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DECK THE HOLIDAY'S: 02/23/17

Thursday, February 23, 2017

HARBIN INTERNATIONAL ICE AND SNOW FESTIVAL FROM CHINA!!









 


    The annual Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival has been held since 1963. It had been interrupted for a number of years during the Cultural Revolution, until it was resumed in 1985.
    Harbin, the capital of Heilonjiang province of China, it is one of the main sources of ice and snow culture in the world. Geographically, it is located in Northeast China under the direct influence of the cold winter wind from Siberia. The average temperature in summer is 21.2 degrees Celsius, -16.8 degrees Celsius in the winter. It can be as cold as -38.1 degrees Celsius in the winter.





Niagra falls sculpture




    The festival lasts the whole month. However the exhibits often open earlier and stay longer, weather permitting. Ice sculpture decoration technology ranges from the modern (using lasers) to traditional (with ice lanterns). There are ice lantern park touring activities held in many parks throughout the city. Winter activities in the festival include Yabuli alpine skiing, winter swimming in the Songhua River, and the ice lantern exhibition in Zhaolin Garden.










    The Harbin festival is one of the world's four largest ice and snow festivals, along with Japan's Sapporo Snow Festival, Canada's Quebec City Winter Carnival, and Norway's Ski Festival.
    The 2007 festival featured a Canadian theme, in memoriam of Canadian doctor Norman Bethune. It was also a Guinness Record of the largest snow sculpture: over 500 feet long and 28 feet high, using over 13,000 cubic meters of snow. The composition consisted of two parts: "Niagara Falls" and "Crossing the Bering Strait" (the latter depicting the migrations of the First Nations).






 
 
 

Construction
    Swing saws are used to carve ice into blocks, taken from the frozen surface of the Songhua River. Chisels, ice picks and various types of saws are then are used by the ice sculptors to carve out large scaled ice sculptures, many of them intricately designed and worked on all day and night prior to the commencement of the festival. Deionized water can also be used, producing ice blocks as transparent as glass to make clear sculptures rather than translucent ones. Multicolored lights are also used to give color to the ice, creating variations on sculptured spectacles when lit up especially at night. Some ice sculptures made in previous years include: buildings and monuments of different architectural types and styles. Figures include animals, people and mythical creatures,there is also some slippery dips, ice slides and lanterns. Apart from winter recreational activities available in Harbin, these exquisitely detailed, mass produced ice sculptures are the main draw in attracting tourists from around the world to the festival.

THE CARNEVALE DI VIAREGGIO FROM ITALY!!!




Image result for viareggio carnival 2017







    The Viareggio Carnival was established in 1873 when some of the local "signori" decided to organize a Sunday a little different from the rest, by inventing a procession of decorated floats which travelled up and down the main street of the city. On the occasion , a masked protest was also organized by a number of citizens, as they were forced to pay too many taxes and as a result the chief tax collector was certainly made fun of!! The parade was liked alot, not only by the patrons but also by the citizens and the idea of making floats that interpreted humor and dissatisfaction of the people and the events that came about in that year.
   Carnival of Viareggio celebrating 139 years of life and activity under the sign of a vivid tradition such as the long – established European tradition of Carnival festivals, is no doubt one of the best known events in Italy.
    Carnival of Viareggio since it was born it has been acquiring a strong touristic value and attracts every year more than one million spectators gathering to attend the magic of the great parade of big floats in papier – maché.
    In 2012, the usual five carnival masked parades are planned for February 5th, 12th 19th 21th 26th and March, 3th, on the extraordinary Liberty style staging along the seaside avenues of Viareggio. Every evening, there are carnival celebrations in all of the city's different quarters.











             Real travelling theatres - the allegorical papier-maché floats are the product of the unequalled creativity, of the extraordinary sculpture and painting skill of Viareggio ‘magicians’, and are the highest example of this popular art whose language has spread all over the world.
The parades take place in a ring-like circuit 2 km. long, on the seaside avenues of Viareggio, best known as La Passeggiata.
    Here the floats move among the spectators, who can attend the show with no barriers, becoming in turn the protagonists of the parade.
    During the Carnival period, Viareggio and his Passeggiata change into a true open air Museum where people coming from all over the world meet to enjoy together.
The parades also include folkloristic bands and performers with the most original masks, offering excitement, culture and tradition in a wide programme of entertainment and fun for children and adults













Viareggio

   The popular seaside town of Viareggio is situated on the Tuscany coast. Viareggio and the resorts "Torre del Lago Puccini", "Lido di Camaiore", "Marina di Pietrasanta" makeup about 20 kilometers of the Versilian Riviera (or Riviera della Versilia).
Viareggio has most of the usual attractions of a typical Italian seaside resort.
    The town's symbol, heart of its history, is the “Torre Matilde”, built by the Senate of Lucca in 1550. In 1601 Viareggio, that was already a township, was declared a free port, and in 1617 it became the chieftown in the Vicaria del Litorale (the coastal viacariate).
    The birth of the first bathing establishment dates back to 1823. We owe the building of Viale dei Tigli to Maria Borbone, through which she could reach the centre, leaving from her villa situated in the East pinewood. In fact, the touristic activity began in Viareggio right in this period. Many men of culture stopped for a time in this area: the poet Percy B.Shelley, Lord Byron, Manzoni, Puccini and D'Annunzio.
    The city is 23.76 miles to Pisa, 17.67 miles to Massa, 29.87 miles to Livorno, and 59.5 miles to Firenze.
    The 3 Km modern promenade, where the parade takes place, is one of the focal point of the city, characterized by shops, cafes, refreshment points and Liberty style buildings.
Viareggio is now a tourist seaside resort with beaches and hotels boast ancient tradition.










    Since then Viareggio has become the home of the Italian Carnival, with its masked parades characterized by allegorical floats in papermache'. These floats are true works of art to which the local float makers dedicate an entire year of workmanship to. There is not one politician, entertainer, or intellectual that has not been a target (protagonist) of one of these floats, which almost comes to life during the parade by the moving arms, opening and closing mouths and rolling eyes. On every float, young people and children find a place from which to throw confetti and shooting stars to the crowd. During the entire period, masked balls and parties in the various "rioni" (quarters, districts) are organized as well as numerous sport and cultural events.














    The official Viareggio Carnival mask is the "Burlamacco", a clown which wears clothes. Checkered overalls, taken form the Harlequin's costume, a white ponpon stolen from Pierrot's big puffy blouse, a white gorget-"Captain Scary" style, a red headband and a black mantle. The name Burlamacco derives from Buffaimacco a Florentine painter and a character in the "Decamerone". However, it is also said to be linked to the Lucchese surname Burlamacchi.

THE TAIWAN LANTERN FESTIVAL!!!

Image result for taiwan lantern festival 2017




 
    The 15th day of the first lunar month each year, known as "Yuan Xiao", it is one of the three major traditional festivals in Taiwan.  It is also the first festival celebration after the start of the Lunar New Year.  Special events include the Taiwan Lantern Festival, Pingxi Heavenly Lanterns, Taitung Bombing of the god Handan, the Beehive Rockets of Yanshui, the Taipei Lantern Festival, and traditional celebratory temple rituals.
   Since 1990, the Taiwan Tourism Bureau has organized the Taiwan Lantern Festival, and this year, the the festival enters its 22nd year.




 
 
 

   The centerpiece of the event is a giant themed lantern modeled on the Chinese zodiacal animal of the year, accompanied by subsidiary lanterns and special lantern areas such as the Hope & Wishes lantern section, the Fun Filled lantern section and many others, all of which successfully display the art of lantern making.  During the official opening ceremony, performing groups from Taiwan and overseas enliven the festivities, making this an event you don't want to miss.







 


History

   Starting in 1990, the Tourism Bureau integrated civilian and local governmental resources to conduct the event to celebrate the Lantern Festival (15th day of the first month in the lunar calendar).  The purpose of the festival is to spread the traditional folklore of the festival.








 

   The firecrackers ceremony of the Wumiao Temple in Yenshui Township was held by ancient people in order to show respect for the exploits of Guan Yu.  Fengpao, is the ceremony to start the burning of thousands of firecrackers hung on  15 to 75 foot high wooden stands.  This ceremony starts from 6 p.m., and goes on until 5 the next morning.  Thousands of visitors attend the ceremony.