Travel: Global Agenda

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The Independent Culture

Look before you leap in La Oratava this Thursday: the streets will be hidden beneath acres of religious imagery, created using coloured sand and flowers, in honour of the festival of Corpus Christi. "The Thursday of the Carpets", as it's called, continues a tradition begun in 1847 by one Dona Leonor del Castillo de Monteverde, whose enthusiasm reached such a point in 1905 that she created a sand "carpet" in the town square, measuring 912 square metres. Today, annual variations on that first "rug" cushion the footfalls of those in the festival cortege as they enter the square prior to the religious service.

Thursday, La Oratava, Tenerife, (0171-486 8077 for details), free


Summer is a good time to be in Toronto if you like festivals. Next month is the colourful Caribana but this month kicks off the season with the annual celebrations of the city's large Chinese community. From a series of public events, one of the most popular is the Toronto International Dragon Boat Race Festival. This takes place within Toronto Islands, the city's verdant playground and thousands of people are expected to turn up and cheer on the 160 teams battling through the water. And, when all the activity gets too much, you can stroll along the waterside enjoying street performances and food stalls.

26 and 27 June, Toronto Islands, Ontario, Canada (0181-877 4522 for information), free


Acclaimed as one of the most fun-filled film events on the calendar, the Midnight Sun Film Festival offers 24-hour daylight throughout its five-day duration, ensuring that film-watching and socialising can be maximised. The festival can loosely be divided into three sections: films by famous directors, the pick of the new titles, and silent movies accompanied by live music. There are also morning discussions with visiting celebrities. This year, Costa-Gavras, Francesco Rosi and Abbas Kiarostami among others will be in attendance, and the silent film is Juha by Aki Kaurismaki, which will be accompanied by a full orchestra.

From Wednesday until 20 June, various venues, Sodankyla, Finland (details 00 358 16 614 525), tickets FIM30-FIM290 (about pounds 3-pounds 32, according to number of screenings)


More than 260 of the world's leading modern and contemporary art galleries will be participating in this month's international art fair, Art Basel, which celebrates its 30th anniversary this year. Collectors, dealers, curators and the general public will be able to cast their eyes over some of the world's most exciting modern art. The New York gallery scene is well represented this year alongside up-and-coming galleries from Scandinavia, South America and Asia.

From Wednesday until 21 June, 11am to 8pm, Basel, Switzerland (00 41 61 686 2646), CHF25 (pounds 10)