Image courtesy of jdickert
As we get closer to bidding 2010 a fond farewell and preparing for that New Year’s Eve party that will set the tone for 2011, you can’t help but be excited for all the wonderful events, technologies and new cinema releases we have to look forward to in the upcoming year.
Event wise, South Africa will be looking at some major musical talent flying in to blow our ear drums away. Rammstein, one of the most successful German-language bands of all time, are coming down in February, Roxette performing live at the Grand West in May and the biggest surprise this year: Kings of Leon will here in March. But before all that, South African audiences will get their first taste of 2011’s musical buffet as U2 is going to blow the lid off stadiums in Cape Town and Johannesburg.
On the Technology front, we may all soon see the beginning of the end to house cleaning in 2011. A materials engineer in Australia is fast overcoming the hurdles keeping us from self cleaning products. Meanwhile next year is the due date for what AT&T is calling 4G and will result in blindingly fast wireless downloads. Toyota is also looking at drastically reducing the costs of all their hybrid cars, while lithium ion batteries are producing the biggest buzz in the electric car market which will pack more power and last far longer than anything else on the market today. Add to this the fact that the current trend in finding eco-friendly solutions is set increase by leaps and bounds in 2011, and the environmental prospects for this New Year look especially great.
At the Cinema, 2011 seems to be the year for bigger box office extravaganzas. The final instalment of the Harry Potter franchise, a new chapter in The Pirates of the Caribbean, and all new invasion movies with Cowboys and Aliens and Battle: Los Angeles. Hollywood has also gone super hero crazy with no less than five super powered movies compromising of Thor, Green Lantern, Green Hornet, Captain America and X-men: First Class.
The Twankey champagne and oyster bar will be celebrating the New Year not once but six times as its Global Gathering New Year’s event invites everyone to party across 120 countries through six time zones.The Taj Cape Town will also provide luxury accommodation at reduced rates for everyone attending their New Years Events.
Image courtesy of Kelvin Kay
Christmas Eve: the one night of the festive season where expectation mixes with wonder and most of the world is practically giddy with same kind of excitement that keeps us up late waiting for Santa Claus or sneaking in a few cookies and glass of milk before bedtime.
As we prepare for our Christmas Eve celebrations at the Taj Cape Town, it’s easy for us to realise one of the great joys of being a part of a holiday that transcends borders. It’s in discovering all the little cultural differences to be found that different countries take on Christmas.
For instance, in Australia they have a competing version of Santa Claus called the “Swag Man”, who wears a brown Akubra hat, a blue singlet and long baggy shorts. He is said to spend all winter under Ayers Rock “with his merry dingoes” and then comes out at Christmas, delivering presents in his huge four-wheel drive.”
In Eastern Europe, Svaty Mikalas is their version of Old St Nick, and is believed to climb to earth down from heaven on a golden rope. There’s a tradition in Poland that involves cutting a branch from a cherry tree putting it in water. It’s considered a sign of good luck if it blooms in time for Christmas.
The main symbol of the season in Greece is a shallow wooden bowl with sprig of basil wrapped around a wooden cross suspended by a wire across the rim. Once a day, the cross and basil is dipped in holy water which is sprinkled in each room of the house to keep goblins and sprites away during Christmas. These bowls are much more popular in Greece than Christmas trees.
In South America, the main focus of the season throughout the continent is displaying the presepio or manger. Some displays will even take up a whole room, complete with landscape and tiny figures made to scale, including the Wise Men crossing the desert on their camels, water mills, grottos, electric trains, and even sailboats on the sea.
But for us, celebrating Christmas will be about bringing the festive spirit to the heart of Cape Town. The Taj Cape Town will be providing luxury accommodation in Cape Town as well as a host of festive activities throughout this Christmas season, starting tonight with our Christmas Eve Dinner and continuing through to the New Year.