The devil masks worn for the Diablada de Pillaro (The Dance of the Devils) in Pillaro, Ecuador, have spawned a whole school of art. It’s well worth joining the thousands of onlookers to see the elaborate processions that take place each night from New Year’s Day to January 6. The feast of Edina Bronya, which essentially represents Christmas for the people of Ghana, in west Africa, falls this year on January 2.
In the Kisama Heritage Village in Nagaland, northeast India, the Hornbill Festival is a huge celebration of the indigenous warrior tribes of the region. Taking place between December 1 and 7, the festival is named after the Indian Hornbill, a large and colorful forest bird. You’ll need a government permit to visit, but it’s worth it to experience the beauty contest, archery, wrestling, and lots of singing and dancing.
Begin November with a little panache at the 119th Argentine Open Polo Championships in the neighborhood of Palermo, Buenos Aires. Not so much a sports event as a key occasion in the local social diary, it runs from November 5 to the end of the year. For something more exotic, check out camel racing. India’s Rajasthan desert in Pushkar hosts the Pushkar Fair from November 6 to 17.
The Red Carpet Antiques Festival in Lyon, France, on October 3 sees traffic brought to a standstill as a vast red carpet is rolled out on Rue Auguste Compte, a route lined with antique stores. Live music and a food fair accompany the all-night festival, as shoppers browse the spectacular window displays.
Paris, France, brings its communal gardens, castles, mansions, and cultural centers to life for the Festival Ile-de-France—a mix of jazz, classical, folk, and even Japanese concerts from September 7 to October 13.
On the Calle Rec in Barcelona’s El Born neighborhood is a new type of “private members’ club.” Not that you’d notice it. The only sign that it’s there is a discreet bell on a glass door.
Start the month on a full stomach by heading to Portland, Jamaica, for the annual Portland Jerk Festival. Barbecues will sizzle on July 1, as traditional dishes are devoured in celebration of a cooking technique synonymous with the Caribbean island.
For the divers out there and indeed for anyone with an interest in idyllic getaways… begin June on the paradise island of Curaçao in the southern Caribbean.
The Israeli city of Tel Aviv begins its three-day Taste of the City festival on May 1. Fine-dining establishments serve free portions and chefs line the streets offering local delicacies like malabi—a creamy pudding flavored with rose water. Saint Lucia Jazz is the most anticipated musical event in the Caribbean calendar and runs from the start of the month until May 12.
On April 1 only a fool would miss the feast on offer at Le Pince d’Or Crab Festival in Martinique, an island in the eastern Caribbean. In the capital of Fort-de-France, riverfront restaurants each set up a stall to sell matoutou (a spicy crab stew), as chefs compete to make the best bowl.