Experience New Year Celebrations in Sri Lanka – A Time for Family and Fellowship

The traditional New Year celebrations in Sri Lanka is a time marked by families getting together and various customs being observed by the country’s Sinhala and Tamil communities.

Traditional Food| Img by: Amila Tennakoon via Wikimedia CommonsCC BY 2.0

A National Holiday

The traditional New Year or the Sinhala and Tamil New Year generally falls on 13th and 14th April each year. In the villages, it is also celebrated as a harvest festival and it is a national holiday as well. Look to book family or honeymoon hotels in Sri Lanka in advance during this time; places like Amaya Hunas Falls, Kandy give you a chance to experience some of the New Year festivities.

Rituals and Customs

The New Year period is marked with a series of auspicious times at which various customs are followed. These include boiling milk in a clay pot till it overflows, applying oil on the head, lighting an oil lamp and observing Buddhist or Hindu rituals.

Traditional Food

An important and yummy part of this festival is the traditional food items that are made! Kiribath (milk rice) and pongal (sweetened rice) are favourites as are what are known as “sweetmeats”; kavum (oil cake), thalaguli (made with sesame seeds), kokis (a crunchy deep-fried snack) and laddu (flour-based sweet with ghee) to name a few.

Fun Games

New Year games are also part of the festive fun; popular games include the “Kana Mutti” (similar to hitting a piñata), “Banis Kama” (bun eating contest without use of hands) and “Kotta Pora” (involves trying to knock an opponent off a log using a hard pillow!).

 

 

Auburn Silver is a travel writer who has a passion for fashion and a deep interest in admiring new and exotic attractions around the world. Google+

 

Celebrating Sri Lanka’s Independence Day as a Tourist – A celebration of magnificent pomp and pageantry

Sri Lanka celebrates the gaining of her independence from the British colonial rule every year on the 4th of February. Here are some important facts about this national day of Sri Lanka.

 

The fight for freedom

The first cries of dissent against British rule came from the Uva Province and the British responded in kind, massacring countless locals in the Uva-Wellassa region farmlands. Matale also joined the rebellion and this paved the way to fight the battle for freedom. The rebellion resulted in Sri Lankan falling completely under British rule while before the island was a protectorate under the English crown.

Overview

Sri Lanka, after gaining independence on 4th February 1948, this day is celebrated annually to mark the victory of the country’s freedom struggle. Generally, citizens all over the country celebrate this day with cultural performances, flag-hoisting ceremonies, dances, and parades. The main celebration takes place in Colombo and it’s a televised event.

Highlights

On Independence Day, all the war heroes who fought for the country are remembered to commemorate this historic day. The president also pays tribute to the war heroes by observing two minutes of silence. The colourful military parade performed by the tri-forces is an interesting highlight of this day.

Music

Travellers visiting the country by this time of the year can often hear traditional patriotic songs about Sri Lanka. Those songs are often accompanied by a colourful performance. If you’re residing at one of the many Colombo hotels the likes of The Kingsbury Colombo, you can learn more about Sri Lanka’s diverse cultures.

Auburn Silver is a travel writer who has a passion for fashion and a deep interest in admiring new and exotic attractions around the world. Google+

Christmas day at Koh Phangan – A Tropical Christmas!

Christmas day is looming, and you just want to escape the hustle and bustle of the city? Thinking of a relaxing Christmas break in a peaceful environment? A perfect pick would be Thailand at a Koh Phangan resort where you could chill with your partner in privacy. A few things to remember when spending Christmas in Thailand.

Chilling

Thailand being predominantly a Buddhist country, does not celebrate Christmas like the west. Although you may find some festive cheer around, the best way to celebrate is to chill at a resort such as the Anantara Rasananda Koh Phangan Villas where you can request for your own private villa.

Christmas buffet

There are a few restaurants in Koh Phangan that serve up a proper Christmas roast, but with a more tropical twist. Look out for those restaurants and make sure you reserve a table early on for you and your partner to enjoy a Christmas feast.

Entertainment

If you’ve relaxed enough and want to party, Koh Phangan has options for that too. During the season there are some Christmas themed parties on the island, such as the famous “full moon” party, which is essentially like a rave on the beach. If you are travelling with a bunch of friends, this might be something to check out.

Water Activities

Discover life under water by snorkeling on the island of Koh Nang Yuan. Or take a private yacht tour in luxury and delve deep into underwater treasures as you sip on cocktails on deck.

Auburn Silver is a travel writer who has a passion for fashion and a deep interest in admiring new and exotic attractions around the world. Google+

The Centrepiece of a Diverse Musical Culture in Macau –Entertainment and Culture

Macau will yet again host the 31st edition of the Macao International Music Festival which has gone a long way to cement the city’s status as a musical stronghold.

 

The festival will be opened by a much-awaited production of Andrea Chenier, a lauded opera consisting of four acts by Umberto Giordano. It is guaranteed to be the high point of the upcoming cultural year of the region given the fact that it will be performed by Teatro Regio Torino.

Special Guests

The Vienna Philharmonic, considered to be one of the best orchestras in the world, will be the special guests this time around. They will be performing two concerts, the Golden Peak on the 29th of October which showcases the work of Strauss, and the Timeless Beethoven on October 20th.

The Indie Scene

The city has more to offer beyond classical music, a burgeoning underground and indie scene is present as well. Gigs are arranged all year round at unique venues. Interested parties wanting to attend international and local acts can find accommodation easily at many a hotel in Macau including the likes of Hotel Okura Macau.

Highlights

A highlight of the festival will be the performance by the Berlin-based Japanese vibraphonist el fog and composer, Masayoshi Fujita, who is considered to be a rising star in the contemporary music front. His work is heavily influenced by electronic and jazz music and makes for an eclectic creation.

Auburn Silver is a travel writer who has a passion for fashion and a deep interest in admiring new and exotic attractions around the world. Google+

Giant omelette festival – A Festival of giving and sharing

A totally different festival which is celebrated in France is the Giant omelette festival. This is undoubtedly one of the unusual and best food festivals in the world. The festival features a giant omelette being made on an enormous scale by trained chefs. Recommended by the Dine and Wine blog site, this festival offers some of the best local places to eat in France.

The origin of the Festival

It is said that one day the great Napoleon Bonaparte stayed at Bessières and during his stay he was so delighted by the taste of the omelette prepared by the innkeeper; that he ordered to prepare the same food for his regiment gathering all the available eggs in the village. Since then, the event is celebrated during every Easter by the villagers and to feed the poor.

The giant omelette

To cook an omelette on an enormous scale, the quantities of ingredients required are staggering.15000 eggs, 25 litres of oil, six kilos of seasoning, dozens of bunches of chives are some of the main ingredients that are used to cook the giant dish. The ingredients are mixed and poured into a giant fry pan and it is cooked by stirring the mixture by cooks armed with a large wooden spatula.

Serving the Omelette

The best part of this festival is the cooked omelette is served with bread to everyone who visits the festival. It will be a heart-warming moment and a notion of giving. You can enjoy and meet different people during the festival and you can also delight yourself with deliciously cooked food.

Visiting here

In order to experience this wonderful festival, you have to be here exactly on an Easter Monday. The festival takes place in a village in the Toulouse region called Bessières. The moment you arrive here you are greeted by lots of people and of course, chefs dressed in white caps and yellow ties and this is the way you can make sure that you have landed in the right place.

 

Auburn Silver is a travel writer who has a passion for fashion and a deep interest in admiring new and exotic attractions around the world. Google+

 

Chinese New Year – A celebration of colour and glamour

The origins of Chinese New Year are unclear but there are myths and legends that surround how it all began. A mythical beast named ‘Nian’ awakens on New Year’s Eve to cause harm and destruction.

Chinese New Year | Image Credit - Mutante, CC BY-SA 3.0 Via Wikipedia Commons

Chinese New Year | Image Credit – Mutante, CC BY-SA 3.0 Via Wikipedia Commons

Preparing for New Year

The preparations for New Year begin several days before the actual event. It is important not to clean once the New Year has begun as you will be ‘cleaning away’ the good luck that has begun to gather inside the home. The New Year is also a time for shopping. Be sure to visit the street markets that crop up in the vicinity of 4 star hotels in Hong Kong the likes of Park Hotel Hong Kong in the days leading up to the festival.

NYE celebrations

New Year’s Eve is when most people put up their decorations. The decorations must be red in colour, which signifies good luck. The traditional New Year’s Eve Feast brings together family, travelling great distances to be reunited and dine on sumptuous traditional food such as dumplings and sticky rice cakes.

New Year’s Day celebrations

Loud fireworks are a key part of ushering in the New Year. Rockets and chains of firecrackers pierce the night to mark the dawning of the New Year and families look forward to this joyous time.

Following New Year’s Day

It is customary to visit relatives in the days following New Year’s Day. Most businesses will reopen on the 8th day of the New Year as eight is considered a lucky number.

Auburn Silver is a travel writer who has a passion for fashion and a deep interest in admiring new and exotic attractions around the world.

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Kunming preparing for Chinese New Year – Enjoy the Festivities

With Chinese New Year falling on the 7th of February this year, millions of employees, business people, students and soldiers from every corner of the country will visit their family and friends during this month to celebrate the upcoming spring and end of winter season.

Chinese New Year | Image Credit - Flickr user: ahisgett, CC BY 2.0 Via Wikipedia Commons

Chinese New Year | Image Credit – Flickr user: ahisgett, CC BY 2.0 Via Wikipedia Commons

Chinese New Year

The Chinese New Year also called the Lunar New Year and the Spring Festival is undoubtedly one of the most widely celebrated festivals in the world. In many cities around the world, you will find enthusiastic Chinese New Year celebrations featuring fireworks, parades and numerous cultural performances.

Kunming Preparations

As you might expect the celebrations for the Chinese New Year in Kunming is one of the grandest of them all. Visitors may take the opportunity to experience the celebration that includes cultural performances like those of acrobats, opera singers, calligraphers, stilt walkers, puppet shows and drummers.

Accommodation

As a rule of thumb, ensure to reserve your stay prior to your arrival in order to avoid last minute struggles. If you are planning to host a party or a meeting during this time of the year, ensure to check out hotels which offer event and meeting venues in Kunming the likes of Grand Park Kunming.

Travel & Transport

According to the General Administration of Civil Aviation of China, more than 22 million visitors are due to fly the skies of China during Spring Festival. Furthermore, they have stated that the country might put in domestic flight routes to control the spike in air travel.

Auburn Silver is a travel writer who has a passion for fashion and a deep interest in admiring new and exotic attractions around the world.

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Rainforest World Music Festival – Dance your heart out amidst lush greenery

Organised annually in July/ August by the Sarawak Tourism Board, The Rainforest World Music Festival (RWMF) is a 3-day musical orgy that brings together music enthusiasts from all around the world.

Location

This music festival is held in one of the best outdoor concert venues, Kuching Sarawak Malaysia. For 6 consecutive years from 2010 to 2015, RWMF has been awarded by Songlines 25 best international Festivals.

Work Shops

The festival features a myriad of afternoon workshops and interactive acts that wake the body up with all the right vibes and rhythms. This festival has been rocking the rainforest for years now and celebrated its 20th edition from the 14th to 16th July 2017.

Crowd

RWMF unities an electric group of people, indigenous musicians from all continents and highlights the use of traditional acoustic world instruments. If you are planning to be a part of this next year, gather more details by reading travel blogs such as Well Known Places which has information on the most visited places in the world.

Must attend festival

Apart from various workshops, the festival also includes a plethora of arts and crafts, festival souvenirs and CDs and food and drink stalls. This not to be missed festival guarantees a time of your life in the heart of the Borneo Jungle

Loy Krathong: “The festival of lights” – Wish for Luck and Good Fortune!

Loy Krathong is referred to as the Festival of Lights, where almost every water body is illuminated by lights and candles and floating krathongs.

About Loy Krathong

Loy Krathong is an annual festival held on the 12th lunar month. The festivities take place during the evening where the entire city is lit up with lights, hence Loy Krathong is also referred to as the Festival of Lights. This is also a festival of luck as people gather around the water bodies of Phuket to launch the Krathong; a lantern decorated with joss sticks and candles.

Origins

It is believed that Loy Krathong originated approximately 800 years ago in Sukhothai. In the local dialect, Loy means “to float” while Krathong refers to a bowl or leaf cup.

How to take part

During this time, Phuket town is a flurry of activity and celebration. Stay at Anantara Mai Khao Phuket Resort or a similar accommodation in the area, to be at the heart of the festivities. You can buy a krathong from one of the many stalls in the area and join the locals as they set their krathongs in the nearest lake, beach or river.

Feeling lucky?

The belief lies that by setting the krathong on the water body, you are wishing for luck and good fortune. If the krathong drifts away from you, the year ahead will bring you luck and good fortune. However, if the krathong floats back to you, you might not be that fortunate.

Auburn Silver is a travel writer who has a passion for fashion and a deep interest in admiring new and exotic attractions around the world.

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Songkran: The Thailand Water Festival – The Wettest Festival in Asia

The culture of Thailand is just as renowned as her lush natural beauty. Anyone who is familiar with Thailand or even Asia in general will be aware of the legendary Songkran festival.

What is Songkran?

This festival is associated with new beginnings and purification, which is why the country turns into a massive water-fight. During Songkran, Thai people also gently and respectfully wash the hands of their elders, and even wash Buddha statues with water scented with flowers. In the modern day, things are taken to the extreme with people taking to the streets with water guns.

 

When is it?

This iconic festival officially takes place over the course of three days starting on the 13th of April and concluding on the 15th. Many people take leave from work during this time and the duration of the festival usually ends up being extended to around six days.

The Best Places to Be

Extended festival celebrations usually take place in the more tourist-oriented areas such as Phangan. Resorts are aplenty in this region with many to choose from such as Anantara Rasananda Koh Phangan Villas, which means Songkran is particularly intriguing here.

Tips to Remember

Everyone excluding religious figures, royalty and pregnant women will be splashed. Since you’re guaranteed to get very wet, leave any electronic belongings at your place of residence/accommodation. Due to increased accidents during this time, it is recommended you do not ride a bike when Songkran happens.

Auburn Silver is a travel writer who has a passion for fashion and a deep interest in admiring new and exotic attractions around the world.

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