Agenda

Calendar of festivals

The Mondial de la Biere festival is the largest beer festival in Canada. Since its humble beginning in 1970, the Glastonbury Festival has become an icon of the world music scene.
Since its humble beginning in 1970, the Glastonbury Festival has become an icon of the world music scene.PHOTO: JASON BRYANT
The Mondial de la Biere festival is the largest beer festival in Canada. Since its humble beginning in 1970, the Glastonbury Festival has become an icon of the world music scene.
The Mondial de la Biere festival is the largest beer festival in Canada.PHOTO: OLIVIER BOURGET

LAWAS, SARAWAK, MALAYSIA

For 30 years, the annual Irau Aco Lun Bawang festival has celebrated the culture and heritage of the Lun Bawang ethnic group, which is indigenous to the northern Limbang region of Sarawak.

The Lun Bawang are predominantly rice farmers and one of the earliest settlers of central Borneo.

Traditionally, Irau Aco celebrates the rice harvest and it is full of traditional music performances, dances, beauty pageants and displays of traditional handicraft. Visitors can also try traditional Lun Bawang food.

A few other festivals are held in Sarawak around this time. Sibu, a town in Sarawak, hosts the inaugural Sibu Street Art Festival, showcasing its mural paintings, from June 9 to 16.

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From June 9 to 11, in Limbang, near the border of Brunei, the ethnic Bisaya community celebrates Pesta Babulang, or harvest festival, which includes cultural performances, cooking contests, lucky draws and bare-back buffalo racing, the festival's highlight. When: June 1 to 3 Info: tinyurl.com/ma75xsn


DUBLIN, IRELAND

On June 16, literary fans descend on Dublin in honour of Bloomsday, a celebration of Ulysses, the modernist masterpiece novel by Irish writer James Joyce.

Considered one of the greatest literary works of all time, Ulysses tells the Odyssey-inspired story of a day in the life of Leopold Bloom - June 16, 1904.

Although Bloomsday is celebrated with costume parties and live readings of Ulysses all around the world, the biggest and most enthusiastic celebrations take place in Dublin, where the novel is set.

For six days, book lovers and Bloomsday enthusiasts dress in period costumes and attend pub crawls, theatrical performances, writers' talks, literary walking tours, high tea and food trails, where they mimic the food Bloom ate, including a meal of a gorgonzola cheese sandwich with a glass of burgundy or a full Irish breakfast and kidneys.

Parties and events reach their peak on June 16. When: June 11 to 16 Info: www.bloomsdayfestival.ie


MONTREAL, CANADA

More than 160,000 people are expected to attend this year's Mondial de la Biere, Canada's largest beer festival.

Now in its 24th year, the festival, which offers free admission, features more than 500 beers, ciders and other alcoholic drinks.

Visitors can sample unique dark ales and speciality lagers from microbreweries and local brew pubs, as well as Canada's most popular beers, such as Molson, which has been brewed along the banks of Montreal's St Lawrence River since 1786 in what is North America's oldest brewery.

The festival also features gourmet food stalls, guided tours and workshops. When: June 14 to 18 Info: festivalmondialbiere.qc.ca


CASTRILLO DE MURCIA, SPAIN

In the village of Castrillo de Murcia in north-west Spain, an unusual baptism takes place every year.

El Salto del Colacho, which means the devil's leap, is a little- known ritual outside of Spain, but it has been held in this village since 1620.

During the festival, "devils" - men dressed in red and yellow costumes, carrying whips and batons - run and leap over babies who have been born in the past year.

The local belief is that as the devil jumps over the babies, it will take any illness, bad luck or bad spirits along with it and the babies' souls will be saved. When: June 18 Info:tinyurl.com/mvzp9nv


SOMERSET, ENGLAND

Glastonbury is a part-carnival, part- music festival featuring big tents on lively camping grounds and thousands of performances across more than 100 stages over five days.

One of the most popular and recognised music festivals in the world, it has attracted the biggest names in music - from Van Morrison to Coldplay to the late Amy Winehouse - since it was founded by English farmer Michael Eavis in 1970.

From its humble roots as a hippy-centric festival held in a paddock of Eavis' 364ha working dairy farm 40km south of Bristol, where it is still held today, Glastonbury has grown into a British cultural icon.

About 200,000 tickets for the festival sold out in an hour this year and festivalgoers can expect to see dozens of chart-topping acts, including Katy Perry, Lorde and Solange, as well as headliners Radiohead, Foo Fighters and Ed Sheeran.

Organisers have confirmed that they will be taking a break next year - to give themselves, the farm and the local community a rest.

The festival contributes more than £100 million (S$180 million) to the local economy and is a major supporter of charities such as Greenpeace, Oxfam and WaterAid. When: June 21 to 25 Info: www.glastonburyfestivals.co.uk

Lydia Vasko

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on May 28, 2017, with the headline 'Calendar of festivals'. Print Edition | Subscribe