If one of your 2013 resolutions is to travel across the globe, then Priyanka Singh & Dev Goswami tell you what’s going on around the world this year
It’s the time for new beginnings, resolutions and a fresh outlook. We spoke to many people and one of the top resolutions for the year was to travel more. And the best time to travel abroad is when there is also a cultural festival or large scale event happening. While you may not be able to attend all these events this year, try to make it to at least one of them. And if it’s the moolah that is pulling you down, well, you now know which ones to save for in 2014. Read on as we tell you some of the best annual cultural events that take place across the big blue marble in 2013. Also, we help you out with the approximate round trip air fare if you book your tickets right away.
OKTOBERFEST IN MUNICH, GERMANY
All of us call it the Oktoberfest, however, the world famous 16-day long beer festival runs from late September to the first weekend in October. While many clubs celebrate this festival in India, the authentic zest and infectious energy can only be experienced if you visit Munich during this festival. The festival is held on a grassy embankment called Theresienwiese, where there are multiple beer tents, inside which the attendees can soak up the revelry! Apart from beer, you’ll also get to see a parade and live music. But, make sure that you brush up on your beer guzzling talent as beer drinking is a competitive sport in Munich. If you have already made up your mind, then here are the dates — it’s going to be held from September 21 to October 6 this year.
TRAVEL: Rs 39,000 onwards
BURNING MAN IN NEVADA, U.S.A.
This festival is primarily for art connoisseurs who want to celebrate the existence of art, creative freedom and support the idea of a festival that can be successful without commercial sponsorship. The organisers of Burning Man believe that trying to explain what the festival is to someone who has never been to the event is a bit like trying to explain what a particular colour looks like to someone who is blind. However, we’ll try to paint you a picture. It’s a gathering of people who volunteer to be a part of this art festival which is always based on a theme. Larry Harvey, founder of the Burning Man project, sets a theme each year to encourage a common bond that helps tie each individual’s contribution together in a meaningful way. Participants are encouraged to find a way to help make the theme come alive, whether it is through a large-scale art installation, a theme camp, gifts brought to be given to other individuals, costumes or any other medium that you can come up with. They create an effigy of a man as well and light it up at the end of the festival. Many artists claim that the festival can turn out to be a life changing experience. It is going to be held from August 26 to September 2, at Black Rock Desert, and the theme for this year is ‘Cargo Cult’.
TRAVEL: Rs 67,000 onwards (for a Los Angeles bound flight)
HAY FESTIVAL, BRITAIN
No, don’t get confused. We aren’t recommending you to go for a festival which is about dry grass. Britain’s Hay Festival is actually a must-visit event if you are a fan of the written word. The festival is not limited to any particular genre and from poets, lyricists and novelists to scientists, comedians and environmentalists; you can expect authors and writers from many different fields. This year is really special for the festival as it is celebrating its silver jubilee. As a part of their celebrations, authors and writers who will attend the festival will ask the audience questions, rather than it being the other way round. Also, the king of the spy genre, John Le Carre, will be making his first ever appearance at this fest and if you are a fan of his writing, this is really not something that you’d want to miss. If you plan on going right now, we recommend you check out their website (www.hayfestival.com) where they are giving out early bird tickets (ranging from Rs 600 to Rs 2,500) for the festival which will start from May 24.
TRAVEL: Rs 45,000 onwards (air fare to London)
CARNIVAL IN RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL
This festival needs no introduction and is for someone who wants to have unadulterated fun. This world famous festival is held before Lent every year and is one of the biggest carnivals in the world with two million people per day on the streets. This four-day carnival is basically to commemorate the many samba schools that grace the land of Rio and the carnival ends with a competition between these schools. This competition, which is in the form of a parade, has loud music, garish costumes, massive set ups, untiring dancers and extremely contagious happy vibes. During these four days, there are also balls, parties, bands and other fancy parades that you can attend or even be a part of. In 2013, it’s going to be held from February 9, so in case you are planning to tick this off your bucket list this year, then make your bookings soon for cheaper rates.
TRAVEL: Rs 1,00,000 onwards
INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL AT CANNES, FRANCE
There are many film festivals that are held all over the world... and then there is Cannes! One of the foremost international film festivals, Cannes hosts the who’s who of the film fraternity gracing its lands from across the globe. No, you don’t have to be a filmmaker, star, or a critic to be a part of this festival; if you are an avid film buff, the experience at Cannes will leave you with an unparalleled knowledge about films. While it may be tough to obtain tickets of the films that are in competition, the films that are being screened at the festival are more accessible. However the case may be, just making it to the festival will be worth every rupee that you spent. The festival this year is going to be held from May 15 to 26.
TRAVEL: Rs 37,000 onwards (for Paris)
GLASTONBURY FESTIVAL IN SOMERSET, ENGLAND
Glastonbury festival is like a pilgrimage for music lovers. It’s a festival for contemporary performing arts, but is mainly known for the exemplary bands of the contemporary times that make an appearance each year. This four-day festival has festival goers staying in tents, caravans and motor homes at the large, open air venue, where they literally breathe, live and soak in the music via multiple stages. It’s taking place from June 26 to 30 and the tickets get sold out sooner than you can imagine, so make sure that you book them right away.
TRAVEL: Rs 45,000 (to London)
LO TOMATINA, SPAIN
Lo Tomatina, the tomato throwing festival, found fame in our country after its portrayal in the movie, Zindagi Na Milegi Doobara. As shown in the movie, the festival literally involves throwing tomatoes at people. However, that’s not all that the food fight is all about. The week-long festival, which is held on the last Wednesday of August each year in the town of Bunol (near Valencia), features music, parades and dancing. Also, the night before the food fight, the participants of the festival compete in a cooking competition. The history behind the festival is somewhat incomplete. While some theories talk about a food fight between friends, others say that the fest originated after disgruntled citizens threw tomatoes at the city’s councilmen. No matter how it started, the fact is that people began to enjoy it so much that this tomato throwing ceremony was repeated every year after that.
TRAVEL: Rs 50,000 onwards (for Valencia)
DUBAI SHOPPING FESTIVAL
How many times have you asked people returning from the Middle East to get you something? Well, if you’ve got the travel bug, we recommend that you head down to Dubai soon as the government is currently organising the annual Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF). Started in 1996, DSF is now well-known world over and will be the perfect place for you if you are looking to indulge in some retail therapy. Apart from just shopping, the festival, which will go on till February 3, also promises you film festivals, special events for youngsters, street splays, night fireworks and international fashion shows.
TRAVEL: Rs 25,000 onwards
ELEPHANT FESTIVAL, JAIPUR
It is not just the rest of the world which is having amazing festivals and events. If you don’t want to go out of the country, then you can head to Rajasthan in March, where Jaipur will be hosting its annual elephant festival. Quite obviously, elephants are the centre of attraction here. However, at this festival, you will see elephants in a manner that we are sure you’ve never seen before. The simplest way to explain what you can look forward to is by saying that the elephants are decked up just like an Indian bride at her wedding. They are painted with traditional Indian motifs, gold embroidered velvet rugs are placed on their backs and they are adorned in chunky elephant jewellery such as anklets which have tinkling bells. Even the mahouts (elephant rider) are dressed up in an ethnic manner as the festival gives away prices for the best decorated elephant and mahout.
TRAVEL: Rs 5,500 onwards
KOLKATA BOOK FAIR
The world’s largest non-trade book fair (meaning that it’s meant primarily for the general public and not the wholesale traders), Asia’s largest book fair and said to be the most attended book fair in the world — you see why this had to be on the list, right? What sets this particular book fair apart from other major book fairs is that this one is meant for the general public, while other fairs such as the Frankfurt Book Fair (the largest book fair in the world) are more focused on negotiating international publishing rights and licensing fees. The fair this year will begin on January 30 and go on till February 10. The popularity of this fair is phenomenal — over 1.7 million people visited the fair last year and books worth `20 crore were sold in the 12 days of the fair. If you are a book lover, then make sure you head down to Kolkata at the end of this month.
TRAVEL: Rs 9,200 onwards