What's on around the world in June 2015
Visit Florence this June to relive ancient sporting traditions at the annual Florentine soccer competition, 'Calcio storico fiorentino'. Don't be fooled by Florence's charming scenery and the Renaissance garb of the four teams - this game is not for the weak at heart. Twenty-seven players on each team battle against each other - using any physical force necessary - to get the ball into their opponent's goal. The winning team take home a cow - the regional Chianina breed from which the Florentine steak speciality (bistecca alla fiorentina) is made. Visit for the pre-game parades, fireworks and the beauty of Florence before the final match on 24 Junei.
Join the hordes of people in the annual 'Batalla del Vino' or 'Wine Fight' in Haro, a small town in northern Spain. From the 27-29 June, the townspeople will be covered head to toe in the purple tint of the region's red wine. The festivities begin with an all-age street party on the evening of the 28th and then move to the top of a nearby mountain where locals and tourists alike join in the 'batalla del vino'. Wearing white is a must and leaving drenched in wine is a definite!
For a music festival fix, Europe has plenty of events scattered throughout the continent this summer. Distortion signals a week of emerging dance music, street parties and raves in Copenhagen. Let your hair down and get amongst the fray from 3-7 June in Denmark's capital. Continue the party in Denmark at the Roskilde Festival, where over 170 acts will perform from 27 June to 4 July. Escape to the Donau Insel (Danube Island) along Vienna's shore at Donauinselfest, one of Europe's largest free outdoor events to mingle with millions of people and see over 2,000 acts from 26-28 Juneii. One of the UK's most renowned music festivals - the Glastonbury Festival - is on from 24-28 June, promising a star-studded line-up. Lead acts at Glastonbury this year include Kanye West, Florence and the Machine, and Foo Fighters. Also in the UK, for hard rock and metal fans, is Download at Donington Park. Headliners include Slipknot, Muse, KISS and Motley Crue who will rock the stage from 12-14 June.
The European Games in Baku, Azerbaijan will see competitors from all over Europe participate in thirty sports from 12-28 Juneiii. Be part of the first European Games to ever be held and see some of the world sporting heavyweights who are likely to compete at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. 24 Hours of Le Mans is one of the most prestigious motor racing events in the world and it's on this year from 13-14 June. Join the throngs from 12pm on the 14th to see who will take the lead in the final hours of the race. The Wimbledon Tennis Championships are on again this summer in London. Watch tennis champions, such as Petra Kvitova, Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer take to the courts to vie for the prestigious Wimbledon trophyiv. The UEFA Champions League final will be on 6 June at Berlin's Olympiastadionv.
For something a little closer to home, New Zealand is hosting the annual Queenstown Winter Festival from 19-28 June. Heralding the start of winter in this world-renowned mountain resort, the festival promises a long list of activities for the whole family to enjoy, including an extravagant opening party complete with fireworks, an arts and crafts market, a colourful street parade, performances, a masquerade ball and a carnival.
Singapore will be hosting the 28th South-East Asian Games this year, from 5-16 June, with hundreds of professional athletes from eleven South-East Asian countries competing in over thirty sports. Stay a little longer in Singapore to catch the Dragon Boat Festival on 20 June and the Singapore International Festival of Arts when it commences on 26 June. There'll be theatre and street performances, public film screenings and art exhibitions, showcasing a variety of local and international artists.
In Japan, Sanno Matsuri is one of the three largest festivals celebrated in Japan. It's taking place this year over an eleven day period from 6-17 June in Tokyo. At the festival, you can see a parade of people donning ancient costumes making their way through the streets of Tokyo as well as other Japanese traditions and ritualsvi.
The LGBT Pride Celebration in San Francisco will be held on 27-28 June. This year's parade will be influenced by the theme - Equality Without Exception - and will see over 200 parade contingents, 300 exhibitors, and 20 stages and participating venues celebrating the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.
A string of music festivals are lined up for this summer in the USA. Bonnaroo in Manchester, Tennessee will see the likes of Billy Joel, Mumford & Sons, Deadmau5 and Kendrick Lamar take the stage from 11-14 June. In Rothbury, Michigan, the Electric Forest Festival from 25-28 June, will see Skrillex, Kaskade and Flume, amongst over a hundred other artists at this nature-immersed festival.
In the sporting arena, the FIFA Women's World Cup 2015 will be taking place in cities all over Canada from 6 June to 5 July. Twenty-four teams will be reduced to two at the final taking place 5 July at BC Place Stadium, Vancouver. The 115th US Open at Chambers Bay, Washington is on 15-21 June for golf enthusiasts, while the NBA finals will kick off on 4 Junevii.
In Peru, the annual Festival of the Sun (Inti Raymi) will be held 24 June, coinciding with the winter solstice. The celebration starts in the main plaza of Cusco and moves to the Sacsayhuaman Fortress, where participants will see this re-enactment of ancient Inca traditions. Bookings are required to attend.
End the month with a bang... or in this case, the beat of the drum in the heart of the Amazon. The Boi Bumba Festival takes place this year from 26-29 June in Parintins, Brazil. The festival is an explosion of colour and costume as the traditional folktale, involving a poor married couple, a bull, a priest and a shaman, is told through song, dance, giant puppets and vibrant performances. Festival revellers beware, the journey to Parintins can take a few days since the island can only be reached by boat, and due to the limited accommodation on the island, chances are you'll be sleeping on the boat you arrived inviii.