The merry month of May has arrived and I’m delighted to tell you that over the next four weeks there’s plenty of merriment to be had!
First, rev up your engines: Barcelona will be hosting the Spanish Grand Prix at the Circuit de Barcelona–Catalunya, from 9 to 11 May, a track, petrolheads in the know tell me, that is hugely popular with the drivers. Meanwhile, tennis fans will be knocked out by the ace talent on display at the clay courts of the Roland Garros championship in Paris, 25 May to 8 June. Or head to Prague, which stages both its 69th Spring International Music Festival, from 12 May to 3 June, with participating musicians and orchestras from around the world, and a weekend of events surrounding its marathon, held on 11 May; for the ultimate in walkies, there is even the opportunity to circuit a lap or two with your canine companion! Sporting action also abounds in San Francisco this May, when the 100,000 or so participants in the Bay to Breakers annual run (18 May) sprint from the starting line of a 12k race that is more than a century old.
If, like me, your idea of sport involves watching someone else take the strain, then nip over to Tokyo for the Grand Sumo Tournament, which takes place from 11 to 25 May. Tokyo also celebrates the annual Sanja Matsuri this month (16 to 18 May). One of the three great Shinto festivals held in the city, it attracts up to two million locals and tourists, who come to watch the parading of the three mikoshi (portable shrines) through Asakusa and to enjoy the traditional dancing and music. Also occurring is the smaller scale Kanda Matsuri festival in Nihonbashi, around the corner from Mandarin Oriental, Tokyo, where a lively procession of up to 300 people parade some 100 mikoshi through the surrounding streets.
There are also celebrations aplenty in Kuala Lumpur, where the annual Colours of 1Malaysia takes place on 24 May, with fireworks lighting up the city and locals performing in dazzling costume to traditional music. Over in Hong Kong, the luminaries of the contemporary art scene are gathering for Art Basel Hong Kong (15 to 18 May). Expect 245 participating galleries from more than 39 countries, showcasing works by some of the world’s greatest artists. This year, I’m particularly intrigued to see Carsten Nicolai’s stunning new work Pulse a (Alpha), an awesome audio-visual installation that will light up the city’s skyline, generating an illumination that will appear across the entire façade of the International Commerce Centre on Kowloon harbour front.
It’ll be no surprise to hear that Vegas is full of high-end happenings this May: galloping gourmets will appreciate Vegas Uncork’d (8 to 11 May), where, among other things, some of the globe’s most revered chefs will display their culinary mastery, while you get to sample the finished article – yum! And the great and the good of the music world will be in town for the Billboard Music Awards, on 18 May, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Memorial Day weekend (23 to 26 May) also sees a whole host of events, with performances by Bruno Mars, Guns N’ Roses and Shania Twain. Definitely something for everyone.
And to let you know all that is happening in culture capitals of the world New York and London this May, we have the lowdown from Monthly Insiders Chadner Navarro and Lauren Ho.
Zoë Manzi, Editor, MO magazine, The Condé Nast Publications
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