Sunday, 22 November 2009

Witness the True Colours of London - City of London Festival

Culturally diverse and known as a traveler friendly city world over, London is fast earning a reputation of being a city of all races. While the classical architecture gives it a personality of its own, London has a certain elegance and class that most of us have known to expect from a city rich in culture and history.

Ranging from classical dances to grand scale orchestra performances, the City of London Festival stands out as one of the most prestigious and glamorous cultural festivals in the world. Unlike other cultural shows the City of London Festival does not confine itself to any sort of limitations. Founded in 1962 as a means of revitalizing the cultural vibrancy of London, this festival has many facets to it. Depending on the scale and the genre of the performance the venues too float to various parts of the city accordingly.

Although it is known for its indigenously English cultural value, this festival does not forget the large immigrant population that adds colour to its city and has a special place for them at this mega cultural event. The 'trading place' theme as its known gives the festival an international touch and certainly adds to its vibrancy. This festive season also involves a series of arts projects dispersed along the schools and community groups in the city. These events too have a special place in the City of London Festival as they are born from the local creativity and imagination of the people.

Lovers of the arts, of any energy level are sure to find this event an experience of a lifetime. During the three weeks of festivities audiences will be treated to seeing over a hundred and fifty performances in total of which most are free. Performances may vary from experienced soloists singing timeless classics to young, upcoming artists dancing with nothing but raw talent and the exuberance of youth.

While the essential purpose of this festival is to entertain travelers and the residents of this wonderful city, it does not fail to the capture the hearts and minds of fans around the world. To feel the true spirit of London be sure to catch at least a performance or two at the City of London Festival next time you are enjoying an English summer at a London hotel.

Visitors that have a London luxury hotel in mind for their next vacation would find The Langham Hotel London as one of the better options to choose from.

Pushpitha Wijesinghe is an experienced independent freelance writer. He specializes in providing a wide variety of content and articles related to the travel hospitality industry.

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Festival Season in Chiang Mai Thailand

Chiang Mai is famous for big, colorful, extravagant festivals. They can last several days and attract huge crowds from abroad and from all over Thailand. Hotels fill to capacity, traffic slows to a crawl, train tickets to and from Chiang Mai sell out weeks in advance. Thousands of people get involved in decorating the city, putting up stages, setting up competitions, float parades and lots of entertainment.

The season kicks off in November with the Loi Krathong festival, a three day event, which has its origins in making offerings to the water spirits by placing little floats in the river. Leaves are sewn together to form little floats, filled with flowers, incense and candles. Before they are placed in the water, people pray and make wishes which are supposed to be granted by the spirits of the water.

Another part of the festival is the releasing of fire balloons. Again people make wishes before they send up the balloons into the night sky which fills up with hundreds and thousands of soaring lights. The wind sometimes plays havoc with the burning lanterns and every year some buildings burn down when the fire balloons fail to rise.

Big fireworks paint the sky at night with colorful illuminations. On top of that tens of thousands of people shoot off fireworks in all directions, meaning that little rockets and firecrackers are constantly whizzing by your face. Especially the kids are happily involved, and accidents are bound to happen.

During the day there are balloon competitions. The teams sew together giant balloons and send them up into the sky. Many of them release fireworks while they are rising. During all this exciting activity there is the deafening sound of announcers who never stop talking for a second and broadcast their comments through huge speakers at top volume. If they ever run out of things to say, they blast music out of the speaker towers again at top volume just to make sure that there is never a quiet moment.

The Ping river of Chiang Mai has its share of fun activities during the festival. There are inner tube races, stages with artistic performances, and dinner boats gliding by. After sunset the river is lit up by thousands of little floats with burning candles and wafting incense. Vendors and spectators line the river banks by the thousands to watch, profit from and participate in all the events.

There is also an unusual diving competition. Once there was a war between Thailand and Burma. It was decided that the outcome would be determined by divers who would stay under water as long as possible. If the Thais would win, the Burmese army had to leave. One Thai diver tied himself to a rock at the bottom of the river and sacrificed his life for his country. He was the winner since he stayed under water permanently and the Burmese left. This event is commemorated during the Loi Krathong festival by divers who compete how long they can stay under water. This year the winner managed to hold his breath for over three minutes.

Dancing and singing competitions take place with beautifully dressed women performing on a huge stage. Thais love to sing and many of them are quite talented and have beautiful voices. Many Thai women are naturally very graceful which they express in their traditional dances which are beautiful, gentle, and flowing.

The biggest event at night is a parade of beautifully crafted and decorated floats, all with different themes. Along with the truly spectacular floats are processions of traditionally dressed dancers, drummers, martial artists, fire dancers, and groups representing various aspects of life in Thailand. The procession lasts for several hours and winds its way through the heart of Chiang Mai while burning balloons light up the sky, fireworks crackle, and countless loudspeakers blast messages and music, all in a symphony of noise, color, excitement, extravaganza, and amazement.

Loi Krathong is one of the most colorful and spectacular events in Thailand. It is celebrated in other areas, but nothing comes close to Chiang Mai's event. This festival alone is worth a visit to Thailand.

Shama Kern practices and teaches Thai massage and other Asian therapies. He lives in Thailand and shares his knowledge of the culture, natural beauty and healing arts of his adopted home country through writing, photography, and video. He also conducts specialty tours of Thailand.


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Enjoy Lunch Parties With the Help of Lunch Catering Services

As everybody today leads a very hectic life and is stuck with odd working hours, occasions and festivals turn out to be a great relief. During festival time, you meet your friends and relatives and get - together to celebrate and enjoy the occasion. A party that appears to be the most essential gathering helps you to disassociate from the hectic and busy corporate lifestyle. Now we would all admit that be it any celebration, any occasion, any business party or any festival, its success completely depends on good food. Here the catering services play a key role. The dinner and lunch catering are two important aspect of any party. While planning your wedding parties it is not enough to just take care of the attire, the wedding hall, or the jewelers, there is something very important that needs your attention and planning. That is the catering services of your party and you have to be very particular about it. Healthy and delicious food can win many hearts but at the same time, it can disappoint the same crowd of guests. Therefore, in wedding functions and other ceremonies, lunch catering is an important aspect. In your life, there are many occasions, which call for a celebration, and food is something you cannot skip at any cost.

Corporate Functions / Lunch

The hectic and busy corporate life drains you of your productivity and energy. One has to incessantly work to make both ends meet these days. Owing to this, a large no. of lunch caterers offer nutritional value package for various corporate lunches. These lunch catering services include a balanced range of nutritious, mouth watering and sumptuous dishes. These lunch providers use fresh ingredients to ensure good taste and to avoid any complaints.

Brunch party

These days' people are involved in organizing brunch or lunch parties. This is one of the most preferable options because most of the people do not have spare time after working hours. Besides this, we also like to spend some light moments with our colleagues and friends with a light & healthy food and this is where the lunch catering industry is gradually flourishing. With their delicious lunch package and cuisine, they are all ready to serve you at your brunch parties or business lunches. They offer you the best lunch buffet and fresh lunches.

Menu range
Savory platter
Snacks & wraps
Boxed salad
Breakfast buffet
Sandwich platter
Corporate menus
Soups & drinks

Many lunch catering services offer pre - made lunch packets and lunch box. There is no need to sleep late at night or wake up early to prepare lunch for the occasion. These days, when all of us are in dearth of time, these lunch catering services are one of the best options for all the working people.

These lunch caterers have coordinators who help you in deciding the menu. They arrange your parties with perfection.

For any help on lunch catering, check out the info available online; these will help you learn to find the lunch catering!

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