Agenda: Miami Beach, Florida

Pakistan's Kalasha people (above) celebrate the winter solstice in the festival Chaumos and a torch-lit procession (left) welcomes the new year at Edinburgh's Hogmanay.
Pakistan's Kalasha people celebrate the winter solstice in the festival Chaumos and a torch-lit procession welcomes the new year at Edinburgh's Hogmanay.PHOTOS: GETTY IMAGES, CHRIS WATT
Pakistan's Kalasha people (above) celebrate the winter solstice in the festival Chaumos and a torch-lit procession (left) welcomes the new year at Edinburgh's Hogmanay.
Pakistan's Kalasha people celebrate the winter solstice in the festival Chaumos and a torch-lit procession (above) welcomes the new year at Edinburgh's Hogmanay.PHOTOS: GETTY IMAGES, CHRIS WATT

MIAMI BEACH, FLORIDA

Every year, thousands of art lovers from all over the world descend on Miami to attend Art Basel.

The art fair sees more than 250 of the world's best art galleries from Europe, Asia, North America, Africa and Latin America present the work of some of the most renowned modern and contemporary artists, as well as up-and-coming ones, at the Miami Beach Convention Centre.

The original Art Basel started in Switzerland in 1970 and Art Basel Miami Beach has been a fixture in the global art scene since it started in 2002.

Art Basel launched its Hong Kong edition in 2013.

Art Basel Miami Beach is so well attended that more than two dozen satellite art and design fairs and exhibitions pop up, as do parties and performances at the same time, to capitalise on the city's creative energy.

When: Dec 1 to 4

Info: www.artbasel.com/miami-beach


KALASHA VALLEYS, PAKISTAN

Inhabiting three remote valleys close to the Afghan border in the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan, the Kalasha people - with a population of fewer than 5,000 - are the last group to have not converted to Islam in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region.

The Indo-Aryan Dardic indigenous people are animists and next month, they hold their largest festival Chaumos, in celebration of the winter solstice and the end of the harvest.

The two-week festival is a time of non-stop dancing, singing, baking bread, visiting friends and family and sacrificing goats.

People who are considered impure or uninitiated are not admitted to the festival unless they are first purified with the help of a shaman.

When: Dec 7 to 20

Info: http://bit.ly/2fau24v


GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

On the night of Dec 11 in 1602, the Duke of Savoy and thousands of his troops attacked Geneva's walls, hoping to take the city for their own.

Fortunately, a night guard sounded the alarm and the citizens went to arms. One woman, legend has it, even dropped a hot cauldron of soup on the invaders.

By day break, the Duke and his army had been defeated. Since then, the citizens celebrate the victory every December with L'Escalade, one of Geneva's oldest traditions.

The festival, which takes place over the weekend, includes historical re-enactment, open-air markets, musket-firing demonstrations, a farm show, orchestra and choir concerts, a towering bonfire and a torch-lit procession of historically dressed citizens through the old town.

When: Dec 9 to 11

Info: www.1602.ch


EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND

Said to be one of the world's best New Year parties, Edinburgh's Hogmanay offers three days of goodnatured, riotous fun.

Attractions include a ferris wheel, street parties, candle-lit concerts, discos, fireworks and a torch-lit parade honouring the festival's ancient, pagan roots when fire was used to ward off evil spirits throughout the city.

On New Year's Day, crowds throng the streets to participate in or watch the Stoats Loony Dook. Thousands of people dressed in funny costumes walk down the city's High Street before diving into the freezing River Forth.

Tickets to participate in the event sell out months before and the proceeds raise tens of thousands of pounds for charity.

When: Dec 30 to Jan 1

Info: www.edinburghshogmanay.com

Lydia Vasko

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on November 27, 2016, with the headline 'Agenda Calendar of festivals'. Print Edition | Subscribe