What's on around the world in April

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What's on around the world in April

Taking part in a local celebration or an international event while overseas is a great way to get a unique cultural perspective and meet people from all around the world. If you are travelling in April this year, you can experience one of these amazing events or festivals.

Travellers and locals alike enjoy all the action of the Songkran Water Festival in Thailand.

Thai New Year (Songkran Water Festival), Thailand

Experience a water fight like no other from the 13th to the 15th of April, as the Songkran Water Festival celebrates the lunar New Year in Thailand. During the three day festival, images of the Buddha are bathed and Thai elders are honoured by having scented water poured over their hands. Throughout Songkran anyone and everyone is fair game to be soaked by water balloons, water guns, hoses and buckets. If you want to get involved in all the action, head to Chiang Mai in the north where the celebration spills into the streets every day of the festivali. Songkran also involves the releasing of fish and birds; enjoy this experience by visiting Phuket where a colorful parade marks the release of the animalsi.

Formula 1 Grand Prix, Bahrain

Rev-heads will be looking forward to seeing the Kingdom of Bahrain host the Formula 1 Grand Prix on the 7th of April. Bahrain became the first Middle Eastern nation to host the Grand Prix in 2005, winning the prestigious Federation Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) Institute Centre of Excellence Award in 2007 for the world class Bahrain International Circuitii. This year, to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the Bahrain Formula One Grand Prix, the race will be held at night time under floodlights and promises to be a spectacular event.

Monte Carlo Masters, France

The picturesque commune of Roquebrune-Cap-Martin in south eastern France, bordering on Monaco, hosts the Monte Carlo Masters from the 12th of April to the 20th of April this year. Although, you really don't need a tennis tournament as an excuse to visit this beautiful corner of the world! Many of the best male players, including Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, and Rafael Nadal will be competing in the 2014 Masters. Nadal has a special relationship with the Monte Carlo Masters - he won the title eight consecutive times between 2005 and 2012, before Djokovic put an end to his winning streakiii.

New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, USA

'Jazz Fest' is one of New Orleans' biggest parties, second only to Mardi Gras. The festival spans the last weekend of April and the first weekend of May and boasts at least ten stages full of amazing talent. The annual event has been running since 1968 and in the past attracted Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington among many other legendary talentsiv. This year the lineup is impressive and spans genres and eras - you can see Bruce Springsteen, Christina Aguilera, Santana, Trey Songz, Vampire Weekend, Solange andthe New Orleans Jazz Orchestra among many, many more.

The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival boasts some of the best live music in the world.

Festival of St Mark (Feria de San Marcos), Mexico

The Festival of St Mark began as a humble agricultural fair in 1828, but now attracts millions of visitors and runs for almost a whole month, all but shutting down the Mexican city of Aguascalientes for its duration. The festival itself features exhibitions, a beauty pageant, the national poetry awards, free concerts (Shakira performed a few years ago), a variety of other cultural events and a host of impromptu street parties through the nights. The fair comes to a dramatic end with a huge, colourful parade on the 25th of April, the feast day of Saint Mark. The city's population practically doubles during the festival so if you're interested plan ahead and expect accommodation to be more expensive than usualv.

iLonely Planet 2013, Songkran: tips for enjoying Thailand's water festival, viewed 5 March 2014,

iiFIA Institute, Bahrain International Circuit, viewed 28 February 2014,
http://summit.fiainstitute.com/summit/bahrain-international-circuit.php" rel="nofollow

iiiBBC 2013, Novak Djokovic beats Rafael Nadal to win Monte Carlo tite, viewed 5 March 2014,
http://www.bbc.com/sport/0/tennis/22239813" rel="nofollow

ivLonely Planet 2013, A guide to NOLA's second biggest party, viewed 17 Feb 2014,

vLonely Planet 2013, Tips for enjoying Mexico's largest state fair, viewed 17 Feb 2014,