Well very timely this week with Valentine's Day we thought we'd tell you about a fantastic festival for singles ...
In Lisdoonvarna in Ireland every year single ladies and men looking for love should head along to the Matchmaking Festival. This year running from 1 September to 1 October (so time for you to get your tickets and airfares together). As the Festival website tells us "Matchmaking is one of Ireland’s oldest traditions and, for the last couple of hundred years, a good deal of it has taken place in Lisdoonvarna during September and early October.Matchmaking began in Lisdoonvarna when the visiting gentry who were here to take the waters, wanted their accompanying children to be matched to their fellow “upper classes”. Traditionally they came in September after the harvest was gathered for a holiday…but the more serious business of arranging suitable marriages for their sons and daughters was high on the agenda. The potential match was done by the parents placing them together at social gatherings, sporting events and musical evenings. If the match was pleasing to all parties, their courtship was encouraged to blossom" Read more ...
Which leads us timely into the question of who exactly was St Valentine and why do we celebrate St Valentine's Day?
For those who are unaware St Valentine's story is actually more brutal than romantic! St Valentine was a Roman physician and Priest who came from the small town of Terni in Umbria. He was actually beaten, stoned and beheaded for marrying Christian couples. Because of this act he became known as the patron saint of love (his marrying not his beheading!) Hardly a very fitting end to a supposedly romantic story!
Terni is however a beautifully typical Italian town and advertises itself as the "City of Lovers" ...
So do you celebrate Valentine's Day and if so we hope you headed to one of your fabulous local markets this weekend all of which will have had some excellent unique items for that loved one!
Happy Valentine's Day everyone!
For those with an unusual talent or ability the wonderful world of busking is always an option and for those with a lot of talent this can open opportunities to travel the world alongside some amazing experiences.
Busking Festivals are popular the world over and New Zealand is no exception. The World Buskers Festival in Christchurch is on over a 10 day period in January. It is held in a variety of venues and covers a huge range of genres.
Auckland hosts the International Buskers Festival on the waterfront over Auckland Anniversary weekend.
Nelson hosts the Nelson Buskers Festival, this year from 2 to 5 February in Nelson CBD and on the same weekend in Invercargill you could have experienced the Southland Buskers Festival.
Unfortunately these Festivals are all over now for 2017 however there is one, coming up on 24 to 26 February with a spectacular international line up. The Orewa Boulevard of International Buskers is held across a number of locations through the beautiful coastal town of Orewa just north of Auckland.
With acts including Sport Suzie with her crazy aerobics, sport and circus act. All the way from Venezuela the incredible aerial hoop gymnastics of La Dominique Zircus, performances from the award winning Mulletman with genuine comedy and skillful circus stunts and the amazing juggling and magic tricks from Kozo Kaos.
Including a performer showcase with over 16 performers at Muldoons carpark on Saturday 25 from 7 pm this whole weekend will be excellent.
If you'd like to spend the whole weekend in the beautiful Orewa and Hibiscus Coast region visit Orewa Beach website for details on accommodation and dining options as well as a full schedule for the Boulevard of International Buskers!
So it's February, the kids are heading back to school and it looks like summer has finally arrived - well in Auckland anyway and just in time for yet another month packed with great festivals, shows and markets.
There really is so much happening right across the country (and we are well aware that our calendar is missing so many more events so let us know about these) but we thought for this blog post we'd just concentrate on Auckland and what's coming up in the next couple of weeks!
This weekend is Waitangi Day and there are celebrations everywhere! If you want some great activities for the kids you can head to Hayman Park in Manukau on Monday 6 February from 9.30 am includes a great music line up. Or plenty of activities too from 10 am at Okahu Bay, Orakei and also at the Hoani Waititi Marae in Glen Eden from 9.30 am.
For those who love our fabulous Hauraki Gulf island of Waiheke on right now is the Headland Sculpture on the Gulf Festival with more than 30 artworks along a spectacular 2 km coastal walk, if you need an excuse to head to Waiheke here's a good one on from 27 January to 19 February. Or for those who love sand, sea, speed and lots of excitement later in the month on 26 February you can enjoy the Onetangi Beach Races from 10.30 am ...
If you haven't taken a trip yet to the Auckland Lantern Festival then this is a must. On from 9-12 February in the Auckland Domain from 4.30 pm onwards this is a fine display of Chinese culture including music, food, crafts, theatre, dance and martial arts displays. There are hundreds of lanterns and a grand finale fireworks display. If you are in East Auckland there are also performances, activities and lanterns from 5 pm on 9 February at Pakuranga Plaza.
For those who love diversity, light, colour and fun you won't want to miss the Auckland Pride Festival. With a great highlight with the Big Gay Out on Sunday 12 February at Coyle Park in Pt Chevalier and culminating in the Pride Parade on Saturday 25 February from 7.30 pm in Ponsonby Road the actual Festival runs from 10-26 February with over 80 events including concerts, sports, films, parties and theatre.
A little town in North Auckland which is becoming well known for it's wonderful diversity of events during summer is Orewa and they have their Boulevard Arts Festival on Saturday 11 February. With entertainment, food trucks, market stalls, amusement rides and art sales and a back drop of gorgeous Orewa beach this is a day out worth taking.
And last, but not least, for the sporting fans this weekend 4 and 5 February there is of course the NRL Auckland Nines at Eden Park and coming up the Black Caps v South Africa T20 on 17 February ...
What could be more fun than wandering around your local market. Fresh baking smells, lovingly handcrafted items, each one unique and special, delicious home grown produce - that's what we love and we hope you do too!