What's on around the world in May 2015

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What's on around the world in May 2015


Asia has a host of religious and cultural festivals this month. If you're in Hong Kong, don't miss the Birthday of Buddha celebrations on 25 May. The biggest ceremony will be held at Po Lin Monastery on Lantau Island, where the world famous Big Buddha statue can be foundi. In Cheung Chau, near Hong Kongii, the Cheung Chau Bun Festival runs from 22 to 26 May. The festival highlight is the Bun Scrambling Competition, which calls all aspiring climbers to reach the top of the 14-metre-high 'bun' towers to reach the luckiest buns.

The Samui Regatta from 23 to 30 May is one for yacht racing fans. There will be over 500 competitors from more than 22 different countries racing against each other on the water.iiiThe beauty of Koh Samui combined with an exciting program of events at the end of each dayiv make this a regatta not to be missed.

The biggest ceremony for Buddha's Birthday will be held at Po Lin Monastery on Lantau Island, where the world famous Big Buddha statue can be found.


The Fes Festival of World Sacred Music is celebrating its 21st birthday this year. From 22 to 30 May, the festival will draw musicians, scholars and disciples of all faiths from across the globe to the ancient city of Fes. From Scottish Gaelic jigs to the bagpipe bands of Brittany, as well as the sitar songs of India and the music of Morocco, this festival will enrapture and enthral with its selection of spiritual world music.

The Festival Mawazine Rhythms of the World brings together artists from around the world and is also taking place in Morocco from 29 May to 6 June. The 14th edition of this festival will feature internationally renowned artists including Sean Paul, Usher, Akon, Maroon 5 and Placebo.


The 68th Cannes Film Festival will take centre stage from 13 to 24 May. Showcasing a variety of international films from well-known and up-and-coming directors, the festival promises to captivate audiences with the best in contemporary cinema. This year's jury will include Joel and Ethan Coen, the famed directors of Fargo and No Country for Old Men.v In Paris, the Roland-Garros French Open will see the world's best female and male tennis champions battle it out on the clay courts from 19 May to 7 June.

Across the channel in the UK, round eight of the Rugby Sevens World Series will have Scotstoun Stadium in Glasgow packed to the rafters from 9 to 10 Mayvi. If you miss the action there, head down to London for the final round at Twickenham Stadium from 16 to 17 Mayvii. The Cooper Hill's Cheese Rolling Festival is on once again in Gloucestershire on 25 May. Give the grey matter a workout at the Hay Festival in Wales that brings together scientists, environmentalists, politicians, comedians and writers including Stephen Fry, Germaine Greer and Jacqueline Wilson to share their wisdom and encourage discussion from 21 to 31 May.

Venice will be opening its doors to the mix of art, architecture, cinema, music, theatre and dance of the Venice Biennale from 9 May.

Venice will be celebrating art, architecture, cinema, music, theatre and dance during the Venice Biennale from 9 May. Running until November, the Biennale will feature the 56th International Art Exhibition titled 'All the World's Futures', where artist Fiona Hall AO will be representing Australia in the historic Giardini.

North America

New York will once again be home to the World Science Festival, a thought-provoking five-day extravaganza of all things science. It runs from 27 to 31 May and includes more than 50 events such as discussions, scientific challenges and the Ultimate Science Street Fair.

While the main event of the Indy 500 will be on 24 May, there's a long list of qualifying events, practice runs and challenges starting on 3 May. For more fast-paced action, the Kentucky Derby on 2 May will see 20 horses that have already competed in 35 qualifying races charge their way to the finish line for the prestigious $2 million prize money.viii

Celebrate Cinco de Mayo in historic Puebla, Mexico, from 5 to 30 May. The main event of this commemoration is the Cinco de Mayo Parade which runs along the Boulevard Cinco de Mayo. This parade attracts more than 20,000 people each yearix, but if you're looking for a larger festivity, why not head to Los Angeles for the world's largest Cinco de Mayo celebrationx from 1 to 5 May.

The Cinco de Mayo Parade attracts more than 20,000 people each year.

If you're in America during May, there are many springtime music festivals to enjoy. Kicking the month off in Memphis, Tennessee, is the Beale Street Music Festival from 1 to 3 May. Rock in Rio USA follows shortly after in Las Vegas, Nevada, from 8 to 9 and 15 to 16 May, while you can Hangout along Gulf Shores in Alabama from 15 to 17 May. If that isn't enough, visit Detroit for the Movement Music Festival from 23 to 25 May, the west coast for Sasquatch! at the Gorge, Washington, from 22 to 24 May, or the Summer Camp Music Festival in Chillicothe, Illinois, from the 22 to 24 May.

California will have you set for all your music festival needs with the California Roots Music and Arts Festival from 22 to 24 May, the Joshua Tree Music Festival from 14 to 17 May and Lightning in a Bottle from 21 to 25 May. Ending the month with a bang is BottleRock in Napa Valley, California, from 29 to 31 May featuring No Doubt, Foster the People and Snoop Dogg in one event.

Running for over a century, San Francisco's Bay to Breakers race on 17 May is the oldest consecutively run footrace in the world. The 12-km race begins near the San Francisco Bay and finishes near the Pacific Coast's Ocean Beach on the Great Highway.

iDiscover Hong Kong, Hong Kong Cultural Celebrations, viewed 26 March 2015,

iiDiscover Hong Kong, Chinese Festivals, viewed 26 March 2015,

iiiSamui Regatta, The Regatta, viewed 26 March 2015,

ivSamui Regatta, Schedule 2015, viewed 26 March 2015,

vFestival de Cannes 2015, Joel and Ethan Coen to preside over the Jury of the 68th Festival de Cannes, 19 January, viewed 26 March 2015,

viWorld Rugby, HSBC Sevens World Series set for biggest year, viewed 26 March 2015,

viiWorld Rugby, HSBC Sevens World Series set for biggest year, viewed 26 March 2015,

viiiKentucky Derby, About the Road to the Kentucky Derby, viewed 26 March 2015,

ixBarbezat, S, 'Cinco de Mayo in Puebla', About Travel, viewed 26 March 2015,

xBarbezat, S, '5 Surprising Facts About Cinco de Mayo', About Travel, viewed 26 March 2015,