WHAT'S ON WORLDWIDE

FOOTBALL

12 February. England meet Italy at Wembley, London, for a high-profile World Cup qualifier for the 1998 finals to be held in France. If you missed the whole Euro 96 brouhaha this is your chance to see Shearer et al in action. Bookings or information are available from the Wembley box office on 0181-900 1234.

JAPAN

11 February. National Foundation Day is a national holiday in Japan, recalling legends of the "family of Japan". Commemorates the ascension to the throne of the emperor Jin Mu in 600BC.

EDINBURGH

12-17 February. The puppet and animation festival. A festival of puppetry and animation performances in theatres, community halls and schools across the Scottish capital.

JAVA

"Lomban" is held on 16 February in Jepara, central Java. This is a traditional event among the fishing community in Jepara, held annually for those wishing to earn a better living. There are boat races and a "battle" between fishers and pirates.

AMSTERDAM

AutoRAI 97 runs to 16 February. This international car exhibition is for car lovers and car traders alike, with all the latest models, parts and accessories unveiled. Europaplein 8, Amsterdam (for information tel 00 31 20 549 1212)

MANCHESTER

Running until June will be the exhibition "China - Cradle of Knowledge", celebrating Chinese inventions down the ages. A collection of artefacts has been brought together by the Museum of Science and Technology in Peking, with themes including astronomy, architecture, medicine, printing, navigation and ceramics. Visit the Museum of Science and Industry, Liverpool Road, Castlefield, Manchester. 0161-832 2244.

BARBADOS

16-23 February. Holetown Festival. Commemorating the landing of the first settlers of Barbados at Holetown, St James, in February 1627. Highlights include street fairs and a musical festival.

CANADA

7-17 February, Winnipeg. Festival du Voyageur. This salute to the French- Canadian fur traders of the past is held in St Boniface, Winnipeg's French Quarter. The 10-day wintry extravaganza includes street parties, fiddling contests and dog-sled races.

LOVE

14 February. Valentine's Day, the day of lovers, is celebrated throughout the world, as it has been for hundreds of years. It was originally the day when birds were supposed to mate, and is now marked by the sending of anonymous cards and weekend breaks in "romantic" cities such as Paris and Venice.

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