From rocking live music extravaganzas to intriguing cultural celebrations, the world boasts some pretty spectacular festivals. To help you gain a better understanding of how these incredible events came about, we've compiled a brief history of just some of the most famous festivals on the globe!


Edinburgh Fringe, Scotland

If you love culture, comedy and Scottish charm, the world famous Edinburgh Fringe is the festival for you. Running across three consecutive weeks of August, it boasts status as the largest arts festival in the world and draws in highly coveted acts from all corners of the globe. The Fringe dates back to 1947 when eight uninvited theatre groups made a name for themselves at the Edinburgh International Festival, an event designed to enrich and celebrate European culture after the hardship of the Second World War. Despite their lack of official recognition, the groups persevered with their acts and performed on the 'Fringe of the Festival.' Little did they know that this would become an age-old tradition which culminated in the 1958 establishment of the Festival Fringe Society and a 2013 turnover of 45,464 performances.


Día de Muertos, Mexico

Celebrated in countries around the world, this three-day Mexican festival sees friends and families gather together to commemorate the lives of those they have lost. According to scholars, the celebrations date back hundreds of years to an Aztec festival honouring Mictecacihuatl, the Goddess of Death.


Glastonbury, England

Renowned as what is quite possibly the world's most iconic contemporary performing arts festival, Glastonbury has been delighting music fans with stellar line-ups since 1970. The event was first organised by local farmer Michael Eavis and has continued to be held in the fields of Worthy Farm ever since. Today, some shows are even recorded in high definition which means you can re-live all the action from your Blu-Ray or DVD player.


Mardi Gras, New Orleans

Held in early January, this famous two-week long festival features a lively schedule of parades throughout the city. The celebrations climax with the wild antics of Mardi Gras Day (aka Fat Tuesday) which see the city indulge in all manner of frivolities. The roots of modern day Mardi Gras can be traced back to medieval Europe and traditional Catholic preparations for the religious season of Lent.


Carnival, Brazil

For a breathtakingly wild festival like no other, Rio de Janeiro's annual Carnival celebrations take the cake. Pulling in crowds of over one million people, the four day long festivities feature extravagant floats, lively samba dancing and a whole lot of skin! If you want to experience the excitement of Carnival from the comfort of your couch, why not check out some of the fantastic Blu-Ray and DVD players available from Toshiba? There are some great live recordings available that will transport you directly to the colourful streets of Rio!


La Tomatina, Spain

Held on the last Wednesday of August, La Tomatina is a mecca for those who don't mind getting their hands dirty. Every year, tens of thousands of revellers pack the streets of Valencia's Buñol to pelt each other with 125,000kg of tomatoes! The quirky tradition began in 1945 at the local Giants and Big-Heads figures parade where the energy of the crowd saw one of the participants fall off a float, fly into a raging rampage and begin an epic vegetable battle in the town square. 1946 saw a voluntary clash which was quashed by the authorities. Then in 1950 it became an official Buñol celebration. It has since grown to become one of the world's most popular revelries and has been officially recognised as a Festivity of International Tourist Interest.

Whether it's music, performing arts or culture, next time you're planning on attending a festival, why not do some research into its origins? We guarantee it will enhance the experience and offer fascinating insight into how such a good time came into existence!