Saint Patrick's Day, taking place on March 17, is one of the most famous Irish events around, but looking past the green hats and pints of Guinness, what is the history of the occasion and how is it celebrated across the world?
A patron saint
Most people know that Saint Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland, but there is lots more to the figure than you might realise. According to his works, he was the son of two Roman citizens living in Roman Wales or Scotland in the fourth century BC, who travelled to Ireland as a missionary to convert the Celtic pagans – the metaphorical snakes that the saint 'chased' from the country.
Saint Patrick is also supposedly behind the shamrock being the ...
With no threat of experiencing typhoons, warm temperatures and lots sunshine, February is a perfect time to visit a Southeast Asian destination. In recent decades, nations such as Thailand, India, the Philippines and Myanmar have become very popular with tourists. However, if you are a particularly adventurous traveller there are a range of wonderful places to visit that are still very much off the beaten track.
There are many places in India suited to getting away from it all. Take Majuli in the state of Assam. Here on the world's largest inhabited river island, you can enjoy life in a lush wonderland, riding bicycles and viewing monasteries by day and enjoying delicious local ...
Up in the magnificent mountains of the Bavarian Alps you will find historic Berchtesgaden, a haven for guests who wish to relax, unwind and surround themselves with tranquil alpine beauty.
Situated on the Austrian border, this German town is an ideal destination for those who wish to escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. With the vast majority of the town left untouched, nature lovers can explore the impressive surroundings at their pleasure. The highest mountain residing completely in Germany, the Watzmann presents visitors a challenge many are eager to take on.
With an endless variety of historic, cultural and natural attractions, Berchtesgaden welcomes ...
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 ...
There are very few places quite as breath taking as Slovakia's most famous mountain range, the High Tatras. Majestic, serene and vast, the area stretches across the northern part of Slovakia and edges into Poland. A popular location for hikers, winter sports enthusiasts and those who wish to escape to a virtually untouched landscape, the High Tatras has exceptional beauty at every turn.
A visit to the High Tatras often begins at Vysoké Tatry, the town located at the foot of the mountain range. Located in Slovakia, the town actually comprises 14 settlements which were once individual villages. A truly enchanting place, it is unsurprising that Vysoké Tatry is home to a collection of the area's...
There is nothing more romantic than a retreat to the mountains, and options are plentiful for guests of Kempinski. Wake up every morning to breath-taking views of striking mountains, snow topped trees, and your loved one, sleeping close by your side. Take a look at some of our favourite locations below, each of which makes for the perfect romantic getaway.
St Moritz, Switzerland
An alpine haven found deep in the Engadin valley, a visit to the famous resort of St Moritz is the perfect way to enjoy privacy in style. Located in the Albula Alps, the Swiss resort overlooks Lake St Moritz. With tranquil waters, and magnificent mountains surrounding the resort, guests of Kempinski Grand Hôtel de ...
One of the most important dates in the Christian calendar, Shrove Tuesday takes place on the first Tuesday before Ash Wednesday – February 28th in 2017. The celebration, whereby Christians indulge before the period of Lent, is known by many names, including Fat Tuesday, Pancake Day, Mardi Gras and Fastelavn, and is celebrated in a variety of ways, all across the world.
Wild Mardi Gras
The customs surrounding the French incarnation of Shrove Tuesday are particularly joyful, due to the parades, concerts and carnivals that take place throughout the country. Nice, in particular, is well known for its ten exciting days of celebrations, where floats are paraded through the streets, revellers ...
For over 2,200 years, people in China have said goodbye to the exciting Spring Festival with a celebration full of bright lights, colours and festivities known as Yuan Xiao Jie - translating to English as The Lantern Festival.
Taking place on February 11th in 2017, it is one of the most important dates in the Chinese calendar, and if you missed the main Chinese New Year celebrations or want to experience another part of traditional oriental culture, there are plenty of great reasons to attend.
A respected history
The Lantern Festival dates back to the Han Dynasty, which ruled China between 206 BC and 220 AD. Buddhism was growing popular in China during this time and the ruling class ...
If you love city breaks and enjoy seeing the meeting and mixing of cultures, cuisines and customs, the capital of the tiny Middle Eastern country of Lebanon should certainly be added to your holiday destination wish list.
Once referred to as the 'Paris of the Middle East' in the 1950s and 60s thanks to its cosmopolitan nature, Beirut has reinvented itself after its civil war. Today it is a hive of entrepreneurial, liberal and multicultural people, offering all sorts of nightlife, sightseeing and shopping opportunities.
Hot, bustling and completely chaotic, Beirut is a place to visit if you are the kind of person who enjoys exploring a lively destination.
Avenues lined ...
There are lots of travellers who adore the snowy landscapes and extreme sports that the winter brings, however there are plenty of others that want to escape the freezing temperatures with a trip to a destination full of long days, high temperatures and everything else great about summer.
Enjoying an increase in tourism following the improvement in relations with the US, the Caribbean island of Cuba has much to offer winter travellers. Alongside the lively culture, beautiful Hispanic architecture and delicious cuisine of the capital Havana, there is much to be found in the way of beaches, scuba diving hotspots and tours through the nation's leafy interior. Stay in the heart of ...