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The pick of winter’s cultural events

This season’s leisure and culture highlights

Harbin Ice Festival 

Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival
January 5 – February 28

A teeth-chattering experience, the Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival is set in China’s northernmost city and sees four million cubic feet of ice from the Songhua River put to use for artistic and practical purposes. Some buildings are made almost entirely of ice for the duration of the freeze, and the finished works attract some 800,000 visitors each year.


East London Design Show
Dec 5-8

The annual event celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, a milestone marked by a change of venue and a step up in size. The East London Design Show, now housed in the Old Truman Brewery, is the best place to discover new talent in the capital, with over 100 of the area’s top independent designers selling products – often at massively discounted prices.


Hogmanay Street Party
Dec 31

The now infamous Hogmanay party sees Edinburgh’s streets lined with 80,000 merrymakers celebrating the New Year. For one night only the historical city is a stage for live music and entertainment, as well as one of the best firework displays you are ever likely to see. The party offers an opportunity to experience the city’s many sites and rambunctious spirit.


Rio Carnival
Feb-Mar 18-4
Rio de Janeiro

One of the best-known celebrations in the world, Rio Carnival is characterised by the warm spirit of Brazilian hospitality that never fades throughout the festivities. Countless street parties see exuberant characters lining the streets, as the entire city seems to stop and dance. To get in on the action it’s suggested that you book tickets early to avoid missing out.


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