There’s nothing finer in this travelling life than being somewhere on the biggest day of their year. Accidentally stumbling across a little Spanish town on the day their having their main fiesta, or finding yourself lost in the UK when the local football team wins whatever championship. Days where you’ll find everybody partying, from the grandmas all the way down to the small boys, and in Europe they’ll probably all be drinking booze, too.
Stumbling across a village’s biggest day is one thing, but here at Stoke Travel we’re in the business of putting you into the biggest parties, across Europe, and this hot list right here is of whole countries’ biggest days, when every village, town, suburb – and person from young to old within them – lets down their hair and celebrates whatever it is they’re supposed to celebrate.
So let’s get down with some of Europe’s biggest days.
Kings Day, The Netherlands
This is the king’s birthday, celebrated on April 27th, a day when the whole of Holland gets together in the streets, dresses in their finest orange, and rages across canals and extreme-spinach “coffee” shops. King’s Day actually starts the evening before, goes all day, and then into the next night, and in Amsterdam the street party features plenty of music – live bands and DJs – just what you’d expect from maybe the number-one party place, or at least most wonderfully sinful city, in Western Europe.
Bastille Day, France
Commemorated on every 14th July, Bastille Day is the day when the French people stormed the Bastille prison, releasing a whole seven prisoners, and instigating the French revolution. These days it’s celebrated with fireworks across the country, concerts, plenty of flag waving, and the locals getting off (with) their heads. To be honest though, here at Stoke Travel we prefer Les Fetes de Bayonne, held down in the southwest of the country, where the surf is better, and featuring millions of wine-crazed frogs dressed in white and making out with each other.
San Juan, Spain
Celebrated on the longest day of the year, June 23rd, San Juan is a pagan festival that has different manifestations around the country, always involving some kind of huge bonfire. In Menorca they party with horses, and in Barcelona the party involves beach bonfires and a huge fireworks demonstration – performed by just about every person in town! In the lead up to San Juan fireworks stores pop up all over Barcelona, selling their loud, obnoxious, supremely fun wares to almost everybody and anybody, the result being a constant cacophony of bangs, pops, whizzes and other various explosions.
Saint Patrick’s Day, Ireland
This is the pissup that’s drank around the world, a green-clad shindig that sees the Irish, people with a splash of Irish descent and simple lovers of the craic get together and celebrate everything Emerald Isle, from red hair and fighting, to Guinness and leprechauns. But of course the biggest and best St Paddy’s party is in Dublin, where we like to go for delicious whiskies, potato stew, weeping sensitive poets and more Irish stereotypes than you can point a shamrock at.
What’s your country’s biggest day? And should we hit it up? You should most certainly hit these ones up with us (do them all with the Stoke Travel Passport).