With the pending approach of another holiday – albeit a short one – it’s time to come up with some ideas for the long weekend. It’s never too early to start planning so here’s a few to consider in different parts of the world:
Byron Bay Blues and Roots Festival, New South Wales, Australia
This annual festival is the ultimate way to spend the Easter weekend. With a lineup this year including Buena Vista Social Club, John Butler, Jack Johnson, Troy Cassar-Daley, the Gipsy Kings and even Lyle Lovett you’ll want to be there. Just pack your wellies – it often rains on this coastal area at this time of year. VIP Backpackers has a ton of offerings for accommodation and tours in this area. When you’re not at the BluesFest you could surf, ski dive, sun bake or tour the local markets. There’s plenty to do!
European Ski Holiday
At this time of year usually the ski fields are already starting to look rather green and dry without much snow. This year of course has been different with record snow falls in many places. Check out your nearest ski field for news, you might still have time to don those skis one last time. Here’s a list of some VIP supported ski fields.
Mardi Gras, USA and South America
Unfortunately you’ve missed these for 2010, but put them in your diary for next year now! Places to go to celebrate before the advent of Lent, the fasting time before Easter, include New Orleans where there are plenty of parades, jazz and a bumper party. While in South America, Carnival is celebrated everywhere, but Rio de Janeiro in Brazil is the biggest and loudest. The date for the 2011 gig is around March 8.
Easter Parade, New York City
If you’re in NYC in April head to the area around Fifth Avenue from 49th to 57th Streets for a wonderful Easter tradition. Elaborate bonets, costumes, colour and excitment fill the streets in this fashion parade to end all others. This tradition actually dates back to the mid 1800s when the social elite attended churches on 5th Avenue and then paraded new fashions afterwards. The fun starts about 10am. Easter services in the area include St Patrick’s Cathedral (50th Street and 5th Avenue), St Thomas Church (53rd Street and 5th Avenue) and the 5th Avenue Presbyterian Church. If you need accommodation in NYC, VIP Backpackers can help you out.
European Easter festivals
If you’re interested in some of the traditional celebrations in Europe’s catholic nations here are some ideas:
– head to Andalucia, particularly Seville or Malaga, for the exuberant Semana Santa (Holy Week). This year it will be March 27 – April 4. In Seville, the city’s 55 brotherhoods carry floats through the streets either in silence or accompanied by marching bands and music. Don’t forget to catch some flamenco while you’re there!
– in Italy the most traditional celebrations are held in Sicily. In Enna on Good Friday, 2000 friars dressed in ancient costumes walk silently through the streets of the city. While in Trapani, I Misteri takes place (see photo above), when statues representing the life of Christ are taken through the city accompanied or watched by massive crowds
– for something with a bit more of a bang, head to Florence in Italy on Easter Sunday morning for the Scoppio del Carro Festival (explosion of the cart). A cart laden with fireworks is hauled through the city by oxen and then exploded outside the Cathedral Square.
With a name like this, you would think it might be a fitting place to visit for the said holiday. Of course Easter Island doesn’t have a lot to do with Easter at all except that the first European visitor encountered it on Easter Sunday in 1722. But it’s an unusual place and worth a visit at some point, so why not during Easter?!
So where is it? Easter Island is in the south eastern Pacific Ocean and VIP Backpackers has no services there whatsoever! So we can’t help you much except to recommend you visit the World Heritage site for its unusual stone statues. You can fly there with LanChile Airlines from Santiago, where we do have accommodation, and Papeete. From Santiago you can make use of our tour options into the Atacama Desert, the spectacular arrangement of lakes and mountains in the Lake District and adventure locations like Pucón and Puerto Varas.
If you have any more ideas about how to spend Easter, write in and share with your readers!
Hope you’re enjoying the VIP Backpacker’s Travel Blog. There’ll be an update added every other Friday, so keep tuning in to keep your travel dreams alive! If there are any travel topics you want covered feel free to contact me, Jo, at email@example.com