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If you’re looking for somewhere to stay during one of the world’s biggest anniversary celebrations, read on!

St. Patrick Parade in New OrleansImage: Michaël Sid-Traut

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You’ve probably heard of Kwanzaa, but how much do you know about where it came from, or what it means?

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2012 sees Rio de Janeiro host its 17th annual Gay Pride event, and this year is sure to be a scorcher! Falling in mid-November, the long weekend of partying will help to ring in the Brazilian Spring, which should bring dry weather and average temperatures of 30 degrees celsius (86 degrees farenheit). So pack your swimming costume and your sunblock, and get ready to make the most of one of the most vibrant and exciting celebrations of diversity to be found in the world today.

Gay Pride

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Fans of tattoos and body art won’t want to miss this year’s 20th Annual Richmond Tattoo Arts Festival in Richmond, Virginia.

Tattoo Art Festival

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Since the twelfth century, Paris has been a European hub of arts and learning. It boasts its position not only in France and Europe but also in the world as a leading business centre. However its attraction to tourists over the globe is what makes its standing as a cultural centre.

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The last 44 years have seen Barcelona, Spain, play host to the annual Jazz festival. The event like any other event is organized in different venues throughout the different places in the city.

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When summer arrives, Rome begins to flex its cultural muscles. An enormous range of musical and theatrical events spring up around the city poised and ready to entertain. It’s a great time to visit this most ancient of cities and with such a wide range of outdoor venues and unsurpassed events, the city seems to be brimming with its own pride which is understandable and perhaps a little forgivable. The vast majority of these events are held outside under the sky and this is all to the good as it endows Rome and its events with a character unique to this part of the world.

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The New Jersey seaside gambling heaven of Atlantic City is as popular a destination on the east coast as Las Vegas is in the west. Granted, these are the gambling mecca of the US but there is so much more to Atlantic City than just the boardwalk, casinos, and the floor shows. For locals and the many visitors to the city, the summer concerts make this a desirable destination. Here are some shows to consider in the month of August.

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In the quiet residential suburb of Saint-Cloud, set in the Western quarter of Paris, the residents anxiously await the return of the internationally acclaimed Rock en Seine Rock ’n’ Roll festival. Whether the residents await the return with joy or the trepidation remains to be seen. What is known for sure however is that the festival-goers are most certainly awaiting its return with excitement.

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Many individuals who visit Spain’s second largest city and Catalonian capital of Barcelona are unaware of what a diverse culture that exists here. It is a very large city with the cultural heritage and history backing it up evidenced by the architecture and art on display throughout the city. Unbeknownst to many international travelers is the fact that the city also has a very large and prevalent GLBT (Gay Lesbian Bi-Sexual Transgender) community as well.

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The common meaning of Easter and the reason for celebrating it was the death of Jesus Christ and his ensuing resurrection. Supposedly he arose from his tomb after he had been crucified to death on the cross and later took his place in heaven alongside God and the Holy Ghost. Despite the religious connotations, it is still cause for celebrations and festivals around the world. In Italy, the celebration of Easter is known as the Pasqua Festival and was named after Eostre, the spring goddess of the Anglo-Saxons.

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Held every year in the months of July and August in the area that surrounds the eastern slopes of Mt. Olympus is the Olympus Festival of Greece. As Greek mythology goes, the famous summit was to the god Zeus and the other Olympians. The annual music and theater festival in northern Greece at Pieria in the ancient Theater of Dion. The Greek Ministry of Culture and the Municipality of Dion support the annual festival as well as several other Pieria Prefecture local authorities.

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The Inter-Cultural Festival of Hungary will be held in Gyor, Hungary the 16th and 17th of June in 2012. It is a gathering of groups and individuals from many nations as well as student organizations who promote their cultures and traditions while displaying the cultural heritage of their countries. Costumes, dancing, and folk music are the primary bill of faire at the Inter-Cultural Festival of Hungary all of which serves to bring light to gaining a better knowledge of the different cultures of the world.

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For all practical purposes, the London Festival is the grand finale or high point of the 4-year long Cultural Olympiad which began in 2008 this year and will include the Summer Olympic games in the city of London. It begins on the first day or summer 2012, or Midsummer’s Day as it is referred to in the UK, and concludes on September 9th which is also the last day of the London Paralympic Games. Suffice it to say

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In Iceland, it is called “Islendingadagurinn” but in Canada, it is the Icelandic Festival of Manitoba. As far as historians have determined, this is considered the 2nd oldest and continuous North American ethnic festival. The only other festival on record that is older is an Irish festival that is held in Montreal. The first Icelandic Festival of its kind was held in 1874 in the city of Milwaukee, WI while the first one held in Manitoba occurred 16 years later in the city of Winnipeg. Since 1932, it takes place in Gimli.

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