Celebrate Cinco de Mayo

Celebrate Mexican heritage on Cinco de Mayo (the fifth of May) across the US with festive margaritas, salsa and chips, and singing and dancing.

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National Christmas Tree
National Christmas Tree

National Christmas Tree

Kick off the month with a tour of the National Christmas Tree. Located on the White House’s South Lawn, a towering 40-foot evergreen spruce has been a seasonal fixture of the nation’s capital since 1923. 960 1280

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San Antonio River Walk

San Antonio River Walk

Keep the Christmas spirit going in San Antonio. Every December, more than a mile of the San Antonio River Walkcomes alive with over 100 underwater lights, as well as LED rope lighting crossing from one side of the river to the other. 960 1280

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Hobbit Tour

Hobbit Tour

Besides being a great time to visit (December is the start of New Zealand’s summer season), the country has a Hobbit movie set tour on upper North Island. 960 1280

Jeff Hitchcock, flickr  

Ice Fishing, Colorado Style

Ice Fishing, Colorado Style

This December, put Colorado on your outdoors adventure map: Colorado's robust winters lure ice-fishing enthusiasts to gear up and head out for the thrill of the catch. Prime spots include Wolford Mountain Reservoir, a 1,550- acre reservoir, about 100 miles west of Denver.  960 1280

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Caribbean Cruise: Early December

Caribbean Cruise: Early December

For an impromptu December getaway, set sail for the Caribbean. The first two weeks of December are your best bet for bargain prices on cruises and hotels, before fares rise come Christmas and New Year’s. Combine your warm winter escape with cool events, like the Bahamas International Film Festival. 960 1280

Royal Caribbean International  

San Francisco Ballet's "The Nutcracker"

San Francisco Ballet's "The Nutcracker"

The holiday season wouldn’t be quite the same without catching a performance of "The Nutcracker." We suggest heading to the City by the Bay to see the sparkling two-act ballet performed by the San Francisco Ballet, which first introduced Tchaikovsky’s masterpiece to American audiences in 1944.  960 1280

Erik Tomasson  

Rockefeller Center Ice Skating

Rockefeller Center Ice Skating

For the quintessential N.Y.C. Christmas experience, take a whirl on the ice at Rockefeller Center. The world-famous ice-skating rink at the famed commercial complex, in the heart of Manhattan, has been a fixture of Rockefeller Center since 1936. 960 1280

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Stonehenge Winter Solstice

Stonehenge Winter Solstice

Take in the winter solstice at Stonehenge. Every year, more than 5,000 people gather at the prehistoric monument in Wiltshire, England, to mark the time when the sun appears at noon at its lowest altitude above the horizon. Be sure to explore the new visitor center close to the ancient site, too. 960 1280

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Santa Claus House in North Pole

Santa Claus House in North Pole

Just where does Santa Claus live? North Pole, Alaska, of course. Head to this small, wintery city in the heart of Alaska to see Santa Claus House. A storefront, built in the early 1950s, it’s the spot from which the Original Letter From Santa is mailed out, proclaiming the bearer to be “on Santa’s Good List.”  960 1280

Rosie Rosenberger, flickr  

Hit the Slopes

Hit the Slopes

Hit the slopes this month at North America’s most popular ski resort. In addition to being home to more groomed terrain than any other resort in the world, Vail, Colorado, boasts the country’s largest ski school for all skill levels. For the more seasoned skier, head to Jackson Hole, where over 90 percent of the trails fall into intermediate to expert categories. 960 1280

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NOLA Christmas Bonfires

NOLA Christmas Bonfires

Add a little spice to the holiday season with a trip to The Big Easy. Come Christmas Eve, dozens of bonfires light up along the Mississippi River levee to make way for Papa Noel, as locals in bayou country call Santa. Arrive by 7 p.m. to watch the fiery feu de joie (“fires of joy”)! 960 1280

Douglas and Charlene Guilliams of Baton Rouge, LA: A Father and Daughter Photography Team  

Christmas Village in Philadelphia

Christmas Village in Philadelphia

Come December, the City of Brotherly Love transforms itself into a Christmas Village. This annual holiday market in Philadelphia’s LOVE Park features traditional German Christmas market items, displayed by more than 60 vendors in decorated booths and tents. Get your fill of holiday goodies like gingerbread cookies and mulled wine. 960 1280

Christmas Village in Philadelphia  

Chicago's Polar Adventure Days

Chicago's Polar Adventure Days

Learn dog sledding in... Chicago? Yep, for outdoor winter adventure, head to the Windy City’s Northerly Island, site of the annual Polar Adventure Days. Beginning in early December, the family-friendly event includes a toddler zone with outdoor “ice fishing,” an REI winter activity station and a dog-sledding demo with huskies. 960 1280

Chicago's Polar Adventure Days  

Mayor's Annual Christmas Parade (Baltimore)
Mayor's Annual Christmas Parade (Baltimore)

Mayor's Annual Christmas Parade (Baltimore)

The Grinch that stole Christmas makes his appearance at the Mayor's Annual Christmas Parade in a city rich in Christmas traditions, Baltimore. The 2.5-mile-long parade route also features the Baltimore Marching Ravens band, Harley Davidson motorcycles and Santa’s dancing elf girls.  960 1280

ktylerconk, flckr  

Christmas Boat Parade (Newport Beach)

Christmas Boat Parade (Newport Beach)

Billed as “Newport Beach’s Christmas card to the world,” the 105th annual Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade in Newport Beach, CA, features decorated yachts, boats, kayaks and canoes. The boats travel along the harbor for 5 nights in December to welcome in the holiday season.  960 1280

fortherock, flickr  

A Christmas Fantasy Parade (Disneyland)

A Christmas Fantasy Parade (Disneyland)

Goofy decorates a gingerbread house on a float in Disneyland's "A Christmas Fantasy Parade." The parade in Anaheim, CA, is an annual Disney tradition, traveling down Main Street, U.S.A., with 7 parade units on display.  960 1280

Harshlight, flickr  

Children's Christmas Parade (Atlanta)

Children's Christmas Parade (Atlanta)

Festive balloons make their way down Atlanta's streets as part of the Children's Christmas Parade. The parade, now more than 30 years strong, benefits Children's Healthcare of Atlanta. Held the first Saturday in December, the parade typically draws crowds in excess of 500,000, making it the largest holiday parade in the Southeast. 960 1280

BluIz60, iStock  

Reston Holiday Parade (Virginia)

Reston Holiday Parade (Virginia)

Everyone’s always talking about Santa, but what about the missus? The 23rd annual Reston Holiday Parade sees Mrs. Claus make the rounds in a horse-drawn carriage. This year's parade in northern Virginia has a "Destination: Reston" theme, featuring balloons, costumes and floats all inspired by various modes of transportation -- start walking!  960 1280

Jim Kirby  

Target Holidazzle (Minneapolis)

Target Holidazzle (Minneapolis)

Held in Andrew Zimmern’s hometown of Minneapolis, the Target Holidazzle parade features a hi-tech show with colorful special-effects. A fixture of downtown Minneapolis’ shopping district, Nicollet Mall, the parade has been an annual tradition since 1992, drawing crowds upwards of 300,000 people. 960 1280

Richard Westley Wong  

Sparks Hometowne Christmas (Nevada)

Sparks Hometowne Christmas (Nevada)

Any parade that’s 150 years old had to make our list. Sparks Hometowne Christmas in Sparks, NV, kicks off with a ceremonial tree lighting, carollers and some pretty rocking entertainment -- ever seen dancing horses? And since you’re in the Silver State, it’s just a 6-hour drive to Las Vegas for a Christmas Miracle, Vegas-style. 960 1280

Kevin Sawyer  

Holiday Boat Parade (Honolulu)

Holiday Boat Parade (Honolulu)

Christmas season just got a little more magical with the “Festival of Lights” Christmas Boat Parade in happening Honolulu. For nearly 20 years, this annual parade has showcased boats decked out with lights as they glide down the Hawaii Kai Marina waterway. Arrive early to see Hawaii’s own liberty belles. 960 1280

Brad Goda Photography  

Winter in Venice, Vegas Style

Winter in Venice, Vegas Style

Enjoy a Venice winter -- in Vegas. The third-annual Winter in Venice celebration will showcase an outdoor skating rink, a 3-D light projection show, 2 Italian-inspired food festivals and a fantasy scene in The Palazzo Waterfall Atrium and Gardens -- think lots of crystal ice ponds, a 20-foot frosted birch … and plenty of wow.    960 1280

The Venetian  

Hollywood Christmas Parade

Hollywood Christmas Parade

An annual tradition for more than 80 years, the Hollywood Christmas Parade takes place on the Sunday after Thanksgiving in iconic Hollywood. The parade stretches 3.5 miles, along famed Hollywood Boulevard.  960 1280

David Livingston, Getty Images  

Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade (Orlando)

Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade (Orlando)

Christmas in Orlando kicks off with the Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade. Disney’s entourage of stars, from Mickey and Minnie, to Donald Duck and Scrooge McDuck, parade down Main Street, U.S.A. Celebrity appearances in 2013 include Demi Lovato and Mary J. Blige, at the Magic Kingdom Park. 960 1280

Disney  

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Rio Carnival

Rio Carnival

Fabulously sexy, this annual fest of flesh and fun rightly lays claim to being the world’s biggest Carnival bash. Join the throngs of 2 million revelers who descend upon Rio this February -- we dare you not to get swept up in the fabulous energy of blocos, bandas and bods. 960 1280

Reuters  

Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue

Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue

Fabulous genes meet fabulous scenes in the most hotly anticipated sports magazine cover of the year. Nearly 50 years after the magazine’s debut, the latest entrants onto the scene carry on the time-honored tradition of sun, sand and skin. 960 1280

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NY Fashion Week

NY Fashion Week

Fabulous fashionistas stay ahead of the fashion curve here. Officially known as Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, this twice-annual bash is NYC’s single-largest media event, attracting more than 100,000 industry insiders from around the world. 960 1280

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Quebec Winter Carnival

Quebec Winter Carnival

For fabulous winter fun, head to this annual festival in Quebec City. Fabulous skiing, snow rafting, sled rides and a masquerade ball are among the many attractions, in what is the largest winter carnival in the world, now 60 years strong. 960 1280

Reuters  

Chocolate-Covered February

Chocolate-Covered February

Yes, yes, yes! February wouldn’t be quite so fabulous without this fabulously decadent treat! Treat your Valentine to the Sweetest Place on Earth (Hershey, PA, of course) for this month-long celebration. No guilt allowed. 960 1280

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Groundhog Day

Groundhog Day

Our fabulous, furry little friend here sure knows how to grab our attention. Bring your lawn chair to Gobbler’s Knob, and keep your eyes peeled as Punxsutawney Phil, the Seer of Seers, the Prognosticator of Prognosticators, reveals his end-of-winter predictions. 960 1280

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Super Bowl

Super Bowl

Are you ready for some football? Don your warrior paint, grab your favorite jersey, it’s time for the ultimate fabulous showcase of brawn and muscle. As the Ravens and 49ers go toe-to-toe, place your bets in our city vs. city showdown. 960 1280

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Grammys

Grammys

Music’s biggest night of the year spells fabulous entertainment. This February’s headliner is JT, taking center stage after a 4-year hiatus, plus Jack White, The Lumineers, The Black Keys, Taylor Swift and the fabulous Sir Elton. 960 1280

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Black History Month

Black History Month

Inspiring will and accomplishment that paved the way for future generations -- mark this fabulous month-long celebration with a trip to a place like the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, the interpretive museum in Alabama that chronicles the struggles of the civil rights movement. 960 1280

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Oscars

Oscars

Fabulous performances, fabulous fashions, fabulously long speeches (oh, please, no!) -- the 85th annual Academy Awards take center stage at Hollywood’s Dolby Theatre this month. Our prediction: Daniel Day-Lewis for best actor, Jennifer Lawrence for best actress. What's yours? 960 1280

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Westminster Dog Show

Westminster Dog Show

Before there was ever “America’s next top model” or “America’s top chef,” there was America’s top dog. For the past 137 years, this annual showcase of canine’s best breeds has dazzled dog lovers everywhere. And in fabulous news for Russell Terrier lovers, this year sees the little pooch make its Westminster debut. Woof! 960 1280

Reuters  

American Heart Month

American Heart Month

Feel fabulous as you do your part in this month-long public health campaign. First thing’s first: Get up out of that chair (you know, the one you’re sitting in now), and go for a walk. Thirty minutes, most days of the week, is all you need to get going. Your heart will reward you in fabulous ways. 960 1280

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Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year

The longest and most important festivity on the Chinese calendar had to make our fabulous list. Get ready to ring in the Year of the Snake! Our sources tell us lucky directions for the snake are southwest and northeast. Start … slithering. 960 1280

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Tour de France’s 100th

Tour de France’s 100th

Cycling’s premier annual event marks its 100th anniversary in 2013. The very first Tour de France comprised a 5-stage race, beginning in Paris and stopping in Lyon, Marseille, Bordeaux and Nantes before returning to Paris. Today, the race typically spans 21 days and a total of 2,000 miles; 2013’s Tour de France will start in Corsica, in the city of Porto-Vecchio, and finish at dusk in Paris. 960 1280

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Grand Central’s 100th

Grand Central’s 100th

This megadaddy of rail travel turns 100 in 2013. Spanning 48 acres, the grand Beaux-Arts-designed terminal has risen and fallen (it went into bankruptcy in 1970 and even faced potential demolition), and risen again. Today, the hub is the world’s sixth most visited tourist attraction, according to a Travel + Leisure survey. 960 1280

Katie Hards   

Groundhog Day at 20

Groundhog Day at 20

Thank the 1993 Bill Murray flick for catapulting this furry little guy onto the national scene. 2013 marks the American comedy-turned-classic’s 20th anniversary. Celebrate with a trip to the central Pennsylvania town of Punxsutawney, where thousands have gathered each year since 1886 to await Punxsutawney Phil’s end-of-winter predictions. According to records dating back to 1887, Phil’s been accurate 39% of the time. 960 1280

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125 Years of Nat Geo

125 Years of Nat Geo

Many leaders have had the National Geographic Society to thank for kindling their imagination in exploring the world around them. Among them was America’s 36th president LBJ -- he once said, “My mother brought me up by putting the Bible in my right hand and the National Geographic magazine in my left.” 960 1280

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Amsterdam’s Big Year

Amsterdam’s Big Year

Amsterdam sees an epic year of milestones ahead: In 2013, Amsterdam marks the 175th birthday of the Artis Royal Zoo, the nation's most famous zoo, which houses 900 species of animals. The Dutch capital is also celebrating the 400th anniversary of its famed Canal Ring, which has given Amsterdam the moniker, "Venice of the North." 960 1280

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Hitchcock’s The Birds 50th

Hitchcock’s The Birds 50th

One day, without warning, this idyllic coastal town in Sonoma County, CA, was attacked by … the birds! Who can ever look at birds the same way after watching Hitchcock’s suspense-horror classic, which turns 50 in 2013. Mark the occasion with a visit to Bodega Bay, and keep a watchful eye on the sky -- you just never know. 960 1280

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Harley-Davidson at 110

Harley-Davidson at 110

The freedom of the open road, the need for speed -- this journey began 110 years ago in Milwaukee. In 1903, the granddaddy of American motorcycle manufacturers got its start in a small machine shop, where a 23-year-old engineering genius William Sylvester Harley toiled away. Harley worked on a “motor-cycle” with childhood friend Arthur Davidson; the rest is bad-ass history. 960 1280

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The Drive-In Turns 70

The Drive-In Turns 70

This icon of American pop culture became official 70 years ago, when a chemical company magnate was granted a patent for his invention: an outdoor theater. From humble beginnings (the first drive-in opened in Pennsauken Township, NJ), the drive-in movie theater peaked in popularity from the late 1950s to early 1960s. You can relive the glory days at retro drive-ins like Sandell Theater in Clarendon, TX. 960 1280

Orange County Archives, flickr  

Lamborghini at 50

Lamborghini at 50

You are what you drive. Who’d want to admit that -- unless, of course, you’re driving this motor-sportin’ beaut. Fifty years ago, the Italian luxury sports car manufacturer got its start in the northern Italian town of Sant'Agata Bolognese. In May 2013, the automaker celebrates by hosting a 700-mile road trip through northern and central Italy. Andiamo! 960 1280

Ben_in_london, flickr  

David Livingstone's 200th

David Livingstone's 200th

“Dr. Livingstone, I presume?” Why, indeed it is: 2013 marks the 200th anniversary of the famed Scottish explorer’s birth. At the age of 27, the young missionary headed for Africa. Fascinated by the continent’s beauty, he went on to spend 30 years in places such as modern-day Botswana and Zambia. In the end, his one regret was that he hadn’t spent enough time with his children. Honor the great doctor’s legacy; take the kids on safari. 960 1280

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Elvis’ Aloha from Hawaii 40th

Elvis’ Aloha from Hawaii 40th

We’re caught in a trap, I can’t walk out … and why would you want to? Not when the setting is the beautiful Aloha State. This year marks the 40th anniversary of the King’s live concert from the capital city of Honolulu. Celebrate Elvis’ love of all things Hawaiian with your own journey to his favorite spots, like Hanauma Bay, featured in his films Blue Hawaii and Paradise, Hawaiian Style. 960 1280

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Emancipation Proclamation's 150th

Emancipation Proclamation's 150th

With a stroke of the pen, Abraham Lincoln opened the door to the eradication of America’s greatest evil. The end of slavery would not come with the simple signing of this executive order on Jan. 1, 1863, but it did make abolition an official goal of the Civil War. Revisit that chapter in the exhibit “Changing America,” at Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History through Sept. 15, 2013. 960 1280

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Gettysburg at 150

Gettysburg at 150

“Four score and 7 years ago …” The passion of Abraham Lincoln’s words, all 272 of them, gave meaning to what history would record as the bloodiest battle of the Civil War. Relive this pivotal moment in US history with a trip to this stretch of southern Pennsylvania, during the 150th anniversary year of the Battle of Gettysburg and the Gettysburg Address. 960 1280

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I Have a Dream Turns 50

I Have a Dream Turns 50

Fifty years ago, Martin Luther King Jr. led the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom; stand in the exact spot where MLK delivered his speech at the Lincoln Memorial. 2013 sees other big civil rights anniversaries, including the 100th birthday of the “first lady of civil rights” Rosa Parks and the 50th anniversary of protests in Birmingham, AL, that triggered a national dialogue about the need for civil rights for African-American citizens. 960 1280

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West Virginia's 150th

West Virginia's 150th

The Mountain State marks its 150th anniversary in 2013. In June 1863, at the height of the Civil War, an expanse of land in the Appalachian Mountain range broke away from the state of Virginia, becoming the only state to form by seceding from the Confederacy. Among West Virginia’s must-see sites is the New River Gorge, a 3,030-foot-long steel arch bridge near Fayetteville, WV. 960 1280

Thinkstock  

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NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament

NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament

Sixty-eight college basketball teams, 1 single-elimination tournament. Who will be this year’s champ? A season of hard work comes down to a single mad dash to the finish. Make sure to fill out your brackets! 960 1280

Joe Robbins/Getty Images  

Spring Break

Spring Break

Even if you’re years out of school, spring break can still be a a great excuse to get away. Just imagine lots of sun, sand and Absolut-ly good times with friends! Check out these spring break party spots to plan your warm-weather escape. 960 1280

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St. Patrick’s Day

St. Patrick’s Day

Everyone’s Irish on March 17th. In celebration of Ireland’s most famous patron saint, don your best shamrock green, and head to one of these St. Patrick’s Day celebrations around the world. 960 1280

TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images  

Napa Valley Marathon

Napa Valley Marathon

Looking for an inspiring place to get active? Few locales can beat sunny, scenic Napa Valley. 2014 will mark the 36th anniversary of the annual Napa Valley Marathon -- a 26.2-mile course bordered by world-class vineyards. 960 1280

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Hanami

Hanami

Get ready for some “flower viewing.” From the end of March to early May, cherry blossoms (known as “sakura”) bloom all over Japan. The practice of hanami goes back centuries; today the tradition of flower viewing continues as thousands of people fill parks each year to hold feasts under the flowering trees or take boat rides nearby, like here in Tokyo’s Inokashira Park. 960 1280

Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert/Getty Images   

Merrie Monarch Festival

Merrie Monarch Festival

Think “hula,” and you probably also think “Hawaii.” The person who helped ensure that long-standing association is Kalakua, the last reigning king of Hawaii, who revived the hula after it had been banned under Christian missionary influence in 1830. Celebrate the hula -- and the “Merrie Monarch” who fought for its preservation -- in this annual weeklong festival in Hilo, HI. 960 1280

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MSC Preziosa Cruise

MSC Preziosa Cruise

All aboard! March 2014 will mark the 1-year anniversary of this luxury cruise ship owned and operated by MSC Cruises. The maiden voyage starts from Saint-Nazaire (in western France) to Genoa, Italy. The ship will feature 1,751 cabins, as well as 21 bars, 4 principal restaurants and much more. 960 1280

Bernard BIGER STX France  

Holi

Holi

Paint the town red … and yellow … and whatever other colors you can get your hands on. This annual spring festival of colors, marked by Hindus worldwide, celebrates spring’s abundant colors. Participants throw colored powder at each other … and go wild. 960 1280

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Las Fallas

Las Fallas

One onlooker described this annual fiesta in Valencia, Spain, as “a cross between a bawdy Disneyland, Fourth of July and the end of the world.” Each year, the town oversees “Las Fallas” (which literally means “the fires” in Valencian), a 5-day celebration involving the creation and burning of ninots (“puppets” or “dolls”). Pyromaniacs welcome. 960 1280

JOSE JORDAN/AFP/Getty Images   

Spring Equinox

Spring Equinox

Ah, the first day of spring. On the equinox, night and day are exactly the same length (12 hours) all over the world. (The term “equinox” means “equal night” in Latin.) Celebrate the first day of spring at Mexico’s Kukulkan Pyramid (pictured), where locals and tourists come to recreate the parties that accompanied the equinox celebrations thousands of years ago (minus the cutting out of hearts!). 960 1280

Gerardo Garcia / Reuters  

SXSW

SXSW

Head to the largest music festival of its kind in the world! 2014’s South by Southwest festival in Austin features a conversation with Edward Snowden and a keynote address by actress Lena Dunham. 960 1280

Extreme Airshots (SXSW)  

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