I recently moved to Canberra, Australia 7 months ago, and besides museums and other things I have enjoyed, today I will like to share my experience in the diverse festivals here. This first part is from festivals that happened between February to September, as you can expect during winter is quieter but spring is here and lots of new festivals are coming for the second part post.
This fest occurs in February, this year was during valentines day weekend, so what could be better when you just arrive at a new city than go around and see all the different cultures you can find here. The mix of cultures from this fest was amazing, mostly is a food fest where you can try so many kinds of food while you can enjoy the art performances on the street. So picture yourself having a delicious takeaway container of your favourite or exotic new food while you delight your eyes and ears to mixed cultures. Saturday was the busiest day and I had the chance to try some paella from Spain, while on Sunday I give a try to Thai food, both were just fabulous. This event happened in the heart of Canberra and is very easy to get there. They just release the dates for 2017 so get in their website: http://www.multiculturalfestival.com.au
and plan your trip to Canberra for a tasteful weekend.
On March the parliamentary zone of Canberra came into life with magnificent projections on the buildings, music performances and a delicious Noodle market. The event runs for one week and most of the events are completely free. Be prepare to walk around and get amazed by the creativity of the projections and you can run into some interesting street performance like medusas and ligth bugs. The first day I went with a group of friends interested in trying the noodles market and as you can image was hard to choose between different types of foods, mostly Asian food, they even had a nice pink burger! During the weekend I was more interested in the music activities, I discover some new artists and funny zebras that were dancing around. Here a video of this amazing Melbourne Group called The Woohoo Revue, simply the best! As you can see on their website you will be able to find activities for all ages or just chill out in the gardens and enjoy the view. http://enlightencanberra.com.au/events/
Also during March as part of Canberra's anniversary celebrations, the Ballon spectacular is one must-do show. Starting at 6 am you will get into the parliamentary zone to enjoy a good hot coffee while you see how the different balloons start to being pulled out. Is the exciting of being there so early a little bit chilly and wondering if the weather will allow the balloons to fly. And after that, you can sit and enjoy a delicious brunch more coffee and some local artist performance. For nine days if you are an early bird you will be able to enjoy a nice and exciting view while you are going to work. Here is their website : http://balloonspectacular.com.au
Beer festival + Skyfire
To end with a busy March, on the same day, at least this year was like that, two interesting events happened. Beer festival, which as you guessed some national breweries promote their beers, and you can walk in the different tents and try beers, ciders, chill and listen to live music. Somehow after this beer tasting, I manage myself to go to Skyfire, an event held by a radio station above Lake Bruley Griffin. Basically is a family event where you can have your own picnic while you wait for this great show. Last but not least….
Moon festival is the second largest festival in China and other places like Vietnam, Malaysia and the Philippines. On September 10th was celebrated in Canberra. This event captured my attention, not only for the image which I think was great as I will explain further but also because of the legend around it. The Legend involves a warrior who gets rid of the nine suns that were causing a lot of problems to the people. As a reward, a Goddess give to the warrior a poison to be immortal. The warrior goes back home and shares his achieve with his wife and for some unexplained reason, they decide to save the immortal poison for another day. The next day the warrior goes out and some intruder came to his house and try to still the poison, so the wife drank it all, as a result she banished to the moon and became the lady living in the moon who on the Moons Festival she came out to dance and that's why the moon seems to be so bright and big. The main tradition involves having a family dinner, admire the moon and eating mooncakes (made of pastry and sweet, yum…). So as it was expected the festival was full of food. The original location for the festival was changed because of the rainy days in Canberra so it was held on the Old Bus Market installations. During the festival, there were different art demonstrations. Another interesting thing during the festival was the calligraphic classes where you can take a quick workshop and learn how to do some calligraphy or if you feel more artistic a Chinese painting workshop was also available. As part of the tradition is the creation of Wishing Well lanterns where people write their wishes and then let them go so the lady in the moon can read them. During the festival, kids and adult were learning how to create this lanterns. During winter I must confess I basically hibernate, I am a lizard! were some festivals that I promise next year will go! But as I mentioned before Sping has sprung! and some festivals like Floriade, Wanderlust and more are just around the corner! So keep track if you want to know more about it.