Mark your calendar with this year’s most important events happening across the globe. We’ve listed a few of the new and recurring events, we are looking forward to in 2017
Get ready, 2017 is a year full of cultural events you’re not going to want to miss. Monumental birthdays, historical inaugurations, astronomical happenings – you get the picture, it’s going to be epic.
Finland 100 – Finland
In 2017, Finland will celebrate a century of independence from Russia. The year of festivities will be launched with a banging blue and white firework in Helsinki on New Year’s Eve, 31 December 2016. The theme of the celebration, Together, reaches out to Finns and friends of Finland to unite over events, both in Finland and abroad, that honour the country’s culture and history.
Finland 100 is still accepting project proposals and will continually update the programme on their website. At the event’s launch, and across the country all year, Luminous light art instillations will come to life, outlining Finland’s natural and historical sites. Remember the Moomin of your childhood? Children (in life and at heart) can revel in the world’s only Moomin Museum, inaugurated for Finland 100, complete with over 2,000 original works from the Finnish children’s books.
When: the opening ceremony is on 31 December 2016
Where: Töölönlahti Bay and Kansalaistori Square, Helsinki, finlandFind a flight to Helsinki
Canada’s 150th birthday – Ottawa, Canada
On 31 December, blow out 150 candles in Ottawa to kick off Canada’s 150th anniversary of Confederation. Just make sure to save some breath for the exceptional events happening all evening, like the pyro-musical fireworks, concerts, and the official birthday countdown happening on Parliament hill.
The entire country will celebrate by having free admission to the National Parks throughout 2017. Drive to nearby Ontario to Bruce Peninsula National Park, where frozen cliffs give way to pristine icy waters. In October, November, and December, join the Royal Astronomical Society for the Dark Sky night, wandering through the stretches of wild plains under a blanket of constellations. In the deep winter months, cross the bridge at Point Pelee National Park that sits almost out of place atop the marshes that have frozen over.
When: the opening ceremony is on 31 December 2016
Where: Parliament Hill, Ottawa, CanadaFind a flight to Ottawa
2017 Asian Winter Games – Sapporo, Japan
For the third time, the Asian Winter Games will be hosted in Sapporo, host of the 1972 Winter Olympics. For all the chills and thrills of the opening and closing ceremonies, grab your seats at the Sapporo Dome on 19 and 26 February, respectively. The dome itself also puts on quite the show with its iridescent shell designed by Japanese Architect Hiroshi Hara, and retractable surface – baseball games are played on artificial turf, while football games are played on a grass field that can be slid in and out of the stadium when needed.
11 winter sport disciplines will be practiced, including figure skating, curling, and ski jumping. Viewers can watch ski-jumpers soar off the 130-metre hill at the Ōkurayama Ski Jump Stadium. Others might opt for a white winter’s walk through Sapporo’s central park, Odori Park. It’s the perfect spot to test your pre-Olympian skills on the ice skating rink.
When: 19 – 26 February 2017
Where: Sapporo Dome, Sapporo, JapanFind a flight to Sapporo
Ferrari Land opening – Tarragona, Spain
Get those engines revving and be the first in line to experience PortAventura World Parks & Resort’s new theme park – Ferrari Land. On 7 April 2017, Tarragona, Spain will be home to 60,000 m2 dedicated to the sports car, with rides such as the tallest vertical accelerator in Europe. With speeds reaching from 0 to 180km/h in 5 seconds, don’t say we didn’t warn you.
For the Räikkönen (legendary Ferrari racer) wannabees, test the 570 metres of track on the family racing circuit or one of the several F1 simulators. Grab a bite of Italian food and play the tourist in front of recreations of the Campanile of San Marco, the Colosseum, and La Scala. It’s like two holidays in one!
When: 7 April 2017
Where: Tarragona, SpainFind a flight to nearby Barcelona
Belmond Andean Explorer launch – Cuzco to Arequipa, Peru
All aboard! There’s a new train in town, and it’s chugging through the Andes. The Belmond Andean Explorer, to be launched in May 2017, starts its journey in the historic capital of the Inca Empire, Cuzco. From the Lounge Car (complete with a grand piano) or the open deck of the Observation Car, you’ll be able to catch views of the Altiplano. The wide stretch of the Andean Plains, reaching the high altitude of 3500 metres, makes this one of the highest train journeys on Earth.
Depending on the itinerary you choose, you’ll have the chance to explore Lake Titicaca, Colca Canyon, and the Sumbay Caves. After two nights aboard the train, sleeping in luxurious cabins and dining on fine local foods, you’ll arrive at your destination – the white city of Arequipa, known as such for the white volcanic stone present in the historic centre’s architecture.
When: May 2017
Where: Cuzco, PeruFind a flight to Cuzco
Eurovision Song Contest – Kiev, Ukraine
The annual extravaganza Eurovision Song Contest hits Ukraine in 2017. On 9, 11, and 13 May , the International Exhibition Centre in Kiev, Ukraine will be the stage for the contest’s 62nd edition.
Head to Sofiyska Square to catch the Red Carpet with all the contestants lining up for the opening ceremony. This ceremony will take place inside the UNESCO World Heritage Site – Saint Sophia Cathedral. Beneath the cathedral’s 13 cupolas and amid mosaics and frescoes, one question will be on everyone’s mind – which one of the 43 participating countries will win this year?
When: Finals take place on 13 May 2017
Where: Saint Sophia Cathedral, Kiev, UkraineFind a flight to Kiev
Total Solar Eclipse – Hopkinsville, Kentucky
From Salem, Oregon to Charleston, South Carolina, brace yourselves for a total solar eclipse. The location to see the best corona (when the moon aligns with the Sun, revealing a ring of light from the Sun’s outer atmosphere) is Hopkinsville “Hoptown”, Kentucky.
While the eclipse will only be visible for two minutes and forty seconds on 21 August, events around the eclipse will go on from the 19 – 21 at the Summer Salute festival, like live music, food vendors, and family games. On Hopkinsville’s Eclipseville website, you can also find recommended public viewing areas in nearby parks, as well as official (and highly recommended) solar eclipse viewing glasses.
When: 21 August 2017
Where: Hopkinsville, Kentucky, USAFind a flight to nearby Nashville
Star Wars: Episode VIII filming – Wild Atlantic Way, Ireland
Happenings from another galaxy have been popping up all across Ireland. If you’re around the area of Malin Head, in County Donegal, you may have seen a curious structure resembling the Millenium Falcon, Han Solo’s spaceship. The arrival of this spacecraft, as well as spotting of the Hollywood cast, is without doubt for the filming of the new Star Wars: Episode VIII, due to come out in December 2017. As the cast and crew are sworn to secrecy regarding dates and locations of shooting, you have to be up for quite the treasure hunt to spot the film sites.
Other locations along the Wild Atlantic Way are also to be featured in the film. In Ceann Sibéal, a Jedi village has been built, as well as a replica of Skellig Michael, a rocky island and Christian monastery recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where filming of the previous Star Wars movie took place.
When: filming will continue throughout 2017; the movie comes out in December 2017
Where: Wild Atlantic Way, IrelandFind a flight to nearby Donegal