Summer is far from being over and August is usually a colorful time when it comes to celebrations. It is also a time to enjoy the highest temperatures of the summer and have a go at the last chance to enjoy the warm season. Many people choose to take their holidays in August and for good reasons. Festivals, blue pristine waters and glorious sunsets will offer some of the most colorful experiences, and all you need to do is to choose the right destination that has a little bit of everything. What follows is a list of some of the best places to visit in August.
Maine Lobster Festival is annually held at Harbor Park in Rockland, United States. The festival includes lobster-centered activities, like eating lobsters, or racing lobster, as well as a cooking contest, entertainment, a parade and display of the marine life. The festival is even more impressive because the proceeds from the event are donated to local organizations that improve people’s lives. Having fun while supporting good causes is a productive way of spending our time.
Bristol International Balloon Fiesta take on a colorful appearance in August as hot air balloons participate in what is considered to be the largest ballooning event in Europe with more than 120 hot air balloons taking off at dawn. The festival runs for 4 days annually and it gathers more than half million visitors. Enjoying a small breakfast while watching hot air balloons and other aircrafts filling the sky certainly sounds appealing to me.
Japan Obon Festival is a Buddhist tradition aimed at honoring the ancestors, it lasts three days and it has been celebrated for over 500 years. People dress in traditional costumes, sing and perform folk dances that vary from one region to another, and light up thousands of lanterns up in the night sky. The festival basically celebrates Japanese returning to their ancestral homes for family reunions.
Edinburgh Festival Fringe, considered the world’s largest festival, started in 1947 as an alternative to the Edinburgh International Festival, concentrating mainly of performing arts, particularly live theatre. Actors for 47 countries perform various plays from the ancient Greek classics to today’s experimental theatrical productions. The event draws approximately two million people every year.
Esala Perahera is considered to be the most elegant celebration in Asia and one of the oldest in the world, dating back to the 3rd century BC. The festival is held in Kandy, Sri Lanka in July or August and it is believed to have originated from two ancient celebrations: one praying to the gods for rain, and the other centered on Buddha’s Sacred Tooth Relic. The perahera consists of five parades, all performed in a specific order involving elephants, whip crackers, dancers and a tooth custodian wearing ancient royal garb from when Kandy was a kingdom.
Holbox Whale Sharks. Holbox is an island in northwest of Cancun in the Gulf of Mexico and it gained international fame as the place to see whale sharks migrating. These beasts are the world’s largest and are sometimes accompanied by dolphins and turtles which makes their chase even more spectacular.
We wrote about Palio di Siena in 10 Best Places to See in July, but the festival happens in August as well. The 700 year old tradition involves representatives from 17 different districts, racing bareback on the cobblestone plaza. So if you missed it in July, you have another chance on August 16th.
La Tomatina Festival is held in the small town of Bunol and it represents best the colorful month of August since it is quite colorful and messy. Due to its growing popularity, the organizers had to limit the number of participants in what is considered to be the world’s biggest food fight. More than 110 tons of ripped tomatoes are tossed onto the streets, but the festival also includes music, dancing parades, fireworks and a paella cooking contest.
One of the best places to visit in August is Iceland. With perfect temperatures of 20°C, the sun sets only a few hours each night which is why this is a time when most tourist activities happen. One of the most popular attractions is the Blue Lagoon where travelers can have a warm mineral bath. Sightseeing, hiking on volcanoes and geysers, all are just outside the capital Reykjavik so you can experience a little bit of two worlds.
Black Rock Desert – Burning Man started as a small celebration of the summer solstice on a San Francisco beach in 1986 and it has evolved into a multi-day celebration in the desert of northwestern Nevada. The festival begins on the last Monday in August and ends on the first Monday of September (Labor Day) and it consists of a temporary town of 60,000 people, which all participate in a way or another, sharing some form of art, because spectators are not allowed. At the end of the event a huge wooden man is burned, hence the name of the festival.