gardens). This takes place in the Jardim Almirante Reis, in what was the historic centre of the city, and involves virtually every one of the locals, from businesses through artists to residents, creating small gardens of their own design for locals and visitors to enjoy exploring. Those taking part are gifted a specific lot which they then design, plant and maintain for 11 months until the festival takes place. At the end of the festival, prizes are given out for the best gardens on display.
If you’re into fast cars in a big way then there really is no better place to spend the Easter Weekend of Friday 18th to Sunday 20th April than at the Santa Pod Raceway festival of Power in Wellingborough, United Kingdom.
Attractions include stunt shows, monster trucks and flying displays, whilst on the track some of the fastest and most powerful cars in the world will be battling it out or simply showing what they can do. Highlights include a Rocket car and two Dragsters which roar down the tarmac at more than 300 mph.
The Galway food festival , taking place in Galway, Ireland, is a four day festival of good food running from 17th to the 21st of April. Now in its’ third year it will offer the opportunity to sample the very best of the local food, in terms of both produce and cooking. The timing of the festival is crucial, since spring is the time of year when many of the finest ingredients, such as locally caught trout and salmon and Connemara Spring lamb, are at their very best.
The Sydney Royal Easter Show is the largest event to be held in Australia every year. It offers a little bit of more or less everything for visitors to sample and takes place throughout March and April. Fantastic Australian food and drink are celebrated, as is the country’s agricultural heritage. Fun comes in the form of fairground rides, nightly entertainment in the main arena and activities including a rodeo series, unicyclist displays and circus workshops.
The Sydney Royal Easter Show is Australia’s largest annual event. It is an iconic showcase of Australian culture, heritage and agricultural excellence, combining world-class competitions and educational activities with the fun of carnival rides, entertainment and great food and wine experiences for a fun filled day with family or friends. Country and city combine in this tribute to Australia’s agricultural heritage. From the Australian themed night time main arena entertainment and international rodeo series through to high dive and unicyclist shows and circus workshops, the Sydney Royal Easter Show is great fun for the young and young at heart.