WHAT'S ON WORLDWIDE

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The Independent Travel
Canada

Toonik Tyme, Iqaluit, Northwest Territories, 14-19 April. Annual celebration welcoming spring to this sub-Arctic region. Events combine the expectations of warmer weather with winter activities, including dog sled races, games, costume parades and outdoor feasts. The most unusual event is the sea golf tournament which is played with snowshoes and special clubs on the still frozen waters. Call 001 819 979 4095 for more information.

JAPAN

Buddha's Birthday (Hana Matsuri), 8 April. At Buddhist temples nationwide special services are held honouring Buddha. Customs include the pouring of sweet tea over small statues as an expression of dedication and devotion.

SOUTH KOREA

Cherry Blossom Festival, Chinhae, 6-10 April. The blossoming of the cherry trees brings visitors to this ancient city from all over the world. In honour of the arrival of spring, residents hold private and public ceremonies and parades as well as exhibitions of art inspired by nature. In addition, the festival is used to promote support for the country's military, with special displays, parades and visits to military schools and bases.

DENMARK

Nordbag '97, Exhibition Centre, Herning. 2-16 April. This Danish baking competition brings together some of the finest bakers and pastry makers from all over Scandinavia. Product samples, conferences and workshops may tantalise both the sweet tooth and culinary aspirations of all who attend.

SEVILLE

La Feria de Abril (Spring Fair), 15-20 April. Two weeks after Easter, Sevillanas put on their finest and pour into the streets for five days and nights of drinking, dancing and singing. In daily parades men and women show off their finest cloaks and the intricate lace head-dresses they wear only during the Feria. Special cabalgata (entertainment) booths line the streets, some selling food and alcohol, others offering games and trinkets. Some of the booths are reserved for private parties, though most are open for everyone to enjoy. In the city pavilions the region's most superb matadors compete in bullfights. Call 0171 4990901 for details.

MONTE CARLO

Tennis Expo '97. This international tennis event marks the 100th year that tennis tournaments have been held in the principality. One of the northern hemisphere's first outdoor events of the season, the Expo welcomes the start of the spring and summer tennis season to Europe and offers one of the largest purses for a non-Grand Slam tournament.

SAN FRANCISCO

Cherry Blossom Festival, 12-13, 19-20 April. The Bay Area pays tribute to its Japanese heritage with four days of dance, food and cultural exhibitions in the city's "Japantown", inspired by the blooming of the cherry trees. Martial arts experts showcase their skills and vie for the festival's prestigious championships. Other special events include cooking contests and an exhibition of bonsai trees.

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