Festive Crackers: Festival fervour lights up streets and hearts each month somewhere in the world

Following last month’s joyous celebration of Chinese New Year, we pay homage to the start of a new cycle. There’s an abundance of festivals held around the world throughout the year that have deep cultural significance and bring people and communities closer. Here is a guide to the best and the brightest for globetrotters seeking to soak up local colour.

Colour of Water

March sees the Holi festival in India, a beloved tradition in the country’s north, where Hindus celebrate the arrival of Spring according to the lunar calendar by joyously throwing coloured water and powder dyes on anyone within range. No one or orifice is safe from the technicolour assault, which takes place on 25 March this year. Mathura, one of India’s holiest cities, attracts floods of pilgrims during this festival. Bonfires are held the night before to celebrate the demise of the demoness Holika.

Saint Patrick’s Day falls annually on 17 March – a day in honour of the foremost patron saint of Ireland. The best place to celebrate the biggest day in the country’s cultural calendar is in the capital, Dublin, which becomes awash with the colour green. It’s a festival of fun – the famous Irish craic – and copious quantities of Guinness.

The Songkran Water Festival in Thailand has gained a reputation as the largest water fight in the world. It is part of the wider Songkran celebration of the Thai New Year (13-15 April), which is rich in symbolism for the Buddhist and Hindu calendars.

Music & Movie Mania

The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, held this year from 25 April to 5 May, brings 10 days of marvellous music from a multitude of genres – jazz, funk, gospel, blues, folk, bluegrass and others. The celebration marks the city’s roots as the birthplace of jazz. The latest celluloid splendours are aired every May at Festival de Cannes, known internationally as the Cannes Film Festival. Dating from the 1940s, the famous red- carpet event sees the best actors and filmmakers from around the world congregate on the French Riviera in an orgy of cinematic heaven. This year’s dates, 14-25 May, are a must for anyone fascinated by the global influence of movies.

June heralds two famous music festivals, Summerfest in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and Glastonbury in the UK. The former is marketed as the largest music festival in the US and is noted for its diverse range of musical styles; this year (weekends from 20 June to 6 July) features more than 1,000 performances by 800-plus acts spanning some of the industry’s hottest stars. The UK event (26-30 June) has moved to the mainstream and attracts mega stars as well as mega crowds to the muddy Somerset fields. Across the English Channel – or le Manche depending on your perspective – the huge biennial Paris Air Show takes place this month, too, with the next take-off on 16-22 June 2025.

Races in the Sun

The Basque Country goes bull crazy at the height of summer. In Pamplona, Spain, the world-famous Running of the Bulls (Festival de San Fermin) sees six bulls and steers released every morning from 7-14 July onto narrow, winding cobble-stoned streets thronged with brave (or mad) festival- goers – many donned in a traditional white shirt and red neckerchief – who attempt to dodge the stampede or run the entire five-minute course alongside them. The whole town is in a party mood for the week in honour of Saint Fermin, the co- patron saint of Navarre.

Over in Italy, the magnificent Palio di Siena horse race is staged twice in the summer, on 2 July and again on 16 August. The event has medieval origins and is preceded by a majestic pageant that attracts visitors from across the world.

Back in Spain, the world’s biggest tomato fight takes place in the Valencian town of Buñol, La Tomatina on the last Wednesday of August (28th this year). First held in 1945, following a quarrel that broke out near a handy market stall, it has grown into an annual entertainment. The medieval city centre fills with bands and parades, and participants are doused in water before the fun begins.

Autumn High Lights

The famous Oktoberfest is held in Munich every autumn. This more than 200-year-old tradition began as a celebration of the marriage of Bavarian Crown Prince Ludwig to Therese of Saxe- Hildburghausen in 1810. With people dressed in traditional lederhosen and drindl swaying to the music of the oompa bands, the city becomes one huge party with many raucous beer tents as well as a huge fair. This year’s epic beer-swilling lasts from 21 September to 6 October.

Diwali, or the ‘Festival of Lights’, falls on the first day of November in 2024, with festivities held on two days each side of the main holiday. Though celebrated by Hindus and other Indian religions across Asia, India knows how to put on a festival and the subcontinent is a good place to be during this nod to the triumph of good over evil and light over darkness. Stay on for the Pushkar Camel Fair in India, a must-see cultural event held in Rajasthan, which begins this year on 9 November.

Dancing the Year Away

In Konya, Turkey, the Mevlana Festival occurs in mid-December, with the famed Sufi whirling dervishes spinning their way to a closer connection with Allah. With roots from the 13th century, this quite dizzying performance dance is accompanied by drums, flutes and camera shutters.

New Year celebrations at the end of December and early January herald rejoicing the world over, none more so than Hogmanay in Edinburgh, Scotland. The festival lasts about four days spanning New Year’s Eve and the beautiful Georgian city becomes a massive outdoor street party with concerts and fireworks.

Heading as far north as you can get in the UK, Shetland is home to Up Helly Aa, a series of fire
festivals that bid adieu to Yuletide; the largest, in the capital of Lerwick, blazes on the last Tuesday of January. Each festival ends with the burning of an imitation Viking galley that has been dragged through torch-lit streets in a magical ceremonial procession, followed by a night of partying.

Letting Rip Before Lent

The end of February sees the huge Carnival in Rio de Janeiro (28 February – 5 March), a signal for non-stop revelry with parties happening in every corner of town. Streets heave with partygoers dancing to the samba beat and drums pounding amid an array of amazing costumes of feathers, sequins and glitter and towering parade floats. Held every year before Lent, parties go on through the night in this celebration that has its roots in Catholicism and also salutes Brazilian culture. Samba schools train for many months in preparation for the four-day parade which winds its way through to the Sambadrome Marquês de Sapucaí arena.

Mardi Gras is another famous Christian tradition, again celebrated before the Lenten sacrifices. The words mean ‘Fat Tuesday’ in French – a day of feasting before the fasting begins. Many countries celebrate Mardi Gras, rejoicing in a proliferation of exuberant costumes to celebrate the beauty of life. The Cape Verde archipelago off the coast of West Africa has gained a reputation for holding raunchy parties that mix Latin style and Brazilian sex appeal. The traditions behind the famous New Orleans Mardi Gras party, particularly known for its elaborate costumes, date back to the time of the French colonialists.

The Carnival of Venice with its distinctive masks was reinstated in 1979 after centuries of being banned. Celebrating the history and culture of Venice, it takes place over 10 days, ending on Shrove Tuesday (4 March in 2025).

Chopard celebrates the 2022 Cannes Film Festival with a new Palme d’Or

Swiss fine jeweller Chopard honours 75 years of the Cannes International Film Festival and 25 years of partnership with the prestigious institution with a new design of the Palme d’or, the highest award at the closing ceremony that celebrates the best film screened at the festival.


Chopard celebrates the 2022 75th Cannes Film Festival with a new redesigned Palme d'Or
(In this photo: The redesigned Palme d’Or by Chopard’s co-founder and artistic director Caroline Scheufele)

In honour of the coveted annual event, as well as the Maison’s quarter-century-long partnership with the festival, co-founder and artistic director of Chopard Caroline Scheufele revisited the Palme d’Or this year and gave the esteemed prize award a new look in celebration of the double jubilee.

Chopard celebrates the 2022 75th Cannes Film Festival with a new redesigned Palme d'Or ruben ostland best film
(In this photo: Swedish director Ruben Östlund wins the Palme d’Or for Best Film at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival)

Coined as a radiant symbol of unconditional love that binds the festival with cinema, as well as the Maison’s long-standing partnership with the event, the redesign of the iconic palm branch motif features two delicately crafted strands of gold leaves set with 75 and 25 diamonds to mark both the festival’s and the Maison’s long-standing presence in the world of cinema. Both the 18-carat yellow gold and diamonds were ethically sourced from certified suppliers and are mounted on a gorgeous rose quartz base, instead of its traditional rock crystal cushion.

Chopard celebrates the 2022 75th Cannes Film Festival with a new redesigned Palme d'Or (2)
(In this photo: 25 and 75 diamonds set on two gold leaves of the Palme in tribute of the 75th Cannes Film Festival and 25 years of partnership with the institution)

The stunning laurel has been an iconic prize that honours filmmakers from around the world. This year, the accolade, presented by Mexican director Alfonso Cuarón and Cannes president Vincent Lindon, had been given to Swedish director Ruben Östlund of satirical film Triangle of Sadness for Best Film.

Chopard celebrates the 2022 75th Cannes Film Festival with a new redesigned Palme d'Or song kang-ho rueben ostland Zahra Amir Ebrahimi
(In this photo: Song Kang-Ho, Ruben Ostlund, Viencent Lindon and Zahra Amir Ebrahimi)

That evening, the stage was also shared with Korean actor Song Kang-Ho who won Best Actor for Broker, while the award for Best Actress went to Iranian actress Zahra Amir Ebrahimi for her performance in Holy Spider, and the award for Best Director was received by Korean director Park Chan-Wook for his film Decision to Leave.

The memorable event marks Cannes’ 75th edition of its international film festival, and drew to a close on 28 May with a successful celebration of arts, cinema and craftsmanship.

Chopard presents The Gentlemen’s Evening in celebration of masculine elegance

Kicking off the highly anticipated annual Cannes Film Festival this year is venerable Swiss luxury brand Chopard, honouring its gentlemen’s collection with a lavish celebration.

Chopard presents The Gentlemen’s Evening in celebration of masculine elegance gafencu 1
(In this photo: The Scheufele family)

In what has turned into something of a tradition during the festive occasion, co-presidents of the maison of fine jewellery and watches Caroline and Karl-Friedrich Scheufele co-hosted the exclusive soirée atop the gorgeous Chopard Rooftop to honour stylish gentlemen of our times.

Chopard presents The Gentlemen’s Evening in celebration of masculine elegance gafencu 10
(In this photo: The Kimberose performs at Chopard’s The Gentlemen’s Evening)

The venue was transformed into a space that took the form of an English club, a true embodiment of the theme that reflects the classic elegance of masculinity. To set the tone of the evening, with breathtaking panoramic views of the bay of Cannes in the backdrop, pop-soul band Kimberose enlivened the room with a selection of their top hits such as Back on My Feet, Escape and Sober.

The occasion welcomed actors, socialites and individuals renowned for their exquisite style. Besides the attendance of Scheufele friends and family, the presence of the likes of legendary race drivers and official Chopard Ambassadors Jacky Ickx and Romain Dumas, as well as UFC champion Conor McGregor were added to the celebratory air and personified the type of gentlemen for whom Chopard timepieces are intended.

Chopard presents The Gentlemen’s Evening in celebration of masculine elegance gafencu 4
(In this photo: DJ Nathalie Duchêne)

To further elevate the event with a well-rounded sensorial experience, a French gastronomic affair was served to guests in attendance that evening, courtesy of Executive chefs Arnaud Faye of La Chèvre d’Or restaurant (Meilleur Ouvrier de France) and Christian Sinicropi of La Palme d’Or restaurant.

The dishes — an exquisite fare — were accompanied by Monestier Latour wines (from Karl-Friedrich Scheufele’s vineyard in Bergerac) and Perrier-Jouët “Blanc de blancs” champagne, as well as cigars and handcrafted cocktails prepared by Campari.

A toast to a brilliant evening to remember, Chopard concluded the night of its Gentlemen’s Evening marking its 25th partnership with the Cannes Film Festival.


Cannes 2021: Key fashion moments you cannot miss!

Fashion is having an exciting moment right now. The Couture Fashion Week just wrapped up in Paris, the 74th Cannes Film Festival is still on and all of France is breathtakingly chic in couture glitz and glamour. 

After a whole year of lockdowns and restrictions, the comeback of the red carpet is the most talked about event of summer and celebrities obviously went all out with their fashion quotient. From Bella Hadid’s dream-like vintage gown to Spike Lee rocking the most memorable outfit of the week- it has been a week of iconic, dazzling fashion exhibitionism…

1. Bella Hadid

The brass lung necklace which made heads turn!

We love an iconic couture moment. Bella Hadid brought oodles of drama to the red carpet in one of the most stunning high-fashion looks of the Cannes Film Festival. The gold-dipped lung-hugging necklace, the sensational avant-garde black gown from the Schiaparelli Haute Couture Fall-Winter 2021/22 collection, was the talk of the red carpet and social media around the world. 

The 24-year-old model pulled out a vintage white Jean Paul Gaultier column gown from Jean Paul Gaultier’s 2002 spring/summer collection

For the second look, the supermodel attended the annual opening ceremony and a screening of the film Annette in a Jean Paul Gaultier piece looking like an absolute (feminine) dream. The hair, earrings, tulle and train – all spot on.

2. Spike Lee

Living it up on the red carpet!

A refined suiting moment with a twist – who doesn’t live for some red carpet magic!

Spike Lee, the director of BlacKkKlansman, Da 5 Bloods, and dozens of other films, wore the most memorable suit of the Cannes red carpet. His eye-popping, bright pink tuxedo and custom-made Nike Jordan’s and black fedora, was every bit suave, sophisticated and stylish as you can imagine. He’s definitely one of the most fashionable people in Hollywood. 

3. Jessica Chastain

The strapless, semi-sheer Dior gown with thin waves of black velvet is equal parts elegant and cool!

She looked both both whimsical and elegant. Jessica Chastain’s Christian Dior black mesh gown did the impossible – it served goth vibes in a very graceful way. We love the side ponytail, the bold lip and the three-tier pink neckpiece. Mesh and lace have been getting their moments in the Spring-2021 runways of Fendi, Balmain, Kenzo, amongst others, and it’s delightful to see it make the crossover to the red carpet. 

4. Hellen Mirren

The Oscar-winning veteran actress looked incredible in a head-to-toe saffron outfit!

The veteran actress served us inspiration on how to rock the red carpet at 75! She styled her radiant, sunshine dress with a breathtaking emerald necklace and a pair of matching drop earrings.

5. Hana Cross

The model sparkled in her glittering metallic knee high split gown

Wearing a plunging sequin Rami Kadi dress, the 24-year-old model vowed the red carpet. She kept the makeup and hair simple and classy – the phenomenal dress was the hero and it sure did all the talking. 

6. Maggie Gyllenhaal

43-year-old Maggie Gyllenhaal looked absolutely stunning in a wore a floor-length crimped dress with a cape. 

7. Diane Kruger

There’s no ordinary in Cannes!

German actress and former fashion model, Diane Kruger was a picture of elegance in this black Georgio Armani number. The stunning Chaumet jewels were dazzling too!

Which red carpet look was your favourite? We can’t choose just one, let us know in the comments below if you have a favourite?

Cannes Film Festival: Our favourite looks from Cannes Red Carpet 2019

Cannes International Film Festival kicked off its 72nd year with plenty of elegant and extravagant looks. Here are our favourites from Cannes red carpet 2019.

Chloë Sevigny

Cannes Red Carpet 2019

American-actress Chloë Sevigny channelled classic Hollywood with this black silk Mugler gown at the premiere of “The Dead Don’t Die, meanwhile, it was impossible to miss the dazzling cuff bracelet on her left wrist, which is set in 18ct white gold set with diamonds, courtesy of Chopard.

Gong Li

Keeping with the trend of capes at this year’s festival, Chinese-actress Gong Li made her 18th appearance on Cannes Red Carpet for the premiere of “The Dead Don’t Die” in a classic gown from Ralph & Russo.

Elle Fanning

Cannes Red Carpet 2019

Elle Fanning looked like a dream at the premiere of “Les Miserables“, wearing a deep-plunge Valentino botanical gown, complimented by jewels from Chopard. Even the young actresses’ hair was decorated with an array of flowers in a wraparound milkmaid braid.

Liu Tao

Cannes Red Carpet 2019

Chinese-actress Liu Tao stunned the red carpet with an exquisite ivory gown, showing off a deep v-neck and thigh high slit. To compliment the gown’s detailed embroidery, the Cannes first-timer wore an extravagant necklace courtesy of Chopard featuring a huge pear-shaped sapphire, with matching earrings.

Nieves Álvarez

Cannes Red Carpet 2019

Truly earning her keep as the BVLGARI‘s Spanish brand ambassador, Nieves Álvarez dazzled onlookers with her pink gold and coral onyx inserts, paired beautifully with her Elie Saab Haute Couture dress.

Selena Gomez

Cannes Red Carpet 2019

Disney-star gone Hollywood leading-lady Selena Gomez opted for a two-piece Louis Vuitton dress and gorgeous diamond necklace from Bulgari at the premiere of “The Dead Don’t Die“, perhaps she’ll have a chance to wear it again at her wedding to Bill Murray?