From Thailand to Amsterdam to Australia, Musement takes a look at 11 celebrations happening around the world this April.
April showers bring May flowers, and the first full month of spring also brings a slew of invigorating–and even at times rowdy–celebrations. Here’s a look at ten events from around the world happening in April 2019.
1. April 1: April Fools’ Day, worldwide
Pranks and jokes–all out of love of course–characterize the first day of the month. Different countries have different ways to celebrate and pull a fast one on loved ones. Some even take it to whole ‘nother level with farcical news reports and unusual art installations.
2. April 10-18: Bisket Jatra, Nepal
These celebrations for the eight-night/nine-day Nepali New Year take place mostly in Bhaktapur. Also known as the “festival after the death of the Serpent”, Bisket Jatra rituals include the slaughtering of two snakes, a game of tug of war between the upper and lower town residents and a massive chariot procession with a statue of the god Bhairava.
3. April 13 – 15: Songkran, Thailand
This festival in honor of the Thai New Year is ultimately a three-day water fight to counteract the warm climes brought on by hottest month of the year. If you’re in Thailand during this time, especially in a major city like Bangkok or Chaing Mai, you will get wet (unless you’re elderly, a monk or carrying a newborn baby), so take precautions with valuables such as your phone and camera. And remember: if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em, so pick up a Super Soaker and join in the fun!
4. April 12 – 21: Coachella, California
This legendary annual music festival takes place in the Colorado desert in Indio, California and is one of the world’s most famous…and rollicking. The festival is structured as two consecutive three-day weekends, each with the same line-up. Artists from pretty much every music genre will take the stage.
5. April 18 – 22: Byron Bay Bluesfest, Australia
Since 1990, blues and roots music fans from around the world have headed to Byron Bay, south of Australia’s Gold Coast, for Easter Weekend to pitch a tent at Tyagarah Tea Tree Farm for the annual Bluesfest. This year’s edition will bring more than 200 performances from artists from all around the world over the course of five, 12-hour days. The lineup includes Ben Harper, David Gray, Iggy Pop, and Jack Johnson.
6. April 21 and 28: Easter, Worldwide
One of the most profound holidays in Christianity, Easter is celebrated on April 21 and 28 for Christians and Orthodox Christians respectively. Always, a cherished occasion, any European and South American countries are known for their Holy Week celebrations leading up to the holiday. Here are some of our picks for where to spend Easter.
7. April 26: New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival
The music scene in New Orleans is always hopping, but it’s particularly tooting during the city’s annual Jazz Fest, a local music and culture jubilee that is celebrating its 50th anniversary. Nowadays, it’s a huge spectacle attracting performances from top name headliners in addition to local talent. The 2019 lineup includes The Rolling Stones, Dave Matthews Band, Santana, Van Morrison and more. Goes through May 6.
8. 22 April: Earth Day
Earth Day originated in the 1970s, and today 193 countries stand in solidarity to call attention to environmental protection so that our planet is a liveable place for the forthcoming generations. From reforestation to environmental liberty to ending plastic pollution to species protection, Earth Day shines a light on many important initiatives that are crucial to the long-term state of our planet.
8. April 27: King’s Day, Amsterdam
This Dutch national holiday pays tribute to King Willem-Alexander on his birthday, a tradition that dates back to the late 19th century. Amsterdam pretty much becomes a three-day party! Locals sport orange in honor of ruling family, the House of Orange-Nassau, and take to the streets–and the canals–for parades and celebrations as well as to snack on tompouce, a local pastry. This year’s festivities take place April 26 – 29.
10. April 29 – May 5: AfrikaBurn, South Africa
This regional outpost of the iconic Burning Man event, AfrikaBurn takes place in a desolate, desert-like expanse of Tankwa Karoo National Park where temporary artworks are exhibited, many of which are burnt towards the end of the event. Extravagant costumes, musical performances, mutant vehicles, and good company round out the fun.
11. April 30: Beltane Fire Festival, Edinburgh
This annual festival in the Scottish capital welcomes the warm weather with a Gaelic tradition that dates back to the Iron Age. Revived in 1988, the Beltane Fire Festival today is a boisterous celebration that culminates in a massive bonfire atop Calton Hill. In addition its obvious association with heat, fire was also considered a healer and a purifier, so the ceremony is a symbolic means turning over a new leaf, marking the start of the new season.