Although December is synonymous with Christmas,
the Globe Guide team discover that there's
much more to this month than Santa Claus, roast
turkey and midnight mass.
Mexico is an ethnically diverse country bound
by its Roman Catholicism; Justine Shapiro braves the crush in Mexico City for the Virgin de Guadeloupe Festival, celebrating
the beloved national patron saint. Here she mingles
with the millions of devotees and visits the Basilica
de Guadeloupe where masses are performed around
the clock in her honour.
Like so many of the Christmas traditions, the Klausjagen Festival in Kusstnacht,
Switzerland, evolved from pagan roots. Justine
arrives there on 5 December - when the usually
sedate town erupts in a riot of noise and colour
after dark as St. Nicholas is led through the
streets by people cracking whips and 150 men carrying
giant, ornate 'iffele' (bishop hat) lanterns and
followed by a brass band and thousands of men
ringing giant cow bells - and leaves a little
For a winter getaway, Asia offers some of the
finest beach bumming in the world. Shilpa Mehta takes a boat to the tiny Philippine island of Boracay, one of 7,000 islands the country has to offer. Ian Wright escapes the humidity
of Cambodia's mainland for the beautiful island
of Ko Rom and Justine Shapiro checks
out the Parenthin Islands on the east coast
of Malaysia all of which are great spots for scuba
diving. For something a bit different, Justine
joins self-confessed eco-warrior John Gray for sea kayaking through the caves of Au
Nong, near Krabi in Thailand. He shows her
beautiful secret lagoons only accessible through
the caves and stop overnight on a secluded beach.
After all that chilling out, there's only one
thing left to do - climb a mountain! Megan
McCormick takes a guided trip up the eerie
slopes of Mount Kenya to one of its six
peaks past giant plants and volcanic rock formations.
After three days of strenuous hiking she makes
it to over 16,000 feet and is blown away by the
African vistas, truly on top of the world!