Unusual and exciting January celebrations around the world
Tuesday, 8 January 2019 | Kate
What's your excuse for dressing up this month? Do you need a good reason to come and buy lots of our unusual clothing and refresh your wardrobe for the year to come? If you need an excuse for some top class retail therapy, here are some really good reasons to celebrate in January.
Spain – La Tamborrada in San Sebastian
La Tamborrada must be one of the world's best, most exciting drum festivals. Head for lovely San Sebastian and watch people marching, fully uniformed, around the town, drumming in honour of the patron saint of Donostia. The drumming goes on for 24 hours non-stop between midnight on 19th January to midnight the next day.
The Philippines - Ati-Atihan in Kalibo
It's an impressive 800 years since this magical festival was first held, and the result is unforgettably colourful. Attend the Ati-Atihan in Kalibo to enjoy an exotic Mardi Gras-style event lasting for an entire week, a non-stop party that culminates in the party to end all parties on the third Sunday in January. Expect constant street parties, parades, singing, dancing and more.
Myanmar – The Bagan Ananda Pagoda Festival
January sees the ancient city of Bagan holding an annual pagoda festival, one of the oldest celebrations in the country. Dance, music and theatre is the name of the game, and many people still arrive via bullock carts, the traditional means of travel to the event.
Colombia – Carnaval de Blancos in Colombia
It lasts for six days. The Carnaval de Blancos y Negros in Pasto, Colombia, is another ancient event which originated with the day the slaves of the Spanish conquerors were allowed to celebrate. The bosses painted their faces black to show they approved of the celebrations on the day, and the next day the slaves painted their faces white. Blacks’ Day remains a big event on 5th January, and that's the day the partying is at its most exciting and vibrant.
China – Harbin's ice and snow sculpture festival
The two-month long Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival turns the city of Harbin into a real winter wonderland, a magical place of dog sleds, white tigers, remarkable snow sculptures, ice hotels, ice lanterns, ice theme parks and more.
The Bahamas – Junkanoo
The Junkanoo festival is a Bahamian tradition celebrated across the islands but centred on Nassau. It involves a parade on Boxing Day and another on New Year’s Day, both celebrated by dancing, music and people in extraordinary costumes. It celebrates the freeing of slaves in the British colonies in 1834, including a tradition called the Junkanoo Rush-out, a full day spent on the beach, racing boats or sailing around the islands.
Japan – The Yamayaki fire festival
Japan's famously magnificent Fire Festival is held in Nara and celebrates an ancient feud between two temples. Legend has it that at one stage the feud was so fierce Mount Wakakusa-yama itself was set on fire. Torches are lit at the Kasuga Taisha shrine, then they're taken to the foot of the mountain. At six in the afternoon one of the world's biggest bonfires is lit, followed by an enormous firework display.
Mexico – The Alfonso Ortiz Tirado Festival
In late January there's the Alfonso Ortiz Tirado Festival, an event celebrating music and the arts via performances and workshops, and covering an incredibly wide set of genres. Expect everything from jazz and folk to movies, books and poetry.
Some weird American festivals and celebrations in January
January 1st is America's unofficial National hangover Day. But January apparently hosts a load more weird and sometimes-not-very-wonderful celebrations in the USA. January 2019 marks National Bath Safety Month, National Braille Month, National Hobby Month, Hot Tea Month, National Blood Donor Month, National Oatmeal Month and National Soup Month. All of which gives you the perfect excuse, as if you needed one, to go play on our site and treat yourself to something lush, something you won't find on the high street.
Happy New Year to you all, and happy shopping!