Ways to Say Goodbye

As we get ready to bid adieu to all that 2012 was and welcome 2013, EXEC lists a number of festivals around the world that’ll ensure you end the year on a happy note.




Dec 25
All Over the World
Celebrated to commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ, Christmas is one of the most important festivals celebrated in the month of December across the globe. Different countries have different traditions to honour the happy occasion, but the day includes gifts, Christmas trees and Santa Claus everywhere. Hanukkah, the Jewish festival, is also celebrated with much pomp
and fervour this month.

Sydney Festival
Jan 5-27
Sydney, Australia
The Sydney Festival is Australia’s major art event that runs for three weeks and features more than 100 events from local and international artists. The festival features performances of music, dance, circus tricks, drama and visual arts. It was established by the Sydney Committee, the NSW State Government and the City of Sydney with a view to attracting people into the city centre during the summer holiday month of January. The event also includes vintage car rallies, face painting, Chinese scarf dancing, etc. This year, look forward to theatres and operas like Ebarit Jarit Jaka, Simele Walk, The Jade Hairpin, The Rape of Lucrece, films like 2001: A Space Odyssey, performances by artists like Dark Side, Fun Run, Lah Lah, Los Coronas, Rokia Traore and lots more.

Meredith Music Festival
Dec 7-9
Meredith, Australia
The three-day outdoor music festival, held at the ‘Supernatural Amphitheatre’ located near the town of Meredith, started as a non-commercial event in 1991. The main attractions of the event are The Meredith Gift, a nude running race (with a chance to win The Golden Jocks trophy), The Pink Flamingo Bar and a sports field that includes the Meredith Eye Ferris Wheel. There’s also the Ecoplex Cinema that displays both short and feature films.  This year’s music line up includes Primal Scream, Omar Souleyman, Pond and Hot Snakes. Do not miss the Meredith Sky Shoe, a giant laser show (they alert the Australian Aviation Authority to ensure that no planes fly in the vicinity during the event!)

The Times Square New Year’s Eve
Dec 31
New York, USA
The New Year’s Eve Celebrations at Times Square, New York City has become a popular tradition. As the proverbial Ball descends from the flagpole atop One Times Square, an estimate of one million people in New York, millions nationwide and over a billion people from around the world unite to bid farewell to the departing year, and express joy and hope for the year ahead. The celebration features star-studded musical performances, balloons, pom-poms, confetti, colourful pyrotechnic displays and more.

Whirling Dervishes Festival
Dec 10- 17
Konya, Turkey
Observed as a commemorative fiesta to honour the Sufi saint Mevlana, this cultural and religious gala is held in the ancient Seljuk capital of Konya. The festival features interesting concepts, symbolic messages and dance performances. Regarded as a spectacular event with a strong visual appeal, the event is a true crowd puller as thousands of people gather to be a part of the proceedings. Harmonious dance performances by Dervishes (Muslim monks) along with music will enthrall the crowd.

January 27
Malaysia, Singapore and Mauritius
Celebrated mostly by the Tamil community on the full moon of the Tami month of Thai ( January/ February) this festival is celebrated in countries with a significant Tamil population like Mauritius, Singapore and Malaysia. The name Thaipusam is a combination of the name of the month, Thai, and the name of a star, Pusam. This star is at its highest point during the festival. The festival commemorates the occasion when Parvati gave Murugan a vel “spear” so he could vanquish the evil demon Soorapadam. It is also considered an important festival dedicated to Lord Muruga or Kartikeya. The most important event on the day is that of devotees carrying various types of Kavadi to the Murgan temples. The most important Kavadi pilgrimage takes place at the Batu caves in Malaysia.

Dubai International Film Festival  
Dec 9-16
Dubai, UAE
For the movie junkies, this is the place to head to. The films that will be showcased are Forbes, Ashley Cook, Brittany Pavlo, Chris Staff, Christie Lamb, Dale Hooper and many more.

World Pastry Cup
Jan 26 & 27
Lyon, France
The World Pastry Cup will take place in Lyon on January 26 and 27, 2013, during the SIRHA Exhibition (the International Hotel Catering and Food Trades Exhibition). Twenty two teams from across the world will be competing with a common passion: La Pâtisserie. According to World Pastry Cup founder Gabriel Paillasson, “The World Pastry Cup was to be, to pastry, what Formula One is to the automobile.” The Pastry Cup includes chocolate dessert to serve eight people, chocolate bonbons of 6 different kinds, a frozen dessert to serve 8 people and many more.

Hamburg Christmas Market
Throughout Dec
Hamburg, Germany
Held outside the Hamburg Town Hall and hosted by Roncalli’s Circus this event includes stalls and filled with Christmas artists as well. The market is filled with handcrafted Christmas decorations from Erzebirge region and includes woodcarvers from Tyrol, bakers from Aachen and gingerbread makers from Nuremberg to name a few. There are gleaming carousels, Christmas parades. Also every day at 4pm, 6pm and 8pm Santa Claus will be flying his reindeer sleigh up to the sky high above the roofs of the Christmas Market cottages telling the story of Rudolph the red nosed reindeer. There is also a Christmas exhibition in the city museum.

Jan 18-20
Paris, France
An event dedicated to mergers oriental dances; the festival for original artists to present their latest creations or experiments at a single annual meeting.The event is entirely devoted to oriental dance and contemporary fusions that made Paris the new cultural center. The Bellyfusions Festival aims to make a wider audience discover various dance forms and offers an eclectic programme of workshops over three days led by French as well as international teachers. The Festival is open to a variety of styles such as Contemporary Oriental Dance, Oriental Flamenco, Gypsy Fusion, Oriental Salsa, Bellywood, ModernJazz Oriental Fusion, Indian Fusion, Bellypopping, American Tribal Style, Tribal Fusion, Gothic Fusion, Burlesque Cabaret etc.

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