Monthly Archives: April 2016

Here Comes the Melbourne International Jazz Festival

Get ready for the world-famous Melbourne International Festival. Immerse yourself in the undying enthusiasm and heart-thumping cacophony of music from 3rd June, 2016 to 12th June, 2016. The festival will make you groove to the best of jazz music in town.


Participating Artists and Musicians

This winter, enjoy extraordinary programs of international jazz. The festival will bring together the world’s modern jazz masters and renowned personalities to the beautiful island country of Australia. Plan your days accordingly as it would be graced by Grammy award winner; Esperanza Spalding. The singer will make her Australian debut in the festival.

Other globally popular artists and musicians to perform will include Robert Glasper Trio from USA, Snarky Puppy, Keyon Harrold featuring Twi-Life, Paul Williamson Quartet and Tomasz Stanko Band. Grab your spot at the festival to enjoy enthusiastic performances by your favourite artists and musicians at various venues in Australia.

What’s more?

In an endeavour to highlight and celebrate the evolution of this intricate art form, Melbourne International Jazz Festival 2016 will offer a lot of interesting programs and themes. Immerse in the sensation of an exciting array of genre-bending crossovers, soulful singers, concerts, master classes, club gigs, intensive instrumentalists and film screenings.


The extensive jazz festival is a top-notch event awaited by many die-hard fans. The numerous performances by high-class international and national musicians will be held in iconic venues including clubs, bars, and recital halls.

Some of the most prominent venues for the festival are ArtPlay, Arts Centre Melbourne, Bennetts Lane Jazz Club, Bluestone Church Arts Space, Dizzy’s Jazz Club and Federation Square.


Don’t miss your chance to experience live performances and much more during the festival. Fly down to Melbourne and cherish the celebration. Book your tickets at the earliest as fans vie to grab their spots. The tickets for Melbourne International Jazz Festival 2016 are available on the official website. Also, one can also explore a series of free events which will include performances by Julliard Free Lunchtime Jazz, Opening Celebration Concert, and Los Cabrones at the Winter Night Market.

Top 5 Festivals in the Philippines

The mood always seems to be colourful in the Philippines. After all, the celebrator frenzy of a number of exciting and colourful festivals throughout the year does its bit to create a merry festive atmosphere.


Many of the celebrations involve elaborate costumes, parades and processions. Come, let’s take a closer look at the festivities.

Get Bugged by the Bees in Buyogan Festival

Buyogan Festival is a one-of-a-kind celebration. People dress up and behave like bees-in-action. Costumed children buzz around in a bee-like manner. Other participants put tribal henna designs on their body and face to represent the Abuyog’s ethnic history. Usually, Buyogan Festival is celebrated in the last weekend of August. It coincides with the feast day of St. Francis Xavier.

Masks in the Masskara Festival

Held in the third weekend of October, Masskara Festival is a week-long fiesta. People dress in graceful costumes and dance on the streets. These attires are adorned with exotic feathers, gleaming sequins and multi-coloured beads. The vibrant masks signify the jovial Negrense spirit of putting on a happy face when faced with challenges.

Bangus Festival

One of the country’s most elaborate celebrations, Bangus Festival is highly popular for its cultural fusion. Dagupan City is marked by hundreds of barbecue grills for cooking bangus. There’s the grilling challenge too. Other types of competitions include bangus eating contest and search for the biggest and heaviest bangus. Tourists participating in this festival get the opportunity to dance and socialise with the locals. These dances denote the bountiful harvest of Bangus. It is celebrated in April every year.

Higantes Festival

Higantes Festival is a two-week long celebration in the honour of San Clemente – the patron saint of fishermen. There are multiple activities such as Misa Cantada, song and dance contests, on-the-spot painting competition and art exhibition. There’s a procession with thousands of individuals splashing onlookers with water. The festival also features The Higantes, i.e. huge papier-mâché figures up to 12-feet high and 5-feet in diameter. The Higantes Festival is held on 23rd November every year.

Tuna Festival

Tuna Festival is a great moment for people wishing to try out a wide variety of tuna dishes. After tasting the delicious cuisines, tourists can participate in the street carnivals and befriend locals. This festive occasion celebrates the abundance of tuna fish. This year, it will be observed on the 5th of September.

Highlights of Queenstown Winter Festival, 2016

Travellers planning to explore New Zealand this year should visit the fun and adventure-obsessed country in the months of June and July.


Queenstown’s iconic celebration, called ‘Queenstown Winter Festival’, will be held from 24th June to 3rd July, 2016. It is a 10-day festival propagating the town’s culture, community, street party, fireworks and lots more!

Tickets and Venues

The tickets for the festival will be on sale from 9th May, 2016. Some of the chosen venues are 1876 Bar and Restaurant, Coronet Peak, Skyline Restaurant and Village Green. Needless to say, every spot has a charm of its own and offers plenty of interesting activities. For example, Village Green will display fairy lights and playful penguins especially for kids.

Exclusive Accommodation Deals

Travellers, particularly budget travellers, won’t have to bother about accommodation. The festival has several ‘accommodation partners’ like Blue Peaks Apartments, Crowne Plaza Queenstown, Heartland Hotel and Hotel St Moritz that are based out of superb locations and have special packages for festival visitors.

Historical Significance of Queenstown Winter Festival

Queenstown Winter Festival started in 1975 as an excuse for a party. With more than 45,000 visitors annually, this festival – in its first season – featured races, entertainment and a ball with beer for adults and soda for kids. The people of the town heartily liked it and continued to celebrate the festival year after year. It has evolved over time. A consumer survey of 500 respondents last year indicated that most of the attendees of Queenstown Winter Festival 2015 rated the occasion as ‘Excellent’ and ‘Very Good’. Unsurprisingly, Queenstown Winter Festival has a special place in the hearts of the residents.

Festival Partners and Awards

Its title sponsor is American Express. Key sponsors are well-known brands like iHeartRadio, Auckland Airport and Atomic Coffee Roasters. Queenstown Winter Festival has won many significant awards and has even made it to the ‘World’s Top 10 Must-Do Festivals’ by ‘Yahoo!7 Travel’.

Five Colourful Malaysian Festivals

The friendly and warm country of Malaysia is well known for its colourful culture and festivals. Once here, you will see Malaysians celebrating and socialising together in a unique way.


Best known for its beaches and scenic beauty, it is a perfect holidaying spot. Visit Malaysia and experience its exclusive festivals. Learn about some celebrations that we have jotted down for you.

Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year is celebrated mainly by the Chinese community. It is a 15 day-long festival that includes lion and dragon dance and fireworks celebrations. During the festival, Malaysia is decorated with traditional red decorations and lights in order to ward off evil spirits. People get together to cook various dishes and eat, drink and dance together.


Thaipusam is celebrated by the Tamil community in Malaysia. The festival is celebrated in January and February when the stars are at their peak. It starts with a trip to the Sri Mahamariamman Temple and proceeds to the Batu Caves. Million of devotees from across the globe attend this festival. The highlight of the carnival is to see some devotees pierce their bodies, offer sacrifices and plead for the blessings of the almighty.


Wesak is celebrated by the followers of Lord Buddha to pay tribute to Lord Buddha and show the importance of heaven. The festivities begin in the morning when people get together at Buddhist temples to pray and offer food and other gifts to the poor. A grand float procession is taken out during Wesak, with a giant statue of Buddha. It is a sight to watch this procession.

Lantern Festival

Lantern or Moon Cake Festival is also known as Mid-autumn Festival. It is celebrated on 15th August in Malaysia. Shops start selling a variety of traditional moon cakes almost a month before the festival. There are numerous exhibition counters in malls, where you can enjoy the festive feast.

Sabah International Folklore Festival

The state government of Sabah organises Sabah International Folklore Festival in June. The festival aims to enhance the local cultural inheritance. The highlights of the festival are international cultural group, international folk song and music, folk dance and traditional exhibition. The performance is organised by various ethnic groups from Sabah and overseas.

Highlights of Calgary Stampede, 2016

Gear up to embrace the truly thrilling and fun-packed Calgary Stampede from 8th to 17th July this year. This festival encompasses parades, rodeo shows, stage coach races and a fair. This mega-event is annually organized by a volunteer-supported, not-for-profit community organisation of the same name, i.e. Calgary Stampede.


This 10-day celebration will be held at the Stampede Park, Alberta and feature awe-inspiring sports and activities such as bareback bull-riding, steer wrestling, amusement park rides and livestock shows. So, if you are booking tickets for your holidays, you have another good reason to consider Canada.

Registration and Attractive Packages

Witnessing the world’s richest tournament-style rodeo will simply be amazing! Fortunately, tickets are still available on their website. Interested individuals should book them quickly. To entice more people, the concerned organisation is offering attractive discounts to youngsters and groups. There are several packages available too. These include Lady Antebellum Concert Package, Parade Day Kick-Off Package, two Day Thrill Package and Ticket Bundle.

Sports, Shows and Attractions

The exciting and overwhelming atmosphere of the venue will win the hearts of all the attendees. Elaborating on the shows, there will be Rodeo Show, Evening Show, GMC Rangeland Derby and TransAlta Grandstand Show. Musical concerts will also be held. These include Stampede Showband and Coca-Cola Stage. Other attractions will be Western Oasis and Indian Village.

Travel Hacks for Calgary

Firstly, all the travellers are advised to carry a wind breaker jacket as the weather of Calgary is variable. This is applicable on sunny days too. Secondly, wearing jeans is the best way to blend in. Thirdly, bottled water from grocery stores is much cheaper than the ones sold at the ground. Fourthly, if the travellers are planning to stay in Stampede for at least two days, they may consider attending the Chuckwagon races on the evening of the first day and the rodeo events on the afternoon of the second day.

General Perspective

Founded in 1912, Calgary Stampede is often termed as ‘The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth’. This mega-event was attended by 1.1 million people last year. Needless to say, it is highly popular! Also, Rodeo and chuckwagon racing events are televised across Canada every year. The festival is organised by thousands of volunteers and backed by civic leaders. There’s a tradition of pancake breakfasts which has been followed since 1923.

Fast Facts on Nantucket Wine Festival

Nantucket Wine Festival, now in its 20th year, is all set to spread its wings again in the US. The festival lets you sample a world of food and wine.


It will be graced by hundreds of culinary and wine experts. Many professionals and enthusiasts will be flying to the island of Nantucket to join the festivities. The festival will be held from 18th May to 22nd May, 2016.


Cherish the taste of sparkling wines meticulously selected and preserved by popular and established wine makers. Come here to witness around fifty winemakers, and 150 wineries. Enjoy a shimmering glass of Veuve Clicquot during the VIP Harbor Gala. The events will include wine tastings, workshops, gala parties, cooking demonstrations and wine pairings.

What’s Interesting?

The festival will include seminars, culinary tents and special events. It will also hold the event, namely Great Wines in Grand Houses. Enjoy wine tasting and wine dinners in elegant and charming island houses. The renowned festival will include special and unique wines presented by distinct wine makers, whereas distinguished chefs host wine dinners. Chefs from prominent Boston restaurants such as Sweet Cheeks, Harvest, Tiger Mama, will be there along with visiting chefs from California, New England and far beyond.

Why Visit?

Attend the festival to venture in the world of wine and food, and meet renowned personalities, chefs and experts from the industry. The stunning festival offers a plethora of activities and events. One of the most celebrated wine festivals in the US, it ensures an interesting time for people coming from all corners of the world. Worth mentioning, one should be at least 21 years old to buy tickets for the festival.

Wine Growers and Exhibitors

Grab the opportunity to witness and meet world-class wine growers and companies attending the festival. Get in tune with like-minded people, join communities and get tips whilst treating your taste buds to rare wines.

The festival will be attended by representatives from wineries such as 90+ Cellars, Bertani, Hall Wines, Peju, Château Cos D’Estournel, Chêne Bleu and Vineyard 29. Furthermore, the exhibitors will include Chef Works, Dry Sparkling, Gourmet Foods International, Victoria Gourmet and Vermont Creamery.

Enjoy Festa Junina in Brazil

The renowned and flamboyant Festa Junina (June Festival) will soon knock the doors. The colourful celebrations are a treat to experience in the scintillating country of Brazil.


Fly down to Brazil in South America and immerse yourself in the vivacious celebrations.

What it is?

Festa Junina is in many areas of Brazil, especially in the Northeast and Southeast region. The festivity is held to honour three catholic saints; St. Anthony, St. Peter, and St. John. Interestingly, every region and state has its own style of celebrations with different traditions. Thus, Brazil provides tourists a plethora of amazing things to explore during the June festival. Enjoy experiencing unique customs and folk elements such as dance, food and dresses. Although, tourists can find the whole of Brazil steeped in festivity, the North-eastern region is most famous for it.

Dates of Commencement

This much-awaited festival of Brazil is considered a high-end traditional event that indulges everyone. Plan your itinerary accordingly to enjoy the June Festival and celebrate St. Anthony, St. John and St. Peter with friendly and high-spirited locals. This year, Brazil will indulge in festivities on the following dates.

St.  Anthony – Monday, June 13, 2016
St. John – Friday, June 24, 2016
St. Peter- Wednesday, June 29, 2016
The stunning June Festival is an essential part for the country’s identity and some states observe a holiday. States such as Alagoas and Pernambuc consider a holiday on the day of St. John, whereas the day of St. Peter is also observed as state holiday in Rio Grande do Norte.

History of Festa Junino

The origins of Festa Junino are said to date back to the days of Portuguese colonisation. Delineated as an imperative traditional element of the country, it is a blend of cultures like European and Afro-Brazilian immigrant people. People in the countryside first started celebrating, which gradually spread to other parts of the country.

How it is celebrated?

Get ready to be charmed by the colourful décor all around in the month of June. Enjoy special presentations by artists. Dance performances, cultural events, food stalls and literary celebrations ensure non-stop entertainment and fun. Tourists can treat their taste buds to delicious food at hundreds of food stalls.

The Colourful Cheung Chau Bun Festival Hong Kong

The spring season in Hong Kong is full of festivities. One of the most exciting and intriguing festivals celebrated is Cheung Chau Bun Festival.


Travel to stunning Hong Kong to witness the amazing days of celebration from 12th May, 2016 to 14th May, 2016.

The Festival

Celebrated in the lunar month, Cheung Chau Bun Festival is welcomed with the preparation of costumes, papier-mâché sculptures of deities and baking of lucky buns. Celebrated since a century, the festival draws people from across the world.
The colourful festival is delineated as an inherent element of Hong Kong’s culture and tradition. Just a short ferry ride from Central Pier 5 of city, tourists can heartily enjoy the vibrant and unique festival.

Pak Tai Temple

The oldest and apparently the most famous temple in Chueng Chau, Pak Tai Temple has a lot for tourists. Visit to experience a religious aura during the festival. Enjoy the majestic ambiance enhanced by fragrances of incenses that are set up around the temple.

Events and Rituals

The vivacious Cheung Chau includes an array of interesting activities and competitions such as climbing carnival, lion and unicorn dances, Piu Sik Parade, Chinese Opera Performances and kung fu performances. The mystifying merriment and customs ends with the ceremony of sending back the deities to their temples at Pak Tai Temple Plaza.

Apart from all this, the showstopper is the Bun Scrambling Competition, to be held on 14th May, 2016. The participants get on the bun tower to grab as many lucky buns as possible under the belief that they will get lucky throughout the year.

Bun and Bun Tower

The lucky buns are prepared with flour, water, and sugar as the main ingredients and strictly without animal products. Enjoy three distinct flavours of buns; lotus, sesame and red bean paste. Traditionally, the Chinese character stamped on the bun stands for ‘peace’.
The huge bun tower is covered with artificial plastic buns to avoid wastage of food during the festival. Experience the thrill as the locals scramble to collect the maximum number of buns. These few excitement packed minutes have attracted people for ages now.

Top Wine Estates in and around Stellenbosch, South Africa

Stellenbosch has one of the best wine estates in South Africa and it would require an entire handbook to list down all of them. When you come to Stellenbosch you’ll find an overwhelming variety of high-quality wine flavours.


So if you are a wine lover with a passion for tasting majestic reds and unusual whites, here are some of the best wine estates that you must visit in Stellenbosch.

Jordan Wine Estate

Jordan Wine Estate is well-known for its high quality, yet affordable red and white wines. The Jordan family has been producing wines in Stellenbosch for over 16 years. One of their most famous products is the Bordeaux Blend Cobblers Hill, which offers reserved, mint and berry aromas with ripe berry fruit.

Ken Forrester Wines

Ken Forrester’s winery farmhouse story started in the 17th century. Forrester’s offers different fine wines, including the three highly renowned signature wines – the Chenin Blancs, including the unmatched FMC Chenin, Merlot and Shiraz and a divine Rhone style blend produced from Grenache and Shiraz. The Forrester’s Wine farm is located in the Helderberg Range. One can enjoy beautiful scenic views and great food at their family restaurant.


Meerlust wine farm is located in a cooler part of the Stellenbosch zone.  It is well renowned for the classiness and elegance of both its red and white wines. The Bordeaux blend Rubicon was one of the first to appear in the region and has become a world-wide sensation. The estate is spread over 400 hectares of vineyards. The most recommended Reds are the supple and elegant Pinot Noir and Merlot.


The Rustenberg Wine Estate has a new cellar and building with a tasting room, located near the town of Stellenbosch. The estate is run by the Barlow family. Some of their famous prize wines are the John X Merriman Bordeaux blend, Merlot and Peter Barlow Cabernet Sauvignon.

Please Note: One must check the complete information before visiting the wine estates. Some owners like to welcome guests after prior appointment. You may also get in touch with local estate agents.

Enjoy the Edmonds Waterfront Festival 2016 in Seattle

The Edmonds Waterfront Festival 2016 has a lot to offer, including various new things to see and experience. This year, Edmonds Waterfront Festival is all set to rock the people of Seattle and visitors from around the world.


Only a few days are left and if you want to make the most of it, book your tickets soon. Here is the schedule that will help you to get an overview of events and other travel information.

The Highlights

The Edmonds Waterfront Festival presents live entertainment, art & craft, and kid’s activities. Other top-notch attractions include food courts, beer & wine garden, and classic boat displays. The festival will be celebrated over three days. It is one of the most loved events in Seattle and offers unlimited leisure, shopping and dining opportunities. Locals and visitors can check out over 200 artist booths. You can even meet every artist in person. Enjoy music and dance at an outdoor amphitheater, ethnic and healthy food choices at different stalls, and lots more.

5K Run

The Edmonds Waterfront Festival 2016 is also featuring 5K Run on 4th June, Saturday, from 9:00 am onwards followed by Kids Dash at 9:30 am. You can participate in the run by registering online before 25th May by a paying fee of $ 25. You will also get a T-shirt. Children have to pay $ 10 to join the kids’ dash. For complete information, fill up the online application on its official website.

When and Where

The Edmonds Waterfront Festival 2016 is starting from 3rd June. Admission fee is only $3.00 and children under the age of 12 need not buy any tickets. The festival is going to be held at the Port of Edmonds Marina from 3rd June between 3 pm and 10 pm, 4th June, between 11 am and 10 pm, and on 5th June between 11 am and 7 pm. There is a free shuttle service, which will run continuously every 15 to 20 minutes.