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31 Jan-9 Feb. The Gothenburg film festival, the biggest such festival anywhere in the Nordic calendar, though somewhat overshadowed by its Rotterdam counterpart (see below).


A packed week's partying here. 29 January marks a festival in Yucatan, the Dia de la Inmaculada Concepcion which spreads over nine days and which features, according to the Mexican Tourist Office, a "dance round a pig's head decorated with offerings to booze and fags". Following hard on the heels of this, is the 2 Feb national holiday, the Dia deCandelaria, celebrated with music, processions and parties.


31 Jan. Last chance to see the annual display of 38 Turner watercolours, only shown in January when the light is at its least damaging. Contact National Galleries of Scotland, Belford Rd, Edinburgh 0131 556 8921


29 Jan-9 Feb. 26th International Film Festival. One of the more innovative and interesting of the European film festivals. Rotterdam's theatres and cinemas will screen some 250 films, fictional and documentary. The showings themselves will be accompanied by talk-shows, plays, shorts and other spectacles.


29 Jan-2 Feb World of Drawings and watercolours, Dorchester Hotel, Park Lane. The only fair of its kind in the world where 50 leading galleries and dealers offer original works for sale. Information from World of Watercolours Ltd 0171 411 3166.

QUEBEC City Winter Carnival 31 Jan-16 Feb. A celebration of winter beauty held annually at the height of the season. Activities include canoe races across the St Lawrence River and ice- and snow-sculpture competitions. Montreal, likewise, has its Fete des Neiges.


Several events are taking place in the first weekend of the month. In the coastal city of Valencia it is the Bocairente, or Moors and Christians Festival, where costumed armies engage in mock battle amid much smoke and fury. In Cuenca, there is a celebration of La Endiablada, a religious rite dating back to pre-Christian times, featuring dances and processions of horned devils, with local people attempting to bar their way. Finally in Segovia, another very ancient festival with women in 12th century costume acting the role of mayoresses taking over the city for the day.

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