Editions
Amsterdam Dance Event
17-21 October, 2018
Amsterdam, Netherlands
Shake a leg, spot current music and dance trends, attend parties, panels and meetings, participate in debates and dialogues, and keep abreast of the latest developments in electro music and its sub-genres at the world’s biggest annual gathering of electro music artists, fans and industry reps. Previous line-ups have included Paul Van Dyk, Marcel Dettman, Robert Babicz and Jeremy ‘Underground Paris’.
amsterdam-dance-event.nl
[Photo: Mark Richter]
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Melbourne Arts Festival
3-21 October, 2018
Melbourne, Australia
One of the leading arts festivals Down Under that’s accessible to all, the arts fest is a treat for visual and performing arts aficionados, featuring mostly free events combining music, dance, circus, theatre and art showcases at various venues throughout the city.
festival.melbourne
[Photo: James Henry]
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Newkulele Festival
19-21 October, 2018
Newcastle, Australia
Tis’ the place to be for anyone with a passion for the uke! Festivalgoers can look forward to feature concerts, community performances and diverse workshops at a new venue: Newcastle City Hall. Previous editions have featured international artists such as James Hill and Anne Janelle (Canada), Nico’o and the Kapiolani boys (France), The Nukes (New Zealand), Peter Moss (England), Mark Nelson (USA) and Ukulollo (Italy).
newkulelefestival.com
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Jidai Matsuri
22 October, 2018 
Kyoto, Japan
Consisting of a large costumed parade that moves from the Kyoto Gosho (Imperial Palace) to the Heian-jingu Shrine, the festival is quite literally a lesson in Japanese history, invoking ancient costumes and customs from various periods. Keep your camera ready – the event is a brilliant opportunity to see Kyoto’s traditional handicrafts from up close.
jnto.go.jp
[Photo: ©Kyoto Convention Bureau/© JNTO]
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Level 42 Eternity Tour
2-25 October, 2018
Various Locations, UK
If you missed their sold-out shows in the UK and Europe last year, here’s a chance to catch the ’80s band with mega hits “Lessons in Love”, “Something About You”, “Running In The Family” and “It’s Over” – Level 42 on their Eternity Tour, either in Glasgow, Birmingham, London… or anywhere near you. Amex card members enjoy special privileges. More details on the website.
americanexpress.com
[Photo: Andrew Hurley/Flickr]
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John Fogerty and Steve Miller Band
25 October, 2018
Various Locations, UK
Blues fans: Don’t miss Grammy-winning Rock & Roll Hall of Famer John Fogerty, along with Steve Miller Band – 2 class acts on a single stage – at the opening night of the Bluesfest 2018 in the O2 Arena. Amex card members will enjoy exclusive access to the best show tickets reserved especially for them.
americanexpress.com
[Photo: Dena Flows/Flickr]
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Art Taipei
26-29 October, 2018
Taipei, Taiwan
Taipei’s leading, laid-back modern art fair returns for the 25th time, exhibiting diverse works from Asian and international artists in a wide array of mediums, including ink paintings, photography, multimedia installations, sculptures and oil paintings. Last year’s edition had 650,000 visitors in attendance and included 123 galleries.
art-taipei.com
[Photo: ART TAIPEI 台北國際藝術博覽會 Via Facebook]
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Morobe Show
27-28 October, 2018
Lae City, Papua New Guinea
At Lae City’s largest annual event for the culturally minded, watch motorcycle stunt shows, rodeo style events, traditional beauty pageants, livestock competitions and tribal Sing Sing groups in traditional costumes, alongside other agricultural, industrial and commercial show activities.
morobeshow.org.pg
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Polar Circle Marathon
27-28 October, 2018
Kangerlussuaq, Greenland
The coolest and most challenging marathon on Earth – in the Arctic Tundra where the starting temps are -15°C, ice sheet running is mandatory, and frostbite is a reality. Runners will traverse glaciers, the silent Arctic desert and icy, rocky landscapes. Required: Layers of merino wool, spikes and a truckload of perseverance.
polar-circle-marathon.com
[Photo: Albatros Adventure Marathons]
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Jamaica Food And Drink Festival
20-28 October, 2018 
Kingston, Jamaica
Mouth-watering recipes from celebrity chefs, plus food truck parties, food booths, fine spirits and artisanal cocktails, pork delicacies, hearty seafood, urban crafts and kids activities – all highlight October’s Food and Drink festival in Kingston, and are the main reasons why the global crowds descend here.
jafoodanddrink.com
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MassKara Festival
8-28 October, 2018
Bacolod City, Philippines
“Smile through your tragedies” – that’s the message of this festival, held in “The City of Smiles” in the Philippines each October. Originally started in the ’80s to spread happiness during a period of gloom, today’s festivities are marked by residents wearing smiling masks and participating in parades, street dance competitions, beauty pageants, drumming contests and sporting events. There’s word that the 39th edition will be bigger and better than before, with many new activities and events. Stay tuned.
masskarafestivals.com 
[Photo: TanoyPhoto/Flickr]
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The Village Halloween Parade
31 October, 2018 
New York City, New York, USA
Put on your creative thinking hats, design your wildest costume, get into gear and join in the iconic parade overflowing with giant puppets, professional bands, dancers and artistes at the Big Apple’s largest public participatory affair. With a theme that goes ‘I AM a Robot’, the 45th edition will delve into the blurred lines between humans and robots.
halloween-nyc.com
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Ghadames International Festival
Mid October, 2018 (TBA)
Ghadames, Libya
You’ll get a firsthand taste of local Berber and Tuareg culture at this 3-day festival celebrating the date harvest. Enjoy music, feasts, traditional ceremonies and costumes, dancing in the dunes and, of course, plenty of lip-smacking date-based delicacies.
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London Restaurant Festival
1-31 October, 2018 
London, England
Whether serious gastronome or casual foodie, here’s your chance to go on restaurant hopping tours, partake in chef-hosted lunches and enjoy Michelin-starred and family-friendly festival menus at some of the capital’s best restaurants. Past festivals have included some of the world’s finest culinary talent including Michael Roux, Yotam Ottolenghi and Nuno Mendes.
londonrestaurantfestival.com
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Atlanta Celebrates Photography (ACP) Festival
1-31 October, 2018 
Atlanta, Georgia, USA
This month-long festival is the destination for all things photography: photo installations, expert-led talks, a photography auction and gala, film series, photobook fair and pop-up photo galleries to cultivate photographic arts in the community. 2018 marks the fair’s 20th anniversary: look forward to free events and exhibitions at more than 100 venues in Atlanta.
acpinfo.org
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Be Pure Live Well Festival
October, 2018 (Exact Dates TBA)
Auckland, New Zealand
Not just for health nuts, but also for all who want a clean and healthy life going forward, this is an immersive festival bursting with fitness boot camps, yoga/Pilates sessions, mood/meditation classes, nutritious cooking demos, wellness discourses for all ages and a buzzing marketplace full of healthy products.
livewellfestival.co.nz
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Día de los Muertos
31 October – 2 November, 2018 
Across Mexico
Not to be confused with Halloween, this is a religious and cultural celebration celebrating life and honouring the dead that takes place in many Latin American countries but more so in Mexico. Expect mock funeral processions, mariachi music, cemetery tours, costume parades, dancing, street art, and even all-night parties.
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Sharjah International Book Fair
1-11 November, 2018 
Sharjah, UAE
An eleven day celebration of books. 1.5 million titles. Over 2 million visitors. Expect to see and listen to distinguished authors and connect with readers from all over apart from browsing a large repository of titles from a variety of disciplines. There’ll be cultural activities, children’s events, specialized programs and a cookery corner to keep festival-goers entertained.
sibf.com
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SOFA
1-4 November, 2018
Chicago, Illinois, USA
Held annually at the Navy Pier, the windy city’s popular and well-attended Sculptural Objects Functional Art + Design festival presents three-dimensional artworks in different media including ceramics, wood, glass, fibre, jewellery, metal, design, painting, photography, and paper. Not to be missed are the lecture presentations from renowned art critics, museum curators and artists.
sofaexpo.com
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Design Festa
Mid November, 2018 (TBA)
Tokyo, Japan
A biannual ticketed event for professionals and amateurs and also one of Asia’s largest art fairs, it attracts more than 12,000 artists from different backgrounds from wood carvers to musicians and showcases 100% original and uncensored works. For those with a creative spark, this is the place for mental stimulation.
designfesta.com
[Photo: hélène veilleux/Flickr]
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Denver International Wine Festival
1-3 November, 2018
Denver, Colorado, USA
The festival allows visitors to experience a wide array of wines as well as culinary tastings just before the holiday season begins. And there’s a lot of decadence involved from a food and wine pairing competition to wine tastings, winery tours and even educational seminars.
denverwinefest.com
[Photo: Christopher J Davies]
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Pirates Week Festival
2-18 November, 2018
Various Locations, Cayman Islands
This is Cayman Island’s favourite annual festival where bearded buccaneers in bandanas swagger through the streets and participate in floats, parades and an invasion featuring 3 life-size pirate ships. Of all the venues, the one at Georgetown is the grandest, pulling crowds from everywhere. There’ll be fireworks, dancing, pageantry, delicious food and drink, fun events for kids and sporting activities.
piratesweekfestival.com
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Kenu and Kundu Festival
2-4 November, 2018
Alotau, Papua New Guinea
This annual celebration of culture is marked by a convoy of war canoes (kenu) with warriors in traditional garb paddling to (kundu) drum beats followed by races, music, dancing, traditional and modern drama performances, band contests, art and craft displays and fireworks in Milne Bay. Festival-goers can also enjoy canoe rides once the races have concluded.
nationalkenukundufestival.com
[Photo: PNG Tourism Promotion Authority]
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Artissima
2-4 November, 2018 
Turin, Italy
The Turin-based experimental fair for contemporary art returns to the Oval for its 25th anniversary with a title ‘Time is on our side’, focussing on various forms of time e.g., fast and slow time, past and future, time for dialogue, time for art and time for listening to sound (look out for a new section on contemporary sound). 2017’s edition saw a total of 206 galleries from 32 countries and 52000 visitors.
artissima.it
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Melbourne Cup Carnival
3-10 November, 2018
Melbourne, Australia
The city, literally, comes to a grinding halt during the week-long event – chock-full of fine fashion, delectable food and wine, endless entertainment and iconic races. Watch the parade in the city centre on the eve of the fest, dress in your finest and compete in the fashion contest, watch the thoroughbreds in action on race day, feast on gourmet delights and entertain the family on Stakes Day – it’s a not-to-be-missed experience.
flemington.com.au
[Photo: Chris Phutully/Wikimedia Commons]
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An Evening With King Crimson
3 November, 2018
London, England
A shout out to all progressive rock fans: The highly influential English rock band from the late 60s – King Crimson will be playing at the London Palladium as part of their ‘Uncertain Times’ European Tour with Robert Fripp, Bill Rieflin, Gavin Harrison, Pat Mastelotto and Jeremy Stacey as band members. Did you know that American Express cardholders are eligible for special tickets that include central seating, Q/A with a band member as well as souvenirs and merchandise?
axs.com
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Diwali
5-9 November, 2018
Across India
Celebrated widely across the sub-continent by lighting clay lamps and fireworks, worshipping Lakshmi – the Goddess of Wealth, making and distributing sweets, exchanging gifts and visiting friends and family, the festival marks the victory of good over evil and is the most important on the Hindu calendar.
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Seed Food And Wine Week
7-11 November, 2018
Miami Beach, Florida, USA
You’ll find everything sustainable and plant-based at this annual Miami event – from cooking demos to craft beer and spirits tastings, upscale celebrity chef dinners, urban gardening events, health seminars, yoga, a 5K run, kids’ activities and even a veggie burger battle. Look forward to seeing talented chefs, celebs, athletes and authors – all under one roof during the five-day affair.
seedfoodandwine.com
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New York Comedy Festival
5-11 November, 2018 
New York City, New York, USA
Calling all comedy fans and laugh seekers: Some of the biggest names in stand-up comedy entertain audiences at the Big Apple’s funny festival each year. The cast for the 15th edition is awaited but if the past performers here (e.g., Aziz Ansari, Bill Maher, Amy Schumer, Jessica Williams, Chris Hardwick, Patton Oswalt, Trevor Noah and Tracy Morgan) are anything to go by, then it’s safe to expect a world class line-up this year as well.
nycomedyfestival.com
[Photo: Courtesy of New York Comedy Festival] 
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Iceland Airwaves
7-10 November, 2018
Reykjavik, Iceland
The biggest draw here is the immersive local acts that tap into the local grassroots music scene as well as the wide variety of venues from small record stores to art museums where they’re held. Don’t miss the free off-venue events – without queues or tickets but featuring the same stars. The line-up for the 20th edition has already been announced and includes Agent Fresco, Girl Ray, Jade Bird and Kiriyama Family.
icelandairwaves.is
[Photo: Júnía Líf Maríuerla]
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Le Guess Who?
8-11 November, 2018 
Utrecht, Netherlands
Featuring a curated line-up of performances from emerging artistes to legends, the festival is held at eclectic venues throughout Utrecht including churches, galleries and theatres and transforms the quaint college-town into an electrifying hub for experimental music. The satellite events encompassing film, visual art, photography and markets held at restaurants, cafés and wharf cellars around town are just as entertaining.
leguesswho.nl
[Photo: Juri Hiensch]
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Räbechilbi Turnip Festival
10 November, 2018 
Richterswil, Switzerland
For one day in fall, the town of Richterswil celebrates the humble root vegetable (Räben), carving it into breathtakingly beautiful shapes from birds to flowers and more and parading the resulting art as lanterns in processions and floats through town amid complete darkness.
vvrs.ch
[Photo: Jonathan Jones/Flickr]
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Düsseldorfer Karneval
11 November, 2018 – 6 March, 2019
Düsseldorf, Germany
Be there at the start of the carnival at 11:11 am on 11/11 when Hoppeditz awakes continuing all the way up to Ash Wednesday in March. Watch parades with floats of every conceivable form, highlighting politics, culture and satire and delighting and entertaining onlookers on the banks of the Rhine.
comitee-duesseldorfer-carneval.de
[Photo: Cittanova Düsseldorf/Wikimedia Commons]
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Buenos Aires Jazz.18 Festival Internacional
14-19 November, 2018 
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Discover the local jazz scene, jams, masterclasses, workshops, special productions, outdoor concerts, dance floors and special productions as the international jazz fest that encompasses everything from swing to jazz fusion and nuevo tango snakes its way through multiple venues across the city. Featuring international artists as well as expat locals, the festival includes ticketed as well as many free events.
festivales.buenosaires.gob.ar
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Eastside Culture Crawl
15-18 November, 2018 
Vancouver, Canada
This community engaging event attracts more than 500 visual artists and crafters including weavers, potters, jewellers, glassblowers, sculptors and photographers to showcase their works to a burgeoning number of visitors at various venues in the area from Columbia Street on Victoria Drive to the waterfront. There’ll be all sorts of workshops and demos, talks, installations, exhibitions and even hands-on activities for kids.
culturecrawl.ca
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Strawberry Fields
16-18 November, 2018
Tocumwal, New South Wales, Australia
There’s a plethora of activities to partake in despite the small size of this EDM festival outside Melbourne: participate in sunset yoga sessions, swim in the river, discover a jazz quintet, admire art, sip oriental tea or enjoy some quiet time. Although the line-up is yet to be announced, there is news of bigger and better things planned for the festival’s 10th anniversary.
strawberry-fields.com.au
[Photo: Duncographic Via Strawberry Fields/Facebook]
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San Francisco International Hip Hop Dancefest
16-18 November, 2018
San Francisco, California, USA
The critically-acclaimed and non-competitive SFIHHDF attracts the best professional dance companies from around the Bay Area and across the world to celebrate the artistry of the hip hop dance movement. Last year’s iteration included high-energy performances by Medea Sirkas, Nasty Ray and Soul Force Dance Company among others.
sfhiphopdancefest.com
[Photo: Kyle Adler]
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Edinburgh’s Christmas
16 November, 2018 – 5 January, 2019 
Edinburgh, Scotland, UK
Indulge in the highly anticipated and marvellous festivities in and around the city centre. You’ll witness a Christmas wonderland chock-full of stunning light illuminations, famous local choirs, ice skating, markets and rides, including the Big Wheel and Star Flyer. edinburghschristmas.com
[Photo: Ross G. Strachan Photography/Flickr]
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Shame
16, 30 November, 2018
Portsmouth and London, England
Hot on the heels of their successful debut album ‘Songs of Praise’, British post punk band Shame will return to the spotlight with live performances at the Portsmouth Pyramid Centre and the O2 Arena. As an American Express card holder, you’ll have the option to buy reserved tickets for the show. Conditions Apply. More details on the website.
axs.com
[Photo: Paul Hudson/Wikimedia Commons]
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Africa International Film Festival
18-24 November, 2018 
Lagos, Nigeria
AFRIFF showcases short films, feature films, documentaries, animated films as well as student films from all over Africa. At this week-long cinema fest, there’ll be plenty of opportunities to network, watch screenings, attend movie premieres, workshops, master classes and more.
afriff.com
[Photo: Adeoluadeniyi Photography]
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Escape to Margaritaville
16 February – 18 November, 2018
Marquis Theater, New York City, USA
Parrotheads will be particularly pleased, as Jimmy Buffet’s all-time classics get special treatment in this Broadway musical by Tony-winning director Christopher Ashley. The romantic comedy follows a singer-bartender’s escape to a tropical island paradise, where he falls in love with a career-minded tourist. American Express seating and preferred seating are available to all card members and eligible card members, respectively. Blackout dates apply. More details on the website.
online.americanexpress.com
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Montreal Bach Festival
22 November – 7 December, 2018 
Montreal, Canada
So called because it celebrates Johann Sebastian Bach – one of the finest composers of all time. There’ll be orchestras, choirs, ensembles and performances by music soloists from all over, educational programs and a not-to-miss evening gala that’ll transform the charming city into a musical wonderland. 2017’s edition featured The Thomaner (choir), Antje Weithass (violinist) and Serhiy Salov (pianist) among other world class performers.
festivalbachmontreal.com
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Christkindlimarkt
22 November – 24 December, 2018 
Zurich and Lucerne, Switzerland
Ready your bags for a month of quaint Christmas shopping at Zurich’s main train station and Lucerne railway station. As one of Europe’s largest indoor festive markets, it has more than 100 stalls showcasing everything from speciality food to traditional Swiss crafts, plus a Swarovski crystal-laden Christmas tree, carolling choirs, light displays and more.  TIP: Visit at the beginning or end of the day to avoid crowds. christkindlimarkt.ch
[Photo: ©Zürich Tourism]
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Yi Peng and Loy Krathong Lantern Festival
23 November, 2018 (TBC)
Chiang Mai, Thailand
This is a festival that lets one release life’s negativities by letting lanterns into the skies and banana leaf floats into the water. Witness colourful parades, pageantry, music, lantern crafting contests, fireworks and lip-smacking Thai food before the lantern ceremonies begin.
[Photo: Magalie L’Abbé/Flickr]
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Pushkar Camel Fair
15-23 November, 2018
Pushkar, India
This fascinating livestock fair and cultural festival held during the auspicious Full Moon attracts hordes of visitors, camels, horses and cattle from all over Rajasthan. The atmosphere is vibrant, bursting with dancers, musicians, holy men, fortune tellers and, of course, camel traders. Watch camel races and moustache competitions, go for a stroll through the camel camp, shop at handicraft stalls and take a dip in Pushkar Lake at dawn to purge your sins.
[Photo: Saurabh Chatterjee/Flickr]
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Monkey Banquet Festival
24-25 November, 2018 (TBC) 
Lopburi, Thailand
Visit the ancient Phra Prang Sam Yot temple and see one of the world’s weirdest banquets – for monkeys. After dancing and music, a lavish feast of rice and produce is laid out for more than 3000 long-tailed hungry macaques who’ll generally abstain from nastiness provided you’re willing to part with the goodies.
[Photo: ThailandPhoto/Wikimedia Commons]
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Bagan Temple Marathon
24 November, 2018 
Bagan, Myanmar
There’s no better way to soak in the meditative and mystical charm of temple and pagoda-rich Myanmar than by participating in a full and half marathon whose courses run through the exotic and unspoiled Burmese countryside. TIP: Go prepared – routes can be hot, sandy, hilly and dusty.
bagan-temple-marathon.com
[Photo: bagan-temple-marathon.com]
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Fiera Internazionale Tartufo Bianco D’Alba
6 October – 25 November, 2018
Alba, Italy
Truffle connoisseurs, take heed: For eight weekends in autumn, the Italian truffle mecca will be overflowing with the prized white fungus and prestigious truffle events focussing on design, art, culture and gastronomy. Go truffle hunting with locals, and watch medieval parades. Enjoy the best truffles from Langhe, Roero and Monferrato at the World Market, and participate in prestigious cooking shows, debates, workshops and wine tastings – and don’t miss the donkey race. Kids can look forward to the wooden Restaurant and the children’s kitchen.
fieradeltartufo.org
[Photo: Alessandro Baffa/Flickr]
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Amsterdam Light Festival
29 November, 2018 – 21 January, 2019
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
The Light Festival returns to the Venice of the North for its sixth edition, with stunning light sculptures created by several Dutch and international artists, illuminating the River Amstel, the Canal and other iconic locations. Take a canal cruise or a walking tour to soak in the spectacular sights. amsterdamlightfestival.com
[Photo: Janus van den Eijnden]
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Timaru Festival Of Roses
30 November – 2 December, 2018
Timaru, New Zealand
The Festival of Roses is definitely a treat for the senses, with all sorts of enchanting activities ranging from public and private garden displays, rose shows, floral art work, rose-themed tours, music, dancing, theatre, kids’ events and a new night market.
festivalofroses.co.nz
[Photo: South Canterburynz/Flickr]
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Apokalypsa
30 November, 2018 
Brno, Czech Republic
If techno, hard techno, tech house or minimal music is your jam, don’t forget to mark this one-day, three-stage music festival at Bobycentrum on your calendar. The music is upbeat, the atmosphere is electrifying and you’ll be dancing like there’s no tomorrow. Look forward to performances by Henry Saiz, Daniela Haverbeck, Gregor Tresher and Ben Sims at the upcoming fest.
facebook.com
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The Big Design Market
30 November – 2 December &  7-9 December, 2018
Sydney & Melbourne, Australia
Christmas shopping just got a whole lot easier, as Australia’s premier design show opens for the holiday season, showcasing the best of Australian and international design from fashion and accessories to children’s toys and food. In addition, there’ll be free activities for kids, fun workshops and art installations by guest artists. thebigdesignmarket.com
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Rage Festival
30 November – 8 December, 2018 
Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa
Featuring new and established talent, this is the East Coast’s most power-packed, multi-genre music festival held at various venues, including the hottest clubs, most happening beach bars and biggest arenas in the region. EDM talent Stephan Bodzin, Teddy Cream and others kept audiences thoroughly entertained during last year’s festival. ragefestival.co.za
[Photo: Rage Festival South Africa Via Facebook]
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Contact Winter Music Festival
Late December, 2018 (Exact Dates TBA) 
Vancouver, Canada
Extraordinary electronic music. The world’s biggest DJs and producers. A standout venue (BC Place) with advanced theatrics. Nearly 28,000 visitors. This festival has become buzzworthy for all the right reasons. The line-up hasn’t yet been announced, but 2017’s headliners included Marshmello, Armin van Buuren, Carnage, Alan Walker and Tchami. contact-festival.com
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Metro Cooking DC
1-2 December, 2018 
Washington, DC, USA
Gourmands  and show-goers: indulge in this 2-day gourmet extravaganza, sip spirits, sample delicacies, learn a tip or two at Taste Talk workshops, meet award-winning chefs, and culinary legends and cookbook authors present their mouth-watering specialities. Look out for Emeril Lagasse, Lidia Bastianich and more. metrocookingdc.com
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Christmas Wonderland
1-26 December, 2018
Singapore
Who says because it’s in the Far East, it can’t have all the trappings of a white Christmas? Check out the festivities at the Gardens By The Bay: massive light installations, magical snowfalls at the Spalleria, Asia’s tallest Christmas tree, luminarie light sculptures, circus acts, Santa’s Grotto, a skating rink, a festive market, carnival games and rides – and you’ll want to be there all evenings in a row, kids in tow. christmaswonderland.sg
[Photo: Christmas Wonderland]
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Angkor Wat International Marathon
2 December, 2018 
Siem Reap, Cambodia
Certainly not “run of the mil”l – this scenic and purpose-driven marathon winds its way through the ruins of the ancient Angkor Wat Temple, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Proceeds benefit landmine victims and support the ban on use of antipersonnel mines. Last year’s edition witnessed a record participation of 5,000+ runners from 76 countries. marathons.ahotu.com
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Paris International Fantastic Film Festival
4-9 December, 2018
Paris, France
If you’re a fantasy or horror movie aficionado, PIFF promises complex, nail-biting quality flicks with its exciting line-up of feature films, international and French shorts, as well as rare films and classics. Held at the Max Linder Panorama movie theatre, this is one of the best and biggest screens in Paris. pifff.fr
[Photo:©PIFFF-FredAmbroisine]
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Def Leppard UK Tour
4-17 December, 2018
Various Locations, UK
Hungry fans of the legendary British rock band are in for a real treat, as the band will be performing at various UK locations after a 3-year gap. Band members will regale audiences with all songs from their multi-platinum Hysteria album, as well as their past hits. Pay using any Amex card to get access to the best tickets reserved for card holders – so even if it’s a high-demand or sold-out show, you may still get a seat. americanexpress.com
[Photo: Craig Simon/Flickr]
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Krampusnacht
5 December, 2018  
Klagenfurt, Austria
If you haven’t already, here’s your chance to see dozens of costumed men dressed like Krampus (St Nicholas’ devilish sidekick) run wild in the streets, wearing terrifying masks, carrying horsetail whips and chasing laughing onlookers. Be good or prepare to wake up in Krampus’ dark lair!
[Photo: Sangudo/Flickr]
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Art Basel
6-9 December, 2018
Miami, Florida, USA
Get your culture fix at Miami’s prestigious art event, featuring captivating paintings, sculptures, installations and photographs by prolific artists as well as editioned pieces by budding and avant-garde talents. See displays by 200 modern and contemporary art galleries and artworks by 4,000+ artists in the 2018 edition. artbasel.com
[Photo: Courtesy Art Basel]
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Fête des Lumières
6-9 December, 2018
Lyon, France
What started as a vow to honour the Virgin Mary for saving Lyon from catastrophe in the mid-19th century has become an annual tradition of illumination, with candles, light installations, sculptures and colourful projections lighting up the city. A treat for the eyes, the festival attracts millions of visitors from all over France and the rest of the world. fetedeslumieres.lyon.fr
[Photo: Insert Photographer]
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L’Escalade
7-9 December, 2018
Geneva, Switzerland
Celebrating the defeat of the Duke of Savoy’s troops during the 1602 attack on Geneva, L’Escalade provides revellers an opportunity to relive history. Witness giant chocolate cauldron smashings, sip mulled wine, watch grand historical processions and battle re-enactments, enjoy musical concerts, attend exhibitions and browse the city’s traditional markets. 1602.ch
[Photo: KrisNM/Flickr]
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Mevlana Whirling Dervishes
10-18 December, 2018 (TBC)
Konya, Turkey
Lose yourself in the meditative, sacred and entrancing dance ritual performed by followers of the 13th-century Sufi poet and mystic Rumi, under the lights of the Grand Mevlana Cultural Center during the UNESCO-honoured Whirling Dervish festival, celebrating the Master’s life. mevlana.net
[Photo: damian entwistle/Flickr]
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Dominican Holidaze
12-16 December, 2018 
Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
With its beachside location, resort setting and holiday vibe, it’s the perfect festival to get your tan on, sip a cocktail and dive into the waters when you’re not soaking in the music performances featuring Umphrey’s McGee, STS9, The Disco Biscuits, Lotus and more at the festival’s upcoming edition. And when the evening concerts conclude, the late-night shows continue at the Palapa. dominicanholidaze.com 
[Photo: John Vantine/Flickr]
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Wonderfruit
13-16 December, 2018
Pattaya, Thailand
Whether it’s art, music, food or ideas, everything is done sustainably and responsibly at this festival at the Siam Country Club in seaside Pattaya. Expect a plastic-free fest with farm-fresh food served in compostable or reusable tableware, cutting-edge and eco-friendly art, sustainably built stages, and health and wellness talks and workshops. wonderfruit.co
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Big Elf Run
15 December, 2018
Vancouver, Canada
Tis’ the time to spread good cheer and join the 4th annual Big Elf Run that takes place in the beautiful Stanley Park 10 days before Christmas. All you need to do is dress up like Santa’s little helper and choose from a 1k, 5K or 10K run. There’ll be an Elfie station for the smartphone generation, hot drinks, a winter wonderland park, dancing and lots of fun. Proceeds benefit Canuck Place Children’s Hospice. runningtoursinc.com
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Giant Lantern Festival
15 December, 2018 – 1 January, 2019
San Fernando, Philippines
This popular San Fernando festival features a collection of colourful, star-shaped lanterns modelled after the Star of Bethlehem called parols, measuring up to 20 feet in diameter. Eleven villages participate in the lantern-making competition, each trying to outdo the other for the grandest parol in the parade.
[Photo: Caryl Joan Estrosas/Flickr]
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Burning The Clocks
21 December, 2018
Brighton, England
Make a paper or willow lantern; parade it through the city and burn it in a blazing bonfire on Brighton beach while reflecting upon your yearly hopes and dreams, in a one-of-a-kind annual community event celebrated during the winter solstice. samesky.co.uk
[Photo: Dominic Alves/Flickr]
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La Noche de Rabanos
23 December, 2018
Oaxaca, Mexico
An annual tradition of displaying intricately carved radishes, the “Night of the Radishes” may have initially been started by Oaxaqueño farmers to attract visitors to the annual Christmas market, but today it’s a competition in itself, pulling in visitors from afar. Note that the entire event lasts only a few short hours, given the perishable nature of the root vegetable – so plan your visit accordingly.
[Photo: Yaya Dada/Flickr]
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Sunburn Festival
25-29 December, 2018 (TBC)
Pune, India
One of Asia’s biggest music extravaganzas will be back in Pune for the third time, with top Indian and international DJs belting out music across genres in the beautiful Kesnand hills. 2017’s line-up featured British electronic music group Clean Bandit, Israeli psychedelic trance music duo Infected Mushroom and several internationally renowned DJs, including Afrojack, DJ Snake and more. sunburn.in
[Photo: SUNBURN Festival Via Facebook]
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Polar Bear Plunge
25 December, 2018, 1 January, 2019
Various Locations, USA, UK, Canada, The Netherlands
Only hardy souls attempt this chilly tradition in which participants take a dip in the nearest ocean or lake when the temps are frigid and the waters are icy cold – yes, during Christmas and New Year in the Northern Hemisphere. Past events have even seen several bare-bodied participants attempt this daring but fun – and sometimes charity-oriented – event.
[Photo: Karen/Flickr]
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Boxing Day Junkanoo Parade
26 December 2018 – 1 January, 2019 (TBC)
Nassau, Bahamas
Sway to the beat of the Maranga drums, watch the elaborate costumed spectacle and join in the colourful festivities of the national cultural parade in downtown Nassau. Look forward to concerts, cultural shows, all-night parties and awards for the best performances and costumes.
[Photo: Andrew Griffith/Flickr]
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Rhythm And Vines
28-31 December 2018
Gisborne, New Zealand
Part of the thrill of attending this New Year’s festival in Waiohika Estate is the variety of activities available: International and local music acts, comedy, art installations, pool parties, rock-sliding and surfing at Taumoto Island. Last year’s headliners included ScHoolboy Q, 2ManyDJs, Baauer, Mura Masa, Big Shaq and A-Trak among others. rhythmandvines.co.nz
[Photo: Haydn Curtis/Flickr]
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SnowGlobe Music Festival
29-31 December, 2018 
South Lake Tahoe, California, USA
Not a typical music fest, SnowGlobe invites you to literally chill out in the snowy Sierra Nevada Mountains. Hit the slopes by day and witness electro-pop performances at night, alongside fireworks, live graffiti art and ‘Big Air’ snowboard and ski demos. It’s an experience like no other, combining festival, adventure and New Year’s celebrations. snowglobemusicfestival.com
[Photo: SnowGlobe Music Festival]
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New Year’s Eve Countdown to 2019 In Times Square
30 December, 2018 – 1 January, 2019
New York City, USA
New Year’s Eve in Times Square is unforgettable – but what’s special about this offer is that as an Amex preferred customer, not only will you have an opportunity to attend the Times Square Ball the day before the countdown, you’ll also be able to witness it from the specially reserved R lounge with unbeatable views, and gain access to a surprise New Year’s Eve performance, as well as enjoy premium food and drink. online.americanexpress.com
[Photo: gigi_nyc/Flickr]
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Sydney New Year’s Eve
31 December, 2018 
Sydney, Australia
Celebrate the arrival of 2019 in style: Watch the one of the world’s most technologically advanced firework displays over the iconic Harbour Bridge, plus aerial acrobatics, water displays and the Harbour of Light parade as the year turns. sydneynewyearseve.com
[Photo: miquitos/Flickr]
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Réveillon
31 December, 2018 
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Attend Rio’s popular beachside New Year’s celebration – but remember to dress up in white, don’t eat chicken meat and do dive into the ocean, jump 7 waves and make 7 wishes for the year ahead; superstition is taken seriously here. The pyrotechnics and musical entertainment are also spectacular and attract hordes of visitors from all over the world. facebook.com
[Photo: PortoBay Events/Flickr]
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New Year’s Ski Jumping
1 January, 2019
Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany
For snow sports fans, there are few better ways to jumpstart the New Year than by witnessing the New Year’s Ski Jumping event at Garmisch-Partenkirchen (part of the Four Hills tournament) from up close. There will be more than 25,000 visitors at this World Cup stage, cheering on the world’s best ski jumpers. neujahrsskispringen.de
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Blacks and Whites Carnival
2-7 January, 2019 
Pasto, Colombia
Boosted by UNESCO’s 2009 World Cultural Heritage designation, the Colombian city of Pasto honours a tradition dating back to the Spanish colonial era of giving slaves a day off. Today, it’s a huge and colourful carnival celebration featuring dancing, music and mini as well as massive floats. colombia.travel
[Photo: Nicolás Argoti/Flickr]
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WizardWorld Comic Con
4-6 January, 2019
New Orleans, USA
For Superhero fans, Star Wars aficionados, Trekkie junkies, Potterheads and more, this event is a must-do with leading names in the acting, artistry and animation world in attendance. Last year’s edition included Stan Lee (Marvel comics), Nichelle Nichols (Star Trek) and Ian Somerhalder (The Vampire Diaries and Lost) among many others. wizardworld.com
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Cartagena Festival Internacional de Música
4-13 January, 2019 
Cartagena, Colombia
The 13th edition explores the link between music, sounds and different forms of scientific knowledge and will see several world-renowned classical music artistes regaling audiences with their innovative interpretations of seminal works of composers including Bach. Don’t miss the performance of Mozart’s opera Così fan tutte co-produced with Italy’s Spoleto Festival dei 2Mondi. cartagenamusicfestival.com
[Photo: Cartagena Festival Internacional de Música]
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ASV Dolomiti Balloon Festival
5-13 January, 2019 
Dobbiaco, Italy
The Dolomite mountain range in South Tyrol is as famous for its characteristic jagged, teeth-like appearance as it is for its fabulous winter sports attractions. Catch the opening ceremony, book a balloon trip, soak in the dramatic mountain views and witness special tournaments during the region’s Balloonweek. balloonfestival.it
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Harbin Ice Festival
5 January – 25 February, 2019 
Harbin, China
Billed as the world’s largest ice festival, the 35th edition in the capital of Heilongjiang will open with a theme ‘Pearl on the Crown of Ice and Snow’ and showcase a range of ice and snow-based events. Besides fireworks and four ice theme parks, see giant ice sculptures going up several metres. icefestivalharbin.com
[Photo: Enming Yan/Wikimedia Commons]
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Hwacheon Sancheoneo Ice Festival
5-27 January, 2019
Hwacheon, South Korea
South Korea’s Sancheoneo owes its existence to the local freshwater Sancheoneo fish, so-called Queen of the Valley. Try ice fishing, even bare hand fishing and partake in several fun activities including ice-sledding contests, snow tubing and several other high-adrenalin sports including snow sleighing, bob sleighing, ice soccer, Bubble suit games on ice  and so on. narafestival.com
[Photo: Myhla Borkowski/Flickr]
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Storico Carnevale di Ivrea
6 January – 13 February, 2019 
Ivrea, Italy
Though most of the carnival takes place in February, festivities begin on 6 January with pipes, drums and marches, as well as fantastic full-costumed re-enactments. Don’t miss the hugely popular and messily spectacular citrusy skirmish, Battaglia delle Arance but remember to wear self-protection gear. storicocarnevaleivrea.it
[Photo: Edoardo Forneris/Flickr]
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London International Mime Festival
9 January – 3 February, 2019 (TBC)
London, England
The epic theatre festival spanning live art, physical and circus-theatre, mask, puppetry, movement and object theatre returns for its 42nd edition to multiple theatre venues including the Barbican and Sadler’s Wells. Last year’s iteration featured 120 performances, 17 international productions and several workshops on film, symposium and visual theatre. mimelondon.com
[Photo: © Jean-Pierre Estournet]
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Bread & Circus – World Buskers Festival
10 January -3 February, 2019
Christchurch, New Zealand
Come one, come all: A world-class line-up of international and home grown buskers and entertainers is expected at the revamped, expanded and reinvented edition of the festival to be showcased on the streets as well as in theatres of Ōtautahi Christchurch. Expect immersive acts, accessible street performances, free events, ticketed shows, large scale spectacle and world-famous busking pitches. worldbuskersfestival.com
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Sun Peaks Winter Okanagan Wine Festival
11-20 January, 2019
Sun Peaks, Canada
Sampling fine wines in a Canadian Alpine town setting is an attractive proposition. Expect a progressive wine tasting experience combining fresh mountain air, wines from 30 wineries and ski village scenery as well as several wine, art and gourmet events paired with British Columbian wines in the festival’s 21st edition. sunpeaksresort.com
[Photo: Sam Egan]
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Ati-Atihan Festival
14-20 January, 2019
Kalibo, Philippines
One of the most awaited annual events celebrated on the island of Panay with inter-ethnic roots stretching back centuries, Ati-Atihan is a major cultural and spiritual fiesta comprising devotional Novenas, a food fest, energetic dancing, face-painting, colourful costume parades, huge floats, street bazaars, fun runs and more. kaliboati-atihan.com
[Photo: mike141213 /Flickr] 
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Jam Cruise 17
15-21 January, 2019
Miami, Florida, USA
Now in its 17th year, the hugely popular Jam Cruise is actually a pretty simple idea: 5 days and nights on a huge cruise liner with port halts at Roatan and Grand Cayman plus music (Umphrey’s McGee, ALO, Galactic etc.), parties and activities galore from theme nights and yoga on board to tropical adventure at ports. jamcruise.com
[Photo: Derrick Lee/Flickr]
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Mercedes Benz Berlin Fashion Week
15-18 January, 2019
Berlin, Germany
The who’s who of the fashion industry will descend on Berlin as one of Germany’s biggest annual fashion events kicks off in January. Though still trailing behind the Big Four, it’s quite the happening place with renowned established and emerging designers showcasing their fashion-forward A/W collections and retailers keeping an eye on the latest trends.
fashion-week-berlin.com
[Photo: Mercedes-Benz Fashion]
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Kumbh Mela
15 January 2019 – 4 March 2019
Allahabad, India
A UNESCO recognised event held every three years in either Haridwar, Allahabad (Prayag), Nashik or Ujjain, it’s the largest peaceful congregation of Hindu pilgrims seeking spiritual liberation as well as of visitors wanting a taste of Indian culture. Witness rituals, parades, spiritual discourses and take a dip in the Holy Ganges for a life changing experience. kumbhmela.net
[Photo: Yosarian/Wikimedia Commons]
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London Art Fair
16-20 January, 2019 
London, England
At the Business Design Centre, 2019 marks 31 years of examining and displaying museum quality modern British art as well as contemporary art for one of London’s biggest art celebrations. Besides the main fair, there will be a curated showcase of contemporary photography by Photo50 and fresh artworks by international artists and emerging galleries via Art Projects.
londonartfair.co.uk

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La Tamborrada 
20 January, 2019
San Sebastián, Spain
Every year thousands gather in San Sebastián to celebrate its patron saint’s day with the Tamborrada Drum Parade.The event begins at midnight with a flag-raising ceremony, followed by celebratory drum beating and special events for 24 hours. It may look like a full-on party, but it’s more about celebrating the city’s unity and togetherness.  sansebastianturismo.com
[Photo: Javier Larrea/Donostia San Sebastian Turismo] 
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Mozart Week
24 January – 3 February, 2019
Salzburg, Austria
It’s one of the hottest annual events marking the great composer’s birthday. Several renowned classical musicians present innovative interpretations of Mozart’s works via 60+ events including stage productions, concerts, chamber music, dance, mime etc., exploring the multiplicity of the composer’s personality. Don’t miss performances by Cecilia Bartoli, Mitsuko Uchida, The Vienna Philharmonic and more. mozartwoche.at
[Photo: © Marco Borggreve]
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ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival
24-28 January, 2019
Jaipur, India
The self-styled ‘Greatest Literary Show on Earth’, that has hosted nearly 2000 speakers and more than a million visitors over a decade, celebrates its 12th birthday at Rajasthan’s Diggi Palace. Attend book readings, talks, debates, performances, workshops and interactive activities for all. Past speakers have included J.M. Coetzee, Orhan Pamuk, Paul Beatty and Margaret Atwood among others. jaipurliteraturefestival.org
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Rabinal Achí
25 January, 2019
Rabinal, Guatemala
In 2008, UNESCO marked the importance of the Rabinal fiesta with World Heritage status. Revolving around a Mayan dance drama enacted by locals wearing elaborate indigenous costumes and masks, the festival highlights a pre-colonial battle of war and sacrifice between the Achí and K’iche’ tribes and presents a rare window into pre-Columbian history, culture and religion.
[Photo: MacDawg/Flickr]
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Rainbow Serpent Festival
25-28 January, 2019
Lexton, Australia
Spanning a multitude of genres and with eclecticism at its heart, this music, art and dance festival attracts 10,000 + visitors each year. The ‘rainbow’ in its title plays on its colourful and progressive intent, with a particular focus on nature, community and harmony. Enjoy music, visual and performance arts, bazaars, yoga, panel discussions and more. rainbowserpent.net
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Snow Polo World Cup
25-27 January, 2019
St Moritz, Switzerland
Every January since 1985, St Moritz becomes home to the world’s only so-called ‘high-goal tournament on snow’. For three days of the Snow Polo World Cup, St Moritz’s frozen lake hosts galloping horses and mallet-swinging riders. Witness thrilling matches as reigning champions fight to defend their title and new entrants vie for the prized Cartier Trophy. snowpolo-stmoritz.com
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Wakakusa Yamayaki
26 January, 2019
Nara, Japan
Roughly translated as ‘burning down a mountain’, Yamayaki does just what it says on the tin – albeit in spectacular fashion. Enjoy views of the fireworks and flaming hills from Nara City, facing the hill – dress warm, carry binoculars and arrive early to grab a good spot. jnto.go.jp
[Photo: Chaijiro Hata/Flickr]
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International Hot Air Balloon Festival
26 January – 3 February, 2019
Riviera-Pays-d’Enhaut, Switzerland
The European Alpine balloon festival sees Switzerland take centre stage, bringing hundreds of variously-shaped, soaring balloons together in the Vaudois Alpine skies. Now in its 41st year, there will be hot air balloon rides, model balloon shows, children’s day (on 30th) and spectacular events such as Night Glow’s sound and light show. chateau-doex.ch
[Photo: gcarrard, imagevideo.ch]
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National Cowboy Poetry Gathering
28 January – 2 February, 2019
Elko, Nevada, USA
Celebrate the cowboy culture of the American West as the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering convenes for its 35th anniversary in Elko. Attend readings, enjoy musical performances, folklore and poetry, shake a leg, watch films and participate in workshops spanning everything from barbecuing to rodeo swing dancing. Expect a friendly, engaging and entertaining atmosphere. nationalcowboypoetrygathering.org
[Photo: Jessica Brandi Lifland]
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Up Helly Aa
29 January, 2019 
Lerwick, Scotland
Dating back to the 1880s, Up Helly Aa revolves around Viking leader, The Guizer Jarl. Unveiling the locally built Viking Galley, various marches and much singing concludes with an impressive 5,000-person torch-lit procession followed by the Galley’s and the Guizers’ entry into the burning site. uphellyaa.org
[Photo: Vicky Brock/Flickr]
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Sapporo Snow Festival
31 January – 11 February, 2019
Sapporo, Japan
Every year, Sapporo hosts one of Japan’s largest winter festivals, morphing into a winter wonderland and attracting millions from all over. Now in its 70th year, the festival features colourful illuminations, snow slides, snow rafting, intricate ice sculpture shows, an international contest and local street food. snowfes.com
[Photo: Yasufumi Nishi/JNTO]
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Bruges Beer Festival
31 January – 5 February, 2019
Bruges, Belgium
The Bruges Beer Festival takes in more than merely imbibing suds. Over 80 small-time craft breweries join bigger names in inviting guests to try new tastes. There’ll be more than 400 beer brands, plus lectures, debates and beer-inspired food showcases. Try the elusive Trappist beer Westvleteren 12, if you can lay your hands on one. brugsbierfestival.be
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Hay Festival Cartagena
31 January – 3 February, 2019
Cartagena de Indias, Colombia
Britain’s Hay Festival has been superbly imported to Cartagena, attracting over 160 renowned writers, artistes and thinkers. Look forward to at least 150 programs comprising intellectual discussions and debates, conversations on current affairs, poetry galas, music concerts, visual arts’ showcases and community engaging events in nearby cities from Riohacha to Medellín. hayfestival.com
[Photo: Daniel Mordzinski]
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Panagbenga Festival
1 Feb – 4 March, 2019
Baguio City, Philippines
While much the planet wonders how long winter will last, how about a complete change of scenery? Panagbenga is a vision of summer beauty as this flower festival showcases its blooms. Highlights include a Grand Float Parade, street dancing, floral arrangements, exhibitions, cultural shows, kite-flying competitions, fireworks and more. panagbengaflowerfestival.com
[Photo: susancorpuz90/Flickr]
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Surfest
February, 2019 (Exact Dates TBA)
Newcastle, Australia
Sun, sea and golden beaches provide the backdrop to Surfest. While more than 800 national and international surfers compete in 11 different surfing events, vying for the coveted Mark Richards ‘MR’ trophy, visitors can sit back and enjoy Australia’s largest surfing festival on Merewether beach. surfest.com
[Photo: Bill Collison/Flickr]
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Vinterjazz
1-24 February, 2019
Various Cities, Denmark
Vinterjazz (Winter Jazz) is the first of two major annual Danish jazz festivals that take place across the country. It’s three weeks and 600 concerts by renowned musicians in 100 venues. Look forward to programmes such as Jazz for Kids, Jazz Remixed, Jazz n’ Poetry and Future Sound of Jazz, plus networking opportunities with international stars. jazz.dk
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Winterlude
1-18 February, 2019
Ottawa, Canada
As if winter in Ottawa was not attractive enough, Winterlude’s three February weekends at multiple sites make it an even more enticing prospect. Snow and ice are the focal point, whether it’s skating, cross-country skiing, running, ice carving, ice hockey, interactive art installations or the fun-filled Accora Village Bed Race and the Ice Dragon Boat Festival. canada.pch.gc.ca
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Austin Oyster Festival
February, 2019 (Exact Dates TBA)
Austin, Texas, USA
The Austin Oyster Festival brings satisfaction to foodie stomachs while also appealing to their musical tastes. What to expect? Delectable raw, roasted, grilled and fried oysters, delicious seafood, beer, wines and Bloody Marys – all accompanied by upbeat Cajun, Bluegrass and ‘Newgrass’ music while games and raffles keep festivalgoers entertained. austinoysterfestival.com
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FIS Alpine World Ski Championships Sweden
5-17 February, 2019
Åre, Sweden
If you love spending a few days surrounded by snow and sport, head to Åre and the Alpine World Ski Championships in 2019. The event promises spectacular races and jumps amidst beautiful snowscapes. Look forward to thrilling downhill races, Super G, giant slalom, slalom, Alpine team events and extreme racing. are2019.com
[Photo: Michel/Flickr]
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Losar
5-7 February, 2019
Kathmandu, Nepal
Tibet’s Losar New Year series of events gets going at the Boudhanath Stupa with traditional ceremonies, rituals, processions and a talk led by His Holiness The Dalai Lama. Witness a masked dance performance by Tibetan monks, and see locals at their cheeriest best. Tip: Take a camera along, but ask for permission before you click.
[Photo: Shinya ICHINOHE/Flickr] 
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Sauti Za Busara
7-10 February, 2019
Stone Town, Tanzania
Swahili for ‘Sounds of Wisdom’, Sauti Za Busara festival features 400+ artists – both African and with African roots. It’s fun, inviting and a must-attend if you want to witness spirited African music. There’s also a carnival parade, plus open exchange and collaboration opportunities with visiting musicians, as well as local community events. busaramusic.com
[Photo: Link Reuben]
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Fashion Weeks
8 February – 6 March, 2019
New York, London, Milan, Paris
February is a big month for fashion, when the 4 “fashion capitals” strut their A/W collections on major catwalks, and editors scurry from city to city to catch important shows and pick their top designs. The series starts in New York, heads across the Atlantic to London, then Milan and finally Paris. fashionweekonline.com
[Photo: London Fashion Week, British Fashion Council, Charlie Wheeler]
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ATP: Argentina Open
11 – 17 February, 2019
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Watch clay court champions in men’s tennis battle it out in the Argentine leg of the ATP World Tour to clinch the singles and doubles titles. Past winners have included Rafael Nadal, Dominic Thiem, David Ferrer, Gustavo Kuerten, Carlos Moya and Juan Carlos Ferrero. argentinaopenatp.com
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Follies
12 February, 2019
National Theatre, London, England
Winner of the Olivier Award for the Best Musical Revival, Follies – Stephen Sondheim’s legendary musical featuring his classic songs such as ‘Broadway Baby’ and ‘I’m Still Here’ – returns to the National Theatre in 2019. American Express presales and reserved seating are available to Amex card members. More details on the website. americanexpress.com
[Photo: Johan Persson]
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St Valentine’s Day
14 February, 2019
Terni, Italy
What better place to celebrate love than in the city of Saint Valentine’s resting place! There’ll be music, dancing, competitions and more than 300 street stalls selling gifts, from flowers to chocolate, near the cathedral dedicated to the patron saint.
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Ice Music Festival Norway
14-16 February, 2019
Finse, Norway
At this one-of-a-kind music festival, ICEstruments make the music, and the setting is mountainous, remote and downright chilly. The melodies may be unpredictable – being dependent on the temperature – but the event is sure to please with performances by the Ice Music Master Terje Isungset and more. icemusicfestival.no
[Photo by Emile Holba for Ice Music Festival Norway]
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Noise Pop
Mid – End February, 2019 (TBA)
San Francisco, California, USA
Noise Pop is a music and arts festival with an eclectic, independent feel. As well as great sounds, there’ll be film screenings, must-attend parties and events. Last year’s line-up included the likes of Ty Dolla Sign, Parquet Courts, WHY?, Alex Cameron and Girl Pool. lineup.noisepop.com
[Photo: Martin Lacey Photography]
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Starkbierzeit
Mid February – Mid March, 2019
Munich, Germany
No, not Oktoberfest – Starkbierzeit (Strong Beer Season) is a more local, less touristic affair centring on a centuries-old tradition in which monks would brew beer with a high percentage of solids to tide them over through the Lent fasting season. Today, it’s a fun-loving event, with revellers gathering at Munich’s major breweries to eat, drink and make merry. muenchen.de
[Photo: Wikimedia Commons]
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Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade
15 February – 3 March, 2019
Sydney, Australia
Celebrating diversity, and fostering equality for the LGBTQI community, the parade returns in 2019 filled with parties, performances, exhibitions, community and family events. Although the flag-raising ceremony happens on 15 February, followed by Fair Day two days later, the event really heats up in March with the main parade followed by a not-to-miss Mardi Gras party. mardigras.org.au
[Photo: Jeffrey Feng Photography]
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Adelaide Fringe
15 February – 17 March, 2019
Adelaide, Australia
Labelled ‘the Southern Hemisphere’s largest open-access arts festival’, Adelaide Fringe has been going strong for 58 years, drawing crowds from all over. Chock-full of creative acts spanning music, theatre, film, comedy, circus, cabaret, visual arts, magic shows and more, the event takes place across the city – and anyone who wants to perform can do so. adelaidefringe.com.au
[Photo: Trentino Priori]
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Carnival of Venice
16 February – 5 March, 2019
Venice, Italy
Perhaps more measured than Mardi Gras or Rio, the Venice carnival celebrations are nevertheless equally fascinating – characterised by masked parades, the San Marco bell tower Flight of the Angel, opulent masquerade balls, candle-lit boat processions, concerts and street performances. carnevale.venezia.it
[Photo: Sergey Galyonkin/Flickr]
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La Fête du Citron
16 February – 3 March, 2019
Menton, France
2 weeks. 145 tons of citrus fruits. 240,000+ visitors. There’s no better time to visit Menton than during the annual lemon festival, when the city comes alive with float processions and larger-than-life displays of orange and lemon art. See night parades, a Garden of Lights, the Golden Fruit Parade and the citrusy exhibition at Jardins Biovès. fete-du-citron.com
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Saidai-ji Eyō Hadaka Matsuri
17 February, 2019
Okayama, Japan
Looking for something eccentric? The “Naked Festival” comes to mind. Loincloth-clad participants wrestle each other at midnight, competing to snatch paper talismans thrown into the crowd by a priest. The lucky one to place the sticks upright in a rice-filled masu is blessed with a year of happiness. jnto.go.jp
[Photo: calltheambulance/Flickr]
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Splore
21-24 February, 2019
Auckland, New Zealand
This event’s location on a beach at Tapapakanga Park has obvious aesthetic appeal. Also prepare for mood-lifting local and international music, dress-up parties, engaging performances, interactive art installations, workshops, wellness activities, fresh food and family fun. The 2018 edition featured electrifying acts by Dub Pistols, The Correspondents and Haiku Hands. splore.net
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Montréal en Lumière
21 February – 3 March, 2019
Montreal, Canada
Gourmet showcases, theatre, circus acts, dancing, nightly events and tours during the Canadian wintertime, plus diverse, genre-spanning music – that’s Montréal en Lumière. Don’t miss the free outdoor site chock-full of activities, including a zipline, urban slides, free shows, food stalls and Illuminart – a luminous, interactive art showcase.
montrealenlumiere.com
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Ultra Music Festival
23, 24 February, 2019
Melbourne & Sydney, Australia
EDM fans Down Under rejoice – this festival will make its multi-stage debut in Melbourne and Sydney, following the success of its mini ‘Road to Ultra’ experience last year featuring Afrojack, Axwell Λ Ingrosso and Carnage. Expect a fantastic stage set-up and world-class DJs playing the best music, just like at all Ultra worldwide editions. ultraaustralia.com
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Carnaval de Oruro
23 February – 4 March, 2019
Oruro, Bolivia
As this UNESCO Heritage-listed celebration kicks off in the small mining town of Oruro, participants wearing elaborate costumes fill the streets, dancing to folk tunes, marching to bands and joining in lively parades. Highlights include the ‘Dance of the Devils’ parade and the ‘Dia del Agua’ water fight on closing day.
[Photo: Alfredobi/Wikimedia Commons]
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The Grand Brighton Half Marathon
24 February, 2019
Brighton, England
Prep ahead: work off those holiday calories by running the half marathon in Brighton. While you’re at it, enjoy panoramic city views and raise awareness and funds for people with HIV. If motivation is wanting, rest assured – the city loves sport, and will cheer you on till you cross the finish line. brightonhalfmarathon.com
[Photo: Brendon Franks/Flickr] 
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Fiesta Nacional de la Vendimia
25 Feb – 11 March, 2019
Mendoza, Argentina
The Grape Harvest Festival is  “the most important celebration in Mendoza” for good reason. Wine growers, vineyard owners and workers come together to share food, stories and wine in celebration of the region’s harvest. The ‘Blessing of Fruits’ kickstarts the festival and is followed by folkloric song and dance, a beauty contest, traditional food and more. welcomeargentina.com
[Photo: Moriz mdz/Flickr]
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ARCOmadrid, International Contemporary Art Fair
27 February – 3 March, 2019
Madrid, Spain
Peru takes centre stage as the guest country of honour when ARCOmadrid reopens for its 38th edition. Presenting and analysing the Peruvian contemporary art scene, and bringing to the fore lesser-known aspects of art in Peru, the fair will include exhibitions, talks, photography and video installations. ifema.es
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Envision
28 February – 3 March, 2019
Rancho La Merced, Costa Rica
Hugely attractive due its beachside location and curated international music and art, Envision has upped its game. If 2018’s edition was any indication – with musical performances by Bob Moses and Xavier Rudd, plus mind and movement sessions by Gina Caputo and Carson Clay – you can expect an extraordinary showcase of talent this year, too. envisionfestival.com
[Photo: Eric Allen]
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Athena Film Festival
28 February – 3 March, 2019
New York City, USA
Celebrating exemplary women leaders, the annual Athena film festival at Barnard College presents women-centric Academy-nominated films that inspire, captivate and empower. Last year’s event screened 46 films –from features to documentaries and shorts – and attracted 6,500 visitors, including Billie Jean King, Lena Dunham and Bridget Everett. athenafilmfestival.com
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Noche de Brujas
1 March, 2019 (TBC)
Catemaco, Mexico
Noche de Brujas in Catemaco is up there with the most oddly interesting of festivities. This so-called ‘Night of the Witches’ is when shamans, witches, healers and all sorts of people claiming supernatural powers convene to conduct a mass cleansing ceremony to rid themselves of negativities from the previous year, leaving tourists more than a little bewitched.
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Toronto ComiCon
March, 2019 (TBA)
Toronto, Canada
Exhibitors, comic writers, artists and celebrity guests descend on Toronto for this annual celebration of comics, sci-fi, cosplay, anime, fantasy and gaming. There’ll be dance parties, after-dark cosplay, photo-ops, contests, family fun, workshops and more. John Shipp (The Flash) and Joonas Suotamo (Star Wars) were among the star-studded guests at the 2018 edition. comicontoronto.com
[Photo: Tyrone Islington Photography/Flickr]
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Beyond Wonderland
March 2019 (Exact Dates TBA)
San Bernardino, California, USA
Beyond Wonderland offers precisely what its name suggests, taking curious visitors into a land of storybook wonder. Various stages and sets provide the weekend’s entertainment, from the Upside-Down Room to huge art installations. Groove to mind-blowing electronic music, dance with a sparkle bunny and have a smashing ‘Lost Tea Party’ in a 3-piece teapot caravan. socal.beyondwonderland.com
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Carnaval de Barranquilla
2-5 March, 2019
Barranquilla, Colombia
Kicking off the Saturday before Ash Wednesday and rivalling the legendary Rio carnival, this UNESCO heritage-listed event bills itself as Colombia’s best party, with 4 days of live music, salsa dancing and masquerades. Not-to-miss festivities include ‘La Batalla de Flores’ (Battle of Flowers), ‘La Gran Parada’ (The Grand Parade) and ‘Festival de Orquestas’ (Festival of Orchestras). carnavaldebarranquilla.org
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Carnaval Miami
2-10 March, 2019
Miami, Florida, USA
Now in its 5th decade, Carnaval Miami is a fabulous tribute to Latin cultures. The culmination is Calle Ocho in Little Havana, where gyrating salsa, hip-hop and reggae enthusiasts strut their stuff around a 20-block area. Look out for foodie events including El Croquetazo, where a winner is selected for eating the most croquettes. carnavalmiami.com 
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Olney Pancake Race
5 March, 2019
Olney, England
Every Shrove Tuesday, local Olney women compete in the world-famous pancake race against the Liberal ladies of Kansas – both in their respective towns, flipping their pancakes thrice during the timed run. Other not-to-miss events include the pancake breakfast with Lesley Waters, a pancake raffle, charity stalls, cooking demos and children’s races. olneypancakerace.org
[Photo: Robin Myerscough/Flickr]
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Mardi Gras
5 March, 2019
New Orleans, USA
Don your wildest costume for ‘The Greatest Free Show on Earth’. The party lasts for weeks, with family events and more risqué fun. Don’t miss the popular parades, such as Endymion, Zulu, Rex and Bacchus, all full of elaborate, colourful and funny floats, as well as Krewes flinging beads, confetti, toys and trinkets to cheering crowds. mardigrasneworleans.com
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Festival Internacional De Cine De Cartagena De Indias
6-11 March, 2019
Cartagena, Colombia
Dating back to 1960, this iconic event is an opportunity to showcase bold and innovative Latin American cinema, focusing on Colombian television series, films, documentaries and shorts. Look forward to awards, retrospectives and galas, cinema under the stars, midnight cinema and special programmes. Past guests have included Susan Sarandon, Harvey Keitel and Clive Owen. ficcifestival.com
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Charleston Wine + Food
6-10 March, 2019
Charleston, South Carolina, USA
From signature meals to a tasting experience in Marion Square, not to mention more than 100 unique culinary events including chef demos, beverage workshops, hands-on classes, excursions, live music and retail therapy, visitors can sample all that the city’s top F&B pros dish out. charlestonwineandfood.com
[Photo: Charleston Wine + Food]
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Nicki Minaj & Future: The Nicki HNDRXX Tour
7 March, 2019
Paris, France
Following the release of her latest album, Queen, global hip-hop icon Nicki Minaj will be joining forces with the Atlanta hip-hop star Future for the first time on the Nicki HNDRXX tour at the Accorhotels Arena. Amex cardholders get exclusive access to the best tickets before they’re offered to the general public during the presales period. americanexpress.ticketmaster.fr
[Photo: Ralph Arvesen/Flickr]
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Moomba Festival
8-11 March, 2019
Melbourne, Australia
On Labour Day weekend, Australia’s biggest free community festival draws more than a million people. Apart from the Monday Moomba parade, Sunday’s ‘Birdman Rally’ and the Moomba Masters Championship, expect enough water sports, fireworks, skate workshops, carnival rides, games and spectacles to keep attendees thoroughly entertained. melbourne.vic.gov.au
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Canada Blooms
8-17 March, 2019
Toronto, Canada
There’s no better way to welcome spring than to soak up the colours and fragrances at Canada’s largest flower show. Ogle elaborate floral assemblages, check out horticultural demos, participate in gardening workshops, attend enlightening seminars, visit floral markets and enjoy evening galas, garden tours and family events. canadablooms.com
[Photo: Shootphoto]
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Wildfoods Festival
9 March, 2019
Hokitika, New Zealand
From pork blood casserole to deep-fried pigs’ ears and mountain oysters (aka lamb testicles), the bites here are anything but predictable! Go for the novelty of it all …and with an open mind: you never know which delicacy might catch your fancy. Besides food, festival-goers can look forward to feral fashion parades, music concerts and after-parties. wildfoods.co.nz
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St Patrick’s Festival
14-18 March, 2019
Dublin, Ireland
The huge and highly diffuse Irish diaspora ensures that St Paddy’s Day is widely celebrated. Dublin is of course a favourite destination, putting on a day-long street carnival at Merrion Square, plus a legendary parade, Irish dancing, exhibitions, parties and a host of fun festivities. TIP: Wear green and get into the spirit to enjoy the festival to the hilt. stpatricksfestival.ie
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Environmental Film Festival
14-24 March, 2019
Washington, DC, USA
Encompassing a myriad of genres, from adventure to popular science, and bringing together local and international experts, scientists and filmmakers, this event presents more than 100 Earth-centric films, documentaries, narratives, animations and shorts that celebrate our planet, raise awareness about its challenges, and inspire audiences into action. dceff.org
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Whyte & Mackay Glasgow International Comedy Festival
14-31 March, 2019
Glasgow, Scotland
Laugh ’til you cry: Some of Britain’s best comedians will take to the stage at the 17th Glasgow Comedy Festival, with many home-grown Scottish names added for good measure. Look out for standout performances by Craig Hill, Janey Godley and Julian Clary at ÒRAN MÓR and King’s Theatre from 15-30 March. glasgowcomedyfestival.com
[Photo: Steve Ullathorne]
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Vancouver Fashion Week
Mid-Late March, 2019 (TBA)
Vancouver, Canada
Just because the Big Four fashion weeks have already come and gone doesn’t mean the fashion shows are over for the year. The style cognoscenti will head to Vancouver in March to witness Canada’s celebrated fashion event and see the latest Fall/Winter 2019 creations by established and award-winning local designers. vanfashionweek.com
[Photo: GoToVan/Flickr]
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Las Fallas de Valencia
15-19 March, 2019
Valencia, Spain
This fiesta is a free ride to satirise anyone and anything – albeit with good humour. ‘Fallas’ refers to the large ninots (wooden, cardboard and paper effigies) erected at the ‘plantá’, which are then burned on the final celebratory evening. Witness processions, pyrotechnics, brass bands, street parties and more during the festival’s 5 days. fallasvalencia.es
[Photo: keith ellwood/Flickr]

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Affordable Art Fair Brussels
16-18 March, 2019 
Brussels, Belgium
Affordable Art Fairs are now something of a global phenomenon. With a few international locations taking up the baton, they present affordable, quality contemporary art for all. Combining international and local galleries, with new and established talent, the fair returns to Brussels for its 11th edition, complete with interactive workshops, kids’ activities, installations and live paintings. affordableartfair.com
[Photo: cea+/Flickr]
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NYC Saint Patrick’s Day Parade
17 March, 2019
New York City, USA
Dublin might host one of the most widely known St Paddy’s Day parades worldwide, but it’s not the biggest or even the oldest. That honour belongs to New York, where the tradition began in 1762. As the parade proceeds from 44th Street and 5th Avenue to 79th Street, millions join in the celebrations. nycstpatricksparade.org
[Photo: Peter T/Flickr]
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Rock The Pistes Festival
17-23 March, 2019
Châtel, France and Valais, Switzerland
Combining skiing and music, and held in the dramatic Portes du Soleil ski resort with stages set up in a different location each day, this festival packs in a sensory experience like no other. The annual line-up features several international and French pop rock artistes, with 2019 headliners including Gaetan Roussel, Hyphen Hyphen and Charlie Winston. en.rockthepistes.com
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Holi
20-21 March, 2019
Various Cities, India
The festival of colours brings an end to winter and welcomes spring in various parts of India. Celebrations begin by lighting bonfires on the eve, marking the victory of good over evil. The next day, participants playfully engage in water battles, smear colour on each other, get high on bhaang and make merry. holifestival.org
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Art Dubai
20-23 March, 2019
Dubai, UAE
Discover contemporary and modern art from influential galleries across the globe at the 13th annual Art Dubai. Last year’s iteration featured 105 galleries from 48 countries and drew 28,000+ visitors. Art enthusiasts can look forward to seeing curated exhibitions, buying artworks and participating in art-related projects, activities and events. artdubai.ae
[Photo: Photo Solutions]
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Elephant Festival Jaipur
21 March, 2019
Jaipur, India
Complemented by dancing, singing, music, food and fireworks, this annual festival honours the Indian elephant, considered royal and sacred in India. Celebrated on the eve of Holi, the festival sees elephants and mahouts parade in full regalia, play polo and tug-of-war, participate in the ‘elephant decoration’ exhibition and compete in races at the Rambagh Polo Ground. jaipur.org.uk
[Photo: LBM0/Flickr]
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Westside Story
22 March – 21 April, 2019
Sydney, Australia
The modern-day love story that took Broadway by storm in the late ’50s unfolds at the Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour, combining Broadway’s best talents, Stephen Sondheim’s lyrics, Jerome Robbins’ choreography, Leonard Bernstein’s score and Arthur Laurents’ book. Amex cardholders enjoy special access to reserved tickets on a first come, first served basis. amexinvites.com.au
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Bali Spirit Festival
24-31 March, 2019
Ubud, Bali
Locals and international travellers flock to Bali for this festival of music, alternative health, wellness and spiritual renewal, learning how to live in harmony with the environment, other individuals and themselves. Festival-goers can look forward to daytime and nightly music concerts, yoga, meditation, discourses, workshops, a community dharma fair and special events. balispiritfestival.com
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The Head Of The RiverRace
30 March, 2019 (Provisional)
London, England
A professional boat race like no other, this event takes place on the famous river Thames, from Mortlake to nearby Putney on the Tideway, with up to 420 boats from the British Isles and beyond setting off at 10-second intervals. The WEHORR on 16 March is equally exciting, attracting 3,000 female crews, from Olympic champions to beginners. horr.co.uk
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Whisky Magazine Awards
30 March, 2019 (TBC)
London, England
Whisky lovers, industry experts and leading writers come together every March to discover which of the much-loved tipples across the globe will be prefixed with ‘World’s Best’. Kicking off with a drinks reception, the award presentation – spanning various categories including the ‘Icons of Whisky Global’ and ‘Hall of Fame’ – will be intertwined with a specially curated 3-course menu. worldwhiskiesawards.com
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Elton John ‘Farewell Yellow Brick Road’ Tour
8 September 2018 – 11 September 2019
Various Cities, USA
Catch pop music’s most enduring icon as he bids adieu to his “life on the road”. The Farewell tour kickstarts in September 2018 and will conclude in 2021, taking in several cities across the globe. Card Member seating and Preferred seating are available to Amex cardholders throughout North America. axs.com
[Photo: Dena Flows/Flickr]
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