Have you booked your tickets and purchased a tent? The summer festival season is just around the corner. (Featured image by Stefan Leijon)
It may not feel like it at the moment, but summer is surely on the way and for many of us that means a few days in a field with some great music.
We Brits are pretty good at festivals, but they know a thing or two about them in other countries too.
Yet while festivals abroad are full of the usual raucous music and party atmospheres, they do seem to be rather messier than our homegrown events.
So, if you’re looking for a festival with a difference this year and don’t mind ruining some of your clothes, try one of these messy celebrations.
La Tomatina, Spain
Probably the most well-known messy festival in the world, La Tomatina is billed as the world’s biggest food fight.
Taking place at the end of August in Bunol, a town in the Valencia region of Spain, La Tomatina sees thousands of revellers come together to throw tomatoes at each other in a blood-red mass brawl.
The tomato fight isn’t the only attraction at La Tomatina; there’s also music, parades and plenty of drinking to enjoy too.
Battle of the Oranges, Italy
Not one to be outdone by its Mediterranean neighbour, Italy holds a large-scale food fight of its own each year.
Taking place in the Northern Italian town of Ivrea in February, the Battle of the Oranges is a little more organised than La Tomatina.
Instead of an every-man-for-himself melee, the Battle of the Oranges sees organised groups attack armoured ‘palace guards’ in what is a more orchestrated battle.
This Hindu festival, which is held in India and around the world, has got to be the most colourful religious celebration on the planet.
Held around March each year, Holi can last up to 16 days and sees Hindus around the world light bonfires, throw colourful powder and celebrate the start of spring.
While Holi is a Hindu festival, it is an incredibly open and inclusive occasion – anyone and everyone is welcome to join in the fun.
If you don’t fancy trying the world’s biggest food fight, how about the world’s biggest water fight? If this sounds more like your thing, head over to Thailand this April.
The South-east Asian country’s version of New Year’s Day is a three-day event with the emphasis on getting soaked.
People nationwide will patrol the streets with buckets of water and water pistols, waiting to drench anyone who comes close. Given April is the hottest and driest month of the year in Thailand, most people welcome the drenching.
Although not necessarily billed as the world’s biggest mud fight, the iconic Glastonbury Festival often feels that way after a day or two of downpours.
The last Glastonbury Festival, in 2011, was relatively dry, but there’s no guarantee that it will be the same this year.
So, if you’re heading to Somerset this year, be sure to bring a pair or two of wellies and be prepared to kiss goodbye to any clothes you take.