13 Biggest Food Festivals Around the World

Even the most seasoned traveler may not have ticked off all these delicious festivals off their bucket list. These international celebrations go above and beyond the run of the mill food events. From edible runway shows to the longest lunch table ever, check out these incredible food festivals worth travelling to.

Mid-Autumn Festival, China

The Mid-Autumn Festival, also known as the Mooncake Festival, is held on the 15th day of the eighth month in the Chinese calendar (this year falling on September 27th). Families gather to celebrate the year’s harvest and make offerings to the Goddess of the Moon, Chang’e. Sweet mooncakes made from lotus paste with an egg yolk centre are commonly eaten and children carry lanterns to commemorate the event. This grand festival is celebrated across Asia, including China, Vietnam, Singapore and Taiwan.

Pahiyas Festival, Phillipines

Every May, the Philippine town of Lucban is awashed in colour as citizens and tourists celebrate Pahiyas to give thanks to Saint Isidro de Labrador, the patron saint of farmers, for a bountiful harvest. Residents engage in friendly competition to out-decorate their neighbours, covering every square inch of their home’s facade in colourful produce. Common decorations include fruits and vegetables strung together into garlands, strings of local sausages called loganiza and kiping, a mixture of ground rice flour that’s dyed bright and steamed on banana leaves.

Pizzafest, Italy

Set in the birthplace of pizza itself, the Naples Pizzafest is a four-day celebration of one of the world’s favourite snacks. Watch pizza makers show off their dough-throwing skills, enjoy live music and performances, and of course, indulge in the many varieties of freshly-baked pizza.

Maslenitsa Pancake Festival, Russia

The Maslenitsa Festival is a traditional Russian holiday and possibly the yummiest way to celebrate the end of winter and usher in the beginning of spring. Thin golden pancakes or crepes are made to symbolize the sun in shape and colour and are eaten all week with an assortment of jams, butter, fruits and even caviar. Sweet rounds of bread called sushki are also on the menu and are commonly strung together to form a delicious edible necklace.

La Tomatina, Spain

Every August, thousands upon thousands of people from across the globe make their way to the Spanish town of Bunol to take part in the “World’s Biggest Food Fight.” Participants quite literally paint the town red as over one hundred metric tons of over-ripe tomatoes are flung at each other. The festival apparently started over a squabble in 1945; the vegetables of a unlucky market stall nearby became convenient ammunition as people embroiled in the argument started to pelt each other with tomatoes until the police stepped in. Over the years, the tomato-throwing event grew in popularity and was officially declared a festival in 1975.

Isle of Wight Garlic Festival, England

With over 250 stalls selling delights such as garlic seafood, garlic beer and even garlic ice cream, this festival is a garlic lover’s dream come true. The two-day event takes place on the Isle of Wight, just off the southern coast of Hampshire, to celebrate the island’s booming garlic industry. Dig into a plethora of garlic delicacies, watch cooking demonstrations and enjoy the live music. Just remember to bring along a pack of gum or two.

International Alba White Truffle Fair, Italy

OK, so this festival isn’t really all that big, but it’s definitely worth mentioning. The small, quiet town of Piedmontese in Alba, Italy is not a place you’d regularly see in travel guides, yet it’s a chef hotspot to which hundreds flock to taste the town’s prized white truffles. From early October to mid-November, a festival showcasing the pungent ingredient takes place beginning with gastronomic stands that dish out savoury and sweet dishes laced with truffles and ending with an invitation-only truffle auction, which only the who’s who of the food world can attend.

13 Biggest Food Festivals Around the World

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