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10 Food Festivals Around the World You Must Experience

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One of the most immersive ways to experience a destination’s unique atmosphere while traveling is through its food. Food encapsulates the lifestyle of the local people, making it an effective means to sense the unique characteristics of each region. Indulging in local delicacies made from regional specialties can be considered one of the most luxurious pleasures of traveling. From now on, we would like to introduce food festivals from around the world that fully embody the culture of each respective region.

Fête du Citron

Fête du Citron is a lemon-themed festival held every February in Menton, a small city in southern France. It is also sometimes called Carnaval de Menton (carnival of Menton). Menton has been famous for lemons since ancient times. During the festival, the streets of Menton are filled with the fresh scent and vibrant color of lemons. The citizens decorate the city with large structures of citrus fruits such as lemons and oranges. The amount of fruit used during this time is reported to reach 145 tons.

La Tomatina

La Tomatina is a food fight festival held on the last Wednesday of August each year in Buñol, near Valencia, Spain. It started in the 1940s and is known as a representative folk festival of Spain. The vibrant red color of the tomatoes and the dynamic festival scenery have been utilized in movies, advertisements, and broadcasts, gaining international fame. It has evolved into a large-scale festival with more than 30,000 people participating annually.

Marino Grape Festival

Marino, a medieval city in Italy, is famous for its wine production. Every year, around the first Sunday of October, a festival themed around grapes is held here. The festival, with a history of over 80 years, is held to express gratitude to the Virgin Mary for the smooth grape farming and harvest of the year. Various festivals themed around grapes are held in Italy, and the Marino Grape Festival is among the most famous.

Marula Fruit Festival

The Marula Fruit Festival is a ceremony where a beverage made from Marula fruits, called Omagongo, is shared. This event, which takes place between March and April, serves to unify the eight Ovambo tribes in the northern part of Namibia. During the processing of Marula fruits, people of all ages gather to share knowledge and skills and pass them on to future generations. While refining the Marula fruits, people enjoy the festival by singing traditional songs and reciting poems.

Singapore Food Festival

Singapore, a multicultural country, holds a large-scale food festival where various foods reflecting the country’s characteristics can be seen in one place. During the festival, which lasts about two weeks every year, visitors can taste foods from all over Asia, and various events, such as cooking demonstrations and exhibitions by world-renowned chefs, are held. Although the event started in 1994, it has become a significant tourist attraction, drawing over 350,000 visitors yearly.

Hong Kong Wine & Dine Festival

At the end of October each year, Hong Kong hosts the Wine & Dine Festival, where visitors can sample wines, beers, cocktails, whiskies, and famous restaurant dishes worldwide. Forbes has selected this festival as one of the top 10 gourmet festivals in the world. It is held annually at Hong Kong Central Harborfront. During the festival, about 450 booths are set up to provide a variety of food and alcoholic beverages worldwide.

Carnival of Ivrea

In Ivrea, Italy, a festival where oranges are thrown is held for three days between February and March every year, known as the “Battle of the Oranges.” The oranges used here are unsuitable for commercialization due to damage or low quality. An average of 5,000 people participate in a single event, including nine citizen teams of 4,000 people and soldiers from the medieval era on carriages. The festival is conducted by throwing oranges according to strict safety rules. Foreign tourists can also register in one of the teams and participate in the festival.

Oktoberfest Munich

In Munich, Germany, known as the country of beer, a beer festival is held around the end of September every year. The festival runs for 16 days, from noon on the third Saturday of September to the first Sunday of October. Not only Germans but also more than 7 million tourists from all over the world visit this festival. In the city square, Munich’s six major beer companies open tent pubs that can accommodate 3,000 people, and the festival proceeds as people drink and enjoy beer for 16 days. It is considered one of the three major festivals in the world, along with the Rio de Janeiro Carnival in Brazil and the Sapporo Snow Festival in Japan.

Elmira Maple Syrup Festival

The Elmira Maple Syrup Festival in Ontario, Canada, holds the Guinness World Record for the most visitors. About 85% of the world’s maple syrup is produced in Canada. The festival in Elmira started in 1965 and has been held for one day in early April every year since. In 2000, it was listed in the Guinness Book of World Records when 66,000 people visited. Over 100 shops sell various products using maple syrup at the festival.

Naples Pizza Village Festival

In Naples, Italy, a pizza festival is held ten days every September. Naples is known as the birthplace of the tomato-topped pizza. The Naples Pizza Village Festival, considered the largest in Europe, attracts over one million visitors yearly. World-famous pizza chefs serve around 100,000 pizzas during the festival, including performances, exhibitions, and seminars along the Naples coastline.

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