The fool Monte Carlo ... Party on the piste ... First fast, then feast

What's on worldwide

17 January

UK

Still feeling festive? The old custom of wassailing (fixing the spirits of the apple trees) is intact at Butcher's Arms orchard in Carhampton in Somerset. The wassailing of the apple trees festival falls on the pagan new year and involves guns being fired into the trees in an attempt to banish evil spirits. Celebrations continue afterwards in local pubs.

Until 23 January

India

If you're in Kerala over the next couple of weeks, you can get a taste of what life was like in the seventh-century Chera Dynasty. The Gramam festival is a traditional event in which locals seek to recreate the most glorious era of their long history. Visiting tourists can use the opportunity to pick up some traditional wares.

Until 21 January

Monte Carlo

Clowns will be jesting to the bitter end at the Monte Carlo International Circus Festival. The competition sees the best circus acts in the world pitted against each other. For the best action make it for the final on Tuesday 19 January.

23 January-1 February

Thailand

The annual Don Chedi memorial fair takes place, commemorating a duel fought on elephants in 1592. The duel saw King Naresuan the Great of Ayutthaya fight against the leader of the enemy force from Myanmar and win his country's freedom. This year, as ever, there will be historical exhibitions and outdoor entertainments to commemorate the duel.

22-24 January

Austria

Forget Ski Sunday and go to see the real thing at the International Hahnenkamm race in the Tyrolean Alps. The 1999 World Cup event is expected to attract around 80,000 people. With good snow conditions expected, a big party on the Saturday night looks inevitable.

19 January

Islamic World

The world's one billion Muslims will be celebrating as Ramadan ends. While the focus of the festivities will be in the home with gift-giving and banqueting, in some countries celebrations will also spill on to the streets. In Morocco, for example, there will be music and dancing for the children, most of whom will be dressed in new but traditional clothes.

20 January

Hungary

The Baroque Georgikon Manor in the Lake Balaton town of Keszthely is the scene for the Selection of Hunters' Flagship Wines. These were traditionally the preserve of aristocrats and each one has an associated story. After drinking the white wine Tokji Aszu, Louis XIV named it "king of wines, wine of kings". And he refused to drink French wine again.

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