SPECIAL EVENTS & FESTIVALS
UAE – Dubai Shopping Festival (Dec – Jan)
Dubai is currently the hot place to shop, and the best time for shopaholics is during the huge, sprawling Dubai Shopping Festival. Reductions are offered across a vast range of must-haves, from jewellery to fashion, electrical goods and carpets. Malls open daily 9am-midnight; Night souk daily 6pm-2/3am.
Sapporo Snow Festival (Feb 6-12 2017)
The Sapporo Snow Festival, one of Japan’s largest winter events, attracts a growing number of visitors from Japan and abroad every year. Every winter, about two million people come to Sapporo to see the hundreds of beautiful snow statues and ice sculptures which line Odori Park,the grounds at Satoland, and the main street in Susukino.
Carnival of Venice (Feb)
Venice Carnival is a festival that celebrates the passage from winter into spring, a time when seemingly anything is possible, including the illusion where the most humble of classes become the most powerful by wearing masks on their faces. The official start of the Venice Carnival dates back to 1296, when the Senate of the Republic made the Carnival official with an edict declaring the day before Lent a public holiday.
France – The Parade of Golden Fruit (Feb – Mar)
A multicoloured festival under the sun! The town comes alive on Sunday mornings, when coaches and cars dance through the streets, an endless farandole of people swaying down the alleyways to the sea. Laughter and joy shine from happy faces everywhere.
Holland Flowers Festival (Mar – Apr)
The Holland Flowers Festival is the Netherlands’ principal bulbous plants and flowers show and takes place at The Greenery in Zwaagdjik-Oost.It is possible to enjoy the beauties of spring as early as February in the festival’s covered halls, which become a sea of flowers. The combined colours and fragrances of around 150,000 blooms provide a welcome assault on the senses.
Cherry Blossom Viewing in Kyoto (Mar – Apr)
Kyoto’s most famous spot for the annual ritual of hanami (cherry blossom viewing), Philosopher’s Path is a shady trail along a small canal. In keeping with Kyoto’s refined image, this is a gentle affair of couples walking hand in hand.
USA – Winter Restaurant Week in New York City (Jul – Aug)
For two weeks every winter, thousands of New York City’s best restaurants offer lunches and dinners at greatly discounted prices.
Germany – Nuremberg Christmas Market (Dec)
The gorgeous and colossal Nuremberg Christmas Market, known locally as the Christkindlesmarkt, on the Hauptmarkt square draws more than 200,000 visitors from all over the world every year. This is the Christmas market to visit in Germany.
Japan – Chichibu Yomatsuri (Dec)
The small town of Chichibu, near Tokyo, is the annual venue for fireworks, traditional performing arts and a gorgeous action-packed parade of huge, illuminated floats in one of Japan’s most spectacular yomatsuri (night festivals).
Australia – Sydney New Year’s Eve (Dec 31)
The Sydney New Year’s Eve celebrations are always among the most spectacular in the world. Activity focuses around a glittering Darling Harbour and the majestic Harbour Bridge, the backdrop for some of the most breathtaking fireworks you’ll ever see.
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