Winter Olympics, Burning Man, Oktoberfest, Fifa World Cup
We can’t wait for the opening ceremony! This year’s Olympics are proving to be controversial, but we hope that organization of the event and the athleticism of the competitors take center stage. The Winter Olympics, first hosted in Chamonix, France in 1924, evolved from the Nordic Games, held in Sweden in 1901. In the 90 years that followed, the games have undergone plenty of change, but the games continue to showcase the best in winter sport. Though the event organizers have been known to have lips sealed shut on rumors about the opening ceremony, there’s still plenty of gossip. National team uniforms continue to be revealed (check out Team USA’s here) and it’s rumored that famous Russian composers Valery Gergiev and Denis Matsuev will be performing. Needless to say, we’ll be watching – not to mention that it’s the first Olympic games held in Russia since the end of the Russian Federation in the 90s.
It’s possibly the world’s strangest party, but it’s been attended by more than 653,000 people since its inception in 1968, including Mark Zuckerberg, P.Diddy, and Major Lazer. It takes place every year over Labor Day weekend in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert, in a makeshift town called Black Rock City. Fun fact: during Burning Man, Black Rock City becomes Nevada’s third-most populous city. It’s a difficult event to explain, but according to Burning Man’s website, “attendees…dedicate themselves to the spirit of community, art, self-expression, and self-reliance. They depart one week later, leaving no trace.” The climax of the event is setting fire to a large wooden effigy – the burning man.
We know, we know…it seems like a cop-out. Of course the world’s biggest beer festival is going to be fun! But there’s more to it than you’d think. It’s been held in Munich, Bavaria, Germany since 1810 and it’s as much a part of their culture as it is an opportunity for tourist dollars. All beer served at Oktoberfest has to adhere to a specific set of qualifications – the “Reinheitsgebot,” a German beer purity law that dates back to 1487. Oktoberfest is actually free to attend, but a liter of beer will cost you around $12. As a celebration of Bavarian culture, Oktoberfest also includes delicious traditional food, like pretzels, dumplings, sausage, and strudel. You’ll also find the typical Bavarian waitress carrying what seems like an impossible amount of beer at once – the world record is 19 steins, or 90 pounds of beer!
FIFA World Cup
The FIFA World Cup is one of the most popular sporting events in the world – this year’s cup will be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, five-time winners of the international title. There’s been some speculation as to whether the venues will be ready in time. Around half of the 12 stadiums being built or renovated are not yet completed, and the Brazilian government is rushing to complete the vital infrastructure linking the stadiums. But with world-class attractions like Christ the Redeemer, Tijuca National Park, and Ipanema Beach, Rio is sure to impress regardless. We hope you’ll join us in our commentary on the beautiful game in June and July!