What's on worldwide: Greek mad hatters ... Russian clowns ... Naked Japanese ...

Until 17 January

Canada

The Russian Clowning Genius, Slava Polunin, is performing at the Royal Alexandra Theatre in Toronto. His acclaimed show fuses surreal and comic humour, displaying moments of poignancy, tenderness and laughter as in the best Russian circus tradition. Call 0171-734 4555 for tickets.

Until 22 January

Australia

Sick of winter already? Sail in the sunshine to the world's largest sailing event, the 1999 World Championships, held at Port Philip in Melbourne. They will feature individual sailing championships for Olympic and international sailing classes, the Port Philip Regatta for keelboats as well as conference and exhibition events.

Until 26 January

Australia

The Sydney festival is an arts orgy; dance, music, theatre, visual arts. Some of the main events this year include the Netherlands Opera and the Young Victorian Theatre Company's acclaimed version of Grimm's Tales. As usual, there will be a galaxy of free attractions in the Darling Harbour area, with a number of concerts scheduled in the forecourt of the Opera House around the Rocks. Cinema buffs should pack a picnic and a case of chilled stubbies and head for Sydney's Centennial Park where, Tuesdays to Sundays until 14 February, a selection of classic and contemporary films will be shown.

Until 15 March

Budapest

Throughout the next couple of months, weather permitting, courting couples will take to the ice as Budapest's main open-air ice rink takes up its annual residency in the City Park. The outdoor rink, overlooked by Vajdahunyad Castle, is the traditional place for Hungarian families, school children and amorous teenagers to disport themselves during winter months. Parents and chaperones watch from the safety of the bar while Uncle Pretzel skates along selling his salty wares.

11 January

Singapore

If gaudy interpretations of Chinese legends are your thing, then head for Singapore's mythological theme park, Haw Par Villa, tomorrow. Visitors can expect statues depicting such gruesome scenes as the Ten Courts of Hell, where sinners receive gory retribution for past errors, and the Moral Lessons aisle, featuring unhappy endings for those who indulge in gambling, wine, women and song.

14 January

Japan

Doya Doya is billed in Osaka as a "huge naked festival". Despite sounding like a giant Japanese love-in, this event is actually a serious competition between young Japanese men and it marks the climax of the Shusho-e Matsuri festival, an entreaty to the gods for peace and an ample harvest. The object of the bizarre finale is a race to obtain the "amulet of the cow god", a talisman which is said to bring good harvests to farmers. This rather unsightly trial involves a competition between 20 or 30 of Osaka's finest young males clad in nothing but tiny headbands, scrambling uphill to reach a shrine.

16-19 January

Philippines

The Ati-Atihan Festival is the Mardi Gras of the Philippines. Although this vibrant annual celebration is held in towns and villages throughout the country, it reaches unparalleled party heights in the town of Kalibo, on Panay Island. Long before the carnival begins, Kalibo townspeople can think of little else but the sound of tom-toms that dominates the show from beginning to end. The sequence of events seems to be: get drunk, dance and cover yourself in soot. The three-day bash dates back 600 years and celebrates the arrival of the Datu refugees from Borneo, who coloured their faces black with soot in order to pass as locals. The festival was adapted by Spanish friars a few hundred years later, who brought a Christian element to the celebrations.

17 January

Greece

It's A Knockout-style shenanigans feature in the Ptra Carnival, the biggest pre-Lent festival in the Mediterranean. Known in Greek as Apokriatika, pre-Lenten carnivals take place across the country spanning a three-week period, climaxing in the seventh weekend before Easter, but the Ptra Carnival is the most outlandish. This Athenian port town is taken over with chariot parades featuring outrageously costumed revellers, a large proportion of whom are the city's gays. One of the main events seems to be the "hitting one another over the head with a plastic hammer" competition.

Sarah Barrell

The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations

Voices
voicesGood for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, writes Grace Dent
Sport
The Pipes and Drums of The Scottish Regiments perform during the Opening Ceremony for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park on July 23, 2014 in Glasgow, Scotland.
Commonwealth GamesThe actor encouraged the one billion viewers of the event to donate to the children's charity
Arts and Entertainment
The Tour de France peloton rides over a bridge on the Grinton Moor, Yorkshire, earlier this month
film
Life and Style
fashion Designs are part of feminist art project by a British student
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Very tasty: Vladimir Putin dining alone, perhaps sensibly
newsJohn Walsh salutes those brave souls who have, throughout history, put their knives on the line
News
The University of California study monitored the reaction of 36 dogs
sciencePets' range of emotions revealed
Arts and Entertainment
The nomination of 'The Wake' by Paul Kingsnorth has caused a stir
books
News
Joining forces: young British men feature in an Isis video in which they urge Islamists in the West to join them in Iraq and Syria
newsWill the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?
News
i100
News
Snoop Dogg pictured at The Hollywood Reporter Nominees' Night in February, 2013
people... says Snoop Dogg
Life and Style
food + drinkZebra meat is exotic and lean - but does it taste good?
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
News
Bey can do it: Beyoncé re-enacts Rosie the Riveter's pose
newsRosie the Riveter started out as an American wartime poster girl and has become a feminist pin-up. With Beyoncé channeling her look, Gillian Orr tells her story
Life and Style
Donna and Paul Wheatley at their wedding
healthShould emergency hospital weddings be made easier for the terminally ill?
Arts and Entertainment
Residents of Derby Road in Southampton oppose filming of Channel 4 documentary Immigration Street in their community
tv
Voices
voicesSiobhan Norton on why she eventually changed her mind
News
i100
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    C++ Software Engineer - Hounslow, West London - C++ - to £60K +

    £40000 - £60000 per annum + Pension, Healthcare : Deerfoot IT Resources Limite...

    VB.NET and C# developer (VB.NET,C#,ASP.NET)

    £30000 - £45000 per annum + Bonus+Benefits+Package: Harrington Starr: VB.NET a...

    Visitor Experience volunteer

    Unpaid voluntary role: Old Royal Naval College: To assist the Visitor Experien...

    Telesales Manager. Paddington, London

    £45-£55k OTE £75k : Charter Selection: Major London International Fashion and ...

    Day In a Page

    Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

    Screwing your way to the top?

    Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
    Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

    Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

    Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
    Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

    Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

    The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
    Climate change threatens to make the antarctic fur seal extinct

    Take a good look while you can

    How climate change could wipe out this seal
    Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier for the terminally ill?

    Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier?

    Some couples are allowed emergency hospital weddings, others are denied the right. Kate Hilpern reports on the growing case for a compassionate cutting of the red tape
    Man Booker Prize 2014 longlist: Crowdfunded novel nominated for first time

    Crowdfunded novel nominated for Booker Prize

    Paul Kingsnorth's 'The Wake' is in contention for the prestigious award
    Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster to ensure his meals aren't poisoned

    Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster

    John Walsh salutes those brave souls who have, throughout history, put their knives on the line
    Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

    Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

    A $25m thriller starring Sam Worthington to be made in God's Own Country
    The 10 best pedicure products

    Feet treat: 10 best pedicure products

    Bags packed and all prepped for holidays, but feet in a state? Get them flip-flop-ready with our pick of the items for a DIY treatment
    Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy': A land of the outright bizarre

    Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy'

    A land of the outright bizarre
    What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

    What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

    ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic's latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do The Independent’s experts think he’s missed out?
    Can Secret Cinema sell 80,000 'Back to the Future' tickets?

    The worst kept secret in cinema

    A cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
    Facebook: The new hatched, matched and dispatched

    The new hatched, matched and dispatched

    Family events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped the ‘Births, Deaths and Marriages’ announcements
    Why do we have blood types?

    Are you my type?

    All of us have one but probably never wondered why. Yet even now, a century after blood types were discovered, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
    Honesty box hotels: You decide how much you pay

    Honesty box hotels

    Five hotels in Paris now allow guests to pay only what they think their stay was worth. It seems fraught with financial risk, but the honesty policy has its benefit