Australians love to celebrate life. Their regional diversity says a lot about them as a nation as well as their festivals. From the stunning New Year eve extravaganza to the dusty Old Valley Muster Festival of Kununurra, every place of this country celebrates a unique festival of its own bringing together a shared experience for you. So, come and enjoy the experience of this country called Australia!!!
Sydney Festival: With a rich entertaining and diverse program that spans all art forms imaginable, Sydney Festival is the annual city festival of Sydney held in January. For over three weeks, the festivals holds events involving hundreds of artists from Australia and abroad from various fields such as visual arts, dance, theatre, music, film, visual arts, forums and other large scale outdoor events. Every year, theatres across the city are filled to the capacity by people who want to witness these historic and entertaining events such as the iconic Domain series.
Chinese New Year: Considered to be the longest as well as the biggest celebration of the Chinese calendar, the Chinese New Year is celebrated all over the country with the festivities continuing for over 15 days. The Chinese- Australian community celebrates the festival with great zeal with the great Dragon appearing on the Melbourne streets to mark the advent of the festival. With an iconic new dragon added to the event in 2003 in the form of Millennium Dai Loong Dragon that was carried by around 200 people. Every year the dragon is awakened by a ceremony of offerings along with a traditional lion dance. In fact, to witness the true extent of the festival, be sure to visit Sydney during this time where the festivities linger on for over three weeks that include a grand parade, night markets and Dragon boat races.
National Multicultural Festival, Canberra: Featuring some of the best performances from the fields of local, national and international food, dance, music and creative arts, the National Multicultural Festival is held for over 2 weeks in Canberra. Some of the poplar favourites from the festival include the Greek Glendi, the food and Dance spectacular, the Carnivale, the Pacific Islander Showcase and the International Concert. There is also the Festival Fringe that complements the mainstream festival providing the visitors and festival enthusiasts a full week of zany entertainment.
Perth International Arts Festival: This festival is one of the oldest annual international multi arts festival of Western Australia. First held in 1953, this premier cultural event today boasts of some of the best performances of international theatre, dance, drama, music, visual arts, film, literature, streets arts, comedy and other free community events. The festival covers a wide breadth of intellectual and imaginative territory of arts while reaching broadly into the community. Attracting over 70,000 patrons every year with its festivities, the Perth Festival today has an enviable worldwide reputation for its presentation of new works, innovative development as well as the provision of quality arts. In fact, for two generations of locals, Perth summer is completely unimaginable without the Perth Festival.
Woodford Folk festival: Held over a complete period of six days and six nights, the Woodford Folk Festival is an event of international standing featuring the cream of Australian performances accompanied by a gathering of special international guests. The festival includes around 2000 performers and 400 events that include an entire children’s festival, acoustic jams, street theatre, art and craft workshops, film festivals, comedy shows and various others.
Dreaming Festival: Standing proudly alongside the popular Woodford Folk Festival is the Dreaming Festival, a world class showcase of indigenous art performances from all over the country and the world. It is a vibrant and exciting destination for people looking to get a taste of the cultural tasting palate of indigenous dance, music, arts, drama, visual arts and literature. During the course of the programme, the day is spent in workshops, dramatics, theatre, musical and dance performances as well as serving a platform for noted speakers. It is during the nightime that the place transforms itself into a cultural pleasure dome where you can come to expect the unexpected. There are ceremony grounds, healing galleries, campfire stories, rituals as well as a number of stalls and food outlets. Encompassing a total of three days and four nights, the program is a treat to the all round senses of a person.
WOMADelaide: Originally founded by the famous musician Peter Gabriel in 1982, WOMADelaide is a world full of music, dance and arts. Running for four days in Adelaide, the festival is counted among the nation’s favourites not just because of the exemplary musical performances but also due to the friendly and beautiful vibes it gives to all the visitors. With performances and workshops being conducted by groups from over 20 countries, the audience ranges from families to loners to hippy youngsters with the diversity of the audience equally astounding as the program. The seven stages of the festival feature some of the best contemporary performances along with a Kidzone activity area, a street theatre, a cooking program known as the Taste of the world as well as an environmental discussions program. The festival has a magical ambience inviting everyone in its fold to enjoy the musical sounds while soaking up sunshine and having fun with friends and family.
Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras: Originally started off as a protest rally, Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras parade is today one of the largest gay and lesbian festivals of the world. When the original march was held in 1978, only 1000 people marched to the same with most of them getting into violent clashes with the local authorities. Today, this event has a dedicated arts festival that attracts performers from all around the world. The festival celebrates the freedom of the gay and lesbian life while bringing them support and acceptance from the general public regarding their sexualities and preferences.
Melbourne International Arts Festival: With a reputation for presenting some of the most unique and outstanding international as well as national events in the fields of art, theatre, dance, music and multimedia, Melbourne International Arts Festival is held for over 17 days every October in Melbourne. First founded in the year1986 by composer Gian Carlo Menotti, the festival got its present name and structure in 2003.
Brisbane Festival: Being one of the foremost multi arts festival of international stature, Brisbane Festival offers a range of musical, dance, visual arts, opera and multimedia performances every year for the locals as well as all the tourists. Held every two years in the month of September, the festival includes the entire community in its fold with its activities that boast of international level artistic credibility, intellectual rigour as well as a broad base grass roots level support. In fact, more than being just a show, it encourages participation of people from all walks of life whether locals or tourists.
Darwin festival: Celebrating the unique nature of the city as well as its multicultural community, Darwin Festival brings forth the youthful energy and a tropical climate lifestyle of the city. The cultural program is a feast for the senses what with national, local as well as international performances that inspire, excite and entertain the audiences. These include art performances from all fields that encompass the indigenous, Indonesian as well as Pacific island communities of the city to the best. With galleries exhibiting the local indigenous art as well as workshops being conducted to bring forth some of the best in the arena, there is a strong visual arts undercurrent to this festival.