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Feel a Part of History

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Before the majorly fun Burning Man and Coachella, waaaaay before iconic Woodstock even, festivals have been around as early as ancient Egypt. These early Egyptians wanted to celebrate their religious ceremonies or political fests and what better way to party than with music and dancing. We enjoy music festivals as much as the next feather-headdress-fringe-kimono lover but we think it’s also cool to participate in an event where history plays a major role. From East Asia to London, from our own turf in Manila to our comrades in Spain, we’d like to share what events steeped in history continue to be celebrated around the world.

The Haro Wine Festival is one of the happiest wine-related festivals we've seen.

The Haro Wine Festival is one of the happiest wine-related festivals we’ve seen.

HARO WINE FESTIVAL (6/28-30)

We briefly talked about the Spanish region of La Rioja in one of our previous entries, and we thought we’d give the beautiful place another go. As some festivals are, this fun-filled wine-throwing celebration started as a land dispute issue in the 12th or 13th century, but the first official Batalla del Vino started in the early 18th century on Saint Peter’s feast day when everyone started throwing wine at each other. It got so popular that in 1965, the Haro Wine Festival became an important festivity in Spain and turned into one of the world’s most visited festival.

Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty is an homage to his catwalk creations.

Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty is an homage to his catwalk creations.

ALEXANDER MCQUEEN: SAVAGE CREATION

McQueen is a legend himself–he is, after all, one of the world’s most celebrated fashion icons. Doing both a tribute to the London of the late fashion designer and to his own designs since 1992, the V&A Museum invites everyone to marvel at what what makes McQueen, McQueen and what makes London, London. The museum contains the largest collection of decorative pieces–on top of housing around 4.5 million objects throughout history, the V&A has 145 galleries. Of course, McQueen isn’t the only designer they paid tributed to. Throughout its 184-year existence, the V&A also displayed works by English architect William Kent and 18th century English designer James ‘Athenian’ Stuart, London fashion during the 1980s, and portraits, jewelry and embroidery of the English Royal Courts. The V&A does cover everything. If you’re headed to England’s capital soon, make sure this is on one of your stops. Until August 2, 2015.

After V&A, take a breather along Henley-at-Thames.

After V&A, take a breather along Henley-at-Thames.

THE HENLEY REGATTA (7/1-5)

The only times the Henley Regatta didn’t push through were during the two World Wars. This famous display of exceptional rowing skills along the River Thames started way back in 1831, and after gaining much popularity (the Royal Family would usually attend–the last visit was in 2010), it’s become one of the most-anticipated sporting events in England.

Ayala Museum gives us a look into the northern Japanese region of Tohoku.

Ayala Museum gives us a look into the northern Japanese region of Tohoku.

BEAUTIFUL HANDICRAFTS OF TOHOKU, JAPAN (until 7/26)

Let’s go back to Manila for a while before we go anywhere else. Ayala Museum has been mounting exhibits about several cultures around the world apart from our own, and this time they worked with the Japan Foundation in Manila to showcase a traveling exhibition of several traditional handicrafts from Tohoku, Japan. Tohoku is a rural area to the north of Japan with a rich artistic heritage, as seen on some of its shrines as you pass round small cities like Akita and Miyagi. From decorated candles to bark craftsmanship, Tohoku’s art still lives on beyond the tides of calamity. While we are very much acquainted with their popular culture, there’s so much more to the archipelago, whose cultural history is as rich as ours. So if you have time this weekend, head on over to the Ayala Museum and be inspired with Japanese handicrafts.

The Gion Matsuri is Japan's most important festival.

The Gion Matsuri is Japan’s most important festival.

GION MATSURI (7/1-31)

Gion is a district in Kyoto, Japan known for its Geishas, and very year, a vibrant festival erupts. Its history developed more than a thousand years ago, when the Japanese then claimed that great spiritual or natural forces caused catastrophes like tsunamis and earthquakes. To appease the wrath of these deities, they created purification ceremonies which paid respects to the gods. And they’d do this every time a calamity occurred. Over time, this solemn ceremony turned colorful and celebratory, with elaborate parades along the streets–it was also an opportunity for the affluent to show off their wealth. During the Ashikaga shogunate, officials halted all religious ceremonies–they stopped the rituals but continued with the procession.  Today, the Japanese (and foreign travelers) come together in Gion every July to celebrate as a way to pay respects to the gods of the earth, wind and sky, and the matsuri (festival) continues to be one of the country’s most beloved annual events filled with floats and processions. Don’t forget to wear a yukata!

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We are two friends who were former magazine editors. Having moved onto other things, we both realized that the creative flow the publishing world used to offer us was missing from our lives. Armed with a common love of travel to the exotic and familiar, a penchant for the bohemian, an obsession with food and a lust for writing, we decided to collaborate our unique and fashionable journeys through life together in one passion project.

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