6th April-12th April

Cuzco, Peru

Beginning on Monday, the Cuzco Semana Santa celebrations are famous for combining both Christian and pagan iconography in a heady mix over Easter week. Vivid processions in swirling clouds of incense make their way through the town on Monday and Thursday, only to be surpassed by Sunday's feast on the streets when traditional dishes are served up all day to anyone still standing.

12th April Easter Sunday

Florence, Italy (right)

The Tuscan capital's Easter festivities reach a spectacular climax in the shadow of the Duomo, when a rickety cart-load of fireworks is wheeled up to the doors of the cathedral. The bishop then lights a rocket (more reliable than the dove of old) from the high altar, which wends its way to the cart and caboom, bells ring, so do everyone's ears, and the party begins in earnest. If the cart fails to explode, it augurs bad crops for the coming year. A fantastic explosion on the other hand spells tinnitus all round for the coming month.

April 12th for two weeks

Aguascalientes, Mexico

Said to be the best fair in all of Mexico, the hot-spring town of Aguascalientes to the north of Mexico City has hosted the San Marcos Fair for as long as anyone can remember. Bullfights, local brandy and a fair bit of illegal gambling prevail for the two week feria when wide-brimmed hats will be a must.

April 4-5

Santa Cruz, California

For those yearning for the ultimate horse-powered experience, the new and extensive Harley Davidson Museum should satisfy even the most die hard burner of rubber. Opening its doors for the first time, the museum includes official archives, oddities and memorabilia for the buffs, and plenty of shiny polished chrome bits for the yet un-born to be wild.

11 April

Monte Carlo

A performance by the seldom-seen Dance Theatre of Harlem hails the start of the five-week Monte Carlo Spring Arts Festival. Other highlights include Dieter Kurz conducting the Wurttemvergischer Kammerchor, Dee Dee Bridgewater paying tribute to the songs of Ella Fitzgerald and a new play by Yasmina Reza starring Jean-Louis Trintignan.