The most unique festivals across Europe

May 15, 2019

Traditions are a wonderful thing – they bring us closer to our cultures and to the people we share them with. Over the years, a number of European cities have held onto some of the more unique festivals and celebrations that are well worth taking one of our ferries to Europe for.


Fête du Citron – Menton, France

Dating all the way back to 1934, the ‘Fête du Citron (Lemon Festival)’ uses around 145 tonnes of citrus fruit to form sculptures and floats that adorn the city in vibrant yellow and orange. Originally created as a way to liven up the winter months, a different theme is now incorporated into the festival to add even more intrigue into the designs. 2019 is set to be stunning with the theme of ‘Fantastic Worlds’ aiming to bring some abstract creations, all proceeded over by the festival mascot – John Lemon.


Shrimp Festival – Osstduinkerke, Belgium

As the last place in the world where you can see traditional shrimp fisherman on horseback, Oostduinkerke holds an annual festival in honour of the humble shrimp every summer. This method of fishing has existed since the 13th century and has been added to the UNESCO list of Intangible Cultural Heritage, which goes to show just how important it is to the people who live there. The festival serves up numerous shrimp-inspired dishes, and finishes with a fantastic shrimp parade!


Kürbisausstellung – Ludwigsburg, Germany

Pumpkins may be mostly associated with Halloween, but the annual pumpkin festival (known locally as ‘Kürbisausstellung’) makes the most of this seasonal squash in lots of unconventional ways. Events range from traditional pumpkin carving to weight offs, all the way to traversing a lake inside a hollowed out giant pumpkin. You’ll find a bounty of hearty, pumpkin-based dishes that you can try as you wander around the gorgeous grounds of Schloss Ludwigsburg – the spectacular place where all the events are held.


Krampus Run – Munich, Germany

Although this may seem an odd tradition to be associated with Christmas, the Krampi running around teasing and frightening passers by can be traced back around 500 years. Everything is done in good humour, with around 300 people dressing up as Saint Nicholas’ scary assistant to take part in the event and run amuck around the ‘Christkindlmarkt (Christmas market)’. The costumes themselves are stunning, with all manner of elaborate masks and decorations adorning each individual Krampus, drawing as much intrigue as the event itself.

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