Hold on to your hats everybody, it’s holiday time! Yes, it’s that time of year again, and we at Destination MO have lots of fabulous suggestions to help you celebrate the holiday season in style.
First up: Geneva, for the Escalade celebration that takes place on 12 December. Thousands of people dressed in traditional costume lead a torchlight parade to commemorate the victory of the citizens of Geneva over troops from Savoy in 1602. The troops attempted to scale the city walls to reclaim the town, but the locals were having none of it! The parade concludes with patriotic singing around a blazing bonfire in Cathedral Square.
Then it’s over to the cities of Prague and Munich for their famous month-long Christmas markets, which offer local delicacies such as gingerbread and beeswax candles, as well as seasonal gifts and lots of Christmas cheer! Keep the cold at bay with a glass of traditional Glühwein.
The art crowd will be hoping the sun shines from 4 to 7 December in Miami, when they gather for the glamorous Art Basel Miami Beach (pictured). Some 250 leading international galleries will showcase the wares of more than 2,000 of the world’s most exciting artists, while hosting ever-elegant evening events to tantalise visiting curators, gallerists, critics and celebrities. Local beaches, Collins Park and SoundScape Park also get in on the action, providing the backdrop to performances and large-scale artworks.
Fast forward to New Year’s Eve and there are many choice offerings to tempt you. Culture vultures who couldn’t make it to Miami can console themselves with Boston’s fabulous annual festival of arts, First Night Boston, which exhibits the work of 1,000 artists. Enjoy performances and displays at 35 indoor and outdoor venues. Otherwise join an estimated million people gathering in New York City’s Times Square to watch the famous ball drop as the clock strikes midnight, ushering out the old and welcoming in the new. At the same time, more than a billion viewers worldwide will be watching the same spectacle from their sofas!
For those in Asia, Hong Kong is a hub of activity on New Year’s Eve. Personally, I wouldn’t want to miss the four-minute pyrotechnic display just after midnight at Victoria Harbour, when the skyline comes alive with dazzling dancing dragons. If you’re in Taipei, head to Civic Plaza, the centre of the New Year festivities. Watch performances from the cream of Taiwanese pop talent while waiting for the highly anticipated Taipei 101 firework extravaganza. Those in Singapore can set afloat their New Year wishes in Marina Bay. Each wish is handwritten on one of 20,000 wishing spheres, which create a fantastic visual spectacle.
Wherever you are and whoever you are with, the team at Destination MO wish you all a prosperous and happy New Year and look forward to keeping you updated with events in 2015. In the meantime, December’s Monthly Insiders, Sarah Pascarella and Gary Bowerman, offer their traveller’s tips for Boston and Kuala Lumpur, so you can round off your year there in style.
Zoë Manzi, Editor, MO magazine, The Condé Nast Publications
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