The Year of the Goat: Chinese New Year Around The World

Red Lanterns

Chinese New Year celebrations are starting

The Chinese New Year or Spring Festival is fast approaching. Traditionally celebrated by East and Central Asian countries, this year the festival will run from the 18th to the 24th of February with celebrations peaking on New Year’s Day, 19th February.

For the Chinese, 2015 is known to be the year of the Goat (or sheep). It is said to be a particularly promising year for those born in 1919, 1931, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991 and 2003.

The traditions and cultural practices are wide and varied in the lead-up to the New Year – they start from cleaning the house in preparation of the New Year to putting together the food which can prophetically set the scene for the next 12 months.

For those planning on getting involved here are a few of the Chinese customs associated with this time of the year:

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All That Glitters: The Sydney Mardi Gras Festival

Mardi Gras header

Mardi Gras is coming!

A plume of colour and sparkle is on its way to the harbour city. The Sydney Mardi Gras festival kicks off on the 20th of February and runs through until the 8th March 2015. Over this couple of weeks, thousands of people traditionally descend on Sydney Australia in order to raise the visibility of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex communities. And boy, do they know how to party.

If you are keen to get involved, these are the key dates you should be putting in your diary:

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Lights, Costumes, Colour … It Must Be Carnival!

costumes for Carnival.

Carnival is one of the biggest festivals in the world!

Carnival in Rio is one of the biggest and most famous festivals in the world.  The fiesta is held in the lead up to Lent and it is estimated that there are more than two million people on the street in celebration every day. The first festival  in Rio dates back to 1723 and with the 2016 summer Olympic Games just around the corner, you can bet that the 2015 carnival will be one of the most impressive yet!

Carnival is four days of music and dance, with street festivals taking place all over the city, costume gala balls and most importantly, the incredibly colourful samba parades.

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Engaging Hotel Service: The World’s Most Incredible Proposal Packages

Would you propose on Valentine's Day?

Would you propose on Valentine’s Day?

Asking for someone’s hand in marriage is undeniably daunting – figuring out how to do so in an unforgettable, ultra-romantic way is just plain stressful. Viral videos capturing extraordinary proposals is certainly putting pressure on would-be fiancés to pop the question in a unique and memorable manner.

Consequently, we’re seeing an increase in tailored engagement package from hotels across the globe that take a lot of the apprehension out of getting down on bended knee. The hotels can manage every dreamy detail, from the perfect setting to the engagement ring itself.

Hotels can manage every dreamy detail, from the perfect setting to the engagement ring itself.

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Movie Maps: Where Films Are Shot Worldwide

We’ve all felt it: a sudden desire to travel, sparked by some exotic scene that’s playing across the silver screen. What’s more intriguing than the prospect of a real visit to the far-flung geographic gems that movies reveal? At HotelsCombined, we’ve got all your REAL travel needs covered – even to destinations you’ve only seen on film. In fact, we set out to uncover the hottest spots for film locations across the world, using Movie-Locations.com’s massive database to determine where the movie magic happens when Hollywood leaves… Hollywood.

First, we surveyed the number of major-studio films shot in every nation worldwide, and determined the 10 countries outside the U.S. with the most film locations total, ranked in order. Check them out in the graphic below:

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Cosy Country Getaways: Australia’s Ten Best Hidden Gems

The stunning Berenbell Vineyard Retreat

The stunning Berenbell Vineyard Retreat

Australia is about so much more than its major city centres – from beaches to deserts, we lay claim to some of the most awe-inspiring landscapes on the planet. With over 12,000 diverse Aussie accommodation options on our site, we here at HotelsCombined offer a vast quantity of truly incredible country retreats and that’s why, with the Australia Day long weekend once more upon us, we decided to list our 10 favourites.

Based on features such as location, amenities and guest reviews, these stand-out properties promise a truly unforgettable – and distinctly Australian – experience:

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Hotels with Height: The World’s Ten Best Treetop Stays

Xinalani

You can get up close with nature at one of these incredible treetop getaways

A treehouse sojourn is a memorable holiday that every avid traveller should add to their bucket list. From the steamy jungles of the Amazon to the snow-capped mountains of New Zealand, we’ve unearthed the planet’s most incredible treetop escapes:

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English Fail: The 10 Most Misspelled Destinations of 2014

"Londyn" or "Londin"? Guess which city tops the list of the most misspelled destinations in 2014?

“Londyn” or “Londin”? Guess which city tops the list of the most misspelled destinations in 2014?

Understandably, some destinations can be tricky to spell. Others… well, you would think we’d have nailed them by now! We’ve taken a look at the some of the the most common spelling mistakes travelers from English speaking countries have made when searching for destinations, and let me tell you – there are a few surprises.

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The Top Cities In The World To Spend NYE

Would you spend NYE 2014 in London?

Would you spend NYE 2014 in London?

The countdown is nearly here; soon the champagne corks will be popping and the bells will be ringing. So where will you be? Where is your destination of choice to celebrate the transition of 2014 to 2015?

We’ve taken a look at our database of hotels (there are over 800,000 in there!) to see just where our users (over 30 million every month) are headed. So if you are wondering where all the cool kids will be staying on the 31st December 2014, without further ado these are the top destinations:

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Doggone Spoiled: The World’s Craziest Hotel Pet Perks

Don't leave Fido at home while you holiday; now he can come too.

Don’t leave Fido at home while you holiday; now he can come too.

People obviously really, really love their pets, with accessories and services for pawed pals raking in billions of dollars across the globe. Sometimes, the sheer indulgence that these furry friends receive boggles the mind – most humans don’t even have it so good!

We combed through the extensive HotelsCombined database of pet-friendly hotels to find the wackiest amenities on offer and the level of luxury we uncovered has left us seriously envying man’s best friend:

 

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