All posts by Team TravelAndy
December 12 (TravelAndy): A nip in the air, and the land of the maharajas beckons one and all to join in its rich festivities — Ranakpur Festival, Winter Festival at Mount Abu, Camel Festival, Kite Festival, and Jaipur Literature Fest, all to be held in the chilly months of December 2018, and January 2019.
Ranakpur, located in the district of Pali, is all set to host the annual Ranakpur Festival, organised by the Department of Tourism, Rajasthan, on December 21 and 22. One of the most loved festivals of the state, it takes visitors, both local and international, to a journey to the depths of the local art and culture through fun activities. The winter nights come alive with cultural performances at the open-air amphitheatre at the Sun Temple, while daytime sees nature hikes at the foothills of the Aravalli range, along with hot air ballooning, tours of the Ranakpur Jain temple, and yoga sessions.
Mount Abu’s Winter Festival will see thousands pouring in from all corners of the world on December 29 and 30, like every year. The festival offers an intimate insight into Rajasthan’s rich heritage — gorgeous handicrafts, scrumptious food, literature, eye-catching performances, even kite-flying and rowing contests, all set against the stunning background of Mount Abu. While the festival kicks off with a magnificent procession, it ends with floating of earthen lamps in the water, a tradition known as ‘Deepdaan’, in the evening, followed by a fantastic display of fireworks.
December 11 (TravelAndy): All roads lead to Kerala at this time of the year, what with the advent of the Theyyam season, the International Film Festival of Kerala, and a host of other festivities.
The 23rd International Film Festival of Kerala will see Thiruvananthapuram, the host city, turn into a film hub as filmmakers and cinema enthusiasts from across the globe make a beeline for their favourite films. The festival, organised by the Kerala Staye Chalachitra Academy on behalf of the Department of Cultural Affairs, Government of Kerala, will continue through December 13, and screen 190 films.
Theyyam, an ancient dance form practised in the temples of Northern Kerala’s Malabar region, invokes the Gods through detailed and fearful makeup, costumes, masks, and physical movements. Art lovers from different parts of the world throng to Kerala every year to experience these spectacular performances believed to be have begun over eight centuries ago. The season usually lasts between October-November and May, depending on the Malayalam calendar. Thekkumbadu Koolom Thazhekkavu Bhagavathy Temple will host Theyyam performances from December 16 to 21, while dancers will perform at Muthuvadathu Kalari from December 25 to 26. Location for some of the January performances include Chirakutty Puthiyakavu (Vayalile Kottam) from January 1 to 8, 2019, Pariyaram Sree Udayapuram Temple from January 1 to 8, Chekkicheri Bhagavathy Devasthanam on January 8 and 9, and Kannom Sree Anjuthengil Aviar Paradevatha Temple from January 11 to 13.
December 10 (TravelAndy): The most wonderful time of the year is also among one of the best to visit New York City, when it offers an extensive fare of holiday events to choose from – spectaculars, ballets, holiday markets, comedy, and music.
Everyone’s holiday favourite ‘The Nutcracker’ alone is all set to be presented in a variety of forms. One can catch ‘George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker’, running since 1954, at New York City Ballet through December 30, or New York Theater Ballet’s one-hour version at Florence Gould Hall between December 14 and 16. While Mark Morris’s Pop Arty ‘The Hard Nut’ will show from December 14 to 23, Ditto Company XIV’s burlesque ‘Nutcracker Rouge’ will run through Jan 13, 2019. ‘The Bang Group: Nut/Cracked’ from December 20 to 22, ‘Los Nutcrackers: A Christmas Carajo’ through December 15, and ‘Micro-Nutcracker’ on December 16 are some of the deconstructed takes on the classic.
Spectaculars are a tradition the city adores, and the Rockettes return to the Radio City Music Hall with their annual ‘Christmas Spectacular’, to run through January 1, 2019. ‘A Harlemettes Holiday’, a pageant produced by the Harlem School of Arts will run from December 14 to 16.
December 9 (TravelAndy): Come winter, and Vancouver finds itself high on holiday spirit. This season, like all other years, the Canadian city is busy spreading yuletide cheer with spectacular events — be it the Aurora Winter Festival, Vancouver Christmas market, ‘A Charlie Brown Holiday Double Bill’, or ‘VanDusen Botanical Garden presents Festival of Lights 2018’, ‘Lights of Hope’, and ‘Grouse Mountain Peak of Christmas’, among several others.
A celebration of magical winter experiences, the Aurora Winter Festival creates an imaginary village by the North Pole studded with amusement rides, Santa’s Workshop, skating on the Frozen River, live entertainment, Christmas market, fantastic light displays, and food. The festival, running from November 23 to December 30, at Concord Pacific Place, is a winter wonderland both kids and adults would enjoy.
Vancouver Christmas Market, one of the most-awaited holiday events, returns to entertain visitors between November 21 and December 24, at Jack Poole Plaza, from 11.30am to 9.30pm. Whether it is a floating Santa underneath the Olympic Cauldron, a gleaming 30-foot tall walk-in Christmas tree, a 20-foot long tunnel decked up with 10,000 lights, or German and Spanish delicacies, and handcrafted gifts, this market is hard to resist.
December 8 (NTIN): Amid fears of further street violence by the “yellow vest” group, the iconic Eiffel Tower in Paris is expected to remain closed today, media reports said. Some other attractions could remain closed too.
Across France, 89,000 police officers will be on duty and armoured vehicles will be deployed in the capital, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe was quoted as saying by BBC.
Police have asked shops and restaurants on Paris’s Champs-Elysees to remain closed on the day, reports said.
Some museums will also remain closed.
The French administration has blinked in the face of the Yellow Jacket protests with France Prime Minister Edouard Philippe on Tuesday declaring a roll back of the fuel tax hike that had resulted in violent protests across the country, latest reports said.
According to the BBC, the suspension in the tax hike will be in place for six months. Philippe said the people’s anger must be heard and the measures would only be implemented after debate with the affected people.
December 7 (NITN): Etihad Airways has launched its first ever scheduled flights linking Abu Dhabi and Barcelona.
The inaugural flight, EY49, departed Abu Dhabi earlier this week carrying a special delegation including dignitaries, media representatives, influencers and senior members of Etihad Airways’ management team.
The UAE national airline is celebrating the occasion in style by hosting a special event held at the historic Capella dels Angels, a sixteenth-century Gothic building which is now part of the Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA), attended by leading figures from the local government, diplomats, media, corporate partners and travel trade.
Tony Douglas, Group Chief Executive Officer Etihad Aviation Group, said: “We have been tremendously excited about the launch of this service and what better time to arrive here than the month Etihad celebrates its 15th anniversary.
December 5 (TravelAndy): Now that the holiday season is upon us, the Mayor’s Holiday Special is offering up to 50% off on Boston’s most loved holiday shows, and dining experiences, making this a fun time to visit the city.
The discounts are available on traditional holiday favourites including José Mateo Ballet Theatre’s ‘The Nutcracker’, and Boston Pops’ ‘Holiday Pops’. ‘The Nutcracker’ will run at Emerson Cutler Majestic Theatre from November 30 to December 09, while the latter will show between December 06 and 24.
Other performances to choose from comprise ‘Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical’, a Boch Center production, Rodger + Hammerstein’s ‘Cinderella’, ‘Hip Hop Nutcracker’, ‘A Christmas Celtic Sojourn with Brian O’Donovan in Boston’, and ‘Mannheim Steamroller Christmas’, among several others. The entire list is available at calendar.artsboston.org.