Posted: Jul 13, 2016
There is no shortage of famous festivals around the globe. They showcase everything from food and flowers to music and movies. Every nation has its own celebrations. Here we discover the world’s best fiestas and take a closer look at local property markets in many far-flung destinations and some closer to home.
1. La Tomatina, Bunol, Spain
It’s a real squish in the little Spanish town of Bunol on the last Wednesday in August. Everybody takes a pasting, as ripe tomatoes fly everywhere. La Tomatina (http://latomatina.info/en/) has become so popular that it's now a ticket-only event. Property in the area is pretty cheap and, living here, you'll be first in the queue for the tickets and the red missiles. A small flat will cost well under £50,000.
2. Glastonbury, Somerset, UK
How could we forget Glastonbury? There are some things that everyone should try in their lives: run a marathon, take a year out to travel the world and visit Glastonbury. The famous festival (June 22 – 26) is a mixture of the latest bands with some legendary line-ups from the past: Muse, Adele, ZZ Top and Coldplay. A chocolate box cottage (four bedrooms) around Glasto will set you back about £625,000, while a three-bedroom pub might cost £325,000. The West Country is full of charm and character for anyone looking to start a new life in the country.
3. Brussels Flower Carpet, Belgium
Every other year in August, a huge carpet of flowers is created in the Grand-Place (www.flowercarpet.be/). One hundred volunteers take just four hours to assemble the 1,800 square metres of begonias – 300 cut flowers to each square metre. A concert is held, along with a light show, and the flowers are left in place for four days. Property prices here are very stable. The average price of a two-bedroom flat is £200,000.
4. Carnival, Rio de Janeiro
Rio's Carnival is a wild, five-day celebration held 40 days before Easter. Next year it begins on February 24 (www.rio-carnival.net/). Property prices in Brazil dipped by as much as 20% last year, which is now bringing in investors on the hunt for a bargain. Nevertheless, in the city, expect to pay £322,000 for a one-bedroom apartment. As always, use a lawyer who is experienced in the field, and buy through a registered property agent. Then let your hair down and samba!
5. Burning Man, Black Rock Desert, Nevada
Nevada's Burning Man festival (burningman.org) started out as a bonfire on a beach to celebrate the solstice. It grew from that and acquired cult status as an experiment in community and art with the ultimate aim of leaving no trace. The property market in Nevada is stable, experts say. There's a high number of foreclosure sales but, at $214,300, prices remain above the average US price of $184,600.
6. Day of the Dead, Mexico
Mexico's Dia de los Muertos (www.mexonline.com/dayofthedead.htm) is a dazzling and somewhat hair-raising festival that features in the opening scenes of the 007 movie Spectre. The cost of home ownership in Mexico remains low and foreigners can buy houses anywhere, although there may be some hoops to jump through in restricted zones.
7. Holi, India
This is the ultimate in colourful festivals (www.holifestival.org). You'll be smeared in coloured powder or doused in coloured water for the two days in March. As a foreigner, you'd need a residence permit in order to buy property in India. There's an oversupply which means prices won't be rising too soon. However, Mumbai and New Delhi are the hotspots, where stock is limited and demand greater. Even distant suburbs can command average prices of £100,000.
8. Venice Biennale, Italy
This festival of contemporary visual art (www.labiennale.org/en/art/index.html) takes place in odd-numbered years from May to November. Dozens of countries have permanent pavilions which they use to showcase their own artists. House prices in Italy have been dropping for a while, but Venice's popularity means its slide has been much less marked. You can pick up a one-bedroom flat near the Biennale from about £120,000.
9. Oktoberfest, Munich, Germany
Beer, fun and more beer – Oktoberfest (www.oktoberfest.de/en/) celebrates everything beery. Last year it brought 5.9m visitors to the city. This year it begins on October 17. It's just one of many reasons why Munich is so popular, and the most expensive city in Germany. A fairly central one-bedroom flat will set you back almost £400,000.
10. Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, New Mexico
This is the largest annual gathering of balloonists in the world (www.balloonfiesta.com) and boasts of being the most photographed event in the world. Wherever you go, there will be a sky full of swirling colour, because the city's unusual wind currents mean that balloons can pretty well choose what direction to go in. If you fancy relocating here, prices have risen in recent months, partly due to a lack of supply. The average detached family home will cost around £150,000.
11. Montreux Jazz Festival, Switzerland
Held every July, this is one of the most famous jazz festivals in the world and, after 50 years, one of the longest running (www.montreuxjazzfestival.com/en). It has featured the likes of Nina Simone, Ella Fitzgerald and Miles Davis, widening its outlook to include such acts as Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple and David Bowie. The town hugs the shoreline of Lake Geneva, with wide promenades down by the water’s edge. A one-bedroom flat in Montreux will set you back at least £360,000.
12. Coachella, California, USA
This music and art festival (http://splash.coachella.com/) has grown from small beginnings in the Nineties. The idea was to bring together trendy artists who were not necessarily chart successes, and provide a high level of comfort for the fans. The location is the Coachella Valley in the Colorado Desert and it takes place in April. The valley dips below sea level in places and temperatures can be extreme – both hot and cold. An average family home in these parts will set you back £234,000.
13. New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival
The Jazz Fest (www.nojazzfest.com/) pulls together the musical heritage of the Deep South and celebrates it in a vibrant and exuberant style. It’s held over the last weekend of April and the first weekend of May. But the music never stops in the Big Easy. House prices have been driven up by job and population growth. The average house costs around £250,000.
14. The Great American Trucking Show, Dallas, Texas, USA
This truckfest (www.truckshow.com) is bigger and better than the rest. Well, it would be, it’s in Texas. If you love chrome bumpers and dirty great engines, this is the place to live. If you like what you see, you’ll find that Dallas is a boom town for property. Prices are shooting up quicker than the oil out of the ground. New home prices are up 50% since 2010, with an average now £210,000.
15. Byron Bay Blues Fest, Australia
This music experience (www.bluesfest.com.au/) takes place annually in April. Wholesome and friendly, its range extends to other musical genres, including, this year, Eagles of Death Metal. Byron Bay itself, of course, is well-known for its surfing lifestyle. It is 100 miles south of Brisbane and enjoys the same sunny climate. An average threebedroom house will cost you around £500,000 and a one-bedroom flat £180,000.
16. Melbourne International Comedy Festival, Australia
This laugh-fest lasts for four weeks, usually beginning in March (www.comedyfestival.com.au). It’s the largest cultural event in Australia. There are around 200 shows to choose from every night. If you haven’t the energy to leave the city afterwards, a flat in town will set you back around £270,000, while a house will be nearer £600,000.
17. Cannes Film Festival, France
This event is by invitation-only (www.festival-cannes.fr/en.html) and the A-listers have been drawn to the red carpet since 1946. It’s held annually, usually in May, and showcases new work. The glamour and glitz remain all year round on the French Riviera and property prices in Cannes reflect this. You might find a studio flat for £100,000. And, after all, you won’t want to spend much time indoors.
18. New Year's Eve, Sydney, Australia
Sydney's New Year's Eve (www.sydneynewyearseve.com/) fireworks are among the best in the world and, unlike the UK, you know the skies will be clear. There's the added bonus of beating the rest of us to the start of the celebrations. Latest figures suggest living in Sydney is nearly 10% cheaper than London. Nevertheless, prices are high and the average house will cost around A$1m (£500,000).
19. St Patrick’s Day, Ireland
The festival of the patron saint of the Irish is an excuse for a four-day celebration in Dublin (www.stpatricksfestival.ie/). Consumption of Guinness doubles. Everybody goes green. Next year it begins on March 16. Dublin house prices are on the rise again with rises of 5% expected in 2016. The average house costs £195,000.
20. Chinese New Year, Hong Kong
Looking further ahead, Hong Kong is great place to see in the Chinese New Year. In 2017, it falls on January 28, which is also a good time to visit (www.discoverhongkong.com/uk/see-do/events-festivals/highlightevents/ chinese-new-year-celebrations.jsp). The days should be clear and sunny, the temperature mild and not too humid. The former British territory is a notoriously pricey place to buy property, but prices slipped last year, showing a 13% fall since September. A one-bedroom flat in North Point, on Hong Kong Island, costs about £600,000.