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The Independent Travel
19 January


The nationwide celebration of Timket combines the feasts of Epiphany, and St Michael the Archangel with a spirited dawn mass. Fantastically dressed priests emerge from churches and dance their way to a nearby water source to perform the ceremony. Huge amounts of Tej and Tella (Ethiopian beer and mead) are consumed and members of the congregation leap fully clothed into the freshly blessed water to renew their vows.

18 January - 18 February


Stockholm celebrates its status as Cultural Capital of Europe 1988 this month with the Ice Cathedral - a vast pavilion of sculptures made out of ice and snow from Lapland will be crafted in the Kungstradgarden (The Kings Tree Garden).

20 January - 10 February


In the predominantly Chinese area of Nakhon Sawan, residents take to the streets for the Dragon and Lion Parade, celebrated in honour of their ancestral golden dragon deity. This bid to profit from the benevolence of the firebreathing god, takes the shape of a lively, costumed street procession.

24-31 January


The entire population of Aspen (above) comes out for the 21st annual Gay Ski week which will see the Aspen Ballet Company put on two performances.