Thursday, 29 December 2011
The Mummers Parade traces back to mid-17th century roots, blending elements from Swedish, Finnish, Irish, English, German and other European heritages, as well as African heritage. The parade is related to the Mummers Play tradition from England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Revivals of this tradition are still celebrated annually in South Gloucestershire, England on Boxing Day and in parts of Ireland on St. Stephen's Day.
The Mummers Parade traveled northward on Broad Street in Philadelphia for decades until the 1995 parade when the parade was moved to Market Street due to construction work on Broad Street (notably the "Avenue of the Arts" between Washington Ave. and City Hall). After construction was completed, the parade returned to Broad Street from 1996 to 1999. For various reasons, the parade was moved again to Market Street in 2000. In 2004, the parade was moved back to Broad Street. In 1997 the Fancy Brigades were moved to the Pennsylvania Convention Center, allowing for larger sets, but limiting audience size. In 2011, the Fancy Brigades returned to the parade.
Each year, thousands of people participate in the parade, many wearing elaborate costumes costing tens of thousands of dollars to make and weighing well over 100 pounds. $395,000 in prizes is awarded to the various winners. The costs for making the outfits plus fees to choreographers and prop designers often far exceed the prizes available. While club fund raisers, hall rentals, bank loans often cover much of the expense, individual members frequently spend hundreds or thousands of dollars of their own money. To raise funds, many string bands and their members seek paying gigs, particularly in area Fourth of July parades, the annual "Show of Shows" (held in Atlantic City each winter), weddings and other events. Many clubs hold "beef and beers" or 50/50 raffles. Most charge annual dues for membership.
Thursday, 22 December 2011
Friday, 16 December 2011
Ottawa Fashion Week seeks to create a platform for designers and artists to showcase their talent. It also aims to provide an opportunity for the citizens of Ottawa to actively participate in the intriguing world of fashion.
Location: 11 Colonel By Drive, Ottawa, On, K1N 9H4
Dates: February 17, 18 , 19, 2012
Tickets: Available prior event at www.ottawafashionweek.ca
Thursday, 15 December 2011
The Red Hot Chili Peppers will touring the globe in 2012, so get your tickets fast!
20 January 2012 at Bank Atlantic Center, Sunrise, Florida
21 January 2012 at Amway Arena, Orlando, Florida
23 January 2012 at St. Pete Times Forum, Tampa, Florida
25 January 2012 at Time Warner Cable Arena, Charlotte, North Carolina
27 January 2012 at RBC Center, Raleigh, North Carolina
28 January 2012 at Colonial Life Arena, Columbia, South Carolina
30 January 2012 at Gwinnett Center, Duluth, Georgia
31 January 2012 at Greensboro Coliseum, Greensboro, North Carolina
3 February 2012 at FedEx Forum, Memphis, Tennessee
4 February 2012 at New Orleans Arena, New Orleans, Louisiana
17 February 2012 at Oracle Arena, Oakland, California
26 February 2012 at Staples Center, Los Angeles, California
27 February 2012 at Staples Center, Los Angeles, California
29 February 2012 at Valley View Casino Center, San Diego, California
2 March 2012 at Jobing.com Arena, Glendale, Arizona
4 March 2012 at Pepsi Center Denver, Colorado
6 March 2012 at AT&T Center, San Antonio, Texas
8 March 2012 at Toyota Center, Houston, Texas
9 March 2012 at American Airlines Center, Dallas, Texas
13 March 2012 at BOK Arena, Tulsa, Oklahoma
15 March 2012 at Chesapeake Energy Arena Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
16 March 2012 at Verizon Arena, Little Rock, Arkansas
23 June 2012 at Knebworth Park, Stevenage Herts, UK
24 June 2012 at Stadium of Light, Sunderland, UK
27 June 2012 at Croke Park, Dublin, Ireland
28 June 2012 at Goffert Park, Nijmegen, Holland
30 June 2012 at Stade de France, Paris, France
1 July 2012 at Rock Werchter, Werchter, Belgium
3 July 2012 at Stade de Suisse, Berne, Switzerland
7 July 2012 at Rock In Rio Madrid, Madrid, Spain
20 July 2012 at Petrovsky Stadium, St. Petersburg, Russia
22 July 2012 at Luzniky Stadium, Moscow, Russia
25 July 2012 at Olympisky Stadium, Kiev, Ukraine
27 July 2012 at Bemowo Airport, Warsaw, Poland
28 July 2012 at Kaunas Arena, Kaunas, Lithuania
30 July 2012 at Tallinn Song Festival Grounds, Tallinn, Estonia
1 August 2012 at Ratina Stadium, Tampere, Finland
27 August 2012 at Synot Tip Arena, Prague, Czech Republic
29 August 2012 at Hippodrome, Zagreb, Croatia
31 August 2012 at National Stadium, Bucharest, Romania
1 September 2012 at Georgi Asparuhov Stadium, Sofia, Bulgaria
10 September 2012 at Hayarkon Park, Tel Aviv, Israel
Get tickets here for the US Tour - Red Hot Chili Peppers US Tickets
Get tickets here for the UK Tour - Red Hot Chili Peppers UK Tickets
Wednesday, 14 December 2011
Tuesday, 13 December 2011
New Years Eve 2011 to welcome 2012 in Philadelphia will once again include popular fireworks shows at both 6 p.m. and midnight. Philadelphia’s main attraction on New Year’s Eve, choreographed to a unique soundtrack made specially for the show, draws thousands of people to the Delaware River Waterfront every year. Conveniently located within a few blocks of Old City, Society Hill and South Street, Penn’s Landing becomes a festive party with revellers of all ages delighting in a breathtaking fireworks display.
Top spots to watch the fireworks displays on New Year’s Eve: Blue Cross RiverRink, Independence Seaport Museum, Adeventure Aqaurium, Wiggin's Park, Great Plaza at Penn's Landing, Battleship New Jersey, SugarHouse Casino, Spirit of Philadelphia. The show, approximately 15 minutes in length, has a beautiful backdrop with the illuminated Benjamin Franklin Bridge and, if viewed from Camden, the Philadelphia Skyline.
Penn's Landing is the waterfront area of the Center City along the Delaware River section of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States. It is so named because the founder of Pennsylvania, William Penn, docked near here in 1682, along the now paved over Dock Creek, after landing first in New Castle, Delaware, and then at what is now Penn & 2nd Streets in Chester, Pennsylvania. The area is bounded by Front Street to the west, the Delaware River to the east, Spring Garden Street to the north, and Washington Avenue to the south, and is primarily focused on the Christopher Columbus Boulevard (Delaware Avenue) corridor. Most of the area is covered in concrete and is cut off from the city by Interstate 95.
Penn's Landing serves as the site for several summertime events in the city. The main public space at Penn’s Landing is The Great Plaza, a mostly concrete labyrinth located along the Delaware River at Christopher Columbus Boulevard and Chestnut Street. Festival Pier at Spring Garden Street serves as a venue for outdoor concerts, also during the summer months.
In Hamburg there are firework displays over the Alster for New Year, and there is also a large display over the Elbe. Hamburg's HADAG boat tour company festoons two party boats for New Year's Eve in Hamburg Harbour. Pick the first option for the best up-close views of the fireworks. Hamburg is renowned for its fireworks. There's no better place to watch them than from a boat on the River Elbe. Tickets for the boats are hard to get hold of, so make sure you book in advance.
The Elbe is one of the major rivers of Central Europe. It rises in the Krkonoše Mountains of the northwestern Czech Republic before traversing much of Bohemia (Czech Republic), then Germany and flowing into the North Sea at Cuxhaven, 110 km northwest of Hamburg. The Elbe reaches Hamburg. Within the city-state the Elbe has a number of branch streams, such as Dove Elbe, Gose Elbe, Köhlbrand, Northern Elbe (Norderelbe), Reiherstieg, Southern Elbe (Süderelbe). Some of which have been disconnected for vessels from the main stream by dikes. In 1390 the Gose Elbe (literally in English: shallow Elbe) was separated from the main stream by a dike connecting the two then-islands of Kirchwerder and Neuengamme. The Dove Elbe (literally in English: deaf Elbe) was diked off in 1437/38 at Gammer Ort. These hydraulic engineering works were carried out to protect marshlands from inundation, and to improve the water supply of the Port of Hamburg. After the heavy inundation by the North Sea flood of 1962 the western section of the Southern Elbe was separated, becoming the Old Southern Elbe, while the waters of the eastern Southern Elbe now merge into the Köhlbrand, which is bridged by the Köhlbrandbrücke, the last bridge over the Elbe before the North Sea.
Hamburg is the second-largest city in Germany and the seventh-largest city in the European Union. The city is home to over 1.8 million people, while the Hamburg Metropolitan Region (including parts of the neighbouring Federal States of Lower Saxony and Schleswig-Holstein) has more than 4.3 million inhabitants. Situated on the river Elbe, the port of Hamburg is the third-largest port in Europe (after the Port of Rotterdam and the Port of Antwerp) and it is among the twenty largest in the world.
The annual New Years Eve celebration in Iceland is truly a remarkable event, and the events of NYE 2011 to welcome 2012 promise to be no different. On this unique night, the colourful firework light up the sky and the atmosphere becomes magical. Icelanders truly know how to celebrate with style, and this makes it a special place to be celebrating New Years Eve.
Iceland does not have the restrictions on fireworks that other countries have, so the whole population of the Reykjavík Capital Area (200,000) makes its own massive fireworks show all over the city by blasting off fireworks from their garden or some vantage point. Icelandic New Year's Eve is considered one of the world's most spectacular celebrations with colorful firework and a magical atmosphere. The arrival of the new year is a particular cause for celebration to the people of Reykjavík. Icelandic law states that anyone may purchase and use fireworks during a certain period around New Year's Eve. As a result, every New Year's Eve the city is lit up with fireworks displays.
Reykjavík is the capital and largest city in Iceland. Reykjavík is located in southwest Iceland. The Reykjavík area coastline is characterized by peninsulas, coves, straits, and islands. Reykjavík is often dubbed "the nightlife capital of the north". It is famous for its nightlife during the weekends. Icelanders tend to go out late so bars that look rather quiet can fill up suddenly, usually after midnight on a weekend. There are over 100 different bars and clubs in Reykjavík; most of them are located on Laugavegur and its side streets. It is very common for an establishment that is a café before dinner to turn into a bar in the evening. Closing time is usually around 4:30 am at weekends and 1 am during the week. The Iceland Airwaves music festival is annually staged in October.
Traditionally, Hungarians celebrate Szilveszter by throwing big parties on the streets, restaurants, hotels or their own homes. In Budapest street parties are popular among the younger residents of the city. New Years Eve street parties are held at Vörösmarty Square, Nyugati Square, and in Oktogon. Additionally, attractive fireworks will be displayed from the Danube River bank (Duna Corzo) on the Pest side near the Chain bridge. Many choose to Celebrate the New Year on a Cruise on the Danube.
The Danube is a river in Central Europe and is Europe's second longest river after the Volga. It is classified as an international waterway. The Danube Commission is concerned with the maintenance and improvement of the river's navigation conditions. It was established in 1948 by seven countries bordering the river. Members include representatives from Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Germany, Hungary, Moldova, Slovakia, Romania, Russia, Ukraine, and Serbia, It meets regularly twice a year. It also convenes groups of experts to consider items provided for in the commission's working plans.
The Széchenyi Chain Bridge (Hungarian: Lánchíd) is a suspension bridge that spans the River Danube between Buda and Pest, the western and eastern sides of Budapest, the capital of Hungary. It was the first permanent bridge across the Danube in Budapest, and was opened in 1849. Cited as one of the most beautiful cities in Europe, Budapest's its extensive World Heritage Site includes the banks of the Danube, the Buda Castle Quarter, Andrássy Avenue, Heroes' Square and the Millennium Underground Railway, the second oldest in the world. Other highlights include a total of 80 geothermal springs, the world's largest thermal water cave system, second largest synagogue, and third largest Parliament building. The city attracts about 2.7 million tourists a year, making it the 37th most popular city in the world.
Amsterdam for New year 2012 will be hosting parties in clubs, events in the city's squares, fireworks displays, and an electric atmosphere. Amsterdam is a great city to celebrate New Year's Eve. The largest event in the city is free at the Museumplein, featuring Dutch bands and DJs and a gigantic fireworks display. Each year the locals hit the town to celebrate Oud en Nieuw, better known as New Year's Eve with the famous city-wide street parties that take over the public squares.
The iconic New Year's Eve experience is Amsterdam's own version of the Times Square countdown: the national New Year's Eve party on Museumplein (Museum Square) that is broadcast to millions of viewers across the country. The monumental square becomes the scene of an all-out street party complete with the only official fireworks spectacular in the city. The Museumplein is a square in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. The square is called "Museum Square" because four museums are located around the square: the Rijksmuseum, the Van Gogh Museum, the Stedelijk Museum, and the Diamond Museum. It is used for (mass) events such as festivals, celebrations, and demonstrations and was the location of an international and colonial exhibition in 1883.
Prinsengracht (Prince's Canal) is the fourth and the longest of the main canals in Amsterdam. It is named after the Prince of Orange. Most of the canal houses along it were built during the Dutch Golden Age of the United Provinces. The bridges over this canal don't connect with the streets in the Jordaan. Interesting sights along Prinsengracht include the Noorderkerk (Northern Church), the Noordermarkt (Northern Market), Anne Frank House, the Westerkerk (Western Church, Amsterdam's tallest church) with the Homomonument (Gay Monument), which actually faces Keizersgracht.
New Years Eve celebrations in Bangkok are always massive, and 2012 looks to be no exception. There are often public countdowns at the major shopping centers. All hotels and restaurants will offer special meals for NYE, sometimes with live entertainment, and of course massive spectacular fireworks displays along the river. The biggest of countdown event in Bangkok happens in front of CentralWorld Square. With several hundred thousand revellers expected to attend.
CentralWorld is a shopping plaza and complex in Bangkok, Thailand It is the third largest shopping complex in the world. The complex, which includes a hotel and office tower, is owned by Central Pattana. In 2006, after three years of design and renovation, Central World was expanded to 550,000 square metres of shopping mall and 1,024,000 square metres of complex, topping nearby rival Siam Paragon in terms of size. Originally called the World Trade Center, the eight-story mall was opened in 1990. Central Group acquired the property in 2002 from the Wang Petchaboon group and changed the name to Central World Plaza. In 2005 it was renamed CentralWorld. It is on leased Crown Property Bureau land. In its acquisition, the Central Group's property development arm, Central Pattana (SET: CPN), secured a new 30-year lease on the site.
Other popular NYE locations in Bangkok include Sanam Luang, Bed Supperclub, The Mandarin Oriental Hotel and The Deck by The River, where the major fireworks over the Chao Phraya can be viewed. Other cities along the Chao Phraya include Nakhon Sawan, Uthai Thani, Chainat, Singburi, Ang Thong, Ayutthaya, Pathum Thani, Nonthaburi, Bangkok and Samut Prakan, listed from north to south. These cities are among the most historically significant and densely populated settlements of Thailand precisely because of their access to the waterway, with Bangkok alone having a population of over 12 million.
When: 20 – 26 January 2012
Where: Park City, Utah
About the Festival:
The Slamdance Film Festival takes place each year in Utah at the same time as the Sundance Film Festival, competing to provide what its supporters consider a truer representation of independent filmmaking.
Event: JLS 4th Dimension 2012 Tour Dates
When: March - April 2012
Where: Various - see below
13 March 2012 - Liverpool, Echo Arena
16 March 2012 - Birmingham, LG Arena
19 & 20 March 2012 - Cardiff, Motorpoint Arena
23 & 24 March 2012 - London, O2 Arena
27 March 2012 - Nottingham, Capital FM Arena
28 March 2012 - Sheffield, Motorpoint Arena
28 March 2012 - Manchester, MEN Arena
1 April 2012 - Newcastle, Metro Radio Arena
4 April 2012 - Aberdeen, AECC
7 April 2012 - Glasgow, SECC
9 April 2012 - The O2 Dublin
Tickets now on sale
Event: Stevie Wonder’s House Full of Toys, Benefit Concert
When: 17 December 2011 @ 8pm
Location: Nokia Theatre, Next to Staples Center Los Angeles
Due to perform: Justin Bieber, Drake & Michael McDonald
Event: Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol London Premiere
When: 13 December 2011 @ 5.45pm
Location: BFI IMAX 1 Charlie Chaplin Walk, City of London
Due to attend: Tom Cruise & Simon Pegg
Starring: Tom Cruise, Jeremy Renner, Paula Patton, Simon Pegg, Ving Rhames, Tom Wilkonson, Josh Holloway, Léa Seydoux
About the film: The IMF is shut down when it's implicated in the bombing of the Kremlin, causing Ethan Hunt and his new team to go rogue to clear their organization's name.
( Purchase a 3.4 oz bottle of Meow! or Purr by Katy Perry and have the opportunity to meet Katy Perry December 14th from 3 - 7pm at The Grove, have your fragrance bottle autographed and even have a professional photograph taken with her. Visit the Fragrance department at Nordstrom at the Grove now to pre-order. )
Monday, 12 December 2011
Junkanoo is a street parade with music, which occurs in many towns across The Bahamas and The Turks and Caicos Islands every Boxing Day (December 26), New Year's Day and, more recently, in the summer on the island of Grand Bahama. The largest Junkanoo parade happens in Nassau, the capital. There are additionally Junkanoo parades in both Miami, in June and Key West, in October, where the local Afro-American populations have their roots in the Bahamas.
The word "Junkanoo" derived from an African slave master and trader named "John Canoe" in the 17th century. These slaves were not allowed much freedom and would hide in the bushes when they had the chance. While in the bushes, they would dance and make music while covered in costumes that they made from various paints that they made and leaves that they found. This festival represented the slave's freedom from slavery.
Parades in Nassau are judged in various categories; A (or Major) Category, the B Category, Individual costume, and fun groups. The A category groups involved in the Nassau Junkanoo include The Shell Saxon Superstars (AKA The Saxons), The Valley Boys, The Music Makers, Roots, One Family and The Prodigal Sons (New). Groups of the past include, The Vikings and Chippie and the Boys. In the B category groups include One Love Soldiers, Clico Colours, Fancy Dancers, Fox Hill Congos, and Conquerors for Christ. Fun groups include The Pigs, Sting and Barabbas & The Tribe. The Tribe's debut was as an "A" category group, however, after years of bringing innovative techniques in music and costuming to Bay Street, they have returned to the spirit of Junkanoo, and are bringing the fun with a flair.
A Junkanoo parade is featured in sequences of the James Bond film Thunderball that occur in Nassau. The celebration was staged specifically for the movie since it was filmed at the wrong time of year, but local residents were enthusiastic, creating elaborate floats and costumes and involving hundreds of people. The parade was also featured in After the Sunset and Jaws The Revenge.
Hanukkah, nowadays usually romanized as Chanukah, also known as the Festival of Lights is an eight-day Jewish holiday commemorating the rededication of the Holy Temple (the Second Temple) in Jerusalem at the time of the Maccabean Revolt of the 2nd century BCE, Hanukkah is observed for eight nights, starting on the 25th day of Kislev according to the Hebrew calendar, which may occur at any time from late November to late December in the Gregorian calendar.
The festival is observed by the kindling of the lights of a unique candelabrum, the nine-branched Menorah or Hanukiah, one additional light on each night of the holiday, progressing to eight on the final night. The typical Menorah consists of 9 branches. An extra light called a shamash is also lit each night for the purpose of lighting the others, and is given a distinct location, usually above or below the rest. The "shamash" symbolically supplies light that may be used.
From the Hebrew word for "dedication" or "consecration", Hanukkah marks the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem (Second Temple) after its desecration by the forces of the King of Syria Antiochus IV Epiphanes and commemorates the "miracle of the container of oil". According to the Talmud, at the re-dedication following the victory of the Maccabees over the Seleucid Empire, there was only enough consecrated olive oil to fuel the eternal flame in the Temple for one day. Miraculously, the oil burned for eight days, which was the length of time it took to press, prepare and consecrate fresh olive oil.
This Japanese festival is very popular story and is often represented on TV shows, films & theatre in Japan. An ancient story brought back to life!
The Japanese Samurai Festival takes place annually on the 14th December. If you happen to catch this amazing festival you can look forward to a parade of 47 Ronin warriors and enemies, folk dancers and traditional Japanese music that weaves its way from Ako Castle to JR Banshu-Ako in Tokyo.
Friday, 9 December 2011
The Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race (sometimes referred to as the 'Bluewater Classic' in the Australian media) is hosted by the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, starting in Sydney, Australia on Boxing Day and finishing in Hobart. The race distance is approximately 630 nautical miles (1,170 km). The race is run in co-operation with the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania, and is widely considered to be one of the most difficult yacht races in the world.
The race was initially planned to be a cruise by Peter Luke and some friends who had formed a club for those who enjoyed cruising as opposed to racing, however when a visiting British Royal Navy Officer, Captain John Illingworth, suggested it be made a race, the event was born. The Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race has grown over the decades, since the inaugural race in 1945, to become one of the top three offshore yacht races in the world and it now attracts maxi yachts from all around the globe. The 2004 race marked the 60th running of the event. The current race record was set in 2005 by Wild Oats XI, which crossed the line in a time of 1 day, 18 hours, 40 minutes and 10 seconds.
The longest surviving skipper from the inaugural race, Peter Luke, who contributed to the formation of the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia and the establishment of the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race, died on 23 September 2007 aged 92, the last of the original sailors who pioneered this event. His yacht, Wayfarer, still holds the record for the slowest elapsed time.
Special events for international tourists away from their families are held on Bondi Beach in Sydney. These may involve a turkey barbecue and such humorous stunts as a fake Santa dressed in a Santa suit surfing in to appear to the crowd.
The Australian traditions and decorations are quite similar to those of the United Kingdom and North America, and similar wintry iconography is commonplace. This means a red fur-coated Santa Claus riding a sleigh, carols such as Jingle Bells, and various snow-covered Christmas scenes on Christmas cards and decorations appear in the middle of summer. The traditional Christmas tree is central to Christmas decorations and strings of lights and tinsel are standard. Decorations appear in stores and on streets starting in November, and are commonplace by early December. The tradition of sending Christmas cards is widely practised in Australia. The price of a Christmas postage stamp is lower than that for a standard letter; senders are required to mark the envelope "Christmas card only" when using the lower priced stamps. As novelties, some Australian songwriters and authors have occasionally depicted Santa in "Australian"-style clothing including an Akubra hat, with warm-weather clothing and thongs, and having his sleigh pulled by kangaroos, (e.g. Six White Boomers by Rolf Harris) but these depictions have not replaced mainstream iconography.
As Christmas falls in summer, the watching of television is not a strong part of Australian Christmas traditions, unlike in the United Kingdom, in which it is one of the most important days for television ratings. Television ratings in Australia are not taken during the summer and schedules are mostly filled with repeats of old programmes or previously cancelled shows. Some Australian-produced programs have a Christmas special, though often it will be shown early December and not on Christmas Day itself. Many television stations rerun old Christmas-themed films in the weeks leading up to and including Christmas Day, such as Miracle on 34th Street, National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation and various film versions of A Christmas Carol.
Father Christmas typified the spirit of good cheer at Christmas, but was neither a gift bringer nor particularly associated with children. The pre-modern representations of the gift-giver from church history, namely Saint Nicholas, (Sinterklaas), and folklore merged with the English, and later British Isles, character Father Christmas to create the character known to Americans as Santa Claus. Like Santa Claus, Father Christmas has been identified with the old belief in Woden (Odin to the Norse).
In the English-speaking world, the character called "Father Christmas" influenced the development in the United States of Santa Claus, and in the United Kingdom and elsewhere, most people now consider them to be interchangeable. However, although "Father Christmas" and "Santa Claus" have for most practical purposes been merged, historically the characters have different origins and are not identical. Some authors such as C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien, have insisted on the traditional form of Father Christmas in preference to Santa Claus.
The marathon is from Pontedera town, the headquarters of the Piaggio company and their worldwide known Vespa and Ape, to Piazza dei Miracoli in Pisa, just under the leaning tower. The half marathon starts in Navacchio and follows the same course, finishing in Pisa.
Less known than the Florence Marathon, this is probably the best value marathon in Tuscany: the race will offer wine refreshments along the course where you can taste the typical Tuscan wine. Probably the success of the Medoc Marathon is suggesting a similar race in another region known worldwide for amazing wines. The number of entrants will be limited to 1500 for the marathon so it's not getting too crowded and you can really enjoy the hilly countryside. Probably not a race for a PB, but the leaning tower, the Tuscan Riviera (less than half an hour away), the amazing countryside of Tuscany and a quiet and slow Sunday run are a good mix for the perfect autumn break.
The 4th 'La Pisanina' half marathon in memory of the runner Andrea Mariotti will start in Cascina at the same time of the marathon start in Pontedera (ore 9,00). The start line is on the marathon course at the half marathon distance. Navacchio can be reached by car.
London is to see in the New Year with a spectacular Olympic-themed firework display at midnight on December 31. A spectacular free New Year's Eve party for 80,000 Londoners will take place at the Olympic stadium a full seven months before the Games begin. A giant fireworks display will light up the East End and top music acts will play in the arena on 31 December 2011 to herald the beginning of Olympic year of 2012.
Acts taking to the stage in the 80,000 capacity stadium include Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page and Hackney-born Leona Lewis, in a reunion for the song Whole Lotta Love that they performed it at Beijing's Bird's Nest stadium last summer. The New Year's Eve party is expected to be the first in a series of outdoor events in the park for the Cultural Olympiad, to celebrate the arts alongside the Games.
The London Olympic Stadium will be the centrepiece of the 2012 Summer Olympics and Paralympics. The stadium is located at Marshgate Lane in Stratford in the Lower Lea Valley and has capacity for the Games of approximately 80,000 making it temporarily the third largest stadium in Britain behind Wembley Stadium and Twickenham Stadium. Land preparation for the stadium began in mid 2007, with the official construction start date on 22 May 2008, although piling works for the foundation unofficially began four weeks ahead of that date. Construction ended on 29 March 2011. The Stadium will host the 2017 World Championships in Athletics.
The stadium site is on former industrial land between the Old River Lea (which rejoins the Navigation below Old Ford Lock), the City Mill River, and the Old Pudding Mill River; parts of the Bow Back Rivers. Another branch of this system, St Thomas' Creek, 200 metres to the south, completes an "island" surrounded by water. Two hundred metres to the east is the Waterworks River; on the eastern bank will be the Aquatics Centre.
In Newcastle, Tyne and Wear you can Start your New Year’s Eve celebrations with a bang as the popular early evening fireworks and pyrotechnic display lights up Newcastle and Gateshead. Make your way to Newcastle Civic Centre for 6pm and wave goodbye to 2011 and hello to 2012. The annual fireworks and pyrotechnic display, accompanied by an evocative and inspiring musical arrangement, is guaranteed to get you in the party spirit.
Locals in Newcastle hits the bars and clubs of the Quayside, waiting for the spectacular midnight fireworks over the River Tyne, with the iconic backdrop of the Tyne Bridge and Millenium Bridge to Baltic Quay. The Tyne Bridge is a through arch bridge over the River Tyne in North East England, linking Newcastle upon Tyne and Gateshead. It was designed by the engineering firm Mott, Hay and Anderson, who later designed the Forth Road Bridge, and was built by Dorman Long and Co. of Middlesbrough. At the time of its construction it was the world's longest single span bridge. The bridge was officially opened on 10 October 1928 by King George V and has since become a defining symbol of Tyneside. It currently stands as the tenth tallest structure in the city.
The Tyne Gorge, between Newcastle on the north bank and Gateshead, a separate town and borough, on the south bank, is famous for a series of dramatic bridges, including the Tyne Bridge of 1928 which was built by Dorman Long of Middlesbrough, and Robert Stephenson's High Level Bridge of 1849, the first road/rail bridge in the world.
Large-scale regeneration has replaced former shipping premises with imposing new office developments; an innovative tilting bridge, the Gateshead Millennium Bridge was commissioned by Gateshead Council and has integrated the older Newcastle Quayside more closely with major cultural developments in Gateshead, including the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, the venue for the Turner Prize 2011 and the Norman Foster-designed The Sage Gateshead music centre. The Newcastle and Gateshead Quaysides are now a thriving, cosmopolitan area with bars, restaurants and public spaces. As a tourist promotion, Newcastle and Gateshead have linked together under the banner "NewcastleGateshead", to spearhead the regeneration of the North-East. The River Tyne had the temporary Bambuco Bridge in 2008 for ten days; it was not made for walking, road or cycling, but was just a sculpture.
Thursday, 8 December 2011
The Honolulu Marathon is the world's sixth largest marathon. It takes place annually in Honolulu, Hawaii on the second Sunday in December. The race began in 1973. During its formative period (1973-1978) the Honolulu Marathon doubled in size every year - a rate that has been equaled only once. That growth, like the growth of long-distance running itself, came about not from an interest in competition, but from a quest for personal longevity and an enhanced quality of life.
At the forefront of the growth of the Honolulu Marathon was cardiologist Jack Scaff, one of the first physicians to prescribe running as therapy for heart disease. In 1977 Sports Illustrated's senior writer and Olympic marathoner Kenny Moore wrote a feature story about the race. That article was soon followed by the book "The Honolulu Marathon," by journalist Mark Hazard Osmun; the book was a revelatory chronicle of the then-unfolding social craze called the "Running Boom," as exemplified in the Honolulu event.
Starting near Ala Moana Beach Park across from Ala Moana Center, the course progresses west along the waterfront toward downtown Honolulu, then loops through downtown and bends back east through Waikiki, around Diamond Head, and out toward the eastern suburbs of Honolulu, winding through Hawaii Kai before doubling back toward the finish line at Waikiki's Kapiolani Park. Marathoners consider the course moderately difficult because of the tropical weather conditions, with temperatures starting at around 65°F (18°C) and rising to as high as 80°F (27°C), and a relatively hilly course compared with other marathons. Nevertheless, the race also remains a popular choice for first-time marathoners.
Although the difficulty of the course precludes world-record pace performances, winners of the Honolulu Marathon have used it as a stepping stone to greater achievements. For instance, three-time winner Ibrahim Hussein of Kenya later won the Boston Marathon three times; and 1993 winner Bong-Ju Lee won the silver medal in the 1996 Olympic Marathon in Atlanta.
The Billabong Pipeline Masters is a prestigious event in surfing held annually at Banzai Pipeline in Oahu, Hawaii. It was established in 1970 and attracts the top 45 surfers from the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) as well as 16 surfers who compete in walk on trials. The surfers compete for a share of $320,000 prize money. The event is the final leg of the Triple Crown of Surfing and the final event on the ASP World Tour.
The Billabong Pipe Masters challenges the World Tour like no other event in professional surfing. If 2nd Reef sets detonating on shallow coral heads doesn’t make the elite Pros a little nervous, going toe-to-toe against a menagerie of local tube specialists who have forged their careers courting Pipeline probably does.
Last year there were no trials for the Pipe Masters. This year however, most of the top wildcard options have been awarded to Hawaiians based on the performances from the Volcom Pipe Pro, Van’s Tripe Crown and local contest ratings.
Of the varied crew of wildcards set to take on the Pipe Masters this year, you’d be hard-pressed to find a more committed lot than Oahu’s Jon-Jon Florence, Maui’s Ian Walsh, all-time Pipeline favorite Bruce Irons and Kauai’s Kamalei Alexander and Danny Fuller.
For the Seville Festival of the Immaculate Conception, the local people come out to see the procession of all the groups of student minstrels called "tunas" from the city and the surrounding area, who come to sing to the Virgin Mary. The show and the fun go on into the early hours. The next day there is the traditional "dance of the sixes", where children dressed in celestial costumes in white and gold, sing and dance in the Cathedral.
The Immaculate Conception of Mary is, according to Catholic doctrine, the conception of the Virgin Mary without any stain ("macula" in Latin) of Original Sin. It is one of the four dogmas in Roman Catholic Mariology. Under this aspect Mary is sometimes called the Immaculata (the Immaculate One), particularly in artistic contexts.
The doctrine states that, from the first moment of her existence, Mary was preserved by God from the Original Sin and filled with sanctifying grace that would normally come with baptism after birth. Catholics believe Mary "was free from any personal or hereditary sin". Mary's immaculate conception should not be confused with the Incarnation of her son Jesus Christ; the conception of Jesus is celebrated as the Annunciation to Mary. Catholics do not believe that Mary, herself, was the product of a Virgin Birth.
The Festival of Lights (French: Fête des lumières) in Lyon, France expresses gratitude toward Mary, mother of Jesus on December 8 of each year. This uniquely Lyonnaise tradition dictates that every house place candles along the outsides of all the windows to produce a spectacular effect throughout the streets. The festival, which includes other activities based on light, usually lasts 4 days, with the peak of activity occurring on the 8th. The two main focal points of activity are typically the Basilica of Fourvière which is lit up in different colours, and the Place des Terreaux, which hosts a different light show each year.
The origins of the festival date to 1643 when Lyon was struck by plague. The municipal councillors (échevins) promised to pay tribute to Mary if the town was spared. Ever since, a solemn procession makes its way to the Basilica of Fourvière on this day to light candles and give offerings in the name of Mary. The event thus commemorates the day Lyon was consecrated to the Virgin Mary.
Thus, tradition now dictates that every family in Lyon keep, along with its Christmas decorations, a collection of stained or clear glass in which candles are burnt on windowsills on the 8th of December. These stout, cinnamon-coated candles can be found in shops towards the end of November.
Nowadays, the city's council puts on professionally-run performances. The people of Lyon's participation remains strong as evidenced by numerous façades lit up in the traditional way and by the throngs of people wandering the streets on December 8.
Historians and sociologists note the rather misinformed notions that the people of Lyon have concerning the celebration's origins: confusion over the thanks given to Mary, as well as the dates involved, leads people to think the celebration commemorates the establishment of the Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière or a wish granted after a plague supposedly struck in the 19th century.
On New Year's Eve in Zurich, Switzerland the legendary New Year's Eve fireworks display enchants spectators in the Zürich lake basin. Each year, around 200, 000 party-goers from Switzerland and abroad visit the country’s biggest New Year’s Eve party to gaze up at the brightly lit night sky. The New Year’s Eve Magic fireworks spectacular is organised annually by Zürich’s hoteliers. The spectacular display will light up the sky above Lake Zurich and the city from 0.20 to 0.40. The fireworks will be set off from two specially anchored boats to enchant the crowds.
Zurich is a leading global city and among the world's largest financial centres. The city is home to a large number of financial institutions and banking giants. Also, most of the research and development centres are concentrated in Zurich and the low rate of tax attracts overseas companies to set up their headquarters there. According to several surveys from 2006 to 2008, Zurich was named the city with the best quality of life in the world as well as the wealthiest city in EuropeGeographically, Lake Zurich is located in the southwestern part of the canton of Zurich. To the east are – separated by Zürichberg-Adlisberg, Forch and Pfannenstiel – two minor lakes: Greifensee (Lake Greifen) and Pfäffikersee (Lake Pfäffikon). Zimmerberg and the Etzel regions lie to the west.
Compared to other cities, there are few tall buildings in Zurich. The municipal building regulations limit the construction of high-rise buildings to areas in the west and north of the city. In the industrial district, in Altstetten and Oerlikon, buildings up to 80 metres (260 ft) in height are allowed. In the adjacent high-rise areas II and III the height is limited to 40 metres (130 ft). Around the year 2000, regulations became more flexible and high-rise buildings were again planned and built. The people's initiative "40 meters is enough," which would have reduced both the maximum height and the high-rise buildings area, was clearly rejected on 29 November 2009. At this time in Zurich about a dozen high-rises buildings were under construction or in planning, including the Prime Tower as the tallest skyscraper in Switzerland.
La Festa di San Silvestro is celebrated December 31 on New Year's Eve. Huge midnight fireworks displays celebrate the coming of the new year. Most towns have public displays in a central square but private parties will also include firecrackers or sparklers, too, and will continue for a long time. Dancing is also popular and many towns have public music and dancing before the fireworks. Rome, Milan, Bologna, Palermo and Naples put on huge popular outdoor shows with pop and rock bands. These events can sometimes be seen on television, too.
A great way to spend the New Year in Milan is at the Piazza Castello and the Piazza del Duomo. With the gorgeous cathedral as the backdrop, people come here to dance and enjoy live music with friends. The celebration lasts all night and fireworks are set off as people wish each other a Happy New Year. This is perhaps the largest of all the New Years parties in Milan. There is also a fireworks display and celebration that takes place at Castello Sforzesco.
There are few remains of the ancient Roman colony that later became a capital of the Western Roman Empire. During the second half of the 4th century, Saint Ambrose, as bishop of Milan, had a strong influence on the layout of the city, redesigning the centre (although the cathedral and baptistery built at this time are now lost) and building the great basilicas at the city gates: Sant'Ambrogio, San Nazaro in Brolo, San Simpliciano and Sant'Eustorgio, which still stand, refurbished over the centuries, as some of the finest and most important churches in Milan. The largest and most important example of Gothic architecture in Italy, the Milan Cathedral, is the fourth largest cathedral in the world after St. Peter's Basilica in Rome, the Cathedral of Seville and a new cathedral in the Ivory Coast. Built between 1386 and 1577, it hosts the world's largest collection of marble statues with the widely visible golden Madonna statue on top of the spire, nicknamed by the people of Milan as Madunina (the little Madonna), that became one of the symbols of the city.
Acapulco Nеw Years Eve fireworks get underway οff at exactly midnight with the Navy launching rounds over thе mountains, after which thе hotels and local residents commence their own fireworks, providing an іnсrеdіblе spectacle as thе lights reflect οff thе water. Acapulco is the place to be on New Year’s Eve. You’ll find a lot of revelers from Mexico City in town, with the new Mexico to Acapulco expressway, it’s just two hours by car to this Pacific resort. Wherever you turn, the city is one huge party, from the beaches to the legendary clubs and discotheques. Most of the action is bound to take place on the Costera, or Grand Boulevard, of Acapulco.
The city is best known as one of Mexico’s oldest and most well-known beach resorts, which came into prominence by the 1950s as a getaway for Hollywood stars and millionaires. Acapulco’s main attraction is its nightlife, and has been for many decades. Nightclubs change names and owners frequently. Informal lobby or poolside cocktail bars often offer free live entertainment. In addition, there is the beach bar zone, where younger crowds go. These are located along the Costera road, face the ocean and feature techno or alternative rock. Most are concentrated between the Fiesta Americana and Continental Plaza hotels. These places tend to open earlier and have more informal dress. There is also a bungee jump in this area as well.
There are a number of beaches in the Acapulco Bay and the immediate coastline. In the bay proper there are the La Angosta (in the Quebrada), Caleta, Caletilla, Dominguillo, Tlacopanocha, Hornos, Hornitos, Honda, Tamarindo, Condesa, Guitarrón, Icacos, Playuela, Playuelilla and Playa del Secreto. In the adjoining, smaller Bay of Puerto Marqués there is Pichilingue, Las Brisas, and Playa Roqueta. Facing open ocean just northwest of the bays is Pie de la Cuesta and southeast are Playa Revolcadero, Playa Aeromar, Playa Encantada and Barra Vieja. Two lagoons are in the area, Coyuca to the northwest of Acapulco Bay and Tres Palos to the southeast. Both lagoons have mangroves and offer boat tours. Tres Palos also has sea turtle nesting areas which are protected.
In the old part of the city, there is a traditional main square called the Zócalo with shade trees and lined with cafes and shops. At the north end of the Nuestra Señora de la Soledad cathedral, with blue onion-shaped domes and Byzantine towers. The building was originally constructed as a movie set, but when was later adapted into a church. Acapulco’s most historic building is the San Diego Fort, located east of the main square and originally built in 1616 to protect the city from pirate attacks.
Downtown Long Beach will host a massive celebration this New Year’s Eve with two events beginning at 5 p.m. on Saturday, December 31, 2011. Produced and sponsored by the Downtown Long Beach Associates (DLBA), New Year’s Eve in Downtown will begin with a family-friendly event in the Waterfront Amphitheater at Rainbow Harbor followed by a high-energy street party on Pine Avenue.
The Queen Mary in Long Beach hosts its annual New Year's Eve all over the ship. Your ticket includes admission, fireworks and access to 7 entertainment venues including four live music venues and Disco Lounge. This year's music lineup includes big band, jazz, dueling pianos, a DJ and more. New Year's Eve in Downtown Long Beach is a combination of a free family-friendly party on the waterfront with music and trackless train rides culminating in 9 pm fireworks celebrating New Year on the East Coast. After 9, the party moves over to Pine Avenue where the festivities continue until with dancing in the street until West Coast New Year. At midnight, you can see fireworks off the Queen Mary from the waterfront.
RMS Queen Mary is a retired ocean liner that sailed primarily in the North Atlantic Ocean from 1936 to 1967 for the Cunard Line (known as Cunard-White Star when the vessel entered service). Built by John Brown & Company in Clydebank, Scotland, Queen Mary along with her running mate, the RMS Queen Elizabeth, were built as part of Cunard's planned two-ship weekly express service between Southampton, Cherbourg, and New York City. The two ships were a British response to the superliners built by German and French companies in the late 1920s and early 1930s. Queen Mary was the flagship of the Cunard Line from May 1936 until October 1946 when she was replaced by Queen Elizabeth. The vessel also held the Blue Riband from 1936 to 1937 and then from 1938 to 1952 when she was beaten by the new SS United States.
New Year is one of the most important and anticipated holidays in Russia. While in the whole world the biggest celebration events usually take place not on the New Year but on Christmas but still Russians continue to give their preferences to celebrations of the New Year. New Year in St. Petersburg means taking a dive into the fantastic atmosphere of the city, walking around its snowy streets, admiring fairy decoration and illumination of the palaces, visiting Christmas markets where you will have the possibility to buy Russian mittens and socks, to try traditional food and drinks and also take a sledge ride with legendary Troika.
On New Years Eve in Russia when the entire country from Vladivostok to Kaliningrad throws caution to the wind and engages in one enormous, wild and immensely enjoyable party. Nowhere is this more true than in St Petersburg, a city that has a reputation in Russia as the centre of everything sensuous, luxurious and debauched. Around midnight itself Palace Square is probably the best place to be, although almost everywhere there will be people to celebrate with and something to watch. The ubiquitous fireworks will light up the sky as the moment approaches.
Palace Square, connecting Nevsky Prospekt with Palace Bridge leading to Vasilievsky Island, is the central city square of St Petersburg and of the former Russian Empire. It was the setting of many events of worldwide significance, including the Bloody Sunday (1905) and the October Revolution of 1917. The earliest and most celebrated building on the square is the baroque white-and-azure Winter Palace of Russian tsars (1754-62), which gave the square its name. Although the adjacent buildings are designed in the Neoclassical style, they perfectly match the palace in their scale, rhythm, and monumentality. The opposite, southern side of the square was designed in the shape of an arc by George von Velten in the late 18th century. These plans were executed half a century later, when Alexander I of Russia envisaged the square as a vast monument to the Russian victory over Napoleon and commissioned Carlo Rossi to design the bow-shaped Empire-style Building of the General Staff (1819-29), which centers on a double triumphal arch crowned with a Roman quadriga. The centre of the square is marked with the Alexander Column.