Special Feature
Edinburgh Fringe Festival

From the 2 to 26 of August, you should try to be in Edinburgh, Scotland because that is where they say “the greatest show on legs takes place!” where they like things on the edge and if the brink is where you like to be, then this is the perfect fest for you. In the 1947 Edinburgh International Festival, eight groups gate crashed to show their skills to the world and this is what set the spirit of the fest. The Fringe Festival is open to everyone and has grown into the biggest arts celebration in the world; it is the testimony to the spirit of freedom of expressing yourself freely. This freedom leads to innovation. The participants are a heterogeneous bunch of TV celebrities, student theatre companies, musicians both beginners and seasoned pros. Edinburgh Fringe Festival takes place all over the city. This year Edinburgh Fringe Festival is likely to hold around 2000 shows with over 30,000 performances! So, if you've got something to show, Edinburgh is where you've got to go!

La Tomatina Spain

Come August and all roads lead to Bunol near Valencia in Spain where you can indulge in tomato throwing and hearty feasting at the La Tomatina Festival on 28 August, 2013. Around 150,000 ripe and soft skinned tomatoes are sacrificed for this festival. The whole event takes place near the town centre in a narrow street (La Calle de Cid). The festivities begin with the game Palo Jabón, where a daring individual has to climb up a pole that has been greased with lard and get a piece of ham which is hanging on the top of the pole. After that the fest officially begins.

As you wait in anticipation in the narrow street, along with almost 40,000 others (who are probably already drunk), a loud canon is fired, signalling the start of the unruly tomato fight. Four big red trucks arrive with the ammo and after that the tomato pelting fury starts. The rules for the tomato fight are simple enough: no ammo other than tomatoes is allowed, and all tomatoes must be squished before you throw them. After exactly one hour, a second canon is fired to signal the end of the festival. At this point, the firemen arrive, hosing down the streets as well as those still in it.

Ghost Festival

You should beware of Chung Yuan in Taiwan in August and especially on 21st August 2013. In the Ghost festival the living descendants pay homage to their deceased ancestors and on Ghost Day, the deceased are believed to visit the living.

An aura of fear and gloom cloaks the place. People do not step out of their houses and the markets and malls are deserted. People lay out supplies of food, incense and money (fake notes). Offerings of fish, meat, vegetables and even alcoholic drinks are made to the departed souls. Operas perform non-stop, as it is believed that music soothes the soul.

Notting Hill Carnival

From 25 to 28 August, 2013 the streets in Notting Hill, London transform into a psychedelic splash called the Notting hill Carnival. It is one of the largest street festivals held in Europe. Vibrant coloured costumes are the hallmark of this festival. Sumptuous Caribbean food, music and vibrant colours add charm to this fest. The Notting Hill Carnival was started by the West Indian community of the Notting Hill area as a local festival and today this festival has turned into a huge Caribbean carnival that attracts millions of visitors from all over the world.

The main parade will take place on 27 August, 2013, that starts on Great Western Road and along Chepstow Road, on to Westbourne Grove, and then head to Ladbroke Grove. The parade comes to an end in the evening and then the streets are left for party animals to enjoy themselves.

Sziget Festival

Held between 5 - 12 August 2013 in Budapest, Hungary the Sziget Festival is one of the biggest music and cultural extravaganza in Europe. ‘Sziget’ meaning ‘Island’, is held on the Northern Budapest Island on the River Danube.

Sziget Festival includes acts from various genres and at present stages more than 1000 performances each year. It also offers theatre, dance, classical music, cabaret, films, fine art, crafts, literary presentations, programmes for kids, sports and other recreational activities. Sziget Festival 2013 will celebrate its 21st year with performances from renowned artists namely - Korn, The Vaccines, Magnetic Man, Two Door Cinema Club, Beatsteaks, dEUS, Ministry, Bebel Gilberto, Caro Emerald and many others. As far as international music festivals go, this one is pretty much unbeatable.

So this August let your hair down, have fun and make merry. Celebrate these festivals! This tip-sheet will help you be up-to-date on all the happening festivals around the world.