What's on around the world in January 2016
The New Year brings winter wonderlands of ice carving, snow sculpting, kings on parade, and a mountain on fire to Northern climes, while the warmer regions are ablaze with colour for religious festivals, dancing and parties.
It's parades, parties, cruises, cowboys and film as the USA begins the New Year.
Witness the Sundance Film Festival, the undisputed king of independent film festivals at Park City, Utah from January 21 to 31. Park City is also the centre of Utah skiing with numerous highly-rated resorts nearby including
Deer Valley and the large
Park City Mountain Resort that
now incorporates the ski resort previously known as The Canyons.
'Find your adventure' in Pasadena, California, at the
annual New Year Rose Parade from 8 in the morning of New Years Day. Float
decorating to the theme starts on December 27, then the route is crowded with
spectators as the creations take to the streets. Later in the day is the Rose
Bowl collegiate football match.
Watch the 116-year-old tradition as 10,000 disguised and
decorated men, woman and children take to the streets in the
Mummers Parade in Philadelphia on 1 January, starting at 10am at City Hall.
Set sail with Holy Ship!
a 3-night luxury cruise featuring the world's best in electronica departing 3
January, from Miami Florida. For the more relaxed, join the Jam
Cruise departing Miami Florida January 6 with 5 days on board luxury cruise
ship, the MSC Divina, stopping in the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico.
Ride 'em Cowboy at the
Forth Worth Stock Show and Rodeo from 15 January to 6 February with 23 days
of Stock Shows and Rodeo events at the Will Rogers Memorial Center, Forth Worth,
Texas. The all Western Parade is held on Saturday January 16 from 11am. No
motorized vehicles allowed and there will be family friendly activities, live
music and a carnival.
Hear the true heart and soul of Country at the
National Cowboy Poetry Gathering,
presented by Western Folklife Center, a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to
preserving Cowboy culture based in Elko, Nevada from 25 to 30 January.
In Northern America, snow and ice rhyme with winter
playground, with the Carnaval de Québec, the Fête des Neiges, Winterlude and
Banff's SnowDays in Canada this January.
Party in Québec City, Québec for the
Quebec Winter Carnival 2016 in Battlefields
Park, January 29 to February 14. Bonhomme (short for Bonhomme de neige - think
Frosty), the event's mascot will be on parade. There will be free outdoor and
indoor parties, winter sports (including a sleigh race and an ice canoe race on
the St Lawrence River), ice sculpture competitions and a free outdoor public
Not to be outdone by the provincial capital, Québec's
Montréal will host the
des Neiges from 16 January to 7 February at Parc Jean-Drapeau, Montreal.
Meanwhile Ottawa, Canada's national capital, is hosting the
world's largest skating rink, normally known as the Rideau Canal for the
Festival. There will be 7.8 km of skating on the frozen canal as well as ice
sculptures from 29 January to 15 February.
Visit Banff, in the heart of the Canadian Rockies, for the
Banff SnowDays with live entertainment, ice carving demonstrations, the Ice
Magic Festival in Lake Louise, the Big Bear ski and rail event, snowshoeing, dog
sledding and geocaching. The festival runs from January 15 to February 7.
If you weren't lucky enough to grab tickets to Jam Cruise,
Electronica Fans can head to the BPM
Festival, in Playa del Carmen, Mexico for ten days from January 8 to 17.
While January 7 marks the Orthodox and Coptic Churches
Christmas Day, the Western tradition honours the coming of the three wise men on
January 6. In France, children will be choosing a King for the day from the
Galette des Rois. In Austria and the Benelux countries the Three Kings go
door-to-door singing and receiving a gift in return. In Germany and parts of
Sternsinger (Star Singer) goes door-to-door and a blessing is chalked above
the household's main entryway.
Walk to the beat of drums in the Basque Country's
La Tamborrada as San Sebastián celebrates its patron saint's day with 24
hours of drumming from January 19 to 20. Adults and children alike dress up and
take to the streets with their drums and enjoy special celebratory feasts of
seafood at lunch or dinner.
Pop on a mask and parade as Venice breaks out in colour for
the Carnevale di Venezia from
January 23 to 9 February. The first celebrations, the Festa Veneziana parts one
and two are on the January 23 and 24, the Festa delle Marie parade takes place
on 30 January.
Be invaded by Vikings at Lerwick, Scotland on January 26
for Up Helly Aa day when 1000
Viking-outfitted locals take over the town. This Viking Fire Festival takes
place on the last Tuesday of January in the capital of the Shetland Isles as the
Guizer Jarl and his Jarl Squad don their new shields and join the other Jarls in
a torch-lit procession starting at 7:30pm and ending in the burning of a galley.
See the Northern Lights from the
Kiruna Snow Festival in
Swedish Lapland from January 27 to 30. In a winter wonderland, there will be a
snow-made kids playground, snow sculpting, skiing, snowboarding, handicrafts to
buy, kids horse-riding (unless it's colder than -10 degrees Celsius),
dog-sledding, reindeer races and snowmobile jumping.
Rev your engines, the first World Rally Championship of the
FIA calendar kicks off with the
Monte Carlo Rally from 18 to 24 January. Visit France's Alpes-Maritimes, Alpes-de-Haute
Provence and Hautes-Alpes regions as well as Monte Carlo itself for the
374.89 km race. The vintage car rally will run January 27 to February 3.
Join the crowds as they flock to Kalibo from January 8 to
Ati-Atihan, the week-long festival honouring the Santo Nino (baby Jesus) in
Aklan Province of the Philippines. The festival is a whirl of colour with
dancing, music, fantastical costumes and sometimes even traditional weapons.
If you miss out on Ati Atihan, head to
Dinagyang. Believed to be influenced by Ati Atihan, this three-day
celebration honouring the Holy Child (Santo Nino) is celebrated in Iloilo city
on the fourth Sunday in January, falling on the 24th in 2016.
Watch a mountain go up in flames and fireworks at
Wakakusa Yamayaki in Nara, Japan on January 22. As part of the New Year
celebrations, every year on the fourth Saturday of January sacred fire from
Kasuga Taisha Shrine is taken by torch and used to ignite Mount Wakakusa which
is then allowed to burn for half an hour. The best viewing is from Nara City but
get in early to get a good view and don't forget to rug up, as it gets cold.
Buy a lucky bamboo and join the faithful praying for
business success on January 10 at the Imamiya Ebisu Shrine in Osaka for the
Shinto Festival of
Ebisu. The Festival is celebrated all over Japan by praying to the God of
business success, but is especially important at shrines in Osaka, Kyoto and
See the world's largest ice sculptures in north eastern
China at the
Harbin Snow and Ice Sculpture Festival, a festival of lights and ice opening
January 5 and continuing through February with fireworks, and sculptures created
from huge blocks of ice carved from the Songhua River. This year's theme is
"Happy Ice Snow, Exciting City".
In a celebration that attracts over a million each year,
the Hindu Festival of
Thaipusam Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia sees penitents (Kavadi (burden) carriers)
pierced by hooks and skewers make the procession from Kuala Lumpur to the Temple
of Murugan (Hindu God of War) in the Batu Caves from January 23. The three-day
festival originated in Tamil Nadu in India and penitents prepare from 48 days
ahead with a vegetarian diet, celibacy and prayer which sends the worshippers
into a trance permitting them to carry out the feats.
If flying the friendly skies is more to your taste, join
Uttarayan Festival in Gujarat, India where the skies are filled with kites
to celebrate the change of seasons from winter to summer on January 14.
Still in India, in Tamil Nadu province, join the
the Hindu Thanksgiving, on 15 January for the four-day-long harvest festival
held when rice, sugar cane and turmeric are harvested. There are bonfires and
racing cows decorated with beads, tinkling bells, sheaves of corn and garlands
January 26 is one of India's three national holidays,
Republic Day, where India's self-government and Constitution is celebrated
with a parade by the armed forces and dancers in Delhi and a particularly
eminent guest is invited. Last year it was U.S. President Barack Obama.
The following day, 27 January, the town of Madurai in Tamil
Nadu celebrates the Madurai Float
Festival (Teppothsavam). Idols of the goddess Meenakshi and her consort Lord
Sundareshwarar are taken and floated on Lake Teppakolam in a procession, then
drawn in a decorated float around the shrine in the middle of the lake.
If you love street performers, Christchurch, New Zealand is
the place to be, between January 14 and 24, for the
SCIRT World Buskers Festival.
There will be daily performances by the best street performers, buskers,
acrobats, hoola-hoopers, musicians, circus and Vaudeville acts at Busker Park on
the L7P stage, Stage 3 and SCIRT Stage and Buskers Kid Pitch.
In Cape Town, South Africa, one New Year's party
is not enough, so on January 2 visit
Kaapse Klopse, a
street parade of minstrels singing Cape Jazz in a music and dance extravaganza.
The Cape Town Minstrel Festival kicks of South Africa's Bemajor competition
between the 40-odd Minstrel clubs of Cape Town running every Saturday until