Skip to main content

Celebrate Summer

Say goodbye to snowfall and hello to sunshine! Summer is almost here.

Photo by Pexels

In the US, we celebrate our school-free days with boating, barbecues, and baseball. Independence Day, the most fundamental US celebration, reflects how Americans celebrate traditions—with fireworks and food. But how does the rest of the world celebrate the season of the sun? Let’s dive in together and find out.

Aomori Nebuta Matsuri, Japan (August 2024)

Do the hot days of summer ever leave you ready for a nap? The ninth-century people of Japan thought so. The ancient people of Japan created a whole festival to avoid nebuta, meaning “sleep.” For centuries, during the celebration of Aomori Nebuta Matsuri, the people of Aomori have paraded mythical lantern floats throughout their city to press pause on afternoon naps and press play on animated nights. Colorful dancers and musicians unite with the floats to create a lively atmosphere. Attendees better be prepared to help bring energy back to the city because no person is left standing on the sidelines.

Vivid Sydney, Australia (May–June 2024)

Are you more of a cold-weather person? Head over to Southern Hemisphere Australia to see the biggest light show in the world. What started as a tourism project has become a celebration of light, art, and technology. During the day, Vivid Sydney hosts musical performances, displays art exhibitions, and introduces state-of-the-art technology. But at night, the real magic begins. Every evening Vivid Sydney lights up its city with 3D projections and glowing art installations to create an unforgettable experience for the participating crowds.

Dragon Boat Festival, China (June 2024)

Every year on the fifth day of the fifth month, the Yangtze River becomes infested with dragons. Participants of this festival can choose to ride their dragon boat leisurely down the river or compete in a team race to see if their dragon is the fastest around. The festival originated in Southern China to honor Qu Yuan, a Chinese poet and leader. Today, this celebration exists in different regions throughout China to celebrate Qu Yuan and other heroes, such as Yan Hongwo and Wu Zixu. These heroes represent the customs and beliefs of each region.

Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Scotland (August 2024)

Do you like watching acrobats, plays, or comedies? The greatest performing arts festival in the world takes place in Edinburgh. The festival began when eight theater groups crashed an invite-only international festival intending to perform. They inspired others, and the next year even more unofficial participants appeared. Today, over 50,000 international groups from different countries around the world perform, and thousands of people participate in the festival. If you like to sit back, relax, and watch a show, this is the place for you.

Bastille Day, France (July 2024)

The French have their own Independence Day. It commemorates the famous storming of the Bastille, France’s first of many efforts to earn freedom. Today, the French enjoy the freedom they had hoped for, and like residents of the US, they celebrate with parades, picnics, and parties. The streets of Paris are packed with tourists and locals alike straining to see fireworks over the romantic Eiffel Tower. Many say it’s the best fireworks show of their lives. If the busy streets of Paris are too much, step back in time to the Palace of Versailles with a reenactment and see what it might’ve been like to live as Marie-Antoinette and Louis XVI.

Festival of Wreaths, Poland (June 2024)

If you’re looking for a magical atmosphere akin to the fantasy of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the Wianki festival of Krakow, Poland, might just be the thing. On the banks of the Vistula River, natives and tourists alike make flower and herb wreaths. If you want all your dreams to come true, legend says you should light a candle in a wreath and send it down the river. The event ends with the more modern magic of a grand fireworks show.