The holiday season is on for travellers to fly to places where they can partake of Christmas fairs, buy traditional souvenirs, taste the national Christmas dishes of different countries and listen to festive music that celebrates the birth of Christ. In Europe and neighboring countries, the centers of holiday travel are Finland, the Czech Republic, London, Maldives, Hungary and Germany. Come New Year Brazil will be the focus of holiday celebrations.
Finland tops the list of holiday travellers because this is where the real Santa Claus supposedly lives. So visitors there will be treated at Santa’s house where they are taken for a ride on a reindeer-pulled carriage. You can also go dog sledding, snowboarding, snowmobiling and skiing.
Accommodation may be a cozy cottage in Lapland or a hotel in Helsinki. Christmas in nearby Kemi features an ice festival, during which the enthusiasts build lifesize snow hotels in which tourists can spend the night. There are countless winter activities such as the “games of the first snow” and “Rally in the Hills,” Winter Games in Ounasvaara, “Polar trails,” and “Arctic Golf Santa Claus.”
For visitors who prefer skiing, the ski resorts of the Czech Republic are an excellent choice. This country is also noted for Carlsbad, where people bathe in outdoor thermal springs during winter. From December 5 to 24, the capital Prague turns into a huge Christmas fair.
The music-minded travellers usually head for London at this time of year when Christmas music festivals are held at the Royal Festival Hall. But for those who yearn for Gypsy music, Hungary is the place where a Hungarian music and wine festival is held at Budapest with the participation of the world-famous Gypsy Orchestra. After the celebrations, everyone will be able to plunge into the hot mineral springs, which are so many throughout Hungary.
Daily shows also await Christmas travellers in Germany, specifically in Nuremberg where the Christmas market called Kriskindlesmarkt is held along with daily shows. The Largest Christmas beer festival will present 75 beer brands for beer-lovers in the Belgian city of Essen.
Christmas celebrations are also worth experiencing in Cuba, Dominican Republic, Vietnam and Maldives. For those who want a warmer Christmas they may go to Brazil, where New Year’s Eve becomes a fiery carnival centering on the beaches of Copacabana. The only thing to remember is that the organizers expect more than 2 million participants in the night festivities, which means that even a ticket to the beach on the subway should be bought in advance.