PHOTO: The Feria de Abril in Seville. (photo via Flickr/Sandra Vallaure)
The days are getting longer, the birdsong is getting stronger and the flowers are blooming away in the backyard.
Yes, spring has officially sprung and with it comes the opportunity to experience some of the most fun festivals the world has to offer.
The following get-togethers are all guaranteed to be a once-in-a-lifetime event in the warm sunshine.
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Amsterdam certainly knows how to have a good time any day of the year, but it positively goes overboard by painting the town orange in late April.
King’s Day is a one-day event (April 27th in 2017) that is technically supposed to be a birthday celebration for the Netherlands’ monarch but has evolved into an epic street party for everyone. Amsterdam’s citizens and tourists alike get decked out in head-to-toe orange (the nation's national color) and take part in spontaneous parties that break out in squares, parks and on boats throughout the canal-ringed city.
A riotous celebration of fresh starts, Songkran is famous for being the world’s biggest water fight.
During this festival that commemorates the Thai New Year (April 13-15th in 2017), all of Thailand takes part in one big ‘water war’ as locals and tourists alike pour buckets of water on each other or spray each other from a distance with high-tech water guns. You are sure to have a good time reliving the water fights of your youth, and with the climate in Thailand being on the warm and sticky side, you will probably enjoy the soaking.
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Feria de Abril
After spending the week before Easter in the most solemn state of mind during Semana Santa, Seville lets loose two weeks later during this uproarious spring gathering.
During Feria de Abril (April 30th to May 6th in 2017), locals flock in their best traditional attire to a riverside fairground in the heart of town—think frilly flamenco dresses for the ladies and broad hats and waistcoats for the gentleman. There, they party the night away in a collection of flamboyantly decorated tents.
These pinstriped party palaces number in the hundreds, and while most are private invite-only affairs, there are plenty open to the public. Expect gorgeous evenings full of raucous revelry and plenty of sherry being poured.
Cherry Blossom Season
During March and April each year, Japan comes alive with cherry blossom fever, and the buzz created matches any other festival on earth. These special trees start bearing their ravishing pink flowers during early April in the south of the country before the mass blossom slowly works its way north.
While the magic of the blossom can be enjoyed all over Japan, Kyoto’s blooms are considered the most magical.
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Affectionately known as ‘Oktoberfest’s little brother’, Fruhlingsfest (German for Spring Festival) is a scaled down, yet still ridiculously fun, festival in Munich. It takes place on the very same fairgrounds as its sibling does, but this celebration occurs during the end of April and beginning of May (April 21 - May 7 in 2017).
Expect crazy carnival rides, copious beer consumption, and revelers dressed in dirndls and lederhosen just like Oktoberfest, but on that smaller scale. There may be only two beer tents at Fruhlingsfest, but make no mistake, the parties inside rival their autumn counterparts.
Think of it as one big warm-up for Oktoberfest.
Fruhlingsfest is also a big deal in Stuttgart (April 15th to May 7th), where the city puts on the largest spring festival in Europe, a sister celebration to their famous fall Cannstatter Volksfest.