Agenda: Calendar of festivals

Top: Women in traditional flamenco dress at the Feria de Abril, or April Fair, in Seville, Spain. Above: Bask in Native American music and culture at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival.
Women in traditional flamenco dress at the Feria de Abril, or April Fair, in Seville, Spain.PHOTOS: GETTY IMAGES, ZACK SMITH


Tickets to Lollapalooza, one of summer's most popular festivals held in Chicago, are often sold out months in advance.

In 2010, the music festival made its successful international debut in Chile and has been an annual affair there since.

True to its American origins, the festival, held in the Chilean capital of Santiago, features popular bands across genres such as heavy metal, punk rock and electronic dance music. There are also art, dance and comedy performances.

This year's headliners include American metal band Metallica, Swedish singer-songwriter Tove Lo, British indie group The xx and Canadian R&B singer The Weeknd.

When: April 1 and 2



What is the best way to celebrate Easter? On the island of Chios, the Greeks fire rockets.

For more than 100 years, locals in the village of Vrontados have taken part in Rouketopolemos, or rocket war. About 60,000 homemade rockets are fired between two Orthodox churches - Agios Markos and Panagia Erithiani - from 6pm the day before Easter Sunday.

No one knows knows for sure the origins of this festival, which has roots in the Ottoman era.

One local legend claims it was born when the Ottomans prohibited the local Christian population from celebrating Easter. The resident churches came up with the idea to have a fake war and shoot their cannons at one another, so the Ottomans would not approach the churches, while people celebrated Easter inside.

In fact, real cannons were used for the event until the Ottomans banned their use in 1889 and the locals switched to rockets.

When: April 16



If street festivals are your cup of tea, head to Amsterdam for King's Day, held every year in honour of the king's birthday.

King's Day is celebrated across the country, but Amsterdam's festival - about 700,000 visitors join more than 800,000 locals in the celebrations - is the biggest and ranks among one of the world's largest street parties.

On April 27, the streets and canals become a sea of orange (the Netherlands' national colour) as more than 1.5 million people flood the city centre to drink beer, watch street performers and discover hidden treasures at the street market where thousands of locals set up stalls.

Concerts are held in the city's main squares and the canals are clogged with boats and barges carrying orange-shirted revellers.

When: April 27


Bask in Native American music and culture at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. PHOTOS: GETTY IMAGES, ZACK SMITH


Since 1970, the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival has celebrated the music and culture of Louisiana.

After Mardi Gras, it is the state's second-biggest festival. The 10-day fiesta draws thousands, who come to immerse themselves in the unique melange of Louisiana culture. It also attracts some of the biggest names in music.

This year's headliners among more than 100 acts include Stevie Wonder, Maroon 5, Kings of Leon, The Roots, Snoop Dogg and Alabama Shakes. New Zealand singer-songwriter Lorde will also perform.

There will also be a Native American village, craft demonstrations, workshops and markets, as well as booths showcasing local food heritage and Cajun culture.

When: April 28 to May 7



Two weeks after Easter, when spring is in full swing and the air is scented by orange blossoms, the people of Seville in southern Spain will parade through the city's streets to celebrate the Feria de Abril, or April Fair.

It is the biggest and most colourful festival in Andalusia, where thousands come together to dance, drink and visit friends and family.

During the week of non-stop partying, horses and carriages roam the streets and many people are clad in traditional costumes - men in traje corto (fitted pants, a short jacket and a wide-brimmed hat), while women wear brightly coloured flamenco dresses with matching jewellery and tasselled shawls, carry fans and put a flower or comb in their hair.

Many of the activities are concentrated in a roughly 1 sq km stretch called Calle de Infierno (Hell Street), where bars, restaurants, amusement rides and games are set up.

Nearby, more than 1,000 tents called casetas are erected by wealthy families, businesses, clubs and trade associations. Inside, people gather to drink, eat, dance and talk until the wee hours of the morning.

Most of the tents are private and require an invitation to enter. Hence, it is a good idea to make friends with a local before attending the festival because this is where the festival's true spirit resides.

The fiesta coincides with Seville's main bullfighting season from March/April to October, when there are daily fightsat the Plaza de Toros de la Real Maestranza. The best matadores come to town and the most important bullfights take place during this time.

When: April 30 to May 6


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on March 26, 2017, with the headline 'Agenda Calendar of festivals'. Print Edition | Subscribe