Here at Active we’re always on the look out for interesting and unusual events from around the world which can be used for prize promotions or group incentive trips. During the long winter months we’ve been turning our attentions across the globe to more exciting – and often warmer – shores, to bring you our list of 10 inspiring prizes ideas for February.
|Mardi Gras, New Orleans, USAFrench for ‘Fat Tuesday’, Mardi Gras is the last day before Lent, where inhibitions are left behind in favour of the wildest party in the United States’ calendar. The streets of New Orleans are filled with parades and jazz music while the nights are full of debauchery. Be sure to head to Canal Street, the best place to witness the famous bead throws which drive the crowds wild.
|New Year Celebrations, ShanghaiChinese New Year is one of the most globally celebrated holidays with countries across the world joining in the two week festivities. One of the best places to partake in the traditional celebrations is Shanghai. Here you can indulge in traditional feasting and flex your mental muscle to solve riddles scrawled on laterns. The highlight of your stay is sure to be the spectacular latern festival in Yuyuan Gardens, a luminous must-see event.
|Battle of the Oranges, ItalyReminiscent in part of Spain’s La Tomatina festival, the Battle of the Oranges is indeed a fruit war, but this one is a serious business. Steeped in history, the battle is a highly organised, competitive event; to join the battle zone you must first be accepted by a team. If you’d rather watch from the relative safety of the sidelines, you’ll be part the 100,000 spectators who flock to the town of Ivrea in the province of Turin each year for the event.
|Tapati Rapa Nui – ChileHeld on Chile’s remote Easter Isand, the Tapati Rapa Nui festival sees two competing families fight for the honour of their representative to be crowned queen. Points are earned over the two-week long extravaganza in cultural events as diverse as music and spearfishing. Visitors can align themselves with the family of their choice and participate in a costumed dance-off, body paint essential.
|Rio Carnival, BrazilRio de Janeiro’s carnival is the most famous in South America. The five days leading up to Ash Wednesday see the streets come to life with vibrant parades, inhibitionless dancers and the sounds of samba. Take a seat in the Sambadrome for the most anticipated carnival event where samba schools compete in the biggest parade of the year. Then join the locals at a bloco party where a band of drummers lead a wild and crazy dance party.
|Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival, TaiwanTraditionally devised as a method for signalling safety to scattered villagers, the Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival originates from the times of the Xing Dynasty when outlaws would rampage lowland villages, forcing locals to flee for the hills. Watchmen would use ‘fire balloons’ to inform the villagers when it was safe to return. The practice has evolved over the years to become a full scale celebration, where thousands of lanterns are released to the heavens, taking with them written messages of the releasers’ dreams and ambitions.
|Envision, Costa RicaUvita, in the south of Costa Rica is a small town known for two things; the incredible white sand beach and the annual Envision Festival. Envision has a vibe all it’s own, combining water sports experiences and jungle dinners with sky diving and yoga. Hailed as “life-changing” by the most passionate participants, there’s a spiritual vibe with a focus on wellness. Oh, and there’s a seriously good music line up too, this year featuring The California Honeydrops, Bonobo and CloZee.
|Sapporo Snow Festival, JapanJapan’s northernmost island fully embraces the winter season during this spectacular festival. Here incredible sculptures are created from the snow including everything from monuments to animals. Previous festivals have seen scenes from Star Wars displayed and even a snowy replica of the Taj Mahal. You can also try out winter activities such as the ice slides or snow tubing, or head for a warm up in the festival’s namesake Sapporo Beer Garden.
|Splore, New Zealand’Splore’ was originally a Scottish term meaning to frolic or revel – the perfect definition for this festival in New Zealand’s Tapapakanga Regional Park. The festival combines live music performances and art installations with glamping and beach revelry. This year’s line up includes a host of home grown and international acts including the UK’s very own BRIT School graduate Kae Tempest.
|Jaisalmer Desert Festival, IndiaUnlike most Indian celebrations, the Jaisalmer Desert Festival has no religious background but was in fact founded as a way to showcase Rajasthan’s cultural heritage and draw tourists to the region. The festival is a three-day extravaganza during which locals dress in vibrant colours to showcase their traditions. There are temples to explore, craft bazaars, camel racing and even a competition for the longest moustache!