Uluwatu Festivals 2014 – Explore Uluwatu

Uluwatu is home to idyllic beaches, a sacred temple (Pura Luhur), and some prime surfing spots. Depending on what time of year you visit, you will also be treated to a fabulous array of local festivals that are wonderful to witness and participate in. Ensure you book one of the fine Bali luxury villas to host your stay in the area, and the Alila Villas Uluwatu features an excellent selection of choice Bali boutique villas. Celebrated all over Bali is the local version of Christmas, Galungan, which occurs every 210 days and lasts for 10. It commemorates and welcomes the gods and ancestors to earth to live at their descendants’ dwelling places. The festivities include dances, the purchase and wearing of new clothes, offerings at the temples in the area, feasting galore, and visits to friends and family.

The end of the celebrations is known as Kuningan, where gods and spirits leave once again. Each village celebrates this joyous event by posting a bamboo pole outside their houses and adorning it with rice stems, palm leaves, corn, and coconuts. At the top of each pole, a stunning plaited creation of palm leaves sits, almost like the star on a Christmas tree. Other festivals celebrated include Nyepi, which is the equivalent of New Year’s Eve, but this is a day of fasting, silences, and contemplation in order to allay the presence of evil spirits.; Saraswati, which is a day dedicated to honouring the Hindu goddess of knowledge; and Ogoh-Ogoh day, which is an exorcism festival that sees the construction of paper effigies, known as “ogoh-ogohs”, that are paraded through the town and are then burned on the beach.


Angela Fernando is an impassioned travel writer who composes pieces under the pen name Sumaira Narayan. She loves writing about new and exciting places around the world and hopes to visit them all someday.


Samui Triathlon – Where Valor and Stamina Compete In the April Sun

Droplets of golden sweat will glisten on brow and back while silver-blue splashes of cool water will dance to the rhythm of the moving hand at the Samui Triathlon that will take place in the bright heat of April in Samui, Thailand.
The cheering spectators will witness the athletic forms of the competitors who will be participating in the Triathlon, striving hard to win the gold in cycling courses, swimming courses, and running courses. The Bicycle zone undoubtedly will be the centre of attraction, as wheels speed like the wind in Nathon. Much color will be added by the merchandizing zone and Animation zone which will be added on close to the Bicycle zone.
The participants of the bicycle course will pedal a total distance of 122km 650m, which is basically one and half laps around the island, while the Running course will cut across Nathon and the southern part of the island on a 30 km single lap. Both courses will be demarcated by vertical and horizontal arrows, while policemen and volunteers will facilitate the smooth flow of the races and remove any obstacles or hindrances that the participants many face during the course of the race. The roads will be closed during the races, which will further enhance the quality of the event by providing the necessary environment needed to the athletes to finish their course with minimum disturbances.
The swimmers on the other hand will find the required assistance in the form of buoys and water lines complemented with boats for assistance and race control as well as medical assistance and essential supplies. The course will include 2 laps of 2 km with Bophut will mark the end of the first lap.
If you wish to witness the glory of the Samui Triathlon in April, accommodation at a hotel in Samui is best advised reserved in advance as the competitors, journalists, and organizing team of the event will flood in during the period to Koh Samui Resort options will vary depending on the budgets of the individuals. Anantara Lawana Resort & Spa Koh Samui can be recommended to those who wish to witness the races while indulging in the luxuries unique to the great country on Thailand.

Angela Fernando is an impassioned travel writer who composes pieces under the pen name Sumaira Narayan. She loves writing about new and exciting places around the world and hopes to visit them all someday. Google+

Le Mat Festival – Celebrating the Snake Festival

On the 23rd day of the third lunar month each year, the charming village of Le Mat near the capital of Hanoi, Vietnam, bursts in a celebratory profusion of joy at its Snake Festival to celebrate a local legend of heroism and magic. For ample enjoyment, ensure you check into one of the luxury apartments Hanoi has to offer you, with the Somerset Grand Hanoi presenting an excellent example of Hanoi accommodation for you to avail yourself. The village of Le Mat has long had serpentine ties that lend it an aura of mystery and enchantment. Its primary lures are the elements of snake-catching, the brewing of snake wine, snake breeding, and the list goes on. The emphasis on the hissy being stems from a local legend that tells of a poor man who rescued a visiting King from a huge snake who appeared in front of the quavering monarch. The man asked, as a reward, for the land to be used for housing the region’s poor, who hailed from 13 farms. The king agreed, and the village of Le Mat was born. Since then, thirteen representatives from the farms bear offerings to the village where their patron saint, the saviour from legend, is venerated. Live re-enactments of the legend, as well as a special “water procession” form part of the festival. It also presents an opportunity for the people of Le Mat to practice the ancient practice of “ancestor worship”, which serves to reaffirm ties between the present and the past whence they came.

Festivals in Tianjin – Blasts from the Past

Festivals are unique expressions of a community’s or a country’s cultural traditions. There are seasonal festivals determined by lunar calendars and cycle of the seasons and festivals rooted in religious beliefs. People in Tianjin celebrate many such festivals that have been a part of their culture and beliefs for a very long time.

Along with the whole of China, Tianjin celebrates the Spring Festival on Feb 13th, the first day of the first lunar month that is also Chinese New Years’ eve. Family members return home, exchange hongbao or red envelopes with money, remember their ancestors, give their houses a thorough clean up and partake of specially made holiday food. Dragon and lion dances, lantern parades, temple fairs are part of the festivities highlighted by the noise of fire crackers that reach a peak at midnight on New Years’ eve and disturb the peace for at least a week afterwards. The Lantern Festival on the first full moon of the Chinese New Year also marks the end of the Spring Festival. Paper lantern decorations are everywhere. Even streets have red paper lanterns strung across them. In the evening thousands of lanterns are sent skywards, a beautiful sight as they drift gently off on the breeze.

Qing Ming on the 5th of April is to remember and honour family ancestors. Their graves are cleaned and food and drink are placed on them. This day also celebrates the arrival of spring. Traditionally no food is cooked the whole day. Many take the day off to walk among the flowering trees in the countryside and to fly kites which is said to ward off evil. The Dragon Boat Festival marks the summer solstice, in the 5th lunar month when the sun is at its strongest. Competitions with hundreds of participating boats are a huge attraction in the waters around Tianjin. For the superstitious this is also a day to ward off evil. Special food and drink are consumed and garlands of herbs are hung round children’s necks.

The end of the summer harvest at end September marks the Mid Autumn Festival. Traditionally moon cakes in various flavours and forms are eaten under the harvest moon with family and friends. Public parks are crowded with people eager to get a glimpse of the moon and to spend a night out in the open.

October 19th or the ninth day of the ninth lunar month is said to be not too auspicious as it is said to have too much yang. People go to temples all over Tianjin to burn incense and carry out other rituals to counteract this. Climbing to the highest available point and drinking Chrysanthemum wine are also part of the rituals.

The Somerset Olympic Tower Tianjin is in the best possible city location as it offers business people one of the most suitable long stay options with its serviced residence in Tianjin. Guests can select from one, two, and three bedroom apartments comfortably furnished and comprehensively equipped to suit their lifestyles. Experience this serviced apartment Tianjin that offers convenience, modern comforts and a safe environment.

Angela Fernando is an impassioned travel writer who composes pieces under the pen name Sumaira Narayan. She loves writing about new and exciting places around the world and hopes to visit them all someday. Google+

7th Gulf Film Festival – discover the alluring world of Arab cinema

Spotlighting the specialized genre of Arab cinema is the 7th Gulf Film Festival, from the 9th-15th April 2014. It will unwind in all its creative glory at the Dubai Festival City, which is in close proximity to some of the finest 5 star hotels Dubai has to offer both holiday makers and festival participants. Of all the Dubai luxury hotels on offer, the Millennium Plaza Hotel Dubai promises welcome hospitality and a central location for easy access to the film festival.

This unique cinematic event is a platform on which local filmmakers can network and showcase their artistic endeavours, as well as an apt connection point for international filmmakers to rub shoulders with the best of Arab film talent. Both those with years of experience in the industry, as well as innovative emerging artists are provided with a creative space and opportunities to widen their filmmaking repertoire, which in turn inspires a new generation of filmmakers in the Middle East to ply their craft with confidence and panache.

Angela Fernando is an impassioned travel writer who composes pieces under the pen name Sumaira Narayan. She loves writing about new and exciting places around the world and hopes to visit them all someday. Google+

Vesak Day A Peaceful Celebration Void of the Blast of Commercialization

A festival void of unnecessary gaieties and blast, the Vesak Day is celebrated by the Buddhist scattered the world over, with great reverence and veneration. Vesak marks the most important day of the Buddhist calendar, in which the birth, enlightenment and the death of the Buddha is commemorated with great joy and meditation.

In Singapore, the Vesak day is celebrated usually on the 15th day of the 4th month of the Chinese Lunar Calendar. Many good deeds are performed on this sacred day by the Buddhists as they believe that such deeds will multiply in worth many times over when performed on this day. Hence caged birds and animals meant for slaughter are released, vegetarian meals are savored and blood donations are organized and participated in by the young and old alike. It is also customary to bathe a statue of Buddha, symbolizing the showers of the waters of the nine dragons that bathed Buddha after birth.

In Singapore, the Buddhist community constitutes both Mahayana and Theravada variants of Buddhism. While the Mahayana is followed by the Chinese Buddhists of Singapore, the Sri Lankan and Burmese Buddhists residing in China follow Theravada. The celebrations of each group vary slightly.

On the day of Vesak, Mahayana Buddhists observe the “three-step, one-bow” ritual wherein devotees on bended knee take three steps and a bow whilst praying for repentance and peace on a procession that continues for two long hours. Conversely, the Theravada Buddhists gather in temples and prepare a pot of milk rice to symbolize Buddha’s last meal prior to the long fasting that began with the journey toward enlightenment. Many gather to the Lian Shan Shuang Lin Temple or the Budda Tooth Relic Temple to celebrate the day of Vesak.

This charming festival can be witnessed by the visitors in the month of May in Singapore. Luxury suites such as the St. Regis Singapore, will ensure that the holiday is spent amid sheer comfort. With its plethora of luxury hotels, Singapore is lit up in reverence for the Vesak celebrations that will be observed by many around the world who visit during the season.


Angela Fernando is an impassioned travel writer who composes pieces under the pen name Sumaira Narayan. She loves writing about new and exciting places around the world and hopes to visit them all someday.


Cityscape Abu Dhabi 2014

Calling all real estate professionals and investors! Attend Cityscape Abu Dhabi 2014 for a taste of the trends and developments slated to unfold on Abu Dhabi’s landscape over the next decade. Ensure that you book your pick of luxury Abu Dhabi hotels in time, to secure downtown accommodation. The Millennium Hotel Abu Dhabi is a fine choice of Abu Dhabi city hotel that plants you in the midst of the most vibrant city on the UAE’S landscape. Cityscape Abu Dhabi 2014 will take place during 22-24 April and presents all those who are involved in the real estate industry with a chance to hob-nob and associate with the best and brightest names in the field, who will all play a part in reshaping Abu Dhabi’s infrastructure over the next year. This exciting event will take place at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre and will showcase some of the most ambitious plans that will take the world of the UAE by storm, adding to the sheer elegance and grandeur gracing the city’s current skyline. The 2014 edition will be the event’s seventh incarnation and its past editions have all been resounding successes. With the involvement of key government departments all working towards the common goal of situating Abu Dhabi amidst the world’s most elite cosmopolitan cities, Cityscape Abu Dhabi 2014 promises to be another exciting meeting of creative minds in the real estate industry.

Dubai Dressage Championship

Fans of the equestrian arts who find themselves in Dubai early in 2014 will be treated to a splendid affair at the Dubai Dressage Championships, on 14th & 15th April 2014. Book your accommodation in Dubai early, as the city’s peak tourist times are around then. A Palm Jumeirah hotel is the perfect host for your stay, with the Anantara Dubai The Palm Resort & Spa presenting a superb choice of stay. Admission to the dressage championships is free and even those who are not particularly passionate about the sport will be left enthralled. Also known as “Horse Ballet”, the sport of Dressage stems from a royal lineage and employs great skill and finesse of control, on the part of the jockey and the horse. Meticulous direction of the horse is required in order to perfect and perform the moves with ample dexterity, agility, and grace. Bring your cameras and your golf claps to participate in this unique sport of the ages.

Emirates Airline Festival of Literature 2014: ‘LitFest’

For centuries, the written word has undergone an inexplicable process of evolution, leaving great works such as the metaphysical poetry of John Donne, the innumerable sonnets of William Shakespeare, the frequently quoted work of Dante Alighieri ‘The Divine Comedy’, Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, The Iliad by Homer, the historic novels of ‘A Tale of Two Cities’ and ‘Great Expectations’ by Charles Dickens and the literary classics of Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte and Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.

For the longest time, world literature remained extremely euro-centric but the 21st century has made abundant progress in this regard and recognised works by authors such as Salman Rushdie and Shyam Selvadurai, writers from the Indian sub-continent, the Middle East, and South East Asia.

Given this rise to prominence, many programs have been instituted to promote and celebrate local literature. Such instances include the Galle Literary Festival organised every January in Sri Lanka and the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature which is organised with the primary goal of celebrating the rich literary traditions of the Middle East. The event is scheduled to be held from the 4th – 8th of March 2014 at the Dubai City Festival and will include discussions regarding literature, discussions with renowned authors, readings, launching of new books, a series of workshops on various literary topics and so on, thereby making it a must-visit for any fan of literature.

The event is ideal for both locals as well as tourists and if you are worried about not being able to understand Arabic: don’t be. The Emirates Airline Festival of Literature will be conducted in Arabic with simultaneous translations to English, thereby ensuring that both locals and foreigners alike can enjoy the event thoroughly without any linguistic issues.

The Festival has already made its call for authors to be showcased during the event, and if you are one of them, accommodation in UAE hotels must be a priority. However, if you wish to do some travelling whilst in the region, youll find that Middle East hotels are easy to book and offer customers a great degree of flexibility. One of the most reliable options is undoubtedly Millennium and Copthorne Hotels Middle East: a reputed chain of hotels that will make your stay in the region truly comfortable and luxurious.

Angela Fernando is an impassioned travel writer who composes pieces under the pen name Sumaira Narayan. She loves writing about new and exciting places around the world and hopes to visit them all someday.


UAE Green Festival 2014: “Live, Learn and have Fun in a Low Carbon World”

For 650, 000 years, the carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere remained below a comfortable three hundred parts per million yet in the last fifty years alone, this number has increased up to three hundred and eighty parts per million. Other compelling evidence which are tell-tale signs of climate change include the rise of sea levels by a stunning seventeen centimetres, a significant increase in global temperature, warming of ocean waters, ice coverage in Greenland and Antarctica reducing drastically, glacial retreats being recorded across the world etc.

The globe is now experiencing extreme climatic weather patterns in the form of tropical storms, extreme rainstorms and increased rainfall while other parts of the world suffer from a drastic lack of water. Such phenomenon supported by scientific data indicates a change in the weather patterns of regions and signal that the world is on the brink of climate change.

In light of such astonishing evidence, many protocols have been signed and a number of countries have pledged to reduce their carbon footprint while others blissful ignore its existence. The United Arab Emirates belong to the first group of states that has taken their responsibilities quite seriously, which is prompting the state to engage in greening activities. One of their most commendable initiatives include the United Arab Emirates Green Festival held under the slogan “Live, Learn, and have Fun in a Low-Carbon World’. The 2014 edition will take place from the 16th of March to the 16th of April and is designed to educate all residents of the emirates on ‘green living’.

The concept of green living is not limited to the residents of the country alone but is extended to the tourism industry as well as the government sector. The program strives to promote the UAE as a green destination while also providing a viable platform for the government sector to exchange ideas and concepts regarding ‘sustainable development’; an inclusive form of growth that takes into account the long -effects of human existence on the environment. The festival will include attractions such as Green Fitness, Eco-Fashion, Green Shopping, and much more, which will undoubtedly attract tourists staying at a hotel in Abu Dhabi.

For travellers, this event is a must-visit given its intriguing concept and innovating ideas. For those searching for a hotel Abu Dhabi to reside in during this period, the best option is the Kingsgate Hotel Abu Dhabi whose lush interior makes travelling a true pleasure.

Angela Fernando is an impassioned travel writer who composes pieces under the pen name Sumaira Narayan. She loves writing about new and exciting places around the world and hopes to visit them all someday.