Monday, 23 November 2009

Experience the Many Festivals and Events in Malaysia

Experience the Many Festivals and Events in Malaysia

Author: Pinky Mcbanon

Malaysia is a colorful country not only for its exotic beauty and amazing culture, but also of the many festivals that is celebrated by Malaysians. Every Malaysian celebration is very vibrant and lively. One will definitely enjoy being a part of these amazing events.

Here are some of the well known festivals and celebrations in Malaysia:

• Chinese New Year - like any other New Year celebration, the Malaysians celebrate theirs with such vigor. Fireworks and lots of colorful craze are seen. The whole country is really multicolored and vibrant during this occasion.

• Gadai Dayak - the Malaysian's celebration for the harvest seasons. This is to give appreciation to their gods who blessed the Malaysians with good harvest. During this occasion, locals eat and drink together. There are also dance performances by the members of the community. The Gadai Dayak is celebrated during the end of May until mid July. Malaysians are always in their traditional clothing and the elders perform rituals and services.

• Malaysia Water Festival - held from the second week of April until the month of May. This occasion is managed and organized by the Malaysia's Ministry of Tourism. The celebration is all about water sports activities. There are competitions and games that involve water tricks and races. The celebration is then completed with singing and dancing of the locals with their traditional dances.

• Merdeka day - the Malaysians' own celebration of Independence Day. It is celebrated in August 31st, and is their National Day. During this day, all the streets of Malaysia are packed with music, parades, and people dancing around. People are out blowing horns and trumpets making loud noises around their community.

• Tadau Kaamatan - held during the month of May and lasts for two days. The whole celebration is to commemorate the culture of Sabah's largest ethnic group. The tribes conduct rituals and give honor to their gods. There are also a large variety of foods that are served during the Tadau Kaamatan. Residents enjoy indulging with these tasty and delicious foods for the entire celebration.

• Malaysia Mega sale Festival - probably the most favorite event of all shopaholics. This is to celebrate Malaysia's big gross from its shopping industry and to commemorate this; the Malaysia's tourism department conducted a Mega sale festival. Almost everything that is sold in all shopping stores in the country is on sale during this event. One can enjoy shopping with the lowest prices shops has to offer. The country's shopping department stores are always swarmed with thousands of people buying and treating themselves with bargains and discount prices.

These are just some of the many well known events in Malaysia. Whatever the country celebrates, definitely is a must see for all.

About the Author:

Her blogs and websites focuses on stay-at-home moms, dads and students who wants to work at home, build homebased business

Visit her Interesting Site on Asian Travels and Destinations. Discover Asia's Culture and Great Food! at

Article Source: - Experience the Many Festivals and Events in Malaysia

5 Best Festivals in Spain

5 Best Festivals in Spain

Author: PaulSymonds

Spain’s festivals are well known for colourful displays, exciting parades, music and dance. Here are five of the best festivals that Spain has to offer during the spring and summer season.

1. Semana Santa - Semana Santa is a week long festival that takes place before Easter Sunday. Although the festival is celebrated throughout the country, the Spanish cities famous for celebrating Semana Santa include Leon, Valladolid, Malaga and Seville. Local parishioners participate in a parade where flamboyant and ornate floats inspired by the Passion of Christ are carried around the city streets. This festival is popular with children in particular and excellent for families.

2. San Fermin Festival -The San Fermin Festival, otherwise known as the Pamplona Bull Run, takes place in July. The festival lasts for 7 days in Pamplona, Spain. The festival’s highlights include bullfights and bull running. Activities usually begin at 8 am in the morning and last until the evenings.

3. La Tomatina - La Tomatina takes place in a small Spanish town called Buñol in Valencia. The festival is held on the fourth Wednesday of the month of August. The main highlight of La Tomatina is a daylong food fight, where participants fling tomatoes at each other. This event is one you have probably already seen in previous years, on TV or highlighted in newspapers. Even though the actual tomato throwing only lasts roughly one hours this is still an excellent festival and worth attending if you can.

4. Las Fallas – The Las Fallas celebrations start on the 14th of March and last until the 19th of March on Saint Joseph’s Day. The five day festival occurs in Valencia and the festival highlights include giant puppets that are later set on fire. There is a lot of excellent live entertainment and a number of performers and vendors.

5. Feria de Sevilla - The Feria de Sevilla is a weeklong festival that occurs two weeks after Easter Sunday in Sevilla, Spain. The festival is a celebration of life in Andalusia and activities include sherry drinking, horse races, flamenco and bull fighting. There are also carnival rides for children, horse parades and 24 hour celebrations. This is one of my favourite festivals of the year in Spain and is highly recommended.

About the Author:

Paul writes about Barcelona Golf and Barcelona Boat Charter.

Article Source: - 5 Best Festivals in Spain

Under the Tent at the Naples Winter Wine Festival

Under the Tent at the Naples Winter Wine Festival

Author: bruce nichols

Under the Tent at the Naples Winter Wine Festival

A career in hospitality and marketing has taught me, if nothing else, the importance of value and listening to your customer. In my semi-retired role, I write about wine with a decided focus on value even though I constantly struggle with the term.

For the most part, that means I do my best to introduce my readers to wines of exceptional value for the money. Finding great bottles of wine under $20, my benchmark, is doable, but increasingly difficult, thanks in great part to an unfavorable exchange rate that has skyrocketed imported wine prices, escalating costs to American producers, and sadly, the pervasiveness of mediocre wine in this price category. One has to search deep and hard to find “exceptional” value wines. But what about wines in the premium to super-premium range, the $50 to $100 price and beyond? Can value be found there? A growing number of readers have inquired asking whether certain higher priced wines represent good value?

Of course, they can. That’s not to say that I’ve never been disappointed drinking a bottle of wine that cost $100 or more. I have. (Fortunately, it was more often than not that someone else paid for it!) But the fact is that, for the most part, the higher the price, the more enjoyable the wine. Notice I have yet to use the word “better”. That’s a term that over the years has cost me more than my share of embarrassment in blind tastings, as the better wine was often not the most expensive wine. Is a drive to the wine store in a Jaguar better than in a Ford? Not necessarily, they’ll both get you there; but it certainly is infinitely more enjoyable in the Jag!

This leads me to share with you what guests, sommeliers, and the trade were saying about three of the hundreds of different wines that were being poured at this year’s Naples Winter Wine Festival. Vintners and collectors the world over showcase their flagship wines at this event. There were reds, whites, rose´s, bubbly’s, ports, grappa, high-alcohol wines, low-alcohol wines, big bottles, little bottles, bigger bottles, enormous bottles (12 liters!), wines from most of the continents, wines from nearly every wine producing country in the world, wines from numerous states, and wines from almost as many appellations as there were attendees - over 600! But it was three of these wineries that generated the most excitement.

Overseeing the wine service for this year’s festival events gave me a unique opportunity to hear what the customer said about this pageant of wines. Somewhat surprising was that none of the three that captured the attention and sophisticated palates of the crowd were the cult wines, or the super- super premium wines, costing hundreds of dollars. Although given the attention the favored wineries garnered, that could change very soon.

All of the wines from this trio were reds, except for a single vineyard chardonnay, and all were from California. Revana Family Vineyards cabernet, the Mondavi’s newest venture, Continuum, and Figge Cellars three wines, a pinot noir, a syrah, and a chardonnay, were all in such demand that by the final event on Sunday, there was little of their wines left to pour. The one thing in common they all offered though, was tremendous quality - and value - for the price!

Revana, now in just their fourth vintage, makes only cabernet, but what a cabernet! And no wonder. When you start with a remarkable plot of land, employ Jim Barbour, one of Napa’s most respected vineyard managers, and then hire world renowned winemaker, Heidi Peterson-Barrett, to make your wines, good things are bound to happen.

Dallas-based cardiologist, Dr. Madaiah Revana fulfilled a life-long dream when he purchased the land for his eponymous winery in 1997 and set out to craft world class cabernet from nine acres of vineyard. The wine is definitely enjoying increasing star status, but Dr. Revana has kept the price of his wine at a reasonable $100 a bottle. An absolute “value” when you consider the quality of the wine, the success it is enjoying, and the pedigree.

There are only about 1800 cases of Revana being produced. Given the response at the festival and the mid to high 90’s scores by the critics for each of the first four vintages, one can only hope production increases.

A little further south in Napa, in Oakville, another cabernet is being produced that has California, and now Naples, all abuzz. No newcomer to winemaking or to producing world-class wines, the Mondavi family, now in it’s fifth generation, is according to Tim Mondavi, “starting over” with the family’s new venture, Continuum.

A corporate power struggle a few years back unfortunately led to the Mondavi’s losing control over their own winery in what amounted to a battle of quality over bottom-line focused Wall Street. Thankfully, Tim and the family remained true to their roots and are again producing the kind of quality wine that first put them, and Napa, on the world wine map decades ago.

The inaugural vintage (2005) of Continuum, is from hand-picked grapes from the Marjorie’s Vineyard (named after Tim’s mother) and the famed To-Kalon site, which for decades, produced the Reserve cabs the Mondavi’s have been revered for.

Tim, daughter Carissa, and Robert’s wife, Margit, came to the festival to preview this cabernet sauvignon-based wine (60%) and equal parts petite verdot and cabernet franc. Considering the reaction of the audience, the 1300 cases of Continuum, due to be released next month, will sell out immediately.

Thankfully, Tim says plans are to grow the brand to 8000 cases. \

Peter Figge, introduced festival goers last year to his first wines, a pinot noir, a syrah, and a chardonnay, which at the time had just been bottled. He returned this year with those same fabulous wines, along with his 2006 vintage of the same varietals. People jockeyed for position to get to his table where he dispensed his wines and his passion for producing those wines that, as Peter insists, “make themselves”.

That’s Peter being modest. Yes, Peter has a hands-off winemaking style, and although fairly young, the years he spent working as a vineyard manager, first at Girgich and Beringer in Napa, then at Estancia, is where he learned to “read the land”. He not only identifies what plot of the vineyard might produce fruit to meet his uncompromising standards, but has developed a keen sense as to which of the row of vines will ultimately provide the absolute perfect grapes for his hand-crafted wines. This feel for the land has put Peter in high demand with the area’s premier vineyard owners, and as a result he has gained access to the best grapes in Monterey County.

Peter defines himself as a “minimalist, not a chemist”, and he says he makes his wines without consideration for aging, making wines in a style he enjoys, with great balance and acidity. Which means wines that go with food. Judging by the demand at this year’s festival for Figge wines, this is good news for wine enthusiasts in Florida, since Peter has just allocated a third of his wines to our state.

Value has been defined as “the market or estimated worth” of something. The huge popularity and demand for the wines of these three vintners at the Naples Winter Wine Festival this year would indicate that yes, while value is indeed a relative term, customers do, and always will, seek out quality. These wines clearly demonstrate that they are all well worth their price!

Eat, drink and be merry!


About the Author:

Naples Wine News is another step in a three decade long journey in the world of wine for its founder, Bruce Nichols. First introduced to the hospitality industry as a teenager in a summer job, Bruce worked in restaurants and hotels through high school and college. In the 1980’s, in his position as Director of Restaurants for Sheraton Hotels, based in San Francisco, Bruce served as wine buyer, conducted wine education programs and hosted California winery owners and winemakers, and worked with syndicated wine writers, Leon Adams and Jerry Mead.

Over the next two decades, Bruce managed the corporate food service program for a global financial company while consulting on wine programs for independent restaurants and developing and conducting wine education classes.

Fast forward to late 2004, Bruce retired to beautiful Naples, Florida. In 2006, Naples Wine News was born and "A Nichols Worth of Wine", was introduced to Naples and surrounding community wine enthusiasts through his internet-based, on-line publication

Article Source: - Under the Tent at the Naples Winter Wine Festival