Dance traditions at biggest European festivals


The pandemic has done irreversible damage in terms of the lives it claimed, financial losses,

as well as stress, anxiety, and loneliness caused by social distancing. We are inherently social beings and we live and thrive off of each other’s company. In these kinds of times, it is nice to look back and remember the fun things that we used to do before the pandemic. Going to festivals, for example. The biggest festivals brought together millions of people. It was a truly blessed time when we didn’t have to worry about social distancing, but just enjoy the majestic parades, the delicious food, and awe-striking performances. Dance performances are a significant part of most festivals and there are countless festivals dedicated specifically to dance. When the pandemic is over, here are the top festivals that we’re excited to go to in order to watch dance performances and also engage in some fun dancing activities.

St. Patrick’s Day

St. Patrick’s Day is the celebration that every Irish person is excitedly looking forward two. It’s a celebration dedicated to the patron saint of Ireland. Dublin’s St. Patrick’s Festival is the most large-scale celebration and a major tourist attraction, but St. Patrick’s Day parades take place wherever there is an Irish diaspora. On this occasion, people are wearing green, watching the parades, enjoying the traditional food, music, and of course, the dance performances. Thousands of dancers delight the spectators with skillful and unique dance performances. The traditional Irish dance has become as essential to this celebration as the shamrock, leprechaun, or Guinness beer are. There’s even a nice tradition for some amateur dancers to learn a St. Patrick’s Day trade set dance to impress their family and friends. If you also want to impress your loved one next year, better start looking for Irish dance shoes and start learning the dance!

Oktoberfest

Oktoberfest is the world’s largest beer fest and it has been held since 1810 in Munich. It’s an important part of Bavarian culture. There’s much more to this festival than beer, although that’s certainly one of the best parts. It is traditionally celebrated in late September for 16-18 days and it gathers millions of people annually. Apart from beer, food, and music, there are also costumed parades and thousands of dancers who perform for the public. You can see polka dance performances and also the Schuhplattler dance, which is a folk dance popular in Bavaria. But there’s another interesting tradition at Oktoberfest, and that is the chicken dance. This is a dance in which people imitate chicken beaks with their hands and wiggle back and forth faster and faster in tempo with the Der Ententanz song. It’s a really fun activity to do, especially after a couple of good beers.

Edinburgh Festival Fringe

The Edinburgh Festival Fringe has been voted number 1 on the list of must-do experiences in the UK by the users of Lonely Planet in 2019. It is so loved by locals and tourists because it has everything: music, theater, cabaret, exhibitions, comedy, dance, and so much more. For art enthusiasts, this is an amazing show because it is the largest arts festival in Europe and quite possibly the world. If you especially love theatrical dance performances, which are a tradition for this festival, then this is certainly one of the festivals that you need to go to at least once in your life!