There are some amazing events on tap all over the world, all the time. Here’s a taste of what you can see and do in December:

  • Ring in 2014 with thousands of your closest friends for three days at Edinburgh‘s Hogmanay (December 30-January 1). Scotland’s biggest New Year’s party features music, dancing, fireworks, and general merriment–topped off with an icy group plunge in the River Forth. This festival is definitely bucket-list worthy.
  • Soak up the international art scene at Art Basel in Miami Beach (December 5-8), an annual show that highlights more than 250 acclaimed galleries–and stand-out works created by rising stars–from the world over. Panel discussions, ambitious installations, film screenings, and live performances round out the always edgy program.

    Art Basel provides an annual showcase for contemporary art in Switzerland and Hong Kong in addition to Miami Beach. (Photograph by Andy Pixel, Flickr)

    Art Basel provides an annual showcase for contemporary art in Switzerland and Hong Kong in addition to Miami Beach. (Photograph by Andy Pixel, Flickr)

  • Thaw out your winter chill by heading to the second annual Cozumel Scuba Fest (December 12-15), where divers from all over the world salute the Mexican island’s unique marine life and honor leaders in the field of ocean conservation. There are plenty of activities for landlubbers as well, including a gourmet food festival, stimulating lectures, and a gala dinner.
  • Start being nice, or else. It’s almost time for Krampusfest (December 5-21) in L.A., a sprawling celebration dedicated to the beast-like creature from Alpine folklore that plays bad cop to the munificent St. Nicholas during the Yule season. Highlights include performances by a troupe of Krampuses, a costumed run, and a ball–all culminating with a grand finale, the Krampus Rumpus, on the night of the winter solstice.
  • Toast the spirits of the season with a pint of craft beer at the 18th annual Holiday Ale Festival (December 4-8) in Portland, Oregon. From Belgians to Barleywines to Stouts and Sours, more than 50 incredible brews will be available to sample–including a few you can’t find anywhere else.

    A band of Krampuses on parade in Graz, Austria. The folklore surrounding the beast-like figures originated in the Alpine region. (Photograph by alexanderkoch, Flickr)

    A band of Krampuses on parade in Graz, Austria. The folklore surrounding the beast-like figures originated in the Alpine region. (Photograph by alexanderkoch, Flickr)

  • Pay homage to the “nomadic soul.” Travel to Cirque du Soleil’s birthplace, Montreal, to take in a performance of Varekai (December 20-30), a word that means “wherever” in the Romany language. Let yourself disappear into the elaborate enchanted forest set as acrobatic virtuosos spin the tale of what became of the Greek god Icarus after he collided with the sun.
  • Usher in the new year on a positive note at Hagoita-Ichi (December 17-19) in Tokyo‘s Asakusa district. The traditional festival, which takes place at Sensōji, the city’s oldest temple, features scores of open-air stalls peddling hagoita, decorative wooden paddles thought to bring good luck to their owners.
  • Witness an English town transform into a winter wonderland at the annual Festival of Angels (December 14-15) in York. Complete with impressive ice sculptures, craft stalls, and street entertainment, this festive jubilee is guaranteed to deliver a magical experience at an even more magical price: Free.

    A gargoyle ice sculpture at the Festival of Angels in York (Photograph by Allan Rostron, Flickr)

    A gargoyle ice sculpture at the Festival of Angels in York (Photograph by Allan Rostron, Flickr)

  • Looking for the perfect holiday gift? Get into the spirit with a shopping trip to Auckland’s 12 days of Christmas markets (December 2-12). Shoppers will escape into a winter wonderland patterned after the famous Christmas markets in Europe, complete with all the classic winter fare that goes along with them (think mulled wine and German sausages).
  • Get a taste for different cultures at the Hornbill Festival in Nagaland, a hilly region in northeast India known for the unique customs of its many tribes. In addition to admiring handicrafts and taking in musical and dance performances, festival-goers can sample Bhoot Jholakia, “the hottest chili in the world.”

What would you add to the list? Let us know what we’re missing by leaving a comment.

Comments

  1. Rahel Avila Guzman
    Acapulco, México
    December 11, 2013, 8:39 am

    You are definitely missing Acapulco’s New Year’s Eve fireworks Gala…. It’s just amazing and massive with more than 90,000 fireworks all over the bay and 20,000 Chinese paper lanterns will be lit up to the sky with New Years resolutions… Trying to set a new Guinness record. That’s a true must, and of course it is free and unforgettable entertainment.

  2. belen
    quito
    December 10, 2013, 7:26 pm

    I find it very interesting to know how people spend their time during this month in other parts of the world. Personally, during this time of the year in my country, Ecuador, we prefer to spend time at home and prepare for the festivities. As I live in Quito, Ecuador’s capital city, me and my family also celebrate Quito’s independence date apart from Christmas and New Year.

  3. wiksadana
    jakarta
    December 10, 2013, 9:33 am

    The ison comet event at 26 November. Please tell me when can we see the comet from Jakarta #time