5 festivals to treat the winter blues
Remember remember the fifth of November…is the last highlight of the winter months until Christmas. Unlike the summer, which is full of al fresco events and goings-on, activities in the UK die down somewhat as the winter months take over and Christmas preparations begin.
But around the world, festivities continue with as much gusto in both November and December.
So if the idea of an interminably long run-up to Christmas fills you with dread, the Flexicover team suggests hopping on a flight to join one of these tempting festivities instead - it will make the end of the year fly by.
Comedy festival: New York Comedy Festival - 7 to 12 November
While traditionally Montreal and Edinburgh are the most prestigious annual comedy gatherings thanks to their international flavour, New York Comedy Festival is a key event for American comedians, as proved by the interest in this year's bash. When it comes to comedy, the Big Apple's underground clubs are known as the stomping ground for film and TV stars so attendance will be high for each of the 200 comedians playing in 60 venues - not just the big names like Kevin Smith, Margaret Cho, Bill Maher and Vir Das, but newcomers like Eliot Glazer and Hasan Minhaj who will be appearing too.
Book festival: Miami Book Fair – 12 to 19 November
One might expect a book fair to be the least exuberant festival of the bunch – but if there’s one thing Miami knows how to do, it’s inject vibrancy into proceedings. Its strong reputation for being both fun and attracting top names means over 250,000 visitors make their way to the Miami Dade College, which hosts events over eight days. This year, its famous ‘Evenings With…’ events include Patti Smith and George Bush’s daughters Jenna Bush Hager and Barbara Pierce Bush. Joe Biden will also be making an appearance, and there are also street fairs, pop-up events and social events.
Lantern Festival Hoi An, Vietnam – 1 December
As one of the most sacred times in the Buddhist calendar, the full moon is celebrated each month in Hoi An with its beautiful Lantern Festival. Vibrantly coloured lanterns are lit and set upon the Thu Bon river with a wish for luck, love and happiness. The spectacle becomes even more intense when at 8pm the street lamps are turned off meaning the only light source is the golden glow emitting from the lanterns. The sight of these lanterns moving softly along is a memorable encounter in itself but with music performances, street food and night markets to also enjoy, it all adds up to a magical experience.
Beach festival: ZoukOut, Singapore – 8 and 9 December
One for the hardcore partygoers, ZoukOut is Asia’s largest dusk-to-dawn festival, with 12 hours of all-night music and fun taking place at the Siloso Beach in Sentosa, from 8pm until at 8am on 8 and 9 December. This year is the 17th year that the ZoukOut club owners have taken the party outside. Over the years, it’s built up a loyal following of clubbers so that now 50,000 party-goers descend to the shores to enjoy the music, many of which are from overseas, as Singapore’s Changi Airport is just 30 minutes by car.
Music festival: Rise Festival, France - 16 to 23 December
Taking the idea of apres-ski to another level, ski and music festivals are all the rage these days and we’re particularly looking forward to Rise in the French Aps from 16 to 23 December. In addition to some world-class skiing at Les Deux Alpes ski resort, the party involves an ice disco, cinema screenings, a winter beach party, snow sculpture contests, photo-pods, camp fires and chill out areas. But it’s the music stages that are the biggest draw. Names on the bill include Craig David, The Craig Charles Funk & Soul Club, Bicep, Riot Jazz and Denis Sulta, making nights in the Alps as active as the days.
So wherever you plan to head on your travels it’s good to know that Flexicover Travel Insurance is committed to providing you with the highest level of protection to ensure you are safe and secure 24 hours a day when away.