Edinburgh International Festival, and Festival Fringe, 2 – 26 August
For three weeks in August, Edinburgh becomes home to the worlds biggest arts festivals. The Edinburgh International Festival presents a programme featuring the finest performers and ensembles of dance opera, music and theatre. The Edinburgh International Festival was conceived in 1947 to celebrate and enrich European cultural life in the wake of the second world war. The ‘Edinburgh Fringe’ dates back to that same year, where eight theatre groups arrived in Edinburgh to perform on the fringe of the Festival. Fast forward to 2019 and the Fringe is the biggest arts festival in the world. The fringe society to this day maintains a policy of no vetting. It welcomes anyone with a story to tell, and so is an exciting place to discover new talent for these 3 weeks of the year.
Notting Hill Carnival, London, 25 – 26 August
Notting Hill Carnival is one of the worlds largest street carnivals (second only to Rio de Janeiro’s Carnival!), and celebrates London’s rich Caribbean community’s heritage. Close to two million people attended this extravaganza of Caribbean culture last year, and this year’s numbers are expected to reach similar dizzying heights. The Carnival features a parade and lots of live music including reggae, dub and salsa among delicious Caribbean street food, and lots of bright and colourful carnival outfits. There are in fact over 15,000 hand-made costumes on display every year! Some of Carnival’s events were first put together and arranged by the Caribbean community as a demonstration of racial unity after the race riots that tore through Notting Hill in 1958. The first proper street party was in 1966, and has become an increasing part of the fabric of British society.
La Tomatina, Buñol, Spain, 28 August
Every year, this small Spanish town becomes home to one of our favourite festivals of all time. At around 11am, multiple trucks filled with 145,000 kilograms of over-ripe tomatoes arrive in the small town centre, along with 30,000 people, and there ensues the world’s biggest food-fight! The battle lasts for just one hour, before the water canon is used to wash away all of the tomato pulp. It is said that Buñol has very clean streets due to the acidity of the crushed tomatoes killing all the bacteria! It’s a delicious mess – come and join us in our Globe Guides – August episode!
Elvis Week, Memphis, Tennessee, 9 – 17 August
For thousands of faithful Elvis fans around the world August is a time of remembrance and many make the pilgrimage to his home ‘Graceland’ in Memphis, Tennessee. Elvis Week is an organised celebration of the life, music and movies of Elvis Presley, the king of Rock’n’Roll. For one week every year, Graceland becomes a hotbed of activity with panel-discussions, concerts and dances among the ever popular Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest, and the candlelight vigil which has been held on the night of August 15th every year since his untimely death in 1977 to remember and honour his life.
Independence Day, India, 15 August
Every year on August 15th, India commemorates independence from the United Kingdom with a national holiday. India secured independence from the United Kingdom in 1947 as a result of a long-standing non-violent movement and campaign led by Mahatma Gandhi’s Indian National Congress. 2019 is an important year for India, as Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th Birthday is upcoming this October. Gandhi is considered by many as the father of the Nation of India. Don’t miss our Empire Builders – British Empire episode, where we explore this historic relationship in great detail.