February begins the Chinese year
of the snake, (even though this is
probably a dragon).
Firstly, Visa Bureau and STA Travel's flight competition is still on, book your flights to Australia from STA Travel before 31 March and you could win the cost of your flight back, up to £1000!
Summer in Australia is so hot that there doesn't really need to be all that much going on, you can just sit on the beach, in the garden, on a bench, next to your fridge or just on a bus and enjoy enough sunshine that you don't really have to do anything.
However, February is here now and even though it's still hot, your face won't melt if you venture out in the afternoon. And as it cools down to a manageable 30 or so degrees, that means everyone can come out to play again and there is a LOT on this month:
Chinese New Year - nationwide
First off, Chinese New Year - also known as the Spring Festival - takes place this month. That means that wherever Chinese influence can be found, you'll find celebrations this month. Pretty much every major Australian city has its own Chinatown so head down there at some point this month to see dragon parades, a myriad of food stalls and Chinese lanterns endangering some local birds' lives.
I like cleanin' win-ders
The Roaring 20s and All That Jazz Festival - until the 24th
The popularity of Boardwalk Empire has led to a resurgence in the roaring, prohibition, art-deco gothic style of the 20s. Where Gatsby fooled us all and people tap danced to work in full coat and tails. If this sort of melodrama excites you and you'd like a chance to try and talk as fast and accusatory as possible, the Roaring 20s and All That Jazz Festival takes place between the 2nd and the 24th of the month at a variety of venues across the city.
Cupid's Undie Run - 10th
I think we've done pretty well to get this far into a blog about February without mention Valentine's Day so far. Oh well. If you're lucky enough to have another soul to cling to this Valentine's Day then why not get down to Darling Harbour and rub your 'happiness' in everyone's faces? Alternatively, why not mask your terrible loneliness and fears about slipping in the shower (only to be found as a half decayed, naked corpse a few weeks later when the neighbours complain about the smell) by also heading down to the harbour and getting involve in Cupid's Undie Run.
Given it's hot enough to be in your fruit of the looms anyway, why not celebrate the weekend by jogging around the harbour in them for charity? Who knows, you might just meet somebody! Or, if you're already a couple, you might just meet somebody better!
AGWA Yacht Club - 23rd
What's the point in Sydney Harbour if you can't have a giant party right in the middle of it? Sitting on blankets around the edges is for pensioners. If you want to be in the middle of one of the world's most iconic sites in the world, completely unaware of that fact while you mangle the night away in some booze filled, strobe-lit paradise than the AGWA Yacht Club might just be for you.
This is just what she's wearing to get
Melbourne Latin Summer Festival - 9th
If you can't afford to get to Rio this month for Carnivale, don't panic. The Melbourne Latin Summer Festival makes for a more than good enough substitute and doesn't involve you travelling within feet of some of the most dangerous gangsters in the world's hot tubs. Not only will you have the chance to sample some of the best jerked and salsa'd to be found anywhere. There'll also be lots and lots of young, nubile flesh on display in some very elaborate (but little concealing) feathery outfits.
St Kilda Festival 2013 - until the 10th
One of Australia's best music festivals - and one of the world's best free music festivals - takes place in Melbourne this month. Now over 30 years, the veteran St Kilda Festival doesn't look like slowing down with over 60 acts spread over nine days and all the roads closed on the final Sunday.
Big Screen Gaming - 7th, 14th, 21st and 28th
You may think your 42 inch plasma TV, 7.1 surround sound, PS3 AND Xbox 360 makes you a bit of a playa in the entertainment system game but you might as well be playing on your Tamagotchi compared to the Big Screen Gaming on offer in Federation Sqare this month.
Cypress Hill Melbourne - 28th
If you spend significant parts of your youth under rainy bus stops in the 90s/early 2000s, chances are you had your Cypress Hill phase. Well, the old hip hop group are still going, still insane in the membrane from all those hits from the bong and will be playing Melbourne this month on the side of their appearance at the Soundwave Festival.
Tropfest is now one of the biggest
film festivals around.
Tropfest 2013 - 17th
Tropfest is quite quickly developing a reputation for itself as a name-maker. Now one of the most respected short film festivals in the world, some of the past year's victors have gone on to forge very respectable Hollywood careers after winning prizes at the worldwide festival. Get down there to see some of the names of the future sweat out critics' and repeated screenings of their pride and joy - nothing is good after the 5th viewing.
BrisAsia Festival - 8th to 23rd
Australia heads into the Asian Century with a sneaky advantage over its Western nation partners: it's almost next door. Australia's ties with its Asian cousin will only strengthen as the years go on and Brisbane is getting a jump on it with the BrisAsia Festival. A 16 day festival designed to highlight the burgeoning relationship with plenty of Asian-infused barbecue and games nights to make new friends over.
Brisbane Comedy Festival - from the 26th
If you need a few laughs to get over the grimness that is Valentine's Day alone or you're still caught up in the bubble of love that that delightful pair of socks so romantically conjured, the Brisbane Comedy Festival gets underway this month with tonnes of acts from all over the world ready to come and die on stage for your amusement.
Bleach Festival - from the 16th
What's the point in being in Australia if you can't spend almost every waking moment on the beach? Only returning to the safety of an airconditioned room to apply more Aloe to glowing skin? The Bleach Festival gives you the opportunity to do just that a variety of events - including gigs, pop up shows and exhibitions - taking place across the city.
Photo: The Color Run
The Color Run 2013 - 17th
We've written of the Color Run before - when it's visited other Australian cities and this month it's Perth's turn. Hundreds of runners, clad in nothing but gleaming white clothes they run around a pre determined track only to be pelted with various brightly coloured powders at various points of the course. Whether you're running for charity or just taking out your anger on humanity with a fistful of purple powder - it's a great day out for all involved.
Fringe World Festival - until the 23rd
Fringe festivals are where artists go to find out whether they're any good or not and at the Fringe World Festival - you get to be the judge. What more could possibly want than the power in your hands to determine whether someone goes home with a smile on their face and lifechanging career ahead of them or with their dreams crushed faced with the prospect of working in a call centre for the rest of their life because they can't explain the four year gap in their CV as anything more than 'mucking around'?
Perth Festival 2013 - from the 8th
Art is a bit of a generic term so the Perth Festival doesn't take any risks. Welcoming dramatists, circus performers, fire jugglers, modern dancers, cellists and filmers and every other type of artist in between the festival offers up one of the most diverse three weeks to be had anywhere in the world. Some of the highlights include the Chevron Festival Gardens and the Scattered Light exhibtion.
Brazil Film Festival 2013 - 21st to the 24th
Anyone who has seen the masterpiece that is the City of God knows that Brazilian film is rarely to be missed. With a culture and a level of diversity to be found in few other places, the 'average Brazilian film' is as oxymoronic as 'a decent Robbie Williams album'. With the country due to host not only the next World Cup but also the next Olympic Games, Brazil has got plenty to boast about at the minute and the Brazil Film Festival doesn't aim to disappoint.
The Smile Off Your Face - from the 28 Feb
Lastly we have something a little different than usual. The Smile Off Your Face is hard to categorise, it's not really theatre seeing as you're not watching, it's not really an exhibition seeing as you're participating. Whatever it is it has been travelling the world now for a few years and leaving profound reviews and changed people in its wake. Without ruining the surprise, it involves you relenting almost all control to other people and allowing them to find your comfort zone through a variety of means. Check out this review from the Guardian for a little more info.
- Dominic Ladden-Powell is the Online Editor with the Australian Visa Bureau, an independent migration consultancy specialising in helping people lodge applications for a Working Holiday Visa to Australia.
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