Here is a selected list of events for 2006. (For an expanded list, go to latimes.com/worldevents.) For more information on an event, plug its name into your favorite search engine. All dates and events are subject to change, so check before going.
Ottawa: Winterlude, Feb. 3-19 (weekends). One of the continent's largest winter festivals.
Perth, Australia: Perth International Arts Festival, Feb. 10-March 5, among the country's oldest and largest festivals of music, dance, theater, film and visual arts.
Hong Kong: The Hong Kong Arts Festival, Feb. 9-March 12, attracts world-class performers.
Turin, Italy: The 20th Olympic Winter Games, Feb. 10-26.
Europe: Major carnival festivities in Belgium (Binche, Feb. 26-28); Germany (Aachen, Feb. 11-27; Bremen, Feb. 17-18; Dusseldorf, Feb. 23-27; Cologne, Feb. 23-28; Mainz, Feb. 23-March 1; Munich, Feb. 26-28); Italy (Viareggio, Feb. 12-March 5 [Sundays]; Venice, Feb. 17-28); Portugal (Funchal, Madeira, Feb. 25-28; Lisbon, Feb. 28); Spain (Malaga, Feb. 3-12; Barcelona, Feb. 23-March 1; Sitges, Feb. 23-March 1; Cadiz, Feb. 23-March 5; Santiago de Compostela, Feb. 28-March 1; Las Palmas, Gran Canaria, Canary Islands, March 2-12); Switzerland (Lucerne, Feb. 23-28; Basel, March 6-8)
Hong Kong: Spring Lantern Festival, Feb. 12. An annual event marking the end of New Year celebrations.
Stuttgart, Germany: Dance Platform Germany (Tanzplattform Deutschland), Feb. 22-26, the country's leading contemporary dance event.
Brazil: Major carnival festivities in Bahia (Feb. 22-March 1), Rio de Janeiro (Feb. 25-28)
Vienna: Vienna Opera Ball, Feb. 23. The highlight of the city's ball season.
Caribbean: Major carnival festivities in Ponce, Puerto Rico, Feb. 23-March 1; Port of Spain, Trinidad, Feb. 26-28; Aruba, Feb. 26-March 8; San Pedro, Belize, March 1.
Buenos Aires: The Tango Festival, Feb. 24-March 6, features free events around the city.
Dalarna, Sweden: The Vasaloppet cross-country ski festival, Feb. 24-March 5, celebrated yearly since 1922.
Adelaide, Australia: The Adelaide Fringe, Feb. 24-March 19, one the country's biggest arts festivals.
Khajuraho, India: At Khajuraho Dance Festival, Feb. 25-March 3, the country's finest classical dancers perform among ancient temples on the UNESCO World Heritage list.
New Orleans: Mardi Gras Day, Feb. 28.
Nara, Japan: Omizutori Water-Drawing Festival, March 1-14, a 1,200-year-old series of rituals performed by Buddhist monks at Todaiji temple, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Daytona Beach, Fla.: Bike Week, March 3-12, claims to be the world's largest motorcycle event.
Anchorage: The Iditarod, the nine- to 12-day dog-sled race, begins March 4.
Philadelphia: Philadelphia Flower Show, March 5-12. Among the largest anywhere.
Maastricht, Netherlands: International Fine Art and Antiques Fair, widely considered the world's best event of its kind, March 10-19.
Jaipur, India: The city's annual Elephant Festival, March 14.
Dublin, Ireland: St. Patrick's Festival, March 15-19.
Valencia, Spain: Las Fallas, March 15-19, the city's biggest festival, a week of bonfires and parades.
Budapest, Hungary: The Budapest Spring Festival, March 17-April 6, the country's major annual cultural event, hosting music, dance, film and more.
Tokyo: Cherry-blossom viewing around the Emperor's Palace, March 25-31.
Washington, D.C.: The National Cherry Blossom Festival, March 25-April 9, celebrates the 3,000 blooming cherry trees around the Jefferson Memorial and Tidal Basin.
Nashville: Tin Pan South, March 28-April 1, songwriters' festival.
Sisimiut, Greenland: The Arctic Circle Race, a three-day cross-country ski competition, March 31-April 2.
Oudtshoorn, South Africa: The Klein Karoo National Arts Festival, April 1-8, offers pop, rock, cabaret, classical music, drama and dance.
Charleston, S.C.: The Lowcountry Cajun Festival, April 2, has Zydeco and Cajun music, crawfish races, Creole food and more.
Geneva: Salon des Inventions, an international inventors' exhibition, April 5-9, one of the principal events of its kind.
Verona, Italy: Vinitaly, April 6-10, is one of the world's largest exhibitions of wines and spirits.
Paro, Bhutan: During Paro Tsechu, April 9-13, throngs in traditional costume descend on Paro Dzong temple for Buddhist blessings, dances and dramatic performances.
Melbourne, Australia: The Melbourne Comedy Festival, April 12-May 7, with more than 1,000 acts in one of the world's largest such events.
Luang Prabang, Laos: Pii Mai, the Laotian New Year, April 13-15, celebrated in this UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Thailand: Songkran, the Thai New Year, April 13-15, marked by colorful parades and much water-throwing.
Rome: On Good Friday, April 14, the pope leads a torchlight procession up Palatine Hill from the Colosseum, reenacting the Stations of the Cross.
Taiwan (various locations): Mazu (Goddess of the Sea) parades, April 20, with celebrations at 400 temples accompanied by drums and firecrackers.
Chau Doc, Vietnam: Ba Chua Xu, April 20-25, the country's largest folk festival.
Rome: April 21, to mark the founding of the city in 753 BC, the Aventine Hill is covered with candles.
San Antonio: A highlight of Fiesta San Antonio, April 21-30, is the Texas Cavaliers River Parade, April 24, in which elaborately decorated floats drift down the San Antonio River.
Stratford-upon-Avon, England: Shakespeare's birthday celebrations, April 22.
Seville, Spain: Feria de Abril, April 25-30, with round-the-clock flamenco and more.
Speyside, Scotland: Speyside Whisky Festival, April 27-May 1, celebrates Scotch with tastings, distillery tours, lectures.
Chicago: Art Chicago in the Park, April 28-May 1, at Butler Field, one the country's most important art fairs.
Netherlands (various locations): Queen's Day, April 30, celebrates the birthday of Queen Juliana, one of the country's liveliest holidays.
Florence, Italy: Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, April 30-June 14, Italy's oldest music festival.
Louisville, Ky.: The Kentucky Derby, May 6.
Prague, Czech Republic: Prague Spring International Music Festival, May 8-16, one of Europe's major musical events.
Vienna: This year's Vienna Festival (Wiener Festwochen), May 12-June 18, focuses on Mozart's 250th birthday.
Borobudur, Indonesia: Waisak, May 13, is a Buddhist festival held at one of the world's largest Buddhist monuments.
Bristol, England: Bristol Comic Expo, May 13-14, a huge fair for collectors of comics.
Kyoto, Japan: At Aoi Matsuri, the city's May 15 hollyhock festival, hundreds of people parade in historic costumes.
Istanbul: International Istanbul Theater Festival, May 18-June 4.
Beaufort, S.C.: The Gullah Festival, May 26-28, celebrates the Sea Islands' distinctive African American culture.
Charleston, S.C.: Spoleto Festival USA, May 26-June 11. Opera, dance, drama.
Indianapolis: The Indy 500, May 28.
Paris: The French Open tennis tournament, May 29-June 11.
Prague, Czech Republic: World Festival of Puppet Art, June 1-10.
Fes, Morocco: Fes Sacred Music Festival, June 2-10.
Landgraaf, Netherlands: Pinkpop, June 3-5, thought to be Europe's oldest pop music festival.
Venice, Italy: Vogalonga, June 4, is a 28K rowing race around the Venetian lagoon.
Iceland: Seafarers' Day (Sjomannadagur), June 5, marked countrywide with parades, seafood feasts and swimming and rowing races.
Chicago: The Chicago Blues Festival, June 8-11.
Newport, England: The Isle of Wight Festival, June 9-11, is one of England's biggest rock festivals.
Chattanooga, Tenn.: The Riverbend Festival, June 9-17, draws more than half a million people for jazz, blues, country, folk, bluegrass and classical music.
Montreal: St-Ambroise Fringe Festival, June 10-20, includes virtually every kind of performing art.
Antalya, Turkey: Aspendos Opera and Ballet Festival, June 10-July 22, takes place in a 2,000-year-old amphitheater overlooking the Mediterranean.
New York: JVC Jazz Festival, June 12-24.
Dublin, Ireland: On Bloomsday, June 16, James Joyce fans gather in the author's hometown.
Zurich, Switzerland: The Zurich Festival, June 16-July 9, showcases theater, dance, classical music and opera.
Scandinavia: Midsummer Day is marked June 24.
Verona, Italy: The Verona Opera Festival, June 24-Aug. 27, stages "Aida," "Carmen," "Cavalleria Rusticana"/"Pagliacci," "Tosca" and "Madama Butterfly" in the city's Roman amphitheater.
Munich, Germany: The Munich Summer Opera Festival, June 25-July 31, features more than 50 performances.
London: The Wimbledon tennis championships, June 26-July 9.
London: The City of London Festival, June 26-July 13, showcases music, art, architecture and film.
Puri, India: Rath Yatra, June 27, one of India's most spectacular Hindu festivals, draws hundreds of thousands of pilgrims.
Bordeaux, France: Bordeaux Fete le Vin, June 29-July 2, a celebration of the region's wines.
Lenox, Mass.: Tanglewood Music Festival, June 29-Sept. 3.
Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Folklife Festival, June 30-July 4 and July 7-11.
Montreux, Switzerland: The Montreux Jazz Festival, June 30-July 15.
Spoleto, Italy: Festival dei Due Mondi (Festival of Two Worlds), June 30-July 16, encompasses film, performing and visual arts.
Sigtuna, Sweden: Sigtuna Medieval Days, July 1-2, is a medieval fest in the country's oldest town.
Krakow, Poland: Krakow Jewish Culture Festival, July 1-9.
France (nationwide): The Tour de France, July 1-23.
Kingston, Jamaica: Reggae Sunsplash, July 1-31.
Brussels: Ommegang, July 6, thought to be the city's oldest historical pageant, with about 1,400 performers.
Forde, Norway: The Forde Folk Music Festival, July 6-9, one of the country's biggest music fests, with more than 250 performers.
Leh (Ladakh), India: The colorful Hemis Festival, July 6-7, celebrates the birthday of Buddhist Guru Padmasambhava.
Pamplona, Spain: Running of the Bulls, July 6-14.
Japan (nationwide): For Tanabata (Star Festival), July 7, Japanese cities and towns are festooned with decorations and lanterns.
Kuching, Malaysia: The Rainforest World Music Festival, July 7-9, celebrates ethnic music and indigenous cultures on Borneo.
Calgary, Canada: The Calgary Stampede, July 7-16, one of the world's premier rodeo events.
Cyprus: The Festival of Ancient Greek Drama, July 7-Aug. 6, stages comedies and tragedies by international theater companies.
Douai, France: In the Parade of the Giants, July 9, giant effigies of characters from local folklore are marched through the city's streets.
Stornoway, Scotland: The Hebridean Celtic Festival, July 12-15, a feast of traditional language, customs and music.
Zanzibar, Tanzania: ZIFF (Zanzibar International Film Festival) -- Festival of the Dhow Countries, July 14-23, East Africa's largest cultural event, with films, music, performing arts, exhibitions and workshops.
Santa Fe, N.M.: Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, July 16-Aug. 21.
Linz, Austria: Pflasterspektakel, July 20-22, is a spectacular street festival with hundreds of magicians, mimes, acrobats.
Deadwood, S.D.: Days of '76, July 25-30, celebrates Deadwood's Wild West past.
Vancouver, Canada: Celebration of Light, July 26-Aug. 2, a huge fireworks competition.
Berlin: The Berlin Beer Festival, Aug. 4-6, held in a mile-long beer garden.
Edinburgh, Scotland: The Edinburgh Military Tattoo (Aug. 4-26); Edinburgh Fringe Fest, which purports to be the world's biggest open arts event (Aug. 6-28); Edinburgh International Book Festival, one of the English-speaking world's major literary events, with readings, discussions, sales and book signings (Aug. 12-28); Edinburgh International Festival of classical music, theater, opera and dance (Aug. 13-Sept. 3); and Edinburgh International Film Festival (Aug. 16-27).
Hiroshima, Japan: Thousands of paper lanterns are set adrift on the Motoyasu River on Aug. 6, the anniversary of the atomic bombing of the city.
Budapest, Hungary: Sziget (Island) Festival, Aug. 9-16, Hungary's largest music festival.
Brussels: Once every two years the city's Grand Place is covered for several days with a huge flower carpet. Aug. 11-15, 600,000 begonias do the job.
New York: The New York International Fringe Festival (FringeNYC), Aug. 11-27.
Mt. Hagen, Papua New Guinea: At the Mt. Hagen Cultural Show, Aug. 19-20, 50 local tribes meet for a colorful ritual of dance and music that attracts thousands of spectators.
Eilat, Israel: The Red Sea Jazz Festival, Aug. 28-31, a major Middle Eastern jazz event.
Bunol, Spain: The Tomatina, Aug. 30, probably the world's largest food fight, painting the town red with a couple of hundred tons of hurled tomatoes.
Chicago: Chicago Jazz Festival in Grant Park, Aug. 31-Sept. 3.
Black Rock Desert, Nev.: Burning Man Festival, Aug. 31-Sept. 4.
Seattle: Bumbershoot arts festival, Sept. 1-4.
Aarhus, Denmark: The Aarhus Festival, Sept. 1-10, Scandinavia's biggest cultural fest.
Washington, D.C.: Black Family Reunion Celebration on the National Mall, Sept. 9-10.
New York: New York Musical Theatre Festival, Sept. 10-Oct. 1, stages more than 30 new musicals and launches emerging writers, composers, lyricists and performers.
Lyon, France: Lyon Dance Biennale, Sept. 12-Oct. 3, hosts hundreds of international dancers.
Austin, Texas: Austin City Limits Music Festival, Sept. 15-17.
Munich, Germany: Oktoberfest, Sept. 16-Oct. 3.
London: The Chelsea Crafts Fair, Oct. 3-15, is one of Europe's best for jewelry, ceramics, glass, furniture and more.
Morehead City, N.C.: The North Carolina Seafood Festival, Oct. 6-8, one of the world's largest.
Tenterden, England: The Tenterden Folk Festival, Oct. 6-8, showcases folk song, music and dance.
Albuquerque: The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, Oct. 7-15.
Cheltenham, England: The Cheltenham Literature Festival, Oct. 7-16, among the world's oldest such events, presents top novelists, actors, comedians, playwrights, politicians and poets in several hundred events.
Pushkar, India: Rajasthan's Pushkar Camel Fair, Nov. 2-5, is a world-class extravaganza of color and activity.
Britain: Guy Fawkes Day (Gunpowder Day), Nov. 5, marked with fireworks and bonfires in various cities and towns.
Miami: Art Basel Miami Beach, Dec. 7-10 in the city's Art Deco district, combines a major international art show with special exhibitions and music, film, architecture and design events.
Verona, Italy: Santa Lucia Festival, Dec. 10-13.
Rio de Janeiro: Fireworks, samba and raucous partying mark New Year's Eve, Dec. 31, on Copacabana Beach.