What's on around the world in June
If you're thinking about escaping the Australian winter then you're in luck, because some of the biggest and best festivals and events in the world are on this June. So while things are cooling down at home, why not explore something totally new? From the colour and spirit of Pride Week in New York City to the ancient traditions of the Incan Festival of the Sun, there's something on in every corner of the world!
FIFA World Cup, Brazil
12th June to 13th July
The countdown is on for the, the 2014 FIFA World Cup! No matter which soccer team you're cheering for, nothing compares to experiencing the matches live and in-the-flesh. This year's world cup promises to be particularly electric because all the action is taking place in the party capital of the world, Brazil. Last time Brazil hosted the World Cup, in 1950, the finals match in Rio de Janeiro created the record attendance for any FIFA World Cup match . If you're wondering whether the crowds will bring out the vuvuzela horns that created a lot of noise during the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, Brazillian organisers have recognised their own official instrument, the caxirolaii.
Queenstown Winter Festival, New Zealand
20th to 29th June
Some of us might be trying to escape the cold, but if you're a fan of winter sports and all things snow, it's the best time of the year to visit Queenstown, New Zealand! Winterfest in Queenstown has been going since 1975; it's a ten day celebration of the city’s unique culture and beautiful winter landscape. If you're in town for the festival, you can expect an atmosphere of revelry with street parties, fireworks, mountain races, music and comedy. There are also lots of family friendly events, as well as plenty of opportunities to take part in the action sports that the birthplace of bungee jumping is known foriii.
Glastonbury Festival of Contemporary Performing Arts, UK
25th to 29th June
The Glastonbury festival in Somerset, England is any music fan's dream. The annual event sees more than 175,000 revellers on 900 acres of - usually muddy - farmland. It's considered one of the best music festivals in the world, with one of the most impressive line-ups every year. In 2014, there's something to suit everyone's musical persuasion from Arcade Fire to Dolly Parton to De La Souliv.
Dragon Boat Festival, China
This festival has ancient roots, honouring a Chinese poet and politician, Qu Yuan, who protested the Qin state's invasion during 278 BC by throwing himself into the river. According to legend, the town's people took to their fishing boats and tried to keep the fish and evil spirits from Qu Yuan by beating drums and splashing oars. Today, this noble figure is honoured during the Dragon Boat Festival as China's rivers fill with colourfully decorated boats made to look like dragons. If you're lucky enough to be in Hunan Province for this festival, you can expect to see an amazing show on the water, complete with gongs and races. During the day, people feast on special triangular rice dumplings and by night the streets come alive with traditional dragon dancing and firecrackersv.
Summer solstice, Stonehenge, UK
Every year, people from all over the world make their way to Stonehenge for the summer solstice, to witness the sun rise over one of the world's oldest wonders. It might be an ancient tradition, but it remains a truly spectacular sight, and incredibly popular. If you want to be there for the solstice this year, you'll have to book in advance and arrange a camp site. You'll also have to be ready to wake up early because sunrise is at 4.50am on the 21st of June ! After being closed for many years, Stonehenge only reopened for the summer solstice in 1999. While some may see it as a spiritual occasion, others simply welcome the summer solstice as a celebration of the UK's brief sunny seasonvii.
Pride Week, New York City, U.S.
24th to 29th June
The 27th of June marks the date when police raided the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in New York, in 1969. The riots that followed the raid are considered to be the birth of the modern LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) rights movement . To commemorate, New York parties in spectacular style for Pride Week. This year's events kick off with a family night before the rally on the 27th, and then the party begins. There's a Pridefest, rooftop parties, a parade, raves and a dance on the pier. Anyone and everyone is welcome to get involved in all the Pride Week action!
The Incan Festival of the Sun (Inti Raymi), Peru
This Peruvian festival, Inti Raymi, in honour of the sun god, Inti, used to involve mass sacrifices to the gods. Thankfully, the modern re-enactment doesn't involve any bloodshed. However, the event is still rooted in the same 500 year-old traditions celebrating the Incan New Year and winter solstice. If you want to witness these ancient practices, you can book a seat to see it all for yourself. The festival features a procession through the streets of Cuzco with dancing, prayers, music, flowers and women with brooms sweeping away evil spirits. Finally, you can watch a full re-enactment of the ancient sacrificial traditions set amongst ancient Incan ruinsix.
While the south feels the winter chill, summer in the northern hemisphere is in full swing, and all over the world people are finding reason to celebrate! Beyond the FIFA World Cup and summer solstice at Stonehenge, this June has even more to offer. Music fans can warm up for Glastonbury with the Isle of Wight festivalxiii, and beyond the UK it's a big month for music all over the world! The PinkPop festival in the Netherlands will bring over 40 bands together , and in the U.S., the Chicago Blues Fest and Bonnaroo in Tennesee promise some of the biggest parties in the world. Meanwhile, Bloomsday in Dublin, Ireland can take you on a James Joyce inspired journey, but if Irish pub's aren't your speed, you might prefer to experience the Battle of the Wines in La Rioja, Spain . For some spectacular natural beauty, the Stars of the White Nights in St. Petersburg is a chance to celebrate the extended twilight that marks summer nights in Russiaxiv.