Urla March 9 Herb Festival
Urla, Izmir (23 – 24 March)
Now in its eighth year, Urla March 9 Herb Festival has been included in this year’s calendar with the collaborative decision of Urla Natural Food Volunteers and the Municipality of Urla. Growing its popularity with more and more visitors every year, the festival aims at making local nutrition, rural development and the natural wealth of Urla sustainable by holding workshops for getting familiar with regional herbs, collecting herbs and getting to know local herb dishes, as well as by organising concerts, interviews and cultural trips.
Akbank Short Film Festival
Akbank Sanat, Istanbul (18- 28 March)
Akbank Short Film Festival has developed into a pioneer by creating a platform with the awareness of the significance of short films in the art of cinema. Held for the 15th time this year, the festival will offer enjoyable moments to cinema-lovers with all its interviews and workshops of large participation from both home and abroad.
Bolshoi Ballet Screenings: Sleeping Beauty
Zorlu PSM Studio, Istanbul 16:00 (24 March)
On her 16th birthday, Princess Aurora falls into a slumber of one hundred years under the spell of the wicked fairy Carabosse. And only the kiss of a prince can broke that spell. It is possible to encounter many characters from fairies and the Little Red Riding Hood to the Puss in Boots in this Bolshoi Ballet version of the Sleeping Beauty, one of the most memorable fairy tales. The performance featuring a preeminent ballet dancer of our age, Olga Smirnova, as Princess Aurora is one of the most significant examples of contemporary ballet.
Las Fallas Festival
Valencia, Spain (15-19 March)
During Las Fallas festival which is held to celebrate the arrival of spring in Valencia, Spain from 15-19 March every year, the city turns into a huge theatre scene. At the festival flooded by around two million visitors, massive wooden puppets called La Falla, which are made by master carpenters in consequence of a one-year work, are placed in 30 different spots in the city centre and burnt one by one after being exhibited for one week.
Van Gogh and Britain – London
London, United Kingdom (27 March-11 August)
40 works to be displayed at the Van Gogh and Britain exhibition at Tate Modern will showcase how Van Gogh influenced British artists as well as how the painter was inspired by Britain. Banded together from various collections, the selection will also include the painting Sunflowers.
Maastricht, Netherlands (16-24 March)
Established in 1988, TEFAF is regarded as the world’s prominent organisation for fine arts, antiques and design. Born in the picturesque middle-age city Maastricht in Limburg, the southern province of the Netherlands, as one of the three internationally running TEFAF art fairs, TEFAF Maastricht is currently the showcase for the best works of art in the market. In addition to the traditional areas consisting of Old Master paintings, antiques and classical antiquities that cover approximately half of the fair, you can also find modern and contemporary art, photography, jewellery, 20th Century designs and works on paper. Covering a 7,000 years of art history, TEFAF Maastricht will be open for visits from 16-24 March.
Portsmouth, ENGLAND (29 March)
UB40 is a reggae band formed in England in 1978 with a line-up of many musicians from different countries of the world. The band is famous for its unique cover versions of pop and reggae songs of the 60s. The band reached number one with Labour of Love, an album consisting of cover songs, and the cover versions of Neil Diamond’s Red Red Wine and Elvis Presley’s Can’t Help Falling In Love helped the band stay on the charts for weeks. UB40 will perform at Portsmouth Guildhall on 29 March.
Rouketopolemos “rocket war” is the name of a local traditional event held annually at Easter in the town of Vrontados on the Greek island of Chios. As a variation of the Greek custom of throwing fireworks during the celebration of the service at midnight before Easter Sunday, two rival church congregations in the town perform a “rocket war” by firing thousands of home-made rockets across town, with the objective of hitting the bell tower of the church of the other side. The rockets are wooden sticks loaded with a propellant mixture containing gunpowder, and are launched from grooved platforms.
The two rival parishes are Agios Markos and Panaghia Erythiani, the respective churches built on two hilltops about 400 meters away from each other. Direct hits on each belfry are supposedly counted on the next day to determine the winner, but each parish invariably claims victory over the other. The result of this apparent disagreement is that both parishes agree to settle the score next year, and the rivalry is thus perpetuated.
The municipality section of Homeropolis is taking all the necessary precautions in order for the event to be held smoothly, without any hazards. The churches and the nearby buildings have to be extensively boarded up and protected with metal sheets and mesh for the occasion. The event was temporarily cancelled in 2016, due to complaints by residents for property damage. It was restored in 2017, with limitations on the duration and number of rockets launched.Just 10,000 rockets were launched on Resurrection night in 2018. No comparison to the number of rockets until 2015: more than 150,000 rockets used to be launched between afternoon and midnight on Easter Saturday.
The visitors can enjoy a magnificent visual experience by watching the event from the area of Aipos mountain. Access to the mountain’s snake road, which grants admittedly the best view of the event, can be achieved by car or on foot.
The origin of this event is unclear, but local tradition holds that it goes back to the Ottoman era. According to local lore it was earlier performed with real cannons, until Ottoman authorities prohibited their use in 1889. Potential visitors should note that the event will be held on Saturday, April 27, 2019.
For travel organisations you can contact Arkas Tourism 444 9 777
Special thanks to Rena Pagoudi-Damigou – Municipality of Chios Island – Department of Employment, Marine & Tourism