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International Festivals January-May 2019
International Festivals January-May 2019

Do you love to get away and explore the rich culture of somewhere new?  If so, then why not visit an international festival in 2019? With plenty of popular festivals based near Kempinski hotels, take a look at our pick of the best below.

Party hard in Havana

The beautiful Cuban city of Havana celebrates its 500-year founding anniversary in 2019, and it makes a perfect occasion to party!

The city has already undergone a huge makeover in preparation for its 500th birthday, with plenty of renovation works on the city’s buildings, streets and establishments.

In true Cuban style, there will be plenty of live music in the streets of Havana in 2019, with the Cuban Institute of Music ...

The Hungry Ghost Festival: China Remembers
The Hungry Ghost Festival: China Remembers

The Hungry Ghost Festival is one of China's oldest and most important traditions. In some ways similar to Halloween and the Day of the Dead in the west, it represents a time when the veil between the worlds of the living and the dead is at its thinnest, and the ghosts of long-dead ancestors may appear to help or hinder the living.

Festival dates

The festival falls on the 15th day of the seventh lunar month – September 5th in 2017, and August 25th in 2018. Celebrations occur all over Chinese territory, including Hong Kong and Taiwan, and regional variations are also observed in Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam and Japan.

Origins and history

The origins of the Hungry Ghost Festival ...

Spring traditions of the world
Spring traditions of the world

Throughout the ages, spring has been seen as a time of renewal, new life and energy - the perfect contrast to the cold winter. It is because of this that cultures all across the world have, over time, attached all sorts of traditions to spring, read on to find out some of our favourites.

Celebrated by Hindus, Holi (also known as the Festival of Colour) takes place at the end of winter each year – in 2017 it falls on March 12th. Across the world, but particularly in India and Nepal, crowds of people come together to celebrate fertility, love and all things good.

The festival begins the night before with the event of Holika Dahan, when wood and dung are burnt on huge bonfires to ...

A Regional Guide to Chinese New Year
A Regional Guide to Chinese New Year

With Chinese New Year on the horizon, most people are aware of the celebrations surrounding the celebration – fireworks, decorations and red letter gifts. Given China's size, history and culture however, there are all sorts of local traditions that go beyond the national festivities.

Taking place over the 27th and 28th of January (although the celebrations stretch between late January and early February), here are some of the country's most fascinating Spring Festival celebrations.

Beijing temple fairs
Traditional Beijing New Year's parties take place in the capital's many parks, palaces and temple complexes. At these cherished places, thousands gather to enjoy folk music, magic acts ...

Celebrating the Lamu Cultural Festival
Celebrating the Lamu Cultural Festival

Located right on the coast of Kenya is the island of Lamu, a pretty island that is home to one of the most ancient, perfectly preserved Swahili settlements in the entire East African region.

700 years old, Lamu Old Town is the product of a history marked by international trade, and throughout the centuries Swahili, Arab, Indian, Persian and European traders have all visited the city, putting their particular cultural and architectural style on the winding avenues and clustered districts that make up the town. Around every corner is another interesting structure, the majority of which are still in use.

For visitors wanting to experience the best the city has to offer, every year the town ...

Celebrating… the Yi Peng Festival
Celebrating… the Yi Peng Festival

Usually taking place in the shorter months, the world's many festivals of light are a beautiful way to celebrate brightness and bring a little warmth into revellers' hearts. These goals are just as important in Thailand's Yi Peng Festival, which takes place in Chiang Mai on the second month of the Lanna calendar. In 2016 it will occur between the 14th and 15th of November.

A feast of light and warmth, this special event has a lot to offer visitors – here is why you should attend.

Ceremonial beginnings
The Yi Peng Festival is almost exclusively a northern Thai event, taking place within the historic Lanna Kingdom that existed between the late 13th century and 1557. The capital of this ...

Celebrating. . . May Day
Celebrating. . . May Day

Although its origins can be traced back to Roman times, May Day celebrations have a distinct and traditional feeling wherever they are being held.

Taking place on the first day of May, every year millions of people enjoy celebrating May Day, spending time unwinding with their friends and family as they are given an extra day off work. But just how did May Day come into being? And how do people choose to celebrate it?

Origins and Interpretations

From exchanging gifts in Italy to singing songs in Spain, it is rare that you will find two countries that celebrate May Day in the same manner – one of the main reasons why May Day is so special. With several nations across the northern ...

Brilliant Beer: The 2016 Festival Calendar
Brilliant Beer: The 2016 Festival Calendar

When discussing the social trends, ties and activities that link the world together, it would be wrong to ignore the significance of beer. From China to South Africa, Chile to Croatia, beer consumption is a common feature – and that, for many countries, is a cause for celebration.

Throughout the world, beer festivals have a habit of popping up left, right and centre - and that is a good thing! By offering both a range of independent ales and international brands, beer enthusiasts are presented with a great opportunity to sample a bounty of beautiful beers throughout the year. To get involved, all you need to do is make sure you pick the right festival to suit you and your taste!

Buda ...

It's a February Fiesta
It's a February Fiesta

While some travellers prefer to just dip their toes in a country's culture, others prefer to dive in head first – and for these people, nothing presents a greater opportunity to immerse themselves than that of a festival.

Across the globe this February, there is an entire world of festivals taking place. And as various nations celebrate their unique traditions in a multitude of ways, there has never been a better time to see the world through the eyes of another culture.


Looking to enjoy one of the last great Pagan celebrations and fill up on delicious Russian pancakes at the same time? It is probably worth heading to Moscow this February and enjoying this year's Maslenitsa ...

Celebrating… Chinese New Year
Celebrating… Chinese New Year

Celebrated by around 1.6 billion people across the world each year, Chinese New Year is one of the most electric, exhilarating annual festivals on Earth. It is a time when Chinese families come together and enjoy spending time with one another, exchanging gifts, feasting, and having a well-earned moment of relaxation.

Interesting, vibrant and warming, Chinese New Year and the accompanying Spring Festival together make up one the world's most exciting festive periods, and for good reason. Taking place on the 8th of February, what can visitors to China expect from the ancient nation's most famous celebration?

A legendary festival

According to Chinese myth, the New Year celebrations were ...

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