Pride Month is officially upon us, and there are more destinations to celebrate than New York or Los Angeles — though the parties on both coasts are, of course, quite spectacular. But this year, why not consider making the festivities international? In the United States, Pride Month is held in June to commemorate the anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, but the date of celebration varies overseas — as does the longevity and manner of festivities. One thing that’s consistent, however, is the indefatigable spirit of joy and undercurrent of triumphant resilience that permeates Pride celebrations across the globe. From the streets of Sydney to the boulevards of Berlin, here’s what pride looks like in six countries around the world.
Not only is São Paulo home to the largest Pride Parade in South America but it’s also considered the largest Pride Parade in the world — a distinction earned in 2006 when 2.5 million people celebrated in the streets of Brazil. The annual event is held in June, on the Sunday following the Feast of Corpus Christi, and begins at noon outside the São Paulo Museum of Art, with revelers marching down the Avenida Paulista, waving flags, and donning elaborate costumes. Expect spectacular music, as well. You are in Brazil, after all. Rio de Janeiro is another popular site to visit during Pride Month, but the main action takes place at the festival in São Paul.
The third country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage, Spain has a long history of Pride celebrations. The first Pride event was held in Madrid in 1978 when 7,000 revelers attended a gay rights celebration (the first of its kind in the country). Nearly 50 years later, the number of attendees has grown massively — nearly 2 million participants descend upon the Spanish capital every summer to attend the largest Pride celebration in Europe. Expect more than 50 floats to sail across the city when the Parade is held on the first Saturday of July. The Chueca neighborhood is a cosmopolitan LGBTQ+ center in the city and is a hotspot for events and activities throughout Pride Week. Keep an eye out for concerts staged on the Plaza de Pedro Zerolo and Plaza del Rey, among other locations throughout the capital.
Taiwan’s Pride Parade is one of the largest LGBTQ+ events in Asia and is held annually on the last Saturday of October on the streets of Taipei. The event originated in 2003 as a political rally in the island nation’s capital and has since evolved into a dynamic festival of merrymaking. Today, it is the biggest Pride Parade in Asia. Taiwan legalized same-sex marriage in 2019 and has long been known as a gay-friendly destination in East Asia, and visitors can discover additional LGTBQ+ parties at bars and hotels throughout the weekend during their stay.
Berlin has long been considered the Gay Capital of Europe, and it certainly lives up to its reputation every July when it hosts “Berlin Christopher Street Day” (or “Berlin CSD”) in honor of the New York City street where the Stonewall Riots took place in the West Village in 1969. Berlin CSD is held annually in the second half of July, with weeks of revelry, including CSD on the Spree (where people celebrate on boats on the Spree River) and Stadfest Berlin, the largest gay and lesbian house music festival in Europe. The revelry culminates during the Pride Parade, an open-air festival of live music and performers, which runs from Leipziger Street to Brandenburg Gate. But, this being Berlin, the party never ends — just remember to pack a backpack and a water bottle to survive the all-night raves that are sure to cap off a spectacularly decadent celebration in Germany’s largest — and most exciting — city.
Forget Pride Week — why not celebrate for an entire month? For the entirety of June, the streets of Sydney are host to an array of LGBTQ+ events: Infectious, high-octane affairs featuring performers from RuPaul’s Drag Race alongside international celebrities like Kylie Minogue. But that’s not the only star-studded LGBTQ+ event in Sydney — the city also plays host to the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras every February, and in 2018 the legend herself, Cher, performed on-stage to celebrate the 40th anniversary of this landmark celebration. She may not be able to turn back time, but she’s certainly qualified to celebrate its passing. Today, Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras is one of the most popular events in Australia.
Tel Aviv is called the Gay Capital of the Middle East, and this beautiful Mediterranean city is the perfect place to celebrate pride abroad. Tel Aviv Pride is held in June and has become one of the largest attractions in the cosmopolitan city. Amusing diversions abound throughout Pride Week, including the legendary drag festival Wigstock, and the party is truly nonstop. After the Pride Parade commences in Charles Clore Park, the notorious after-pride parties begin in its wake, with dancing and live music scheduled to last all night long.
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