Travel: Horizontal showers ... Belfast meets the Big Apple ... sell your soul to Santa

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The Independent Travel
5-12 November

Belgium

Ever thought "why hasn't somebody invented that yet"? Get down to Eureka, the 47th exhibition of innovation and invention at Les Pyramides in Brussels, and you will probably find out that somebody already has. Last year saw such useful gadgets as a horizontal shower, a wet-nappy detector and a telescopic toasting fork.

8 November

USA

What do you get if you combine 5,000 eggs, 52lbs of butter and two gallons of parsley? An omelette fit for an army, of course. This giant culinary feat will be prepared in Abbeville in Louisiana to commemorate the legend that, on a march through its twin town of Bessieres, Napoleon so enjoyed an omelette served to him by a local innkeeper that he ordered one for his whole army, too.

11 November

Indonesia

The Balinese don their Sunday best and treasured jewels to celebrate Galungan - the most important festival of good (Dharma) over evil (Adharma). Islanders symbolise this by fitting a penjor, a bamboo pole decorated with woven coconut leaves, cakes and flowers, on to the side of their houses.

12-29 November

Northern Ireland

This year's Belfast Festival is going to be the biggest and boldest ever, with the city becoming the stage and gallery for some of the world's most talented artists. The theme is New York - a tribute to the influence Irish artists have had in the Big Apple. Among those taking part will be Yoko Ono, Van Morrison and Jeanette Winterson. Events will be held on Queen's campus and at other venues in the city.

13-23 November

Australia

The historic city-port of Fremantle, near Perth, goes culture-crazy for 10 days during its festival of theatre, music, art, poetry and music. A huge street carnival is the grand finale.

14-15 November

Thailand

Join the throngs of visitors to the Surin Elephant Round-Up Show, the celebrated display of some 100 trained elephants. Among other things, the giant animals demonstrate their strength in a tug-of-war against human opponents, their skills in log-pulling events, and their military uses in a parade in which they are kitted out for medieval warfare. The shows take place at the city's Main Stadium.

15 November

Canada

Christmas comes early in Toronto, as Santa Claus gets things underway in a colourful parade accompanied by marching bands, floats and clowns. A great chance to get your orders in early.

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