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February Globe Guide

Our intrepid travellers discover that whatever takes your fancy, February is spilling over with ever more fascinating expeditions and events than you can shake your rucksack at. Italy has not one, but two massive festivals, while Vietnam celebrates its most important religious day, and the Arab Gulf States indulge in two very different celebrations. Sun, sand and sea activities are served up in perfect measure by Mexico’s Yucatan coast and the east coast of Borneo.

February is a great month to visit Italy as all hell breaks loose in two of its biggest festivals. Megan McCormick slips around at the Battle of the Oranges in Ivrea in which tonnes of oranges are thrown about for three days by neighbourhood teams celebrating a 12 Century revolt against an evil count. She then travels east to Venice for its Carnival extravaganza, where she has a devilish mask customised for her by a local craftsman.

Vietnam marks the end of the lunar year with the nationwide Tet Festival in February. Justine Shapiro takes part in two different celebrations; the first frightens off spirits before the commencement of the new year with mass detonations of firecrackers, while in the second follows worshipers into a Buddhist temple for a more serene celebration.

Megan visits two of the Arab Gulf States and takes in events synonymous with the region. In Dubai (United Arab Emirates), she gets a dose of commercial craziness at the Dubai Shopping Festival that takes place for a month from mid-February and attracts 3 million attendees. Then it’s off to Kuwait, thrust into the limelight in 1990 when it was invaded by Iraq, where she journeys to its capital Kuwait City for Liberation Day. She finds a euphoric mood as the city’s inhabitants decorate their cars with flags and take to the roads till 3am in the morning.

All that partying has taken its toll on our travellers, so Justine makes her way to the ruined Mayan city of Tulum on the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico. To dodge the tourist hordes she retires to a cabana on the Cove of Tulum for some serious hammock action.

Lastly, Holly Morris explores one of the world’s premier diving sites on the east coast of Borneo where she dives with an amazing array of tropical life including sharks, turtles and shoals upon shoals of barracuda.


Places Mentioned - Italy, Kuwait, Malaysia, Mexico, United Arab Emirates, Vietnam

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