International Ice and Snow Festival: December 2016 - February 2017
The Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival puts on an amazing show for spectators. In addition to the fabulous fireworks at the opening celebrations, there is a range of inspiringly showcased ice sculptures as well as a display of ice lanterns, which are lit up beautifully at night. For the more energetic, there are exciting trips on dog-sleds, ice-skating and snowmobile drives, or even romantic horse-drawn sleigh rides.
Chinese New Year festivities: 28 January 2017
The date of the Chinese New Year celebrations varies from year to year, according to the lunar calendar. This is the most important festival in China and Hong Kong, lasting no fewer than 15 days. Homes, offices and buildings first undergo a thorough cleaning and are then decorated with red lanterns and paper banners. The New Year celebration is primarily a family event at which family members gather to enjoy a sumptuous meal and distribute red envelopes containing cash. At the same, tourists have the opportunity to attend various events during the New Year festivities. In Beijing, the Temple Market takes place, while in Guangzhou various flower markets are open. In Hong Kong, meanwhile, the glamorous night parade is a great attraction, and in Shanghai there is a broad selection of exceptional entertainment to enjoy.
Chinese Lantern Festival: 11 February 2017
The Lantern Festival marks the end of the New Year celebrations. It is a visual treat for young and old alike. At night, children carry lanterns in various designs. Parades featuring illuminated wagons take place and colourful dragon and lion dances are performed.
Dragon Boat Festival: 30 May 2017
The Dragon Boat Festival takes place each year on the fifth day of the fifth month, according to the lunar calendar. Along with the New Year and Lunar festival, it ranks among the top three most important such events. This unique event takes place mainly in southern China, with rowboats decorated with dragon heads compete against each other in exciting races. The races commemorate the poet Qu Yuan, who in the year 295 B.C. was so disturbed by political misdeeds of his time that he plunged into the river Miluo Jiang and drowned.
Shanghai Huangpu Tourist Festival: 8 to 13 September 2017
Shanghai's famous Huangpu Festival is not only popular with locals, but also attracts an increasing number of spectators from all four corners of the world. The annual festival kicks off with a magnificent parade on Huaihai Street. For almost a week, 200 artists and performers from more than 20 countries show off their skills and enthral the audience with concerts and shows, delicious food, arts and crafts.
Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival: 4. October 2017
The Mid-Autumn Festival, also known as the Moon Festival, looks back on more than 2000 years of history. It was classified as Unesco Intangible National Cultural Heritage in 2006. In Chinese culture, the moon symbolises peace and well-being for the family, which is why it is traditional for families to come together on this day. As well as the marvelling at magnificent lantern processions and traditional dancing, festival-goers can also enjoy moon cakes, baked in different flavours especially for the festival.
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Diwali – Festival of Light: 30 October to 3 November 2016
Diwali is one of the most magnificently colourful festivals in India and an extremely important public holiday. 'Diwali', which comes from the word 'Deepawali' and means a swarm of lights, is celebrated in a wide range of different ways in each region of India. Part of this well-known tradition involves the citizens of towns and villages adorning their houses and streets with candles, Chinese lanterns and other kinds of lights, creating a truly wonderful atmosphere in the evening. In many places, people also paint magnificent kolams ˗ symmetrical patterns painted on the floor, usually with coloured rice flour.
Goa Carneval: 14 to 17 February 2017
The Goa Carnival was introduced to the region by Portuguese colonists and over the years became a tradition amongst the local population. The three-day Catholic spring carnival is celebrated enthusiastically in the major cities before the period of strict fasting begins. These days the carnival is a spectacular tourist attraction with colourful parades and passionate music.
Holi Festival: 13 March 2017
Every March, the people of Delhi and northern India celebrate the Hindu spring festival of Holi, a colourful event that last several days. The festival welcomes the arrival of spring and also the victory of good over evil. It is a festival of joy, tolerance, respect, equality and community. On this day the differences between castes, religions and ancestry are no longer visible. People spray each other with coloured liquid fired from water pistols and other “weapons” such as spray guns and plastic bottles, or smear each other with coloured powder.
Thrissur Pooram Festival: 5 to 12 May 2017
The city of Thrissur (in southern India) is named after Shiva (Tiru Shiva Perur) and ranks as a major Hindu place of pilgrimage. In April/May the annual 36-hour Pooram Festival takes place, at which the statues of temple gods are honoured. The festivities include a parade with 30-40 splendidly decorated elephants that make their way through the streets accompanied by firework displays and breathtaking performances by percussionists.
Ganesh Chaturthi – The Indian Elephant God Festival: 25 August to 4. September 2017
The Ganesh Chaturthi is the international Hindu celebration of the birth of the Elephant God. This festival is particularly associated with wisdom, happiness and success, and is marked with exuberant celebrations in the state of Maharashtra and in Mumbai. Here, statues of all shapes and sizes are ornately decorated, which, on the last day of the festival, are carried in a procession with much singing and dancing to the nearest lake and sunk. As these statues sink to the bottom, bad luck is said to disappear.
Dussehra: 30 September 2017
Dussehra, also known as Dashahara, is celebrated in virtually all regions of India – albeit with different names, traditions and legends. The festival is said to celebrate the victory of the good over the bad, and puts the focus on peace and love. Spectators can enjoy colourful processions and fireworks. The highlight of the event is the multitude of local deities that are individually decorated and pulled along on temple chariots.
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Russian winter: mid-December 2016 to early January 2017
The Russian winter is the setting for a grand festival of art and folklore that takes place between the middle of December and the beginning of January. City parks host performances of traditional dance and music, displays of handicrafts, food stands, folk games and much more. Theatres and concert halls present top-quality program of entertainment during this period.
Russian Christmas on 7 January 2017
Christmas in Russia is celebrated on 7 January, the date selected according to the Julian calendar. The main event on Christmas Eve, which takes place on 6 January, is the church service, for which the beautiful Orthodox churches are the setting for an evening of song and illuminated processions, making Russian Christmas a unique event for tourists, too.
Maslenitsa (Russian Sun Festival): March 2017
Maslenitsa is the name of the Russian festival heralding the end of winter and arrival of spring. It involves numerous traditions, including the construction of a figure made of straw which is ceremoniously set alight at the end of the week.
St. Petersburg Musical Spring: mid-March to mid-April 2017
The St. Petersburg Musical Spring is a particular treat for music lovers. The classical music festival lasts almost 4 weeks and features orchestras, choirs and chamber music. As well as admiring the sounds of both well-known and up-and-coming musicians, this is a chance to enjoy the coming of spring in St. Petersburg.
The Golden Mask Festival - Russian Performing Arts Festival and National Theatre Award: in April 2017
The Golden Mask Festival in Moscow entertains spectators with a wide range of different acts. Visitors can take in theatrical shows, operas, operettas, musicals, ballet and modern dance, as well as a puppet theatre. During the festival, winners of the Golden Mask are selected in the two categories of drama and musical theatre. The award ceremony enjoys good coverage by the major Russian media.
Circle of Light International Festival: 23 September to 27 September 2017
The Circle of Light International Festival decorates Moscow's streets, buildings and waterways with stunning artistic lighting. A multitude of 2D and 3D artists mesmerize visitors with state-of-the-art light installations, amazing laser shows and fascinating works of art. During the festival, the most spectacular installations and shows in three different categories win an award.
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