Monthly Archives: August 2016

Mini Guide to Brisbane Festival 2016

Art freaks, just hop into the Brisbane Festival 2016, which is being held from 3rd September to 24th September in Brisbane, to enjoy outstanding art events from around the world.


The amazing city of Brisbane plays host to an audience of around one million people every year in September, who visit the city to attend the popular festival.

Step-in to the Brisbane Festival, a major international event, to celebrate all expressions of arts from around the globe in the form of theatre, music, dance, opera, circus, and public attractions including the Sunsuper Riverfire.

Why Attend The Festival?

The festival has been developed to link artists and audiences, to showcase unconventional ideas, and to draw people to this glittering city. The festival will focus on the themes and ideas of Ireland, the record label, snow white, and the little mermaid this year, with several events showcasing unconventional performances revolving around these themes.

2016 Major Events Line-Up

The festival will showcase events across multiple genres this year, including cabaret, circus, comedy, dance, family, food, music, opera, theatres, visual arts, films, and talk sessions. Check out some of the major events line-up in this year’s festival.

The Game – a bold theatre performance based on sex work in Ireland.

En avant, marche! – Brisbane brass band theatre, music, and dance performance.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream – A comedy theatre performance.

Meow Meow’s Little Mermaid – is a musical cabaret theatre performance.

Three prominent Record labels have been invited for talk sessions.

You Should Be Dancing – a free-for-all dance performance.

Symphony for Me – a free-for-all Queensland Performing Arts Centre music performance.

Blanc De Blanc – is a circus featuring music, dance and cabaret.

Troppo – is a family-oriented circus performance.

Brisbane Airport 3d Street Art – is a free-for-all, family-oriented visual arts attraction.
Dave Graney ‘N’ The Coral Snakes – a musical performance.

Souvenir – a theatre performance.

Kaleidoscope Project – a free-for-all visual arts attraction.
Albert Herring – a comedy opera.

Hanako: Desire & Other Secret Weapons – theatre.

Unbuttoned // A Festival Of Gender, Art, And You – a film, theatre performance and talk session.

Sunsuper Riverfire

The Sunsuper Riverfire is a much-awaited public event. It is a massive fireworks display, which is held to mark the end of the Brisbane Festival. An incredible feature of this event is that the fireworks are exploded to the tunes of popular local music. Also, get enthralled by aerobatics performed by the Australian Defence Force with their RAAF Super Hornet and Army helicopters.

Food and Drinks

After witnessing the amazing performances, go straight to any of these six pop-up food stalls to savour sumptuous meals before the next performance.

Pourboy Espresso

Brisbane-based specialty coffee and cafe dining spot.

Fat Noodle

Owned by Vietnamese celebrity chef Luke Nguyen, Fat Noodle serves quick Asian-fusion meals.


Nitrogenie is an ice-cream parlour that uses liquid nitrogen to make ice-creams.

Mucho Mexicano

Mucho Mexicano serves contemporary Mexican cuisine with a twist.

Mister Paganini

Mister Paganini serves Italian cuisines in great Italian setting.

Tapas By Zen

Tapas by Zen is a fine dining spot.

The World’s Most Popular Festivals in September 2016

Festivals, especially the ones involving merrymaking, enthuse one with happiness! Some of them witness a gathering of millions, while others get a crowd of thousands or hundreds.


Whatever the size, such events win over participants and onlookers alike. We have shortlisted certain popular festivals, which will be celebrated this September.

Joust of the Saracen

The Joust of the Saracen is one of the oldest and most prominent traditions of Arezzo – a city and comune in Italy. Celebrated twice a year, it sees city people in primitive costumes excitedly re-creating the atmosphere of medieval Arezzo. Different quarters contend against each other in a joust to win the Golden Lance. Currently, there are 8 knights for 4 quarters of the city.

Date: 4th September

Ganesh Chaturthi

Also known as Vināyaka Caturthi, the Ganesh Chaturthi is a Hindu festival commemorated in the honour of Lord Ganesha – The Remover of Obstacles. Colourful pandals are set up almost everywhere in India and the God is worshipped for a period of 10 days. Held throughout the country, the grandest form of commemoration takes place in the Indian states of Maharashtra and Telangana. It is celebrated overseas as well by the Hindu diaspora.

Date: 5th September

The Abbots Bromley Horn Dance

The Abbots Bromley Horn Dance is an annual fest, which is held in a small village of the English Midlands. The participants accept six sets of deer antlers from the church. These antiques are nearly 1000 years old and weigh 7 to 11 kilograms. For the next 12 hours, the objects are handled by the ‘deer men’. Individuals dressed as fictional characters cover a distance of 16 kilometres and stop frequently to dance to music created by a melodeon and triangle player.

Date: 12th September

Mid-Autumn Festival

The Mid-Autumn Festival is observed on the 15th day of the 8th lunar month. The Chinese people spend this day with their families. In fact, many of the Chinese living in a foreign land also fly back to their nation meet their families. The Chinese believe that full moon is a symbol of peace, opulence, and family reunion. On Mid-Autumn night, the harvest moon is supposed to be the brightest and the fullest of the year, hence it is termed as the ‘Moon festival’.

Date: 15th September

Galway Oyster & Seafood Festival

Galway Oyster & Seafood Festival is the oldest oyster festival in the world. It is also one of Europe’s longest-running food extravaganzas. Events like seafood trails, oyster opening championships, and foodie talks are conducted. Important personalities such as John Huston (Director), Bob Hope (Actor), Christy O’Connor JR (Golfer), and Richard Corrigan (Chef) have been a part of Galway Oyster & Seafood Festival.

Date- 23rd to 25th September

Top 10 Experiences and Activities at Ras Al Khaimah

Ras Al Khaimah, the northernmost emirate of the UAE, is a scenic paradise of several pristine beaches, splendid natural lagoons, thick mangroves, and golden deserts.


The emirate also boasts of many heritage sites and buildings, luxury sea-facing resorts, and thrilling water sports opportunities. Here are the top 10 experiences and activities to enjoy at Ras Al Khaimah.

Bassata Desert Village

Enjoy an exotic desert experience at the Bassata Desert Village. Adventure enthusiasts can enjoy dune bashing and camel riding while experiencing other traditional cultural activities such as belly dance, Arabic Tanoura, and Arabic barbecue. Enjoy an amazing overnight camp at the village.

Khatt Springs

The Khatt Springs is well known for its mineral-rich hot springs with therapeutic properties. Heal yourselves while relaxing at the hot pools surrounded by palm trees and rugged mountains. After soaking in the waters of the Khatt Springs, explore the majestic surroundings, complete with around 170 interesting archaeological sites.

Falcon Show

Falconry is an ancient tradition in Ras Al Khaimah. For a sneak-peek into this tradition, or rather sport, check out the one-of-its-kind falcon and raptor display at the Banyan Tree Al Wadi. The display has an amazing collection of falcons, hawks, kestrels, owls, and eagles.

Ras Al-Khaimah National Museum

Visit the Ras Al-Khaimah National Museum, an important attraction in the region. The museum displays numerous archaeological and ethnological artefacts, including treaties between Great Britain and the rulers of Ras Al-Khaimah, and traditional weapons.

Hajar Mountains

Go for exhilarating trips to the rugged Hajar Mountains, which form a surrounding backdrop of the emirate. Hike the Hajar Mountains and reach its highest point, the Jebel Jais, while admiring the dynamic rust-coloured sand dunes surrounding the mountain range.

Beach Parties

Ras Al Khaimah has some very beautiful sandy white beaches, which have managed to remain almost untouched in their beauty and serenity. Winters are the best time to relax or sunbathe on these gorgeous beaches and be part of some exciting beach parties with loads of music, dancing, and FUN!

Awafi Desert

The Awafi desert in Ras Al Khaimah is one of the most popular camping sites in the area, though camping happens there only in winters. The desert is known for its silky soft sand dunes, lovely weather, and a popular annual cultural festival. Year-round desert camps can be enjoyed at Bassata Desert Village and Bedouin Oasis Camp.

Jebel Jais

Drive or hike up to the 1934-metre high Jebel Jais, which is the tallest mountain in the UAE and is part of the Hajar Mountains. Reaching the summit of this rugged and wind-swept mountain is rewarding, plus the trail offers fantastic views of the nearby valleys.

Dhayah Fort


History buffs will love this 16th century mud-brick fort, the Dhayah Fort. It was built as a military tower on a hilltop. The surrounding area has several other ruined fortifications and watchtowers.

Al Qawasim Corniche

Visit the fabulous Al Qawasim Corniche and enjoy excellent views of the Ras Al Khaimah Creek, its mangroves and the Hajar Mountains. The corniche has some fantastic cafés, shops and restaurants set up within historical buildings, surrounded by landscaped gardens, fountains and streams, making it a popular leisure spot among the locals and tourists.

Travellers, Here’s what NOT to Miss in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka, affectionately called ‘The Pearl of the Indian Ocean’, is truly unique! The diverse landscapes in the form of rainforests, plains, highlands, and beaches amaze one and all.


The vibrant cities have a magic of their own. In fact, there are quite a few absolutely not to be missed attractions and activities at the destination. Here, take a look!

Jungle Beach

Jungle Beach is the ultimate spot for relaxation. The soft sands and views of the deep blue ocean draw people in hordes. It’s also a treat to enjoy refreshing beverages under the bright sun. Those who are looking for ‘Me-Time’ must walk further into the beach, where it’s delightfully secluded. With almost no waves or currents, the waters of Jungle Beach are considered suitable for swimming.

Kandy Esala Perahera in Kandy

The Kandy Esala Perahera in Kandy is one of the oldest and biggest Buddhist festivals of the nation. It encompasses dancers, musicians, and jugglers who showcase their talents and skills in a graceful manner. The extravagantly decorated elephants startle everyone. This 10-day festival comes to an end with the time-honoured diya-kepeema ritual – a water cutting ceremony which is conducted annually at Mahaweli River in Getambe, Kandy.

Yala National Park

Tourists who want to spot wild animals should head to Yala National Park. It is home to 44 varieties of mammals and 215 bird species. Lucky visitors can spot leopards, elephants, sloth bears, jackals, peacocks, and crocodiles. The best time to visit Yala is from February to July when the water level of the park is very low, encouraging wild animals to come out in the open. It is advisable to carry water, first-aid, and snacks.

Take a Guided Tour of Nuwara Eliya

Nuwara Eliya is the most important location for tea production in Sri Lanka. It grows a tea that is acknowledged by connoisseurs as among the finest in the world. One may join guided tours to learn about tea production. Formerly, Nuwara Eliya grew coffee but the weather played spoilsport. Consequently, tea was extensively cultivated in the same region and it flourished.

Ride the Train

This is a marvellous experience! Train rides in Sri Lanka make people feel as if they are stepping back in time. This old mode of transport chugs through hills and valleys at a slow pace. The scenic beauty grabs the attention of foreigners and locals alike. Journeying in trains is affordable as the rates are attractively low. The train ride from Ella to Kandy is an outstanding one.

Explore the Offbeat Attractions of Mexico

The most populated Spanish speaking nation, Mexico has enticed travellers with its cultural hotspots, historical remnants, and sun-soaked beaches. The list doesn’t end there! The destination also has a number of offbeat attractions that promise a pretty satiating experience. We have enlisted some of these ‘lesser-known’ places here for you.

Great Pyramid of Cholula


Also termed as the Tlachihualtepetl, the Great Pyramid of Cholula is the largest pyramid in the world today. Located in Puebla – Mexico, it is actually a temple honouring the God named ‘Quetzalcoatl’. In the pre-Hispanic period, the Great Pyramid of Cholula was a vital religious and mythical centre.

Mercado de Sonora

Want to buy things that appear otherworldly or ‘dark’? Head to Mercado de Sonora right away! Often called the market of witches, the Mercado de Sonora offers animal skins, bird wings, skulls, skeletons, horns, teeth, herbs, leaves, and pottery. Established in Mexico City, the Mercado de Sonora is visited by innumerable inhabitants when they are preparing for the ‘Day of the Dead’ – a holiday celebration for remembering friends or family members who have passed away.

Las Pozas

Check out this sculpture garden for an extraordinary experience. Situated in Xilitla, Las Pozas was made by Edward James, an unconventional English poet and artist, and a supporter of the Surrealist movement. Earlier it was an abode of spectacular orchids and exotic animals. However, now it is a fascinating sculpture garden.

La Pascualita

It’s time to not just see but observe the dead! La Pascualita is a popular, lifelike bridal mannequin in a shop located at Chihuahua. If rumours are to be believed, it is not a mannequin but a perfectly preserved corpse of the previous owner’s daughter. Apparently, she breathed her last due to a black widow spider bite before her wedding. La Pascualita has been in this shop for more than 80 years!

Biblioteca Vasconcelos

The Biblioteca Vasconcelos is a ‘megalibrary’ in Mexico City. This temple of knowledge is known for its size and materials. There are five distinct libraries here dedicated to the country’s great intellectuals like Ali Chumacero, Jaime García Terrés, José Luis Martínez, Carlos Monsiváis, and Antonio Castro Leal. Book lovers will find Biblioteca Vasconcelos truly fascinating.

Festival For The Future 2016 awaits you in New Zealand!

Festival For The Future (FFTF) 2016 will be held from 23rd to 25th September at the Aotea Centre in Auckland, New Zealand. It is a one-of-its-kind event, which brings together young New Zealanders from various spheres of life, including students, young professionals, entrepreneurs, scientists, social activists, artists, and musicians.


These young leaders meet at this common platform and explore the major issues facing New Zealand or even the world, and discuss its possible solutions.

What’s The Celebration For?

The weekend festival features New Zealand’s youth at the forefront of bringing a positive change in society. The festival celebrates the common platform, which connects innovators and influencers to share ideas, inspire people, and create a better tomorrow.

Dubbed as the most inspiring event in New Zealand, its 2015 edition saw over 550 attendees and the festival was packed with talks from inspiring speakers, workshops, performances, and live entertainment.

This Year’s Programme!!

FFTF 2016 is set to become one epic weekend with its amazing line-up of events.


The event will kick start on a Friday evening – 23rd September, 2016, when the registrations will open for attending the event. It can turn out to be a great chance for connecting and networking with young leaders. Following the registrations, the formal opening ceremony for the festival – Haere Mai – will be held. The evening will see musical and other live performances after the opening ceremony.


The first day of the festival, Saturday – 24th September, will see a host of morning activities. The morning will start with a Speaker Session, after which the visitors can choose to attend any one from a Workshop or a Panel on Future of Economy. During lunch, there will be musical entertainment, food stalls, and souvenir stalls. Post lunch, there will be more workshops and another Panel on the topic ‘Future of Environment’. The evening will see a speaker session and an evening wrap up activity.


The last day of the event, Sunday – 25th September, will start with a morning activity, which will be followed by a Speaker Session. After this, visitors will have to choose to attend either a Workshop or a Panel on Future of Education. This will be followed by a fun lunch, with live entertainment, including musical performances, and various live stalls. Post lunch, there will be various workshops and a Panel on Future of Equality. Visitors can attend any of these two programmes, which will be followed by the final Speaker Session of the event. The evening will be wrapped up with the hosting of a lively farewell to the event and the young minds attending it.

Whale Watcher’s Paradise: The Hermanus Whale Festival 2016

Come late September and the world’s best land-based whale watching region, Hermanus in South Africa, will get ready to celebrate the migration of whales, with the Hermanus Whale Festival. South Africa’s sole enviro-arts festival, the Hermanus Whale Festival will be held from 30th September to 2nd October this year.


The seaside town of Hermanus hosts more than 100,000 visitors each year during the event. One enjoys the surrounding natural environment and the overall fantastic phenomenon amidst great food, drinks, great music, and delightful activities.


The event began around 25 years ago in Hermanus, when the locals decided to grab whale watching opportunities at the time of migration of Southern Right Whales and other marine life. Sea-based adventures, exhibitions, and public awareness about the event were by-products of the event.

All about the Festival!

Whale watching is the main attraction during the family-friendly festival, with thousands flocking to suitable spots to see these deep ocean creatures along with other forms of marine life. The festival includes 3 days of fantastic food, fun sport events, coaching clinic, kiddie entertainment, and musical performances by more than 20 artists. Enjoy the signature events of the festival, including the Marine ECO Village, the Vintage Car Show, street parades, and film shows.


Apart from focusing on the huge mammals for recreational purposes, the Hermanus Whale Festival also strives to create awareness about them through the festival. All through the event, visitors are educated and updated on the conditions of this endangered species. Marine Endangered Species Marquee acts as a platform where visitors can learn something about them. The festival also includes a Whale Filmfest, which shows films on a variety of issues associated with whales.


The festival features a series of events, which aim to promote environmentally responsible adventure activities. Have fun during the event’s Adventure Week by participating in its fun runs, night runs, trail runs, and mountain biking.

This Year’s Events

The series of events during the festival this year includes:

•    ECO-Marine Tent, which includes the Cape Whale Coast Hope Spot.
•    Several live shows and entertainment. There will be 30 performing artists at the festival.
•    Quality Crafters.
•    Hermanus Adventure Week, which includes open water swimming, night run, MTB challenge, and trail runs.
•    Hermanus Whale Festival Classic bowls tournament.
•    Whales and wheels classic car show.
•    Arts and craft stalls.
•    Music Marquee.
•    Whale Filmfest.

Accommodation Options

Travellers have plenty of options to choose from for their stay during this festival. Hermanus has some good hotels, which can be considered by luxury seekers. Besides, there are many options for those seeking affordable lodgings by way of guesthouses, B&Bs, and self catering options such as the Hermanus Beach Villa or the Whale Coast Hotel. There are well-maintained camping and caravan parks as well.

The Fun-Packed Chinese Festivals in Hong Kong

Hong Kong can be termed as ‘The Land of Contradictions’. Natural beauty is somehow complemented by bustling city life. Similarly, Chinese traditions and western culture co-exist peacefully here.


As Hong Kong is a multi-cultural destination, many different festivals are celebrated in this legendary land. Here, we have focused upon some of the colourful Chinese festivals.

Dragon and Lion Dance Festival

The name says it all! The Dragon and Lion Dance Festival showcases hundreds of artificial and eye-catching dragons, lions and celestial guardians, marching and dancing through the streets to commemorate the approaching new year. Already well-known in the region, the Dragon and Lion Dance Festival is celebrated every year on 1st January. In 2011, this festival created a Guinness World Record by displaying 1,111 dragons and lions.

Chinese New Year

Celebrated on the first moon of the Lunar Calendar, the Chinese New Year is one of the most important holidays for the Chinese. People clean their houses and put up traditional New Year decorations. Family members have dinner together. They may watch conventional Chinese shows and launch fireworks later. Individuals wear red clothes and give children ‘lucky money’ in red envelopes. Red represents fire, which is believed to drive bad luck away.

Spring Lantern Festival

This festival is truly a treat to the eyes! Held on the 15th day of the first lunar month, the Spring Lantern Festival features innumerable colourful lanterns, which beautify markets, restaurants and hotels. The main celebration is held in Tsim Sha Tsui at the Hong Kong Cultural Central Piazza, which is open to the public for free. The theme of the festival changes annually, with lanterns assuming the shape of a particular animal. The lantern carnival is a must-watch! It presents folk songs, traditional dances and instrumental performances.

Dragon Boat Festival

Also called the ‘Tueng Ng Festival’, the Dragon Boat Festival is celebrated on the 5th day of the 5th Lunar month. There are dragon boat races in which international teams of paddlers compete against each other in long narrow boats. To make this fiesta more lively and spirited, drums are played and beer is offered. As per a popular legend, the Dragon Boat Festival came into existence due to an old man named ‘Qu Yuan’. He was so saddened with his nation’s government that he drowned himself in the river.

Well-Wishing Festival

There’s not a better way to interact with locals than by participating in the ‘Well Wishing Festival’. In this fiesta, participants share a meal with locals. Post this, they write their wish on a piece of paper and tie it with a string. On one end of the string is an orange. Participants toss them upwards, aiming for a sturdy branch (wishing tree). These wishing trees are situated in the village of Lam Tsuen in the New Territories.

September Festivals Reflecting the Multi-Cultural Character of New York

new-yorkWho can overlook a vibrant place like New York? It is an attractive tourist destination with simply everything that a travel-junkie dreams of – from holy and religious spots to exciting nightlife venues. It is home to important landmarks such as the Empire State Building, Times Square and Statue of Liberty.What makes New York all the more dynamic is its colourful year-round festivals. If you are planning to explore this fabulous destination in September, you are in for many treats! Take a look at some of the colourful festivals awaiting you in New York during September.

New York Caribbean Carnival

Date: 1st to 5th September

This is one of the best ways to learn about and enjoy the Caribbean culture! The New York Caribbean Carnival is commemorated in Brooklyn – an administrative division of NYC. Different participants represent the different Caribbean nations. The costumed dancers exhibit their skills and talents gracefully. There are fun-packed activities for all. Music-buffs will get to hear steel band music and soca music at the New York Caribbean Carnival.

Brazilian Day

Date: 4th September

Now you can have a glimpse of Brazil without visiting Brazil! Just join the New York’s Brazilian Day! Celebrated in the midst of Little Brazil – Manhattan, the Brazilian Day is a wonderful festival marking the independence of Brazil. There’ll be music, dance and food for everyone. The musicians will perform samba, bossa nova, maracatu and other genres. The cultural activities keep everyone absolutely engrossed. Foodies will definitely like the Brazilian and Latin American dishes and beverages.

German-American Steuben Parade

Date: 17th September

Successfully conducted since 1956, the German-American Steuben Parade is an annual festival in which individuals of German-American origin march together wearing traditional costumes, thus commemorating their native roots. They named the parade after ‘Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben’ – a Prussian-born General who was associated with General George Washington in the American Revolutionary War. The parade is complete with bands, dance groups and walkers.

Feast of San Gennaro

Date: 15th September

Celebrated in ‘Little Italy’ of Manhattan, the Feast of San Gennaro features religious processions, musical entertainment and ethnic food. It signifies the beautiful Italian-American culture and heritage, which has existed in this land since years. Italians have a special place in their hearts for the Feast of San Gennaro – one of the key reasons why it is conducted in different parts of the world.

Great Irish Fair of New York

Date: 24th September

Turn Irish in the Great Irish Fair of New York! The Great Irish Fair of New York is commemorated to underscore the magnificence of Irish culture and music. There’ll be food, dancing, rides and fun activities. Individuals of all age-groups can enjoy the Great Irish Fair of New York. Hundreds of thousands of people attend it annually. Thus, it is one of the most attended annual cultural festivals in New York.

Top 7 Things to Do in Chiang Mai, Thailand

Chiang Mai is the second largest city in Thailand located amidst a stunning natural backdrop of spectacular mountains, lush greenery, cascading streams and charming hill tribes.


An important cultural hub in Thailand, the city is full of historical temples, street markets and lovely restaurants serving delectable cuisine. Take a look at some of the best things to do in Chiang Mai.

Visit Historical Temples

Chiang Mai is home to numerous historical temples, which reflect ancient architecture and designs. Visit the revered Wat Pra Singh of the Lion Buddha fame and the tall Wat Chedi Luang that once housed the Emerald Buddha. Also visit the Doi Suthep located near the top of a mountain and the magnificent pure White Temple.

Chat With a Monk

Some temples or wats of Chiang Mai offer a unique experience – a ‘Monk Chat’ programme. One may chat with the monks and use this opportunity to learn about their lifestyle, beliefs or Buddhism. A couple of such temples are the Wat Chedi Luang and Wat Suan Dok.

Experience Wildlife

Blessed with raw natural beauty, Chiang Mai has many places where wild animals can be seen at close quarters. Visit Chiang Mai Zoo to see penguins and pandas, Mae Sa Elephant Camp to see elephants doing circus acts in the vast lands and the night zoo Chiang Mai Night Safari.

Trek to Tribal Villages

Visit the village of Mae Klang Luang, which is a popular tourist attraction and provides an insight into local tribal life. Explore the lives of more exotic tribal communities by visiting the Hmong Tribal Village and the Padung Village. The latter is home to the ‘Long Neck Karen’ ethnic hill-tribe.

Hire Floating Houses

Spend a day or at least a night at the Eakachai Houseboat, or the floating houses, at Mae Ngat Dam. These are like small bungalow-shaped houseboats on water and can be reached only by long-tail boats. Relax on the deck or dive and swim in the dam waters – have a serene experience in the peaceful environs!

Visit the Local Markets

Chiang Mai has numerous bustling local markets offering a variety of essentials as well as knick-knacks and foot massages at reasonable prices. Some of these popular markets are Chiang Mai Gate Market, Sunday Walking Street or the Night Bazaar.

Learn Local Skills

Chiang Mai has a fantastic vacation learning scene for travellers – cooking classes, massage schools and even Thai language classes. There is a plethora of schools offering such short courses at reasonable rates to tourists here.