Christmas has come and gone but we are still in the tight grip of winter but that doesn’t mean we should all hibernate for the remainder of this cold and bleak season. In fact, it should mean that we do the opposite and begin to see out the winter period by embracing everything that January has to offer throughout Europe when it comes to festivals and events. There is so much to choose from, January doesn’t have to be a month of doom and gloom. So, take a look at these events and turn your January into one that is filled with fun, excitement and travel.
La Grande Parade – Paris, France
Paris is already notorious for its New Year's Eve celebrations but once that has died down, you can then begin to focus on a great event that is filled with tradition. Head to the Champs-Elysées on 1st January and embrace this wonderful Grand Parade where you can enjoy the brass bands and the floats that inject life into the start of a new year. The road is closed, so you really get to explore this iconic area of Paris in all its glory without the bustle of your typical Parisian traffic.
Amsterdam Light Festival – Amsterdam, Netherlands
Amsterdam comes to life during the winter months, something that many did not realise, but it certainly has a lot to offer you. This stunning open-air exhibition is known as the Amsterdam Light Festival actually begins in November and lasts for 53 days, giving you the chance to inject some light into your life during January. Through the city centre, artists showcase their work and you can embrace the picturesque canals under the bleak January skies. The theme for this year is ‘The Medium is the Message', so get there before the 20th January and you can find out what this is all about.
Snow and Ice Sculpture Festival – Bruges, Belgium
“Bruges Ice Exhibition" by Bryan Ledgard – Source Flickr
If you are looking for that perfect winter wonderland, head to Bruges in early January and embrace the Snow and Ice sculpture festival. You can wander aimlessly through the markets and then take in the magnificent Ice Sculpture Festival. This city is transformed by artists from all over the world, turning it into a place of natural beauty. Their ice and snow sculptures will captivate and take you on a journey through different scenes and stories. On its own, Bruges is already a charming place, but it takes on a whole new identity that will leave you in awe. Hundreds of tonnes of ice and snow are used throughout the event, it is well worth a look and a great time to take in this magnificent city.
La Tamborrada Festival – San Sebastian, Spain
“Tamborrada Donostia San Sebastián." by Jesús Gil Hernández – Source Flickr
Head to slightly warmer climes in San Sebastian, where you can explore the wonders of the La Tamborrada Festival. Hundreds of drummers take to the street to make a lot of noise, in fact, the aim is to make more noise than their counterparts. It begins at midnight on the 19th of January and is the perfect opportunity to explore the Basque area of Spain and the traditions they celebrate.