What's on worldwide
Traditional Icelandic delicacies are on the menu at the The Thorri Banquet, celebrated nationwide - pickled ram's testicles, rotten shark (buried for three months) and bldmor - boiled sheep's blood, washed down with several shots of a potato and caraway schnapps entitled "Black Death".
"Dezome-shiki" or New Year parade of Fireman involves the most agile of Tokyo's emergency servicemen performing acrobatic stunts on top of tall bamboo ladders.
Hay fever sufferers steer clear of the Chiang Mai flower festival - a three-day floral tribute involving a stunning array of northern Thailand's tropical flowering plants. Expect floral floats, beauty contests, and giant flower displays.
Until 15 February
Prepare for a monumental snowball fight with the Carnival de Quebec - the antithesis of the usually tropical Mardi Gras celebrations. Also known as la fete de neige, this festival of French-Canadian Culture opens with the crowning of the Ice Queen and her Duchess, who make a torch-light procession through the streets of La Vieille Capital, followed by a canoe race on the frozen St Lawrence River.
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