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Festivals are known for bringing parts of the world to life; the streets are full of revellers, the architecture – both modern and ancient – is decorated, and the entire event is overflowing with excitement and joy. With an atmosphere that’s almost always more splendid around festival time, there’s no better time than to honeymoon. February offers so many wonderful festivals around the world, celebrating everything from a new year to love. To start a marriage with the festival spirit, consider one of these three.
Incredible China comes alive several times a year for its biggest and most spectacular cultural holidays, but it’s nothing like the magic of the Spring Festival (or Chun Jie, as it’s known locally) to celebrate the beginning of the new Chinese year. For 15 blissfully exotic days, China becomes a new world, animated by the excitement of the celebration. For a lucky start to the year, and a honeymoon to mark the beginning of the rest of your lives, consider planning your holiday in Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong in early February as the country welcomes the Year of the Rooster.
Image by Silentpilot
For someplace close to stay during the festivities, check out the Beijing Hotel NUO for celebrations around the city of Beijing, the Mandarin Oriental Pudong in Shanghai and The Langham in Hong Kong. Each hotel offers world class facilities with luxury accommodation and immediate access to the most vibrant parts of the cities. Either explore the cities for somewhere to eat, or dine in one of the hotels’ exquisite restaurants, all of which offer a variety of delicious Asian cuisine.
Image via Mandarin Oriental Pundong
During the festival, indulge in China’s New Year traditions. Start by eating lucky foods – fish is a must for bringing in money and good luck for the coming year! Make sure you also walk through the streets of your chosen city and marvel at the red decorations and take as many photos with your newlywed as possible. At night, seek out the best place in the city for the fireworks display – and start all over again the next day!
Image by Lisa Redfern
St Valentine’s Day
February is the month to celebrate love in almost every part of the world, but it’s nothing quite like the magic of Italy. The romantic vibe that settles over the city of Terni is unlike anything you will have ever experienced, and there is no better place or time to celebrate love and a new marriage than here. The festivities are embraced throughout all of February, but it’s February 14th when the city becomes the most beautiful. To make the most of the holiday, join in the St Valentine’s Day feast with the rest of the ‘loved up’ couples of Italy at the Umbrian hometown.
Image via Rellini Art Studio
For somewhere to stay in Terni, consider the gorgeous Relais Parco Dei Cavalieri where luxury and comfort meet the charming feel of Italy. Dine at the hotel’s own restaurant and take in the incredible views of the gardens, all while feeling a little bit like royalty in the renovated medieval residence. The nearby Santa Serena and Poggio Degli Olivi offer just as much charm and beauty, as does La Trota, the Michelin star restaurant that’s renowned for its superb menu and luxury location.
Images via Relais Parco Dei Cavalieri
The Valentine’s celebrations in Terni are spread over six weeks, typically starting on the 1st of February – and what better way to start celebrating love than with chocolate? Cioccolentino has been a staple of Terni for a decade, tempting couples with chocolate and sweets to last the festivities. For a tour and tastings, visit their website. Once you have indulged yourself in the sweets, take a seat at the feast where you can either partake in the renewal or sharing of vows or watch as love takes over the city. And if you’re feeling like a little exercise to burn off the chocolate, run for love in the Marathon of St Valentine through the Valnerina.
Image via Cioccolentino
Although carnivals are celebrated throughout the world, there is nothing quite like this celebration that brings the city of Rio to life. If you have been lucky enough to be in Rio de Janeiro during the artistically creative and exciting event of the year, then you know just how incredible the experience is. Celebrate love and new beginnings surrounded by the euphoria of living that only comes from being in the carnival capital of the world and embrace the fun-loving soul of the city for a passionate affair of the heart. Typically, Carnival starts near the end of February and lasts for four days.
Image by Alberto Brazil
For the best place to stay during the Carnival have a look at hotels around Ipanema and Leblon. The Praia Ipanema Hotel and Hotel Fasano Rio de Janeiro and the Hotel Marina Palace and Promenade Palladium in Leblon are luxurious options that are close to the celebrations without being overly crowded and noisy. They are also close to the best sights of Rio, including the beach, and are only minutes away from restaurants like Zaza Bistro and Zuka.
Image via Praia Ipanema Hotel
Apart from going to the Carnival itself, visitors to Rio can settle into the party nature at a ‘bloco’ – a samba-led street party across different areas of Rio. If that’s not your style, there’s always the beach! And not to mention the incredible sights of Rio. For something more Carnival-exclusive, immerse yourself in the Sambadrome, the world-famous competition where schools from Rio showcase colourfully exotic parades. Or look out for a Carnival Ball to dance the night away and watch as the people of Rio swap out costumes for the beach to costumes for the party. Whatever you decide, you’re to find something exciting and new to do during your Carnival honeymoon.
Image by Lubomir Mihalik
Ms Chinoiserie Says: What a fabulous way to celebrate your marriage – festivals bring the cities to life! The Rio Carnival would be an incredible experience!