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CAR­NI­VAL When Place

Fe­bru­ary 23-March 1 Sal­vador, Brazil Al­though the most pop­u­lar city to cel­e­brate Brazil’s an­nual Car­ni­val is Rio de Janeiro, the most un­der­rated has to be Sal­vador, the sul­try and oc­ca­sion­ally an­ar­chic coastal cap­i­tal of the state of Bahia. Sal­vador’s Car­ni­val is a six-day cel­e­bra­tion that en­gulfs the city in a riot of danc­ing and drink­ing. Chore­ographed dance per­for­mances are shunned in favour of a more chaotic sys­tem of rov­ing sound sys­tems that blast mu­sic at the writhing masses who fol­low them around for 16 hours a day. See bahi­acar­ni­


April 13-17 Bangkok, Thai­land Warn­ing: you will get wet. Whether you want to or not, if you’re in Thai­land or Laos or Cam­bo­dia dur­ing Songkran, the cel­e­bra­tion of the so­lar new year, you will be shot with wa­ter pis­tols, slapped with wet brooms, hit with wa­ter bal­loons, and even drenched with buck­ets. That’s the way things work. The wa­ter is a rit­ual cleans­ing, a bless­ing for the new year, and ev­ery­one is ex­pected to get in­volved. In Bangkok, this rit­ual be­comes an all­out cel­e­bra­tion, as lo­cals and tourists drink, dance, and get drenched. See tourismthai­

EASTER When Place

April 14-16 Jerusalem, Is­rael Where bet­ter to wit­ness a reen­act­ment of the Sta­tions of the Cross than Jerusalem’s Via Dolorosa – the ac­tual site of Je­sus’ walk to his cru­ci­fix­ion? And while you’re at it, why not wit­ness Easter Satur­day evening prayers at Je­sus’ ac­tual tomb? Or have mass at the site of his sup­posed res­ur­rec­tion? See go­is­

RAMADAN When Place

May 26-June 25 Dubai, UAE Ramadan – the most im­por­tant month on the Islamic cal­en­dar – is quite an in­clu­sive event, and that’s never truer than in Dubai. While the days are quiet as Mus­lims ob­serve their rit­ual fast (and tourists do their eat­ing and drink­ing be­hind closed doors), at night tra­di­tional ar­eas come alive with fam­i­lies and friends gath­er­ing in their finest clothes for ‘‘if­tar’’ feasts. Dubai em­braces a true 24-hour life­style dur­ing Ramadan, with mar­kets, shop­ping malls, and restau­rants open late as fasters make the most of their chance to eat and drink and so­cialise. See­vis­it­


Oc­to­ber 31-Novem­ber 1 Oax­aca, Mex­ico This is not, of­fi­cially, Hal­loween. Here it’s ac­tu­ally called the Day of the Dead, a tra­di­tional re­mem­brance of fam­ily and friends who have shuf­fled off this mor­tal coil, a re­spect shown by dress­ing up in ghoul­ish cos­tumes and cel­e­brat­ing long into the night at lo­cal ceme­ter­ies. It’s an in­clu­sive, joy­ous, heart­felt cel­e­bra­tion – and ev­ery­one’s in­vited. See­vis­it­mex­­aca

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