Europe Traveler's event picks for Jan. 5-6
By KAREN BRADBURY | Stars and Stripes | Published: January 4, 2019
Shapes in White
Location: Ischgl, Austria
Date: Jan. 7-11
This snow sculpture competition offers the chance to watch the 10 participating snow sculpture artists hard at work on their creations. This year’s theme is “superheroes.” On Jan. 11, the best sculpture will be awarded a prize. The sculptures are located on the slopes of the Silvretta Ski Arena, which means that they can only be viewed by skiers and snowboarders. As the area is cold this time of year, the sculptures should remain intact for a long time to come.
Admission: Single-day adult ski passes go for around 40 euros.
Procession of the Three Magi on Camels
Location: Hradcanske Namesti, Prague, Czech Republic
Date: Jan. 6 (from 3 p.m.)
Prague’s celebrates Epiphany with pageantry starring the Three Kings, who ride camels from the Church of St. Thomas in the Lesser Town over the Charles Bridge and on to the Old Town Square, where they honor the newborn Christ child with the traditional gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. A concert featuring the Czech Christmas Mass by Jakub Jan Ryba follows at 4 p.m.
Admission: Free; cash donations or gifts such as toys or sports equipment benefit local families in need.
Twelfth Night Celebrations
Location: Outside Shakespeare’s Globe, New Globe Walk, London, SE1, England
Date: Jan. 6 (from 2 p.m.)
Twelfth Night revisits ancient seasonal customs featuring unique characters such as the Holly Man, King Bean, Queen Pea and the Bankside Mummers. All those gathered are feted with music, storytelling and the dancing of the Farandole. Mince pies and mulled wine at the historic George Inn in Southwark bring festivities to an end.
Location: Esplanade Park, Helsinki, Finland
Date: Jan 5-9 (5 p.m.-10 p.m.)
This annual festival of light art shines the spotlight on not only the city’s most iconic buildings but also lesser-known courtyards and facades. The program features both specially commissioned new works and installations shown at other international light festivals. This year’s route runs from the Kansalaistori square via Finlandia Hall and Kunsthalle Helsinki to the National Museum of Finland and is designed as a dramatic series best viewed in numerical order.
Burning of the Clavie
Location: Brander Street, Burghead, Scotland
Date: Jan. 11 (from 6 p.m.)
A barrel full of burning staves known as the Clavie is the star of this unique fire festival. The date is a throwback to the old Julian calendar, which was replaced with the Gregorian calendar in the 1750s. Since then, Burghead’s residents have celebrated the New Year twice – first on Jan. 1 and again 11 days later. After the Clavie is paraded through town, followed by a crowd, it is carried up to the ramparts of an ancient fort on Doorie Hill, where it continues to smolder.
Three Kings Parade
Location: Madrid, Spain
Date: Jan. 5 (6:30 p.m.-9 p.m.)
The Three Kings parade can boast of an entourage of more than 2,000 participants, with floats and performing companies from all over the world, including the huge puppets by L’Homme Debout, the light troupe Spark!, dancers from Teatro Pavana and others. This year’s edition highlights the importance of arts to our personal growth and society in general. The route starts at the Plaza de San Juan de la Cruz and ends at Plaza Cibeles, passing through Paseo de la Castellana and Paseo Recoletos. Fireworks bring the festivities to a close.
Website: Three Kings Parade 2019