Great Summer Festivals & Celebrations Around the World

If you're teaching English overseas and looking for some summer fun in your new country, look no further. We've compiled some of our favorite summer celebrations and festivals around globe for you.

If there is something to be celebrated in this life, it is the arrival of nice weather, vacations on the beach, and a time for travel and new experiences. The great thing about TEFL is that you get to experience the world. And there's nothing better than experiencing the work in the summer. That being said, do you know how the world celebrates the longest day of the year? Are you curious to learn about the summer season in festivals and celebrations that you can only experience while teaching English abroad?

Let's dive in.

Popular Festivals to Celebrate during the Summer Season Worldwide

It seems that summer brings on a change in our behavior, our attitude, and also, our energy.  There is something different in the air and our DNA seems to switch our energy levels up every time that the summer arrives - we feel more active, and more engaged with the world and of course, we are ready to have fun! That’s why Summer inspires some of the great festivals around the world and provides fantastic opportunities to experience the culture, music, art, drinks, and cuisine of different countries around the globe.

Which Popular Festivals are Celebrated in the Summer Season Around the World?

  1. Wianki Festival - Krakow, Poland

  2. The Night of Fire Festival of Sant Joan - Barcelona, Spain

  3. Aomori Nebuta Matsuri Festival - Japan

  4. White Nights of Summer - St. Petersburg, Russia

Teaching English in Poland

Wianki Festival - Krakow, Poland

“Wianki” is the name of one of the most popular summer celebrations in Poland that claims its roots in an ancient pagan fertility festival. “Wianki” means “wreath,” which symbolizes the future, good fortune in love, and also fertility.

Traditionally, young women weave special garlands with symbolic herbs to wear and then deposit in the river. Boys hiding in boats along the river then make their best efforts to catch their girlfriend’s wreaths as they flow past.

The festival is celebrated throughout Poland, but originated in Krakow, which is still home to the largest and most famous celebrations of “Wianki.” Celebrations are concentrated along the Vistula River where festivities typically include special wreath-floating events, festivals, concerts, bonfires, traditional food, firework displays, and vodka drinking. Ohhh so much fun!!!

Go Further: Teach English in Poland

Teaching English in Barcelona, Spain

The Night of Fire Festival of Sant Joan - Barcelona, Spain

Spain seems to be a country where there is always a good reason to hold a festival and the Feast of Sant Joan in Barcelona is no exception! Celebrating the longest day of the year and the start of the summer, festivals are held on the night of Sant Joan when the sun reaches its highest point, representing fertility, wealth and strength, which is symbolized by bonfires and fireworks throughout the city.

There are three symbols of Sant Joan: Water, Herbs and Fire.

Water represents healing and cleaning of sins. This inspires thousands of locals to hop in the Mediterranean for a late-night swim!

Herbs represent remedy and healing. Thyme, rosemary, and verbena are traditionally eaten on the Night of Sant Joan, as they are believed to possess aphrodisiac properties.

Fire symbolizes abundance, purity, and fertility. Fire is also important because it will clean your sins and rid you of bad luck. This inspires the tradition of lighting bonfires and fireworks that illuminate the night skies of Barcelona.

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Teaching English in Japan

Aomori Nebuta Matsuri Festival - Japan

This Japanese summer festival is held in Aomori prefecture and is one of the largest festivals in the country, attracting more than 3.5 million people every year. According to tradition, “Nebuta” means “being sleepy” and Aomori citizens originated this event to put away the drowsiness that plagued them on hot summer days. Who doesn’t feel a bit lazy when is too hot, right?

During the festival, held from August 2nd - 7th, giant floats made from wood and paper are elaborately decorated and illuminated from the inside and are paraded through the city accompanied by taiko drums, flutes, and hand cymbals.

This event is free but attendees are requested to join in the dancing while wearing the traditional haneto dancing costume! Sound like a deal? If you are in Japan and want to immerse yourself in Japanese culture this festival provides a great opportunity!

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Discover the White Nights of Summer in Russia

White Nights of Summer - St. Petersburg, Russia

If there is a season when a romantic and festive spirit takes over the streets of St. Petersburg, it is undoubtedly during summertime. From May through July, local citizens and visitors celebrate the “White Nights” when the sun barely sets and the (mostly) sun-filled days never seem to end. Known as “Beliye Nochi” to the Russians, it is a time to be on the streets and to attend an endless array of special concerts, festivals, ballet, and opera, as well as restaurants and bars that stay open late into the morning hours.

Other highlights include the raising of the bridges over the River Neva (ideally viewed during an evening cruise), swimming in Lake Ladoga, and strolling through the immaculately landscaped Letnii Sad, or "Summer Gardens". The festivities reach a crescendo on June 22, when more than a million people gather for the Scarlet Sails. Featuring the sailing of tall ships and a mock pirate battle on the Neva that recreates a popular children's story, it is the largest annual public gathering in Russia!

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