What's on around the world in December


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What's on around the world in December

Shake up your summer holiday routine by visiting some of the most interesting events taking place around the world this December. Story book characters come to life in the USA, while in the United Kingdom, one coastal town celebrates the winter solstice with an elaborate and modern fire festival.

Russian Winter Festival Moscow, Russia

26 December to 10 Januaryi

Trokia sleigh rides are a traditional Russian Winter Festival activity.

Winter Festivals take place throughout Russia during December, but the Russian Winter Festival Moscow held at Izmailovo Park and Revolution Square is the main attraction. The Russian Winter Festival celebrates everything that the winter season has to offer from ice sculpture art and entertainment to food, crafts, and games.

Bundle up underneath a warm blanket with a pair of valenki (woollen boots) for a troika (sleigh ride) through the snow. Anyone with a more adventurous spirit can take a dip in the icy Moscow River with the Walrus Clubi. Or simply enjoy the sights, sounds and shopping at the Christmas Village in Revolution Square.

Grinchmas, USA

6 December to 3 January

The story of How the Grinch Stole Christmas comes to life as Whos from Whoville take over Seuss Landing at Universal Studio's Islands of Adventure in Orlando, Florida for the annual Grinchmas extravaganza. While he may not be the merriest of characters, the Grinch promises to be on his best behaviour as he strolls through the streets signing autographs and spreading holiday cheer. There will be live performances each day as well as plenty of opportunities to have your picture taken with the Whos and the Grinch, perfect for making family holiday memories that can last a life time.

l'Escalade, Switzerland

11 December

Do you know the story of Mère Royaume, the housewife who, according to legend, saved the town in which she lived from an advancing army with nothing but a pot of boiling soup? Her tale is widely known in Geneva and each year during l'Escalade, people take to the streets in a torch-lit parade which celebrates the defeat of the Savoyard army in 1602.

Fête de l'Escalade is Geneva's largest festival and these days instead of fighting enemy soldiers, you will find participants dressed in period costumes, eating marzipan and chocolate replicas of Mère's famous pot of soup. The parade winds its way through the historic city streets along the bank of the Rhone River, ending with a bonfire in the square of St. Peter's Cathedral, in the centre of Old Town Geneva.

The l'Escalade Run is another popular event held in the days leading up to the main festival where around 20,000 runners participate in the 8Km jaunt around the old town area of the city. +On the shortest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere, residents of Brighton put a local spin on traditional fire festivals found throughout the UK with the annual Burning the Clocks festival. As the sun goes down, some 2,000 people gather in the centre of town to make their way in a procession of lit paper lanterns to the beach. One by one, parade participants toss their handmade lanterns into a roaring bonfire on the sand. After the parade, the festivities continue with the lighting of a large fire sculpture and live music, culminating in a fireworks display over the shoreline.

The festival began as a way to celebrate the holiday season, regardless of faith and tossing the lanterns into the fire is said to bring the lantern bearer's hopes and dreams for the New Year to fruition . Each year around 20,000 spectators line the city streets to watch the parade, but why just watch when you can join in? Official lantern building kits are available from local shops which contain a parade wristband and everything needed to build your lanterniii.

Angkor Wat International Half Marathon, Cambodia

7 December

One of the sights you might see is the Bayon Temple, an ancient temple in Angkor Wat.

Raise money for charity and experience the beauty of one of Southeast Asia's most significant historical sitesiv, during the Angkor Wat International Half Marathon. There are three races to choose from: the 21km Half Marathon, 10km Road Race and the 3km Family Fun Run, each of which begin at the entrance to the temple and take runners on a journey through the ruins of the Angkor Wat complex. Built over 600 years from the 9th to the 15th Century, the Angkor Wat complex was the centre of the Khmer Kingdom and offers visitors a glimpse into this ancient cultureiv.

Now in its eighteenth year, the Angkor Wat Half Marathon attracts runners from across the globe. Money raised through donations and entrance fees helps to provide support services for victims of anti-personnel mine explosions in Cambodia and the marathon has raised $275,084USD since its inception in 1996.

Burning the Clocks, United Kingdom

21 December

On the shortest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere, residents of Brighton put a local spin on traditional fire festivals found throughout the UK with the annual Burning the Clocks festival. As the sun goes down, some 2,000 people gather in the centre of town to make their way in a procession of lit paper lanterns to the beach. One by one, parade participants toss their handmade lanterns into a roaring bonfire on the sand. After the parade, the festivities continue with the lighting of a large fire sculpture and live music, culminating in a fireworks display over the shoreline.

The festival began as a way to celebrate the holiday season, regardless of faith and tossing the lanterns into the fire is said to bring the lantern bearer's hopes and dreams for the New Year to fruition . Each year around 20,000 spectators line the city streets to watch the parade, but why just watch when you can join in? Official lantern building kits are available from local shops which contain a parade wristband and everything needed to build your lanternvi.


iWorld Guide, Russian winter festivals, viewed on 2 October 2014,
http://www.worldguide.eu/wg/index.php?StoryID=178&ArticleID what=12743

iiFest300 2013, Burning the clocks, viewed on 7 October 2014,
https://www.fest300.com/festivals/burning-the-clocks

iiiSame Sky 2014, Buy a lantern kit, viewed on 7 October 2014,
http://www.samesky.co.uk/events/burning-the-clocks/get-involved/buy-a-lantern

ivUNESCO, Angkor, viewed on 7 October 2014,
http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/668

vFest300 2013, Burning the clocks, viewed on 7 October 2014,
https://www.fest300.com/festivals/burning-the-clocks

viSame Sky 2014, Buy a lantern kit, viewed on 7 October 2014,
http://www.samesky.co.uk/events/burning-the-clocks/get-involved/buy-a-lantern