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For Canadians, the 3rd weekend in May, or the “May Long” (weekend is implied), is the unofficial start to summer. While technically this is the Victoria Day weekend — named in honor of Queen Victoria’s birthday — most Canadians are feeling victorious for surviving yet another cold northern winter. This is a nation where we break out the shorts at the first thaw; so, we’re pretty pleased to kick off the season with a weekend at the cottage or in our backyards with a barbecue. For tourists, here are 5 classic things to do in Canada this summer:
May is National Barbecue Month and we’re celebrating everything good about marinade, spice-rubbed and basted barbecue goodness! In the traditional sense, barbecue is a preferred method for cooking meat: chicken, pork, steak and more with gas, smoking wood or charcoal.
With so many states (Texas, North Carolina, Tennessee and Kansas) laying claim to fame that their barbecue is the best, how do you decide where to start your barbecue tour? READ MORE
Photography by Reuters
Cinco de Mayo, which means “5th of May” in Spanish, celebrates Mexico’s victory over the French in the Battle of Puebla in 1862. And in many cities in Mexico and in the US, Cinco de Mayo means it’s time for a fiesta.
Celebrated on May 5 each year, more than 120 cities across the US have Cinco de Mayo celebrations where you can listen to live Mariachi bands, enjoy authentic Mexican cuisine and throw back a few margaritas or cervezas. So grab your sombrero and maracas, and head to one of the best cities in the US to celebrate Cinco de Mayo 2014! READ MORE
Author Jermel-Lynn Quillopo wearing plumeria and purple orchid leis.
Flowers play such an essential part of the Hawaiian culture and having them strung together into a lei symbolizes a form of Aloha. Aloha translates into phrases such as “hello”, “goodbye”, “I love you” and “thank you.” The gesture of the Aloha spirit also comes in the form of presenting beautifully fragrant leis during occasions such as birthdays, anniversaries, and graduations.
The phrase “May Day is Lei Day”, dates back to 1928 when local newspaper writer Don Blanding wrote an article suggesting there be a day dedicated to the tradition of lei giving. If you’re ever on the islands on May Day (May 1st ), you’ll see many draped in colorful and beautifully fragrant leis made from an assortment of flowers such as cigar flowers, orchids and tea leaf.
The original lei stands started during Hawaii’s Boat Days era, when worldwide visitors arrived in big cruise ships into the Aloha Tower Harbor. These visitors would be welcomed with grass skirt wearing hula dancers, beautiful ukulele medleys and greeted with a lei to wear; making the lei Hawaiiʻs international symbol of Aloha.
Photography by Getty Images
There’s no better way to experience the history, soul and charm of The Big Easy than at a festival. While Mardi Gras is the most popular and well-known festival in New Orleans, the celebrations don’t stop there. With more than 400,000 attendees each year, the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, also known as Jazz Fest, is the city’s second most popular festival.
Taking place from April 25 to May 4 this spring at the Fair Grounds Race Course, this 10-day, 2 weekend festival celebrates the music and culture of New Orleans and Louisiana with live music, authentic Louisiana cuisine and crafting. READ MORE
On April 22, more than 1 billion people in 192 countries around the world celebrate Earth Day. Since its first celebration in 1970, Earth Day has focused on increasing awareness and sustainability of the environment through a variety of educational programs, exhibits and events.
Each year, the Earth Day Network — an organization that works with more than 22,000 partners, including environmental advocates, educators and organizations to promote the environmental movement — coordinates Earth Day events with cities and countries around the world. READ MORE
Photography by Tribeca Film Festival
From April 16-27, the hip NYC neighborhood of Tribeca will welcome film fanatics from around the world for the 13th annual Tribeca Film Festival.
With more than 5,000 submissions from around the world, many of the films selected for this year’s festival will be showing for the first time as North American, international or world premieres. Starting at $9 for late-night or weekday matinee tickets, festival-goers will have the opportunity to be among the films’ first viewers. READ MORE
Photography By San Antonio Convention & Visitors Bureau
For more than a century, San Antonio has honored the heroes of the Alamo and Battle of San Jacinto with an annual parade and celebration. Now, one of the largest festivals in the US, Fiesta San Antonio welcomes almost 3.5 million people each year.
A fun, family-friendly event for all ages, this year’s Texas-sized Fiesta will take place April 10-27, and will offer 110 events such as concerts, parades, cook-offs and more. READ MORE
Photography by Getty
This April, thousands of free-spirited music lovers will flock to the California desert for the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in Indio.
The annual 2 weekend, 3-day festival will take place April 11-13 and 18-20. It will feature multiple stages for live music performances from more than 150 artists, and from every genre, including rock, hip-hop and electronic. This year’s headliners include OutKast, Muse and Arcade Fire, in addition to other popular artists such as Ellie Goulding, Pharrel Williams and Lana Del Rey. READ MORE
Photography by Reuters
Each year, in March and April, millions of people flock to Washington, DC, to experience the beauty of the National Cherry Blossom Festival when thousands of cherry blossom trees bloom along the Tidal Basin.
Today marks the average peak bloom date for the cherry blossom trees, and while the actual bloom date is difficult to predict, the National Park Service predicts that this spring’s peak bloom period is between April 8 and 12.
If you’re planning a visit, a stroll along the Tidal Basin is a must, but here are some other ways you can also celebrate the festival in the nation’s capital: READ MORE