Spanish Traditions and Festivals

Spain has many traditions to behold and witness. They are a culture full of Flamenco music and dance, Spanish guitars, bullfighting and bakalao. They are known for siestas and have a more relaxed approach when it comes to work and studies.

If you’re planning a trip to Spain make sure you go during one of these festivals to enjoy the local culture and festivities.

Las Fallas, Valencia

March- In the Mediterranean city of Valencia there is  a week long fiesta paying tribute to Saint Joseph, Valencia’s patron saint. The days are filled with papier-mâché effigies, fireworks, city plaza happenings and plenty of noise.

Photo credit: AnimaNaturalis- Flickr
Photo credit: AnimaNaturalis- Flickr

Semana Santa, Seville

Easter- Semanata Santa is a major celebration during Holy Week where parades and floats of Roman Catholic figures are lined up and toured throughout the city. It’s a somber event but one of great importance to the Spanish culture.

Photo credit: Sandra Vallaure- Flickr
Photo credit: Sandra Vallaure- Flickr

La Fiesta de San Fermin, Pamplona

July- One of the most famous worldwide events, the La Fiesta de San Fermin or more known for its Running of the Bulls gathers thousands to Pamplona to witness and be part of the huge spectale. There have been incidents of harm and even death as locals and tourists try to sprint alongside the bulls.

Photo credit: Tammy Friesen-Flickr
Photo credit: Tammy Friesen-Flickr

La Tomatina, Buñol

August- A one of a kind celebration that stars a tomato! The La Tomatina or “tomato war” is held in the town of Buñol outside Valencia. It’s a week long festival to honor Buñol’s patron saint. There are street parties, parades and a final tomato war food fight that lasts hours.

Photo credit: Graham McLellan-Flickr
Photo credit: Graham McLellan-Flickr

Fiesta de San Isidro, Madrid

May- The Fiesta de San Isidro is in honour of Madrid’s patron. Plenty of concerts and performances can be expected during this fiesta.

Photo credit: Cristina Cifuentes- Flickr
Photo credit: Cristina Cifuentes- Flickr

Seville Tapas Fair, Seville

February- Spain is known for its delicious tapas so it’s no surprise they would have festival showcasing this delicacy. Being the Tapas capital of the world, Seville hosts a celebration centered on the favorite local dish.

Photo credit: Edmund Gall- Flickr
Photo credit: Edmund Gall- Flickr

San Sebastian Jazz Festival, Basque

July- The Jazz scene is quite big in the city of Basque even celebrating it with a jazz festival. The best performances can be seen and new talents are always discovered.

Photo credit: Urko Dorronsoro- Flickr
Photo credit: Urko Dorronsoro- Flickr

Festes de la Merce, Barcelona

September- It’s considered the biggest fiesta in Barcelona complete with parades, giants and fireworks. Include a trip to the museum to see Picasso’s works or a stroll on one of their lovely beaches.

Photo credit: Somewhere in the world today- Flickr
Photo credit: Somewhere in the world today- Flickr

Experience these New York City Holiday Events

It’s always an adventure to spend the holidays in another city or country. New York City is one of the must have experiences during the holidays. The holiday season starts as early as Thanksgiving and ends with the famous ball drop in Times Square.

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

The annual pageant always has giant balloons and floats, marching bands, performances and celebrities joining in on the fun. Every last Thursday of November the streets along Central Park West, Columbus Circle, Sixth Avenue, Central Park South, 38th Street, to Herald Square is lined with people awaiting the grand spectacle.

Photo by: Anthony Quintano (Flickr)
Photo by Shinya Suzuki (Flickr)
Photo by slgckgc (Flickr)
Photo by slgckgc (Flickr)
Photo by slgckgc (Flickr)

*Central Park West to Herald Square

The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting

One of the most spectacular sights you can witness is the lighting of the 78-foot, 10-ton Norway Spruce tree with over 45,000 LED lights. This yearly event is free and everyone is welcome to watch. Atrip to Rockefeller Center wouldn’t be complete with a skate at the Rink.

Photo by Anthony Quintano (Flickr)
Photo by Anthony Quintano (Flickr)
Photo by Angelo Amboldi (Flickr)
Photo by Angelo Amboldi (Flickr)

*Rockefeller Center on 49th St between Fifth and Sixth Avenues.

New Years Eve Ball Drop at Times Square

Almost everyone turns to Time Square to witness the ball drop as we enter the New Year. The tradition has spread throughout the world and it such wonderful sight to witness.


*Times Square Manhattan, NY 10036

Do’s and Don’ts When Visiting Thailand Temples

Thai temples also known as “wats” are the beautiful representations of historical and cultural significance. Buddhism is a central element of Thailand culture. Monks have a certain identity and are surprisingly friendly and many speak English and have kept up with the times.

Thai temples are usually located in a courtyard with housing and small worship areas. The sheltered areas with Buddha statues are known as Bots. These areas are considered more sacred and as such rules of etiquette should be followed.


  • Step over the threshold not on it when walking into a temple
  • Dress modestly covering your knees and shoulders
  • Remove your hats, sunglasses, shoes before entering


  • Never turn your back away from the Buddha statue but rather back away facing the statue
  • Don’t touch sacred objects in the worship area
  • Do not raise yourself higher than the image of the Buddha
  • Sit with your legs underneath you when worshiping in the Bots area. Avoid pointing your feet at the image of the Buddha


  • If you are sitting, stand up when monks or nuns enter the Bot
  • Use your right hand when giving or receiving something from a monk
  • Women are not allowed to touch a monk or his robes or cross their legs in the presence of a monk
  • Treat monks with the highest respect
  • Don’t point at a monk or Buddha statue, either with your fingers or feet.


  • Don’t touch a Buddha
  • Smoking, spitting, chewing gum, or eating are not allowed
  • Don’t photograph or disturb monks or others who are worshiping
  • Learn a few basic phrases in Thai, like ‘hello’ and ‘thank you’
  • Turn off your mobile phone
  • Keep your voice low at all times


8 Best French Cafes in France

Have an authentic Franch experience in one of the lost standing cafes that France has to offer. From the decor to the food you’ll get a genuine experience in any these 8 best french cafes.

Café de la Paix

A Parisian institute since 1862, Café de la Paix has an al fresco ambiance combining history, tradition and modern touches.

5, Place de l’Opéra – 75009 Paris

Le Select

Le Select is decorated in the style of the 1920s, with stucco walls and wooden tables and benches.


99 Boulevard du Montparnasse 75006 Paris

Les Deux Magots

Located in the charming district of Saint-German, the popular Les Deux Magots is held in high esteem. It has a distinctive atmosphere and lends to the freedom of the renowned cafe.


6 Place Saint-Germain-des-Prés 75006 Paris

Cafe de la Rotonde

Tucked away in the Montparnasse district, this cage serves traditional French cuisine such as beef ribs, steak, steak tartare oysters, sole Menières and more.


105 Boul. Montparnasse – 75006 Paris

Le Procope

A cafe that has truly stood the test of time since 1686, Le Procope is the world’s first literary café having had talents such as Voltaire, Rousseau, Beaumarchais, Balzac, Hugo, Verlaine and La Fontaine.


13 Rue de L’Ancienne Comedie – 75006 Paris

Le Café Tournon

In the tradition of Parisian bistros, Cafe Tournon was once a  gathering place of African-American writers and artists such as James Baldwin , Chester Himes , Richard Wright, William Gardner Smith , painter Beauford Delaney and sculptor Howard Cousins.


18, Rue Tournon 75006 Paris

Musée Jacquemart-André Café

Housed in the mansion’s former dining room, the Café Jacquemart-André is the most beautiful tea room in Paris. Just a stone’s throw from the Champs-Elysées and the shops.


158, boulevard Haussmann Paris


Since it opened its doors in the early 1900’s, the cafe famously designed by the architect of the Belle Epoque Edouard-Jean Niermans has been an experience of indulgence and pleasure. The world fanous tea house has a timeless elegance and steady clientele keeping its allure ever present.

Musée du Louvre, Aile Richelieu, Café Richelieu 75001 Paris

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7 Weekend Getaways from San Francisco

San Francisco is considered a hub for artists, business and leisure but even then the hustle and bustle can be much and travelers and locals alike seek a nearby getaway for rest and relaxation. We have 7 suggestions for you to try in the proximity of San Francisco.


A quaint small waterfront town is an idealic place to get some rest and relaxation. The main attraction here are the beautifully decorated homes that align a series of docks. Also worth visiting are the Point Bonita Lighthouse and the Nike Missle site.


Napa Valley

Take in the vast expnse of the Napa Valley which is home to wine caves and features olive oils, tomatoes, and cheeses as well.



Sonoma is a popular wine country and wedding destination. The Gundlach Bundschu Winery is the oldest family winery here. Also highlighted are the farm-to-table restaurants, spas, and parks.


Santa Barbara

A picturesque view is what you’ll be getting when you make a trip to Santa Barbara. Sunny skies and lush gardens and wine country welcome you as you cascade through the quaint downtown.


Carmel by the Sea

A seaside twin filled with art, wine and history, Carmel by the Sea boasts of a lovely beach side which runs fro Pacific Grove to Pebble Beach.


Half Moon Bay

The coastal town of Half Moon Bay gives you resorts and day spas for that rest and relaxation you’ve been seeking. Don’t forget to try horseback riding at Sea Horse Ranch.



The combination of an amazing ocean view, art galleries, hiking and whale watching on the Mendocino Coast is enough for anyone to want to make a trip here for the weekend. With only less than three hours drive from the city you’ll be far enough away to be in paradise.


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