Top Worldwide December Events

Well we are here again, the month of December is under way and everyone is already nervous about how many days of Christmas Shopping are left this year. Traditionally December is packed with festivity and 2009 is no different. As euro zone officially comes out of recession, retailers are reasonably optimistic, although the UK is still gloomy and part of the US.

Before going straight into the best Events worldwide here are some facts and legends about the month of December…
  1. The name December comes from the Latin decem for “ten”, as it was originally the 10th month in the Roman Calendar.
  2. December 25th was celebrated in ancient times as the birthday of the “God” Mithra and when Christianity began to take form as a religion to entice pagans to leave their archaic beliefs and embrace Christian theology; Christian leaders adopted the date as Jesus’ Birthday
  3. The term Yuletide (’yule monath’) comes from a Norse tradition of cutting and burning a huge tree on December 21st. It was supposed to symbolize the winter solstice, bring good luck and burn throughout the 12 day winter festival, known later as the 12 days of Christmas.
  4. Saint Nicholas, who evolved into Santa Claus, was originally designated (by the church) as the patron saint of children, thieves and pawnbrokers. December 6th is actually termed St. Nicholas Day.
  5. December 28th is regarded by many superstitious people as the most unlucky day of the year.
  6. The first human heart transplant was performed by Dr. Christian Barnard on December 3rd, 1967 in South Africa.
  7. Snow at Christmas means Easter will be warm and green. This is an almanac prediction.
  8. Many people believe wearing new shoes on Christmas day will bring a person bad luck, so watch out Ladies!
German Christmas Markets 28th November - 24th December  
World famous Christmas Markets like no other on earth! If you’ve not yet experienced a German Christmas Market you should add it to your list of must do’s this year. It is especially interesting and captivating for all the family.

One of the most famous markets is called Nuremberg. The Old Town is decorated in its Christmas regalia and permeated with tempting aromas of mulled wine, sweet roasted almonds, Nuremberg sausages and gingerbread, thus creating an unforgettable atmosphere. The Christkindlesmarkt lies right at the heart of the city which is steeped in more than 400 years of tradition, providing an international showcase for all Franconian and German Christmas Markets.

Further information:
Tübingen, Germany ChocolART 1st - 6th December
Imagine this; participating in a chocolate-making course followed by a tasting  session! Yum Yum workshops Galore learn the sweet Art of chocolate decorating. If it all sounds a bit much for you try out the relaxing, endorphin releasing and truly delicious Chocolate Massage! That’s the ChocolART Festival in a nutshell and best of its entire all FREE!

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Livigno Resort, Sondrio, Italy Art in Ice 3nd - 6th December
Livigno hosts the annual international Art in Ice competition, where 10 teams of 3 sculptors compete to transform 3-meter blocks of pressed snow into works of Italian Ice Art. Artists the world over head for the Festival to create these fascinating mono-color artworks. The event strives for purity and simplicity, with strict rules on the dimensions of the 3 square meter snow blocks and banning of chainsaws, other electrical cutting tools and all means of coloring the snow

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Museum of the Romanian Peasant, Bucharest, Romania Winter Gifts Festival 4th - 6th December 
Marking the start of the festive season, the Winter Gift Festival at the Museum of The Romanian Peasant in Bucharest features the work of roughly 150 local artists. Objects for sale range from traditional wood and pottery items to decorative rugs and hand-made jewellery. A great place to seek an original Christmas present.

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Covent Garden Piazza, London, England Great Christmas Pudding Race 5th December
"Seasonal Silliness" The 29th annual Great Christmas Pudding Race will be taking place at Covent Garden Market in London on December 5th. Participants will take part in a relay race where they will have to navigate an obstacle course at speed, whilst carrying a Christmas pudding on a tray. A good laugh is expected for all to see some weird and wacky sights!

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Ponzano Romano, Italy Spinster Festival 6th December
How about this for something a little different! Representatives of the local council collect names of all the unmarried women between the ages of 18 and 34. Names are put into a container and then later in the day one name is selected as the winner receives a symbolic dowry and the best wishes of the council to find a Husband soon! A gastronomic event is also held at the same time offering local delicacies and not only men.

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London England A Celebration of Christmas 15th December
The festive season is celebrated in magnificent style this year with a number of services featuring Christmas carols at the majestic St Pauls Cathedral. Songs performed by the Cathedral Choir as well as readings by celebrities will feature at the Celebration of Christmas special service. Starting at 6.30pm on Tuesday 15th December, this popular event promises to be a spectacular part of the season of Christmas carols at St Pauls Cathedral.
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Cyprus Larnaka The Sleeping Beauty 18th December

The Russian State Ballet consisting of 40 excellent dancers presents the 19th century masterpiece of the Russian Imperial Ballet. This work combines the ingenious choreography of Marius Petipa and the awe inspiring work of Pyotr Tchaikovsky.

The Russian State Ballet was established in 1993 by the much awarded artist Valery Lantratov, a dancer well known for his exceptional technique and pleasant personality. He was one of the dancers in the troupe of Rudolf Nureyev and in the ballet companies of Maya Pliseckoj, Vladimira Vasilieva and Ekaterina Maximova.

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Titlis Glacier FIS Ski-Jumping World Cup Engelberg 19th - 20th December
The FIS Ski-Jumping World Cup sees the best in the world compete for the most coveted title outside of the Olympic Games. This date welcomes the competition to the spectacular Titlis Glacier in the Swiss Alpine resort of Engelberg.

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France Nice Christmas Swim 20th December
If a December dip in the Mediterranean is your idea of bracing fun, join the foolhardy swimmers at Nice's annual Christmas Swim (Bain de Noël). The swim departs from the Ruhl beach, in full view of the Promenade des Anglais. With average water temperatures hitting a goose-bump-inducing 15 degrees Celsius in December, a swim in the Mediterranean at this time of year is likely to demand the use of a wetsuit or a severe dose of courage. If you're armed with either, you are more than welcome to join the group of iron-willed swimmers who make this Christmas dip an annual tradition.

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So there you have it a fantastic array of December treats in the Northern Hemisphere!

Happy Christmas from the Perpetual Traveller Team!

Sharon Mckinley
Perpetual Traveller