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Worldworx Travel> Touring> Festivals
Touring: Festivals
Festivals are a great incentive for travelling abroad as they often provide travellers with an insight into a different culture and calendar of colourful events. Many festivals are not set on specific dates, falling at different times each year as the beginning of the festival is dependent on lunar cycles or the changes in the seasons. Other festivals fall on the same dates year in year out. Because some festivals (like Christmas) are very popular, travel just before or after the festival can be very expensive because it is such a busy time to travel.

Tet is a huge event in the Vietnamese calendar and marks the beginning of the new lunar year. It also serves as a birthday for the Vietnamese as all citizens become a year older on the day of Tet. Tet is very much a time when families get together and offer well wishes and gifts to mark the start of a prosperous new year. Due to differentials in both the solar and lunar calendar, Tet falls on different dates from year to year, yet it always falls between the 19th day of January and the 20th of February.

Esala Perahera is a festival that is celebrated in Kandy, Sri Lanka. It falls on the Esala Full Moon night which is usually in July although it occasionally happens in August. The 10 days leading up to the Perahera are a hive of activity. Elephants are elaborately decorated as they lead the procession from the outskirts of Kandy to the Temple of the Tooth and ultimately the chamber within the temple, which actually houses the supposed tooth of Lord Buddha. Accommodation in Kandy at this time gets booked months in advance and even flights to Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka have been fully booked leading up to the Kandy Esala Perahera.

In the United Kingdom, there are many festivals. Guy Fawkes or Bonfire Night marks the night when the aforementioned was caught in the act of treason, trying to destroy the houses of parliament in Westminster, London. The festival is celebrated with firework displays. Halloween is celebrated perhaps more elaborately in the United States although in the UK it is still an important event. Children knock on people's doors, dressed in scary, ghoulish costumes. They cry out "trick or treat?" If the answer is "treat" then the child is given a treat such as sweets or similar. If the answer is "trick" the child may play a trick on the person in that house.
 

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