2013 is a year of significant events, festivals and anniversaries. There has never been a better excuse to get out there and see what’s going on for yourself!
40 Years of Peace in Vietnam, 27 January 2013
Those of a certain age will remember where they were when peace was declared in the Vietnam War in 1973. The violent war lasted nearly twenty years and waged a bloody battle between the communist north and the anti-communist south and her allies. The Vietnam War started in 1955 and centered on Laos and Cambodia as well as Vietnam. Despite the peace treaty on 27 January 1973, the war didn’t officially end until 30 April 1975, when the tank crashed through the Independence Palace gates, in what is now considered the most iconic scene of the Vietnam War. The palace is pictured above in Ho Chi Minh City, formerly called Saigon.
Special Olympics Winter Games in South Korea, 29 January 2013
Thanks to the recent smash hit, ‘Gangnam Style’, South Korea has been placed firmly on travellers radars. And in addition to bizarre dance crazes, South Korea is also firmly establishing itself as a prime sports and activities destination. This is evident as the country has been chosen to host the prestigious Special Olympic Winter Games from 29 January to 5 February. Te city of PyeongChang will host such wintersports as speed skating, figure skating and snowboarding. In addition South Korea will also host the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games and World Rowing Championships later in 2013.
100th Anniversary of the Grand Central Terminal in New York, USA, 2 February 2013
The most famous commuter train station in the world turns 100 in February. The absolutely magnificent Beaux-Arts style architecture was unveiled on 2 February 1903 and a lot has changed since then! Following a horrific train crash in January 1902, the importance of electric trains became apparent and the station, often hailed as the most beautiful in the world, was born. Located on 42nd Street and Park Avenue in New York, the Grand Central site covers about one hectare. And with 68 shops and 35 dining option, this is going to one awesome centennial to remember!
Rio Carnival in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 9 February 2013
All eyes are on Rio de Janeiro in the run up to the 2016 Olympic Games! And this February will be no exception with the biggest and boldest carnival on earth – the Rio Carnaval! Running for 4 days until 12th February, attendees can expect lively dancing, vibrant music and outrageous costumes. With public festivals dating back to 1723, this city sure knows how to party. 2 million daily attendees cannot be wrong. Don’t forget to check for deals online in advance; Rio de Janeiro gets really busy at this time of the year.
200th Birthday of Explorer David Livingstone, 19 March 2013
You may know the name but do you know the history behind it? David Livingstone was a legendary Scottish explorer who led multiple expeditions throughout southern and central Africa including the Zambezi River and The River Nile. His story is inspirational and there’s no doubt that he’s shaped modern Africa. And yes that legendary quote “Dr. Livingstone, I presume?” is based on a meeting with him!
60th Anniversary of James Bond, 13 April 2013
The world’s most famous spy celebrates his 60th anniversary this year. The very first book by author Ian Fleming was Casino Royale which was published on 13 April 1953. In fact there were 14 books and short stories written in total by Ian Fleming about the legendary womaniser 007. Fleming wrote the works at his estate ‘Goldeneye’ in Jamaica. Following his death in 1964, other writers have continued the James Bond character. There have been 23 Bond films in total, with the most recent ‘Skyfall’ recently names the most popular Bond film ever. And 9 actors have played Bond in the movies – how many can you name?
60 Years Since the First Everest Ascent, 29 May 2013
A stupendous feat of human endurance was achieved on 29 May 1953 as two men reached the peak of mighty Mount Everest. Tenzing Norgay from Nepal and Edmund Hillary from New Zealand completed the climb for the very first time. This year honours the 60th anniversary where the highest mountain on earth was conquered. Standing at a huge 8,848 m (29,029 ft), many adventurers still long to match that achievement, to reach the ‘top of the world’. And in case you wondered about the first woman to reach the summit of Everest; Junko Tabei of Japan achieved it on 16 May 1975.
100th Tour de France, 29 June 2013
The sport of cycling has been in the press continuously in recent years although the awesome victory of Bradley Wiggins in 2012 helped tip the news back into the positive (no pun intended). In 2013 the 100th Tour de France begins on the island of Corsica and runs from 29 June to 21 July. This year the steeper, more gruelling route spans 3,360km and is set exclusively within France to honour the anniversary. The finish will be along the illuminated Champs Elysees in Paris at night.
50th Anniversary of ‘I Have a Dream’ Speech, 28 August 2013
The 28th of August in 2013 marks the 50th anniversary of the most famous speech in the world; Martin Luther King, Jr.’s ‘I Have a Dream’. He addressed the now legendary speech to over 200,000 supporters of civil rights that had gathered on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC. Commemorative events start with Martin Luther King, Jr. Day on 21 January and will continue throughout 2013.
50 Years of Kenyan Independence, 12 December 2013
The East African country of Kenya will celebrate the 50th anniversary of independence from the British this year. Kenya has been occupied since the very first Arab traders arrived in the 1st century AD. The Portuguese reached Mombasa in 1498 as explorer Vasco da Gama staked the claim on behalf of Portugal. The British rule lasted from 1895 through to independence on 12 December 1963, were Kenya was declared an independent Republic. There will be heritage events and cultural celebrations throughout 2013.
By Julie Bowman