The must-see events of 2016

The new year always seems to bring an immense sense of opportunity that ignites the ambitious side within us, and it is absolutely true regarding travel. Seeing the whole year ahead never fails to give a huge sense of excitement and inspiration. Feeling ready to dream about where to go this year, we love to begin planning and scheduling in those trips, having something to look forward to whilst trawling through mounds of essays and revision. Often, we can spend lengthy amounts of time scrolling through tour websites for the adventures that interest us, and spend hours reading articles about the wonders of different countries and why this should be the year we visit them.

However, when it comes to researching what time of the year would be best to see certain places, it often takes a lot more effort. If there was an easier way of being able to see recommendations for which places we should be visiting and the times that would be best to visit them, our travel experiences would be a lot more fuller. Many of us have experienced that sinking feeling in finding out your trip ends a day before a big event is on, so to avoid that we have collected a guide on what events to look out for whilst planning your travels this year. Putting a collective list of places to visit, and what time to visit on the calendar, and gathering in some of nature’s wonders alongside annual events and experiences specific to 2016, this is the ultimate guide for your 2016 travel calendar.

Starting off the year, taking a trip to see the awe-inspiring Northern Lights in Iceland would be an unforgettable experience. With package deals becoming increasingly more common, most now also including visits to the iconic Blue Lagoon, this is the time to tick it off your list.

Whilst we are shaking off the grey mood in Britain, bringing us in to February is the bright and bold Venice Carnival, complete with masks and all the drama of the opera. With plane rides to Europe often student-friendly, there is no need to venture far for a piece of the theatre. To see Japan during Sakura season is a dream shared by many; the juxtaposition of watching locals wearing the traditional kimonos whilst celebrating ‘Hanami’ under rows of blushing cherry blossom trees against the skyscrapers and futuristic vibes of the Japanese cities towards the end of March is an unforgettable sight.

Come April, you won’t have to venture very far to take part in a large festival. In Stratford-upon-Avon, Shakespeare’s birthplace, there will be huge celebrations of his life and his work for the 400-year anniversary of his death. There will be a whole host of plays and dramatic adaptations of other playwrights’ work, specially commissioned artwork displayed in the church where he was baptised, and a birthday procession with over 1,000 people expected to attend.

Only a two-hour plane ride away, Cannes will host its annual film festival towards the end of May which could be a wonderful way to celebrate the end of the academic year and the beginning of summer with a group of friends. As always, it is sure to be full of glitter and glamour as world-famous film stars make their way to the city famous for celebrating cinema.

Dedicated jazz lovers should consider heading to Montreal to experience the world-famous Jazz festival held there annually. World-class performers such as Gregory Porter and Ludovico Einaudi are on the line-up for this year’s event and should be a treat to watch.

July will see in the anniversary of the Battle of the Somme, sure to be an extremely important, and very emotional, event. Memorials will take place in both France and Britain, with a number of events held in commemoration of those who lost their lives.

Though it feels as though it was only yesterday that the Olympics were hosted in London, this August sees them coming to the gorgeous city of Rio de Janeiro. If you didn’t get the chance to see them whilst they were here, taking the trip to Brazil could be just as unforgettable an experience, and a chance to experience the joy of celebrating sports within a different culture. Alternatively, closer to home the infamous, though controversial, ‘La Tomatina’ food fight is always a messy event. Held in Bunol near Valencia in Spain, the event has previously had up to 50,000 spectators crammed in to the Spanish streets.

Taking a break in September, just before the academic year begins, to appreciate the beauty of autumn in New England, America would be a very unique adventure. Famous for its glorious display of warm coloured foliage, this is one of nature’s greatest sights and taking a drive or a hike through the seemingly never-ending forests would make a magical trip.

Diwali, the festival of light, is celebrated in India during October and coincides with the Hindu New Year. Many of those who celebrate the festival will light candles in their houses, and outdoor celebrations with fireworks and prayers aplenty.

Atmosphere in America during November is sure to be electric, due to the presidential election taking place. The country is the root of some of the most controversial politics in the world, and so to observe and share in the charged atmosphere of political US is definitely poignant, and interesting.

Being able to plan your travels around significant events in the calendar adds another dimension to your travel experience. It gives you an incredible way to involve yourself in another dimension of a culture, whether that is through a nation’s nature, music, food, or history. You understand how it feels to observe, or be a part of, a group celebrating an event together, and the significance of different things to different cultures. This is an enlightening experience, a way of opening your eyes to the diversity of celebrating life around you, and is a wonderful way of creating connections with places long after you have visited them.


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December 2021
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