In January there’s a whole heap of discoveries to be made around the world. From ancient Christian festivities in Ethiopia, one of the most famous Mardi Gras celebrations in the Philippines, and Hindu celebrations in Malaysia… January is stuffed with festive delights to chase away those post-holiday blues!
Timkat Festival – Ethiopia
Every year thousands of Ethiopian Orthodox Christians gather at the sunken rock churches of Lalibela for the Festival of Timkat (Epiphany). Ian Wright travels to Ethiopia, which stages the most colourful celebrations in which Christians take to the streets for parades and mass baptisms.
Thaipusam Festival, Kuala Lumpur
Justine Shapiro sets down in Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia for January’s Thaipusam Festival in which over a million Hindus take part. This homage to the Lord Maruga is a real spectacle in which avid devotees pierce themselves in startling ways and fall into trances as they process to caves outside the city.
Australia Day is celebrated on the 26th of January and is an annual celebration commemorating the first landing of white settlers in Australia. These days there’s fireworks, parades, arts, crafts, food and family entertainment. It’s seen as a celebration of Australian culture and way of life.
It’s time to thank the many Australian inventors who have quite literally changed our world… here’s a list of the top 14 essential gizmos and gadgets that can trace their roots Down Under (and which without – our day-to-day lives would be very different).
Australia is a land of extremes. Extreme nature, extreme geographical wonders, vast landscapes, hair-raising history and colorful characters that make it such a fantastic destination. Here are our list of Australia’s extremes.
The festival of Ati-Atihan on the island of Kalibo in the Philippines was originally a celebration of a peace pact between warring tribes; now it has a Christian significance honouring Santa Nino. Justine Shapiro takes part in this three day, three night frenzy of music and dancing, culminating in a big fireworks display in honour of a saint who bequeaths good health on his worshippers. Read our guide on what to expect here.
Republic Day in India
Republic Day honours the date on which the Constitution of India came into effect on 26 January 1950 replacing the Government of India Act as the governing document of India. So what better time to watch and read up on this colourful country?
With bustling cities such as Mumbai, idyllic getaways in Goa along with the spectacular sights from the Ghat Mountains, South India is an immense treasure trove of riches in all departments. Read the top 10 things to do in South India here.
The Taj Mahal was built by Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his wife Mumtaz Mahal, who died in 1631 giving birth to his 15th child. It is said that the Emperor was so distraught at her death that his hair turned white overnight. Read all about the icon here.
Martin Luther King Jr Day
Martin Luther King Jr. Day is an American federal holiday marking the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr. It is observed on the third Monday of January each year, which is around King’s birthday, January 15. As one of the leaders of the movement to end racial segregation in the United States, Martin Luther King Jr was an advocate of non-violent protest and became the youngest man to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Read all about his lasting legacy here.