What's on worldwide

Throughout February

Iceland

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".

6 February

Japan

"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.

6-8 February

Thailand (above)

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

Quebec, Canada

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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