Yom Kippur at the Western Wall: Go and see Jewish prayers at the ancient site in Jerusalem.
Cannes Film Festival: Be part of the action when the film world descends on the French Riviera in May.
The Academy Awards: The movie industry's big party, every February.
Vienna Opera Ball: Be seen at one of the most important events in Europe's social calendar.
Bastille Day: The French national holiday commemorating the storming of the famous prison on 14 July 1789.
Saut d'Eau Vodou Pilgrimage: Pay homage to the Virgin Mary and the Voodoo "goddess of love" in Haiti.
Roswell UFO Encounter: Made famous by the X-Files, see where in New Mexico little green men allegedly crashed their ship in 1947.
Carnaval: Rio's vibrant street festival marks the beginning of Lent.
Navajo Nation Fair: A celebration of Native American culture.
Up-Helly-Aa: A series of festivals held in Shetland to mark the end of Yule; features the torching of a Viking longship.
Junkanoo: Boxing Day street parade in the Bahamas.
Las Fallas de Valencia: Impressive fireworks in the Spanish city celebrate St Joseph.
New Year's Eve in Times Square: Enjoy Hogmanay in Manhattan.
Love Parade: Berlin's celebration of peace began in 1989.
Iditarod Sled Dog Race: Alaskan tradition lasting eight days in which competitors "mush mush" their way across the wilderness.
La Tomatina: Food-fight festival held annually in Bunol, Spai, involving over-ripe tomatoes.
Monarch Butterfly Migration: Watch thousands of these magnificent insects arrive in Mexico in the autumn.
Devil Dancers of Corpus Christi: Locals dressed as devils dance under the tropical sun in church squares all over Venezuela each summer.
Maha Kumbh Mela: Indian Hindu pilgrimage held four times every 12 years.
Calgary Stampede: A festival, exhibition, and rodeo held in Calgary, Alberta, for 10 days every summer.
Vernal Equinox at Chichen Itza: Watch the shadow of a serpent god snake its way down a Mayan pyramid in the Yucatan peninsula.
Nude Night Surfing: Peel off on Bondi Beach, Sydney, in the middle of the Australian summer.
North American Rainbow Gathering: Hippy love-ins held in annually in a US National Forest.
Reveillon Rio: New Year's Eve knees-up on Copacabana Beach.
Nobel Prize Ceremonies: The world's best doctors, writers and scientists are recognised for their endeavours in Sweden.
Venice Carnevale: Revellers don masks to enjoy the Venetian version of the Mardi Gras.
Hounen Matsuri: An annual Japanese fertility festival with a 7ft wooden phallus carried to a Shinto shrine.
The Palio: Horse race in Tuscan hill town of Siena.
Fatima Pilgrimage: Portuguese town where the Virgin Mary allegedly appeared to children in 1917.
Custer's Last Stand Re-enactment: Held at the site in Montana whereSitting Bull claimed victory over the US army in 1876.
Rip Curl World Heli Challenge: Skiing and snowboarding contests attract enthusiasts from around the world to some of the most picturesque New Zealand landscapes.
Monaco Grand Prix: The most glamorous location on the F1 motor racing circuit.
Ganesh Chaturthi: Ten-day Indian festival celebrating the Hindugod with an elephant-like head.
Queen's Day: A party and a street festival celebrating Dutch "unity".
Battle of Gettysburg Re-enactment: Remembers the pivotal American Civil War clash of 1-3 July, 1863, when General Lee was defeated by the North.
Wildflower Bloom: One of nature's most impressive floral displays, in South Africa.
Shuni-e: Watch Buddhist monks take torches to a sacred well in Japan.
Testicle Festival: Montana gathering for those who like to munch on "Rocky Mountain Oysters" – in other words, bull and sheep testicles
Pushkar Camel Fair: Celebration featuring camel races also attracts traders with thousands of horses and cattle.
Hogmanay: New Year's Eve knees-up in Scotland.
Near Death Pilgrimage: Spanish festival in La Nieves, Galicia, for people who nearly died the previous year; lucky survivors are paraded through the streets in coffins.
Coaster Con: The annual rollercoaster convention in the US.
Pageant of the Masters: Classical and contemporary works of art are recreated by modern-day artists in Laguna Beach, California.
Great Migration: Wildebeest and zebra migrate across Tanzania's Serengeti National Park.
Incwala: Important Swazi fruit festival that takes place in December.
Greenwich Village Hallowe'en Parade: Annual spooky spectacle in Manhattan.
Kirkpinar Oil Wrestling Tournament: Turkish tradition in June based on an ancient army ritual.
Mevlana Festival: See the famous Whirling Dervishes spin in Turkey.
Mangum Rattlesnake Derby: Snakes take centre stage in Oklahoma.
Bisket Jatra: Nepal New Year celebration with parades for four days.
National Finals Rodeo: US festival of horse riding and bull wrestling.
Art Car Weekend: Wacky automobile parade in the US.
Rath Yatra: See chariots pulled through streets of Puri, Orissa, during the Indian Hindu festival in June or July.
Basque Herri Kilorak: Spanish rural sports festival, featuring weight-lifting and body-building.
Marathon des Sables: Five-day, 156-mile run across Morocco.
Sanja Matsuri: Up to two million people attend this music festival in Japan over a weekend.
Holi: Hindu spring festival in India when people throw coloured powder and water at each other.
Paro Tsechu: Buddhist music and dancing festival in Bhutan in the Himalayas.
International Dragon Boat Championship: Colourful Hong Kong boat spectacular.
Naadam: Horse racing, wrestling and archery in Mongolia's biggest sporting festival.
Homowo: African music and tribal storytelling festival in Ghana.
Darwin Beer Can Regatta: Australians race boats made from beer cans.
Burning Man Project: Trendy arts festival in Nevada desert finishes with the burning of a wooden man.
World Championship Punkin Chunking: Pumpkins thrown by catapults in the US.
Hajj and Eid-al-Adha: Mass pilgrimage of Muslims to Mecca.
Oktoberfest: Sixteen day-long beer festival in Munich every September.
Kalibo Ati-Atihan: Philippines masked ball in memory of the birth of Christ.
Chung Yuan Ghost Month Festival: A celebration of dead spirits in Taiwan features the burning of paper money.
Great Singsing at Mt Hagen: Cultural festival in Papua New Guinea.
Nyepi: Silent Indonesian New Year's Eve celebration, featuring contemplation and purification rituals.
Tet Nguyen Dan: Vietnamese New Year celebrations believed to bridge the natural and spiritual worlds.
World Extreme Skiing Champion-ships, USA: Slide down some of the worlds' scariest slopes.
Ngan Kin Jeh: Massive vegetarian food festival in Thailand.
Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras: The world-famous, colourful street party in Australia takes place in March.
World Championship Cockroach Races: Creepy crawly contest in Brisbane every January.
Anastenaria Firewalking Ceremony: Tip-toeing over hot coals in Greece.
Sapporo Snow Festival: Visit the snow statues and ice sculptures in Japan.
Paris Air Show: An aviation extravaganza with the Eiffel Tower as a backdrop.
Cooper's Hill Cheese Roll: Roll down a hill in Gloucestershire in pursuit of cheese.
Day of the Dead: A November national holiday in Mexico for families to mourn loved ones.
New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival: The hippest music in the home of blues.
Argentine Polo Finals: Polo players ride their way through chukkas in South America.
Semana Santa: Peruvian celebration the last week before Easter.
Running of the Bulls: Avoid thedangerous horns in the streets of Pamplona, Spain.
Land Diving: Bungee jumping from 75ft wooden frames lashed to vines on the Pacific island of Vanuatu.
La Fiesta de la Virgen de la Candelaria: Argentinian homage to the Virgin Mary.
Mardi Gras: The United States' most famous carnival takes place on the streets of New Orleans.
Icarus Cup Masquerade Flights: Everthing from hang gliders to paper planes compete at the world's oldest flying festival in France.
Illumination of the Temple of Abu Simbel: Watch the sun's rays heat the face of a statue of Rameses II in the Egyptian city of Luxor in February and October.
Spamarama festival: Yes, you guessed it. The famed tinned meat is celebrated in this Texan festival.
Fes Festival of World Sacred Music: Celebration of the mixing of cultures and world faiths in Morocco.
Tough Guy: The world's greatest endurance contest is held in Staffordshire each January to find the ultimate strongman.
Dakar Rally: Thrilling car race from Paris to Senegal across the Sahara desert
Charley Boorman, actor and star of The Long Way Round with Ewan McGregor, competed in the rally in 2006. He says: "It is one of the ultimate races in the world. It is also the toughest. It takes 15 days of driving 800km [500 miles] a day, which is pretty hard going. There is a lot of mental strain as well – before you start you have to get your team together as well as sponsorship. It's not just a race against others, it's a test against yourself. We live in a nanny state, so to go and push your boundaries to the limit is really healthy – you see what you can achieve in life if you want something enough. At the time it's not much fun, but the satisfaction you feel afterwards makes it worthwhile. Even though I didn't finish [due to injury] I still feel a huge sense of achievement."
Cannabis Cup: A five-day "harvest festival" in Amsterdam celebrating hashish
Marijuana activist and High Times editor Steven Hager says: "I started the festival 21 years ago to establish a worldwide standard for quality of cannabis and it's held every Thanksgiving. Growers and breeders come here to compete for the prize of the best harvest. If other plants have harvest festivals then why shouldn't cannabis? Cannabis is one of the planet's most revered plants... Do we have fun? Sure, there's a lot of pot smoking going on."
Royal Ascot: The dresses, the millinery, at one of the British social scene's most glamorous occasions
Geordie Greig, the editor of Tatler, says: "It can be a great experience to go to Ascot. But it would not be top of my list of things to do. I would rather go surfing in Bali or see kangaroos breed in Australia or the wonders of the world, say, than see a lot of people in top hats. While it is fun, I'm not sure it should be on the list; is it seeing the pyramids at dawn? I don't think so. It is not in the do or die bracket."
World Bog Snorkelling Championships: Local and international competitors race through a peat bog in Wales
Championship founder and former local champion Sheelagh Tompkins says: "It's a very quirky thing to do and it's a good conversation-starter to say you have been in the bog. It is a bizarre experience, when you're snorkelling your way through and wondering how on earth you ended up there. It's dark and you can't see, and that is scary. You bump into the sides a lot."
Venice Biennale: One of the world's greatest art shows, held every two years
Sculptor Antony Gormley says: "The first time I went to the Biennale was in 1982 and I thought it was great. There is no doubt it's one of the best events in the world. It has become a model for a lot of other biennales which do similar things. Biennales are an incredible visual feast. Certain artists can only be seen at biennales. They're like rock musicians who only play at festivals."
National Hollerin' Contest: South Carolina's competition to find the loudest shouter in the US
Reigning champion Larry Jackson says: "Hollering was something people did to communicate when working on farms in America, before the invention of phones. If it weren't for the contest, hollering would be a thing of the past."
World Cow Chip Throwing Championship, Oklahoma: Cowpat throwing as a hard-fought sporting event
Nine-times champion James Pratt says: "I'm in it for the challenge. We have a parade every year here in Beaver, Oklahoma and the contest just developed as a part of that. Practice is all it takes, and a lot of luck. You're supposed to lick your fingers for luck between the first and second throws."
Chelsea Flower Show: The best of British blooming
Garden designer, and six-times gold-medal winner at the show, Tom Stewart-Smith says: "If you go to Chelsea early, the weather is good and you take long enough to have a proper look around, then the flower show here is definitely a world-class event."
Interviews by Rob Sharp. Taken from the book, 100 Things To Do Before You Die, by Dave Freeman and Neil Teplica