It’s a big world out there. There’s more to see and do than anyone could manage in ten lifetimes. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try! Here’s a list of seven great events on seven continents well worth checking out.
Lake Malawi is the third largest lake in Africa and home to more species of fish than any other lake in the world. Once a year it is also home to a few thousand people who make the journey to this remote body of water for the Lake of Stars Music and Arts Project. Lake of Stars features international and local artists who perform mostly for free. The festival raises millions of dollars for various charities.
Admittedly, there aren’t many options for big events in Antarctica. The continent has exactly zero full-time residents, so large gatherings are hard to come by. Yet, every November, in the heat of the South Pole summer, a few dozen brave souls run the Antarctic ice marathon, 26.2 miles across the tundra. As you might expect, there aren’t many people to cheer on the winners at the finish line.
At the other end of the spectrum, Asia is spoiled for choices when it comes to big gatherings. But one of those events stands above the rest as the world’s largest gathering of humans. The Kumbh Mela is held every three years in India. In 2013, an estimated 80 million people thronged the banks of the Saraswati River.
Australia’s Splendour in the Grass may not be as big as some music festivals, but the Byron Bay mainstay music event manages to attract some top talent. With eclectic lineups that include acts like Kanye West, Coldplay, and Devo, this festival sells out quickly every year.
This list just wouldn’t be complete without the world’s biggest food fight. On the last Wednesday in August, twenty thousand people gather in Bunol, Spain, near Valencia. There they throw around 200 tons of tomatoes at each other in a full-blown food free-for-all known as La Tomatina.
For 10 days in July, you can relive the rough and tumble days of the Wild West. The Frontier Days event in Cheyenne, Wyoming is the world’s oldest rodeo, proudly kicking up dust for over a century.
When most people think of big blowout bashes in Brazil, they think of Carnival in Rio de Janeiro. Those in the know, however, will tell you that the New Year’s Eve celebration in Rio is one of the world’s best. Four million people wear white and party on the beaches of Ipanema and Copacabana, jumping over waves at midnight before a lavish fireworks display illuminates one of the world’s most picturesque cities.