Best Festivals in February 2012



Best Festivals in February 2012:

Festivals are amazing show of cultures and traditions in this globalised world. A better place for travellers to understand a country is an event where it proudly celebrates its individuality and culture, whether through music, camel races, traditional stuff or food fights.

The top festive activities for February are listed below:

Chūn Jié (Spring Festival/Chinese New Year)

Location: Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong

Dates: Lunar New Year (between 19 January and 20 February). For 2012, Chinese New Year festivities begin on 23 January.

Chinese New Year is celebrated around much of the world – where there’s a Chinatown there’s invariably a Chinese New Year party.

Tet Nguyen Dan (Festival of the First Day)

Location: Throughout Vietnam

Dates: Lunar New Year (between 19 January and 20 February)

In Vietnam, Tet ushers in the New Year and is by far the biggest day on the national calendar. Tet rites begin a week before New Year’s Day.

International Ice & Snow Festival

Location: Zhaolin Park and Sun Island Park, Hāěrbīn, China

Dates: 5 January–29 February

China’s northern Hēilóngjiāng province’s capital Hāěrbīn has made the best of a bad thing with its International Ice and Snow Festival.

Thaipusam

Location: Batu Caves, outside of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Date: Full moon day in the 10th Tamil month of Thai (mid-January to mid- February)

The most spectacular Hindu festival in Malaysia is a wild orgy of seemingly hideous body piercings, marking the day when Lord Shiva’s son, Murugan, was given a lance to vanquish three demons.

Carnaval de Québec (Winter Carnival)

Location: Old Town, Québec City, Canada. Events centre on Parc de l’Esplanade.

Dates: Late January to mid-February. This year it runs from 27 January to 12 February.

Billing itself as the world’s largest winter carnival, the 17-day Carnaval de Québec was first created in 1894 as a way to beat the winter chills.

Carnevale Venezia (Venice Carnival)

Location: Venice, Italy. Piazza San Marco is the focus of the festival.

Dates: Begins two Fridays before Ash Wednesday, finishing on Fat (Shrove) Tuesday

The high point in Venice’s social calendar, Carnevale is a masked extravaganza, and your chance to spend 12 days looking like the Phantom of the Opera.

Pasola

Location: Sumba, Indonesia

Dates: During February and March; the timing is determined by the arrival of a type of sea worm called nyale

Argungu Fishing Festival

Location: Argungu, Nigeria

Dates: Around mid-February

Don’t come to this fishing festival expecting to see a few people lazily casting lines into the river; this is one of the more unusual events you’re ever likely to witness.

St Valentine’s Day

Location: Terni, Italy. The feast takes place outside the Basilica di San Valentino.

Dates: Throughout February, but particularly 14 February

Saidai-ji Eyō (Naked Festival)

Location: Kannon-in temple, Saidai-ji, Japan

Date: Third Saturday in February

Naked Festivals are common (if a little overstated, since participants wear loincloths) throughout Japan in the early New Year but the most extraordinary is the one in the Kannon-in temple outside of Okayama.

Carnaval de Binche

Location: Binche, Belgium. The parade begins at the town hall.

Date: Fat (Shrove) Tuesday

Battaglia delle Arance (Battle of the Oranges)

Location: Ivrea, Italy. The battle takes place in the town’s main square.

Dates: Concludes on Fat (Shrove) Tuesday

Art Deco Weekend

Location: Venues around Napier and Hastings, New Zealand

Dates: Third weekend of February

When the Hawkes Bay town of Napier was all but destroyed by an earthquake in 1931, Art Deco moved in. Rebuilt almost entirely in Art Deco style (with a splash of Spanish Mission thrown in), the town – along with neighbouring Hastings – is now one of the world’s best examples of Art Deco design.

Oruro Carnival

Location: Oruro, Bolivia

Dates: 10 days around Ash Wednesday

Jenadriyah National Festival

Location: Al Jenadriyah, Saudi Arabia

Dates: Late February or early March

Held at a special site 45km northeast of central Riyadh, Saudi Arabia’s major cultural event promotes and fosters traditional cultures and crafts. .

New Orleans Mardi Gras

Location: St Charles Avenue, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA

Date: Mardi Gras is French for ‘Fat Tuesday’, also known as Shrove Tuesday

Rio de Janeiro Carnaval

Location: Sambódromo, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Dates: Culminating on Shrove Tuesday (Fat Tuesday), but beginning in earnest on the previous Saturday

Tenerife Carnaval

Location: Santa Cruz, Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain

Date: Mardi Gras is French for ‘Fat Tuesday’, also known as Shrove Tuesday

Trinidad Carnival

Location: Port of Spain, Trinidad, Trinidad and Tobago

Date: Mardi Gras is French for ‘Fat Tuesday’, also known as Shrove Tuesday

Maslenitsa

Location: Vassilyevsky Spusk, Moscow, Russia

Dates: Last week before Lent

Viareggio Carnevale

Location: Viareggio, Italy

Dates: Four Sundays leading up to Lent

Famous either as a sun-and-sand resort or the spot where the poet Shelley drowned, Viareggio is otherwise known to festival-goers as host to one of Europe’s finest carnival celebrations. In Italy, it’s second only to Venice’s Carnevale for party spirit.

Groundhog Day (Punxsutawney, USA; 2 February) www.groundhog.org Watch Punxsutawney Phil emerge from his burrow to forecast the year’s weather…it all depends on his shadow.

Madurai Float Festival (Madurai, India; full moon of the Tamil month of Thai — between mid-January and mid-February)

Chiang Mai Flower Festival (Chiang Mai, Thailand; first weekend in February) Colourful floats exhibit Chiang Mai’s cultivated flora.

Setsubun (Japan; 3 or 4 February) To celebrate winter’s end and drive out evil spirits, the Japanese indulge in bean-throwing while chanting ‘fuku wa uchi oni wa soto’ (‘come in happiness, get out devils’).

Jaisalmer Desert Festival (Jaisalmer, India; dates vary in February) Tourist-oriented festival with camel races, dances, turbantying contests and the famous Mr Desert competition.

Jorvik Viking Festival (York, England, mid-February)

Pineapple Cup Montego Bay Race (Caribbean Sea; February) www.montegobayrace.com A bi-annual yacht race between Florida and Montego Bay (Jamaica), that’s also an excuse for four days of partying in Montego Bay.

Sauti Za Busara (Zanzibar, Tanzania; around the second week of February) www.busaramusic.com Four-day celebration of Swahili music in the Stone Town.

Lantern Festival (Mainland China and Taiwan; 15th day of the first month in the Chinese Lunar Year) Marks the end of the New Year period and is the day for lovers; people walk the streets at night with paper lanterns and make dumplings of glutinous rice with sweet fillings.

Berlinale (Berlin, Germany; begins on the first or second Thursday of February) www.berlinale.de Berlin’s international film festival, with flicks vying for the coveted Golden Bear.

Basant (Lahore, Pakistan; second weekend of February) Lahore celebrates the onset of spring with this one-day kite-flying festival.

Holland Flowers Festival (Zwaagdijk-Oost, Netherlands; starts on the third Wednesday of February) www.hollandflowersfestival.nl

Festival of Dance (Khajuraho, India; 1 – 7 February 2012) The cream of Indian classical dancers performing amid floodlit temples in the western enclosure.

Abu Simbel Festival (Abu Simbel, Egypt; 22 February) Twice-yearly festival (also in October) to mark the occasion when the sun shines directly into the interior of Abu Simbel temple.

Festival de Jerez (Jerez de la Frontera, Spain; last week of February and first week of March) www.festivaldejerez.es Two-week festival dedicated to music and dance, particularly flamenco.

Cape Town Pride (Cape Town, South Africa; mid to late February) www.capetownpride.co.za Cape Town’s gay and lesbian community flies the rainbow flag during this 10-day festival, which includes arts events as well as dance parties and a street parade.

That is all about the festivals around the globe. Which festival you are going to attend this February?

 

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