Tag: festival

June Enchantments: The Best Celebrations for your Summer Vitality

Awakenings-13

Photo by http://throwedmag.co

By: Mengbi (Sophie) Chen

If you identify your Travanality as a Culturist or a Wayfarer, then June would be a perfect month for you to travel. It marks the beginning of a season where you can explore the world while feeling the summer vibe in the air through arts and music. What are you waiting for? Get out there and experience the enthusiastic locals, rich cultures, traditions, and some of the most creative innovations. These fascinating festivals are perfect for your summer travel itinerary.  

Portland Rose Festival, Portland, OR, USA, May 27th – June 12th

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Photo by http://www.travelandleisure.com/

Of course, summer is never complete without flowers, nature, and other elements that symbolize vitality. Immerse yourself into some beautiful flora scents by flying west to Portland, Oregon. Widely known for its rainy weather, bridges, food and beer, it’s also known as the “City of Roses.” Each year, the city holds a Rose Festival from the month of May to June, depending on the harvestings of the roses. This celebration of roses can trace its history back to more than a century ago when the visionary city leaders branded Portland as “The Summer Capital of the World.” Today, the festival is deeply rooted at the heart of Portland’s popular culture with its emphasis on cherishing the community values like volunteerism, patriotism and environmentalism. At the Tom McCall Waterfront Park, the city holds its Rose Festival Cityfair with amusement park attractions, fireworks, live performances, dragon boat races and many other amazing events. Get your 2016 season pass to enjoy the beautiful roses and mingle with the passionate Portlandians.

Dragon Boat Festival (duānwǔ jié), China, June 9th

If the Culturist in you is looking for a festival where you can immerse yourself into an ancient tradition, then the Dragon Boat Festival is the one for you. This traditional Chinese festival is celebrated every year in China, and other East Asian countries, on May 5 of the Lunar calendar. Historically, the festival is held to celebrate Qu Yuan, a famous Poet of the Warring States period of ancient China, whose suicide was to protest against the political corruption of the time. Today, the festival is celebrated in different ways. Many eat rice dumplings (zòng zì), drink realgar wine (xióng huáng jiû), and watch or even race the dragon boats. Some people also hang mugworts and calamus (herbs), or make an egg stand at noon to help prevent diseases and evil, with the hope to bring good-health and well-being for the family. The Dragon Boat Festival is a great gateway into knowing the traditions of Chinese culture and history, as it captures some of the best quintessences of the thinkings and the people.

Bali Arts Festival, Bali, Indonesia, June 11th – July 9th

Bali

Photo by https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R_f9Nf5PVBI

If you happened to be traveling in and around South Eastern Asia this June, then you will want to stick around for the Bali Arts Festival starting on June 11. Traditionally, this festival starts on the second Saturday of June and runs through the month of July, inviting both local and international visitors to join. It’s widely regarded as the largest Indonesian cultural feast as it is one of the most exciting celebrations of the year. Every day throughout the celebration, numerous exhibition and art performances are held at the Taman Werdhi Budaya Arts Centre in Denpasar. The art centre, normally a tourism attraction with Balinese sculptures and architectures, will be decorated with traditional coconut leaves and colorful bamboos to welcome the visitors from all over the world. Hundreds of performers of Bali locals, or even original troupes from surrounding islands and abroad, will be dressed up in traditional Balinese clothings to present the audience various art and music performances ranging from local dances to modern and international art exhibitions. Be ready to join the opening lavish parades on June 11 this year as they will be some of the biggest cultural shocks you might encounter in life. Check out here for events and updates.

Awakenings Festival, Recreatiegebied Spaarnwoude, Amsterdam, June 25th – 26th

The Awakenings Festival is  the most vital and crazy festival this summer and a must see on your list. This techno music festival was first organized by the ‘Monumental Productions BV’ in 2001, in Recreatiegebied Spaarnwoude, Amsterdam. Since then, it’s held annually in June bringing in over 40,000 people. Named as one of the Kings of Techno Festivals, Awakenings has numerous fun, exciting musical events featuring some of the most well-known techno producers and DJs like Adam Beyer, Dave Clarke, Nina kraviz and more. Along with famous artists, the event also provides world-class quality sound systems and the most up-to-date technologies to make sure the performances are the finest sound quality. When you enter Recreatiegebied Spaarnwoude, you can see not just one, but eight stages, two of which are open-air, one semi-open and three are tents. If you are a fan of electronic music and blood-pumping summer parties, then join the crowd at the Awakening. Are you ready to be galvanized?

Enchanting January: Indulging in a sparkling New Year

Dogsledding

Photo courtesy of turismoincanada.blogspot.com

For some, the end of the holidays means a time to relax and enjoy the view of a winter wonderland outside their windows. For others around the world, this is a time to celebrate and embrace the cold, or warm, weather with skiing, entertainment, and century old traditions. Whether you are trying to partake in the winter season or head to a much warmer location, there are many festivals around the world for every traveler’s preference.

Harbin Ice & Snow Sculpture Festival, Harbin, China
January 5th – February 2016 

The 32nd International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival is Harbin’s main tourist highlight.  Started 17 years ago, this event has become the world’s biggest winter festival.  Visitors can enjoy beautiful ice sculptures and snow art in the Sun Island Scenic Area, Ice and Snow World, Zhaolin Park and Central Street. The festival starts and ends with a bang! A huge fireworks display on January 5th opens the event and the visitors get a chance to smash the sculptures with ice picks when the festival closes down in February.  The scale and size of the sculptures and the beautiful lighting is what sets this festival apart from all the others.  Visitors can also enjoy and participate in many of the events at the festival such as:  The New Year Concert, Ice Lantern Garden Party or National Cross-country Skiing Championship!

If you’ve had your fill of ice sculptures, check out crazy swimmers as they take a dip in the frozen Songhua River, or visit the Siberian Tiger Park.  You can also take time to stroll down Central Avenue. This one-mile corridor, lined with 77 ornately designed buildings, half of which are historic landmarks.

World Buskers Festival, Christchurch, New Zealand
January 14th – 24th, 2016

For over 23 years now the SCIRT (The Stronger Christchurch Infrastructure Rebuild Team) World Buskers Festival has been a highlight of the summer months and the events calendar in Christchurch. Held during New Zealand’s summer, December through February, the World Buskers Festival will host over 60 performers of all types. Ranging from street performers, to comedians, to fringe artists, and musicians, these performance acts are a little bit off the wall. With so many performers, there is definitely something for everyone. “Songs to Make You Smile,” is an old-fashioned cabaret act of tunes from old-school songwriters (Cole Porter, Irving Berlin) to appeal to a slightly older demographic. Tip Top Buskers Kid Pitch is perfect for kids which is held next to a playground near the Botanic Gardens and includes acts including hula hoopers, jugglers, and comedic acrobats. This is definitely not your average festival.

Sundance Film Festival, Park City, Utah, United States
January 21st – 31st, 2016

The Sundance Film Festival is currently underway in Park City, Utah.

Photo courtesy of geektyrant.com

North America’s most famous film festival is a compelling combination of show, snow, and showbiz, equally popular with intellectuals and the pop-culture paparazzi. This 10-day festival is really two festivals. The first weekend is glamorous filled with industry parties, sponsor-led celebrity events, and world premieres. The second weekend is when you can try to catch whatever film has received a lot of buzz. Sundance specializes in documentaries and with more than 100 films being screened, there’s a wide array of choices to please everyone’s tastes. Visitors new to Sundance are sometimes surprised by the lack of glamour of where the films are shown. You might be in a gymnasium, a high school auditorium, or a tiny sliver of a theater that had better days half a century ago.

Park City is a quaint little town with great restaurants, shops, and lots of live music venues.  Some of the most fun you’ll have is grabbing a drink with  strangers to debate about films  you just saw on the big screen. If you love to ski or snowboard, there are three great resorts, Park City Mountain Resort, Deer Valley, and Canyons Resort, within close proximity. The Sundance Film Festival is deservedly one of the most celebrated film festivals in the world and its location makes it perfect for a long weekend visit in the winter.

Wakakusa Yamayaki, Nara, Japan
January 22nd, 2016

Wakakusa Yamayaki is a grass-burning ceremony held on Mount Wakakusa located east of Nara Park, Nara City, Japan. This fiery event begins at the sound of a blaring trumpet, when eighty-one acres of moorland at Wakakusayama bursts into flames. A religious procession heads from the Silk Road Exchange Hall in Nara Park to the base of the mountain with monks and priests from Tōdai-ji, Kōfuku-ji, and Kasuga dress in traditional costume carrying lit lanterns and torches.The sacred fire at Kasuga Taisha Shrine is carried down to a small shrine at the foot of the hill by a procession of Buddhist monks. The hill is ignited with the sacred fire and burns fiercely amid fireworks lighting up the chilly night skies above. Some say this tradition dates back to a 1,000 year old boundary dispute between two of Nara’s temples, Kofuku-ji Temple and Todai-ji Temple. Others say the mountain was burned to drive away wild boars or to exterminate harmful insects, even drive out goblins! Whatever the reason, this is one event that you will want to be part of.

Quebec Winter Carnival, Quebec City, Canada
January 28th – February 14th, 2016

If you’re a winter person, than the Quebec Winter Carnival is the festival where you can revel in the frigid surroundings to celebrate the joie de vivre of the Carnival season. There are so many events at the Québec Winter Carnival that you’re bound to miss something. There are a few parts of the carnival you must see. The Ice Palace located in the center of the festival is built with bricks of compacted snow, and lit with colored light displays to make the palace look like an iced dessert. The Palace is surrounded by snow and ice sculptures carved from blocks of snow by artists from around the world. The Canoe Race features over 50 teams from Quebec, Canada, France and the United States who navigate the frozen waters of the Saint-Lawrence River between Quebec City and Lévis. Make sure you dress warm to watch both the preliminaries and the finals. The Night Parades in Upper Town and Charlesbourg, which takes place on the second and third weekend of the carnival, are what some would argue as the best part of the whole carnival. Viewers get to the snow-covered streets to admire a parade of colorful decorated floats and zany characters dancing to lively music.

Bewitching October: How You Should Experience Autumn Around The World

By: Jennifer K. Velez, TWIP

There’s no greater place for a traveller to gain a better understanding of a culture then to experience a festival where people come together to celebrate and appreciate food, listen and dance to live music, and much more. The changing colors and cooler days in October draws out locals and travelers to some of the world’s most famous events.

Oktoberfest, September 19-October 4

Oktoberfest

Photo courtesy of worldfestivaldirectory.com

Autumn in Germany symbolizes the beginning of a 16-day folk festival where six million people from around the world gather together in Munich to celebrate Bavarian culture and the start of fall. The original Oktoberfest was created to celebrate the royal wedding of King Ludwig I and Princess Therese where guests indulged in food, drinks and horse races. Due to the overwhelmingly positive feedback, Oktoberfest has become one of the most popular yearly festivals celebrated worldwide. Today, festival goers can enjoy a variety of traditional beers ranging from pale gold to deep amber lagers and meats such as Scheinsbraten and Würstel. If these traditional German flavors don’t suit your taste, you can indulge in more malty flavored German and American influenced beers. If you cannot make it to Munich, fortunately there are smaller Oktoberfests held all over the world where one can enjoy the delectable delicacies of Germany.

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, October 3-11

If you find yourself in Albuquerque around the start of fall, you may catch the annual ascension of hot air balloons. The fiesta is enchanting to new Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta visitors, as over 500 balloons take to the sky. You can see hundreds of colorful balloons floating up and over the city. For nine days a variety of events are held. In the evening, Balloon Glow allows enthusiasts to enjoy the sight of these magnificently lit balloons. Special Shape Rodeo allows for non-traditional balloons, such as animals, covered wagons, and everything else in between, to launch at the same time. Many have said that the Albuquerque International Balloon Festival is the most photographed event in the world. You don’t need to fly in a balloon to enjoy the fiesta. You can simply walk around, eat delicious food, and watch in awe as the sun sets over the Sandia Mountains.

Masskara, October 16-18

bacolod inns masskara images

Photo courtesy of citigrandinn.com

Every year 450,000 residents join together in the street exhibiting a multitude of vibrant masks in Bacolod, Philippines, “city of smiles.” Due to the depressed sugar cane prices in Negros Occidental, the government and local artists collaborated to lift the city’s spirits and created the Masskara Festival. Locals get together to exhibit gorgeous masks with plumes of feathers, exotic flowers, glitter, beads, sequins, and more. This is a sensory experience, with its bold colors, joyous music, and vibrancy. The festival is a reminder to the people of Bacolod to remain optimistic through times of misfortune and to always remember to smile. Don’t have a mask? No problem. Just put a smile on your face and you will fit right in.

Five Reasons Why You Should Join TWIP and HireNurses.com in Montreal!

Montreal

Travel With Interesting People is all about…well…meeting interesting travelers! We are excited to partner with HireNurses.com and curate a Canadian getaway in Montreal, a cultural hub and major Metropolitan city. We have 5 reasons why would should join us in our Food and Wine Getaway!

We will have you convinced to check out further details and book!

1. Experience French-Canadian Culture.

Montreal is not only the 8th largest city in North America, but it is also the second largest French speaking city in the world, after Paris! it is true that the popular downtown area is filled with bilingual civilians, but we will venture into Old Town Montreal and search for the local experience.

montreal foodie

2. Foodie Heaven!

Fact: Montreal has the second highest number of restaurants per capita in North America (after New York City). That is a TON of options! Taste  traditional French cuisine or dabble in the multicultural cuisines of this diverse city. This trip offers a feast of gourmet tastes and portions fit for the Prime Minister at a local Dunham Winery surrounded with views fit for a coffee table book.

montrealview

3.  Get Your Wine Snob On.

TWIP will have your wine knowledge fluent by the end of this trip with a wine tasting class in the Eastern Township’s wine country. Quebec has an cool climate that is perfect for making ice wines and late harvest wines. These Canadian specialties contain a higher sugar content that are enjoyed as an aperitif or with dessert.

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4. Shop Till You Drop!

Did you know that Montreal has a city underneath the city? The Underground City is a maze of tunnels and shops that covers more than 18 miles. You can enjoy meandering in small boutiques or indulge in high-end designer brands.

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5. Festivals of All Kinds.

Montreal is well-known for hosting a plethora of electric festivals including international events filled with beer, jazz, and fireworks. We will take you the stunning Botanical Gardens for the “Gardens of Light” and “Lanterns Festival!” Wander with friends in the Japanese gardens and marvel at the colors and contrasts of authentic lanterns. You also have a chance to go to The Tam-Tams! The Tam-Tams a party in the park complete with dancing hippies, drum circles, and wide-eyed vendors on Mont-Royal every Sunday afternoon.

Montreal

 

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