Behind the fine art of Christmas baubles

Behind the fine art of Christmas baubles

It’s that time of year, to hang lovely balls and baubles from the tree as you decorate your house for Christmas. But as you’re hanging all those colourful charms, did you ever wonder who invented these now traditional decorations, and how they’re made? The first Christmas bauble similar to the...

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4 lesser-known Diwali celebrations

4 lesser-known Diwali celebrations

The celebrations of Diwali are held at a huge scale in India. With the neighbourhoods lit up with bright oil lamps, candles, earthen lamps, and fairy lights, this auspicious moonless night is celebrated with much fervor and enthusiasm. No matter which part of India you are in, you’ll find locals...

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The 4th of July party that’s not on the 4th of July

The 4th of July party that’s not on the 4th of July

Full disclosure: I rarely celebrate the 4th of July. In fact, despite living in New York City, this year was the first time I’d ever seen the official Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks Show (from a friend’s rooftop and yes, it was pretty awesome).   This symbolic long weekend (one...

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Ramadan kareem! Stories of devotion from around the world

Ramadan kareem! Stories of devotion from around the world

I’ve spent five years living in the Middle East (based predominantly out of Cairo but also doing lengthy stints in Turkey and Morocco), and so non-Muslim travellers often ask me if Ramadan is a good time to visit the Islamic world. From my own experience, I can say with some...

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Tips for travellers during Ramadan

Tips for travellers during Ramadan

Travelling to a Muslim destination during Ramadan and not sure what to expect? We’ve got you covered with all the basics you’ll need to know about the holy month. What is Ramadan? Ramadan is the holy month of the Islamic calendar, when all Muslims dedicate themselves to religious thoughts. It’s...

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A Ramadan welcome in Eastern Turkey

A Ramadan welcome in Eastern Turkey

Come in, come in! A young lady called us from her doorstep. I didn’t understand her language, but I could see her hands, pointing towards the gate, furling and unfurling with the international gesture for ‘Come in, join us, you’re welcome here.’ We had been warned not to linger outdoors...

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Ramadan celebrations in Kuala Lumpur

Ramadan celebrations in Kuala Lumpur

In honour of Ramadan, we asked our guides around the globe how they celebrate the holy month in their home. Here’s what Farah, our guide on the ground in Kuala Lumpur, told us about Ramadan in her city. The month of Ramadan (or Ramadhan) is a very testing period. You...

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Iftar feasting in Dubai

Iftar feasting in Dubai

Having spent over 10 years in Dubai, I can say I’m a veteran at navigating Ramadan. It’s unlike anything else. For one, there’s a festive vibe in the air — most offices offer shorter working hours (even for those who are non-Muslim and not fasting), many people are away over...

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Ramadan celebrations in Jakarta

Ramadan celebrations in Jakarta

In honour of Ramadan, we asked our guides around the globe how they celebrate the holy month in their home. Here’s what Candha, our guide on the ground in Jakarta, told us about Ramadan in his city. Istiqlal Mosque is the biggest mosque in Southeast Asia — appropriate since Indonesia...

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Ramadan celebrations in Istanbul

Ramadan celebrations in Istanbul

In honour of Ramadan, we asked our guides around the globe how they celebrate the holy month in their home. Here’s what Jen, our guide on the ground in Istanbul, told us about Ramadan in her city. Having grown up in the “bush,” I honestly don’t think I knew what...

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