Meskel Festival : Finding of the True Cross

Meskel (Finding of the True Cross), is the celebration of the finding of remnants of the actual cross on which Jesus was crucified.  The word “meskel” means “cross” in Amharic.  According to Christian tradition, St. Eleni (Empress Helena) discovered the hiding place of three crosses used at the crucifixion of Jesus.  In her dream, Eleni was told she should make a bonfire; the direction of the smoke would tell her the exact location of the True Cross on which Jesus was crucified.  She followed the directions from her dream, and the smoke landed exactly where the cross was buried.

Meskel celebrations begin the night before with large bonfires topped with a cross and decorated with meskel flowers.  The bonfire preparations are blessed and burned while revelers sing and dance around the fire, locally called demera.  It is believed that the direction of the smoke will predict the future for the year to come.  After the demera has burnt out, the faithful mark crosses on their foreheads with the ash.

The biggest Meskel celebration is in Addis Ababa, held in the centrally-located Meskel Square.  Gondar, Axum and Lalibela are also good locations to celebrate this festival.  Probably the most exuberant celebrations take place in the region of the Gurage people, southwest from Addis.

 

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Celebrate Timket (Epiphany) – January 19

The Ethiopian celebration of Timket (also known as Epiphany), is a symbolic reenactment of the baptism of Jesus in the River Jordan by John the Baptist.  For Ethiopian Orthodox Christians, it serves as a renewal of their baptismal vows.

Timket is a two-day festival, starting the day before, when the church tabot (replica of the Ark of the Covenant) is taken from the church to a nearby location, usually near a body of water.  This is representative of Jesus coming to the River Jordan.  The tabot spends the night in this location while the priests and other faithful hold a vigil through the night.  In the morning the water is blessed and is then sprinkled on the gatherers (or they may chose to bathe in the water), renewing their baptismal vows.  Long parades then carry the tabot back home to the church while the revelers sing and dance.

Gondar is a popular place to witness Timket, as the Bath of Fasilidas provides a stunning backdrop for the festivities.  Lalibela is another popular location, as is Addis Ababa, where it is held at the Jan Meda fairgrounds.

 

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MICE in Hungary

MEETINGS, INCENTIVES AND CONFERENCE SERVICES
– Full organization and management of events
– Comprehensive services from guests’ arrival to farewell dinners
– Wide range of conference and meeting facilities from small meeting rooms up to congress halls for 2.000 participants
– Technical equipment and professional multilingual tour guides, hostesses and interpreters
– Conference venues spouse programs: sightseeing tours and special activities
– Exclusive venues for presentations, special meetings and gala dinners

SPECIAL SIGHTSEEING TOURS
– Eat Hungary – Culinary Walking Tour: Eat your way around Budapest!
– Heritage and Cultural Walking Tours: Explore Budapest’s hidden treasures, from a different point of view
– Budapest Code: Search for riddles, information while wandering around the most stunning places of the city!
– Budapest by Bike: Why punish your feet walking?!
– Szentendre by Bike: Explore Hungary’s most charming town known as the artists’ village!

CULTURAL AND RELAXING PROGRAMMES
– Parliament and Opera visit
– Invisible Exhibition with Dinner
– Spa experience with relaxing massages

SPECIAL VEHICLES IN THE AIR
– Budapest sightseeing by Helicopter
– Budapest Panorama Flight
– Hot Air Balloon
– BOEING 737 Airplane Simulator

SPECIAL VEHICLES ON THE GROUND
– Trabant Tour
– Limousine Rental
– APC Armoured Scout Car Driving & Cold War Park Visit
– Adventure Driving
– Quad Tour
– Segway, Tuk-Tuk

SPECIAL VEHICLES ON THE WATER
– Private Danube Cruise with dinner
– Floating Bus – Sightseeing on Land and Water
– Private Cruise on the Lake Balaton
– Dragon Boat

EXTREME ACTIVITIES & UNIQUE PARTY IDEAS
– Indoor Skydiving
– Military Weapons Shooting
– Beerbike, Partybus
– Pub Crawl

SPECIAL PROGRAMS FOR FAMILIES
– Summer Bob
– Adventure and Water Parks
– Open Air Museum
– Circus
– Zoo, Tropicarium
– Centre of Scientific Wonders
– Hungarian Railway Museum

TEAM BUILDING ACTIVITIED / ACTIVE PROGRAMS
– Puszta Olympics
– Dog sled excursiong throught the Mátra Mountains
– Treasure huntings
– Escape rooms
– Rowing on the Danube River on the Velence Lake
– Paintball
– Golf
– Horseback Riding
– Pistol Shooting

CULINARY PROGRAMS AND TEAM BUILDING ACTIVITIES
– Wine, Pálinka or Champagne tasting
– Cooking classes
– Chocolate tasting
– Gastroboat on the Danube
– Chocolate school team building
– Sausage-filling gastronomic evening
– Pálinka blending: a New “Pálinka” is created – Make your own Hungaricum!
– Goulash or Fish Soup Cooking contest (indoor or outdoor)
– Classic Bites (indoor or outdoor)
– Street food show in Budapest (indoor or outdoor)
– Gourmet Rally (indoor or outdoor)

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Why Hungary ?

Why Hungary?
– Located in the heart of Central Europe
– 8 UNESCO World Heritage Sites
– Rich history and tradition
– EU member since 2004
– Unique gastronomy and excellent wines

 

Why Budapest?
– Pearl of the Danube
– Exciting cultural life
– Spa city with 123 hot springs
– Outstanding MICE infrastructure
– Competitive rates

Discover Hungary on a private tour, visit the most exciting cities and enjoy the cultural and natural beauties of the country.

Day 1: Arrival to Budapest, transfer to the hotel in Budapest. Evening dinner and cruise on the Danube.
Day 2: Full-day sightseeing tour in Budapest, visiting the hidden treasures of the city as well as famous sights.
Day 3: Trip to Gödöllő the former summer residence of Sisi. After drive to Eger, visiting the Caslte, Cathedral and Minaret. Overnight in Eger.
Day 4: After breakfast visiting Kecskemét and a traditional Hungarian Farm with horse show. Afternoon drive to Balatonfüred, overnight there.
Day 5: Morning walk in Balatonfüred, after visiting Tihany Peninsula and Pannonhalma. Arriving to Budapest at the afternoon, tour ends at the airport or at the hotel.

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Case Studies

2 days conference in Budapest with 120 participants
Day 1: Arrival to Budapest, meeting with the hosts/hostesses, private transfer to the hotel
Evening orientation tour in Budapest
Day 2: Conference in the hotel
Opening ceremony
Sessions with coffee break
Evening Gala Dinner & Cruise
Day 3: Factory visit with meeting
Transfer to Prague

Incentive programme for 80 participants
Day 1: Arrival to Budapest, private airport transfer to the hotel
Day 2: Private Bike tour to visit the city’s hidden treasures
Lunch break
2-hour private Danube Cruise with cocktails
Dinner in a Restaurant
Pub crawl tour
Day 3: Private sightseeing tour
Day 4: Departure transfer, end of the programme.

 

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Getting High in London

Emirates Cable Car
Crossing the Thames on the air-line offers a unique view of London. You will see some of the City’s more iconic buildings and attractions.

Up At the O2
Take a breathtaking climb over the iconic O2 arena where you can enjoy great views across the city. With a guide on hand to help you along, you will make the 90-minute climb up the blue walkway. Climbers need to be physically fit to use the carabiner that helps them complete the 52m ascent. Once reaching the top, you’ll be rewarded with a 360° panoramic view of London at the top, Historic Greenwich, Olympic Park, Canary Wharf to name a few.

The London Eye Experience
The observation wheel turns slow enough for people to embark while it is moving. A complete turn takes about 30 minutes. Thanks to the construction of the glass capsules on the outer side of the rim, passengers have a great 360° view over London. Many famous landmarks are clearly visible, including the Buckingham Palace, St Paul’s Cathedral and the Houses of Parliament. On a clear day you can see as far as 40 km (25 miles). You could add a food or drink package to your experience. Why not enjoy afternoon tea or champagne whilst seeing the sights of the capital.

The View from the Shard
The Shard is an iconic, landmark building on the London skyline, designed by Master Architect Renzo Piano. At a height of 1,016ft (310m), the tallest building in Western Europe, The Shard redefines London’s skyline and will be a dynamic symbol of London, recognisable throughout the world.The view from the Shard is situation on floors 68, 69 & 72 and is almost twice the height of any other viewing platform in London. You can see the whole of London with 360° views. Prepare to embark on a multi-sensory journey to 244m (800ft) above one of the greatest cities on earth.

 

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Birmingham, The second City with more canals than Venice

Birmingham is commonly known as the UK’s Second City and is a major business destination, featuring the world-class exhibition and conference centre – the NEC and an international airport flying to hundreds of cities worldwide. With more miles of canals than Venice, the oldest cinema in the UK and a globally renowned factory “where chocolate comes to life” there really is something for everyone to enjoy in the historical hub of working Britain.

Whether it’s a glimpse of some English Premier League action at one of the UK’s oldest grounds, Villa Park (and home of Aston Villa FC) or a taste of fine dining at one of the cities 3 Michelin started restaurants, Birmingham boasts a cultural array of activities to suit all tastes. A walk back in time to see Birmingham’s history at the Museum of the Jewellery Quarter, a former jewellery workshop and the place people the world over came to buy their precious metals, has now subsequently opened to the public. It’s a great opportunity to see how gold and silversmiths worked, before purchasing the real thing for yourself in one of the nearby family owed jewellers.

And Birmingham’s central location means it’s the perfect base for seeing more the West Midlands including, Shakespeare’s Stratford-upon-Avon, the Black Country Museum where you can go back in time to and experience a Victorian Midland’s town for yourself with traditional fish and chips to boot or an adrenaline fuelled day at one of the UK’s biggest theme parks, Alton Towers set inside the grounds of a 17th Century mansion and garden.

And if shopping is your thing, visit the Bullring or the soon to be opened Grand Central Shopping Centre – part of New Street Station’s redevelopment. Once a notorious eyesore, the complex has been completely rebuilt transforming the city into one of the most popular places to shop in the UK.

 

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Manchester – Simply the Best

Did you know that Manchester has recently been named the best UK city to live according to Economist magazine. So if it’s the best to live in what does it offer the visitor?

Sport for a start – football obviously whether you are a blue or red supporter, velodrome, athletics, aquatics and not forgetting the home of Lancashire Cricket.

The arts in all its forms – live theatre with more theatres per head of the population than any other part of the UK. The Palace, the Opera House, The Lowry all have original and touring productions from London’s West End. My personal favourite though has to be the Royal Exchange Theatre – renowned for its outstanding original productions in an intimate theatre in the round venue.

Music venues from the Arena (the big one) to the many other smaller but not so small venues. Far too many to list here.
It is also home to some 80,000 + University Students across three universities. Students love socialising and Manchester is not found wanting – the nightlife is there to be enjoyed whether you are a student or not. Fancy a laugh – head to the Comedy Club.
Architecture takes centre stage as well – some must sees are the Town Hall, John Rylands Library and the newly restored Central Library – all of which are just few minutes’ walk of each other.

Check out the newly reopened and award winning Whitworth Art Gallery and the Museum of Science & Industry. For an enlightening experience go see the Imperial War Museum North at Salford Quays and back in the city centre’s Spinningfield district the People’s History Museum – these two give a fascinating understanding of history and all its implications for today’s culture.

The range of hotels keeps on growing whether you are wanting 5* luxury or perhaps a more modest 3* lodging there is a thread of quality and good old northern hospitality that binds them together.

Shopping opportunities abound and are almost limitless across the city centre including the Arndale Centre to the intu Trafford Centre a short drive from the city centre to the Lowry Outlet Mall to be found at Salford Quays next to Media City home to the BBC, ITV and numerous television and film production facilities.

All this activity means you will work up a big thirst no doubt – from the real ales brewed across the city’s microbreweries to the stylish cocktail bars. So many to choose from and this correspondent is happy to give you some recommendations. After which I am sure you may find your hunger needs to be satisfied – new restaurants have been opening up at the rate of one every two to three weeks so far this year. So let us know and we will give you some recommendations – you will not be disappointed.

Connecting to Manchester could not be easier from international flight from across the globe, to the trains and if you are coming up from London – Virgin Trains run three trains an hour with a travelling time of just around two hours. Of course you may prefer to drive with a great road network too link all points of the compass.

Getting about in the city and indeed beyond could not be easier by the Metrolink (trams) with its ever expanding network. It has been one of the great success stories over the last twenty years. This correspondent is a total convert and there are interchanges at both of Manchester’s main railway stations – Piccadilly and Victoria. Simple!

Finally I am reminded of something I read about Manchester recently: “Nothing says more about a place than the people who live in it and by and large Mancunians are a fiercely proud, funny and friendly bunch”

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Discover the new Specialist-led trips!

Two years ago Aniyami started working on four Specialist-led trips which we launched last year and will continue offering to you every year on specific dates. They are true immersions on different subjects and areas of Brazil, and we are sure your special interest clients will be surprised and amazed by our proposals; Cultural and Wildlife Photography, Social Immersion and Indigenous Immersion.
Each one of them was created by an expert on the region and topic together with Aniyami, in order to provide an incredible experience of true contact with places visited, their inhabitants, geography and basically their essence.

Specialist-led immersion into the indigenous communities of Mato Grosso and wildlife experience in the Pantanal
By Benedito Freiras • 29/11/2018 – 08/12/2018

The enormous state of Mato Grosso is the third largest in Brazil, and within it lie some of the country’s most extraordinary natural reserves; as well as a string of dazzling national parks. One of these is the Xingu Indigenous Park, where native groups are protected and given the absolute right to conserve their traditions, culture and livelihoods. As well as the many different indigenous communities who call this state home – as they have done for hundreds of years – so too do a beguiling variety of flora and fauna that thrive in this preserved wonderland. Relish the natural gems of Mato Grosso to get acquainted with all of this, and come face to face with Brazil at its most raw and pure.

Specialist-led immersion into the Social and Environmental Projects of Bahia
By Eva Arbat • 31/07/2018 – 12/08/2018

Tourism entails so much more than simply visiting a place unlike our home; it elevates us to experience different cultures, customs and communities. Not only has it become a hugely important economic source for Brazil, it has also allowed its people to benefit from this mutual exchange. A journey to Brazil means that we can get to know, and live out, the different initiatives that seek to build bridges: between the economic profit that tourism brings, and the sociocultural and environmental transformation of the host areas. This is why we want to promote a sort of tourism that goes beyond social and environmental responsibility; to awaken minds to new ways of being, doing and living, with the utmost respect for people and nature.

Specialist-led photography tour of the Pantanal
By Kike Calvo • 18/11/2018 – 29/11/2018

This safari adventure combines two passions – wildlife and photography – to offer a truly unmatched tour into the untouched Pantanal wetlands. Discover the world’s largest flooded plains where an astonishing array of flora and fauna flourish, and capture it all on camera with the guidance of our expert photographer, Kike Calvo, who knows the Pantanal inside out; not to mention how to take the best images of it! The chance to feel an emotional connection with this watery wilderness can only be enhanced by learning how to experience it from all sorts of perspectives. Best of all? Taking home incredible images to match your memories.

 

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Aniyami Brazil is certified as B Corporation

B Corp is a global movement of more than 2,000 companies in 50 countries and 130 sectors working together with one common goal: redefining the meaning of SUCCESS in business.

B Corporations go beyond the goal of generating economic profits while innovating to maximize their positive impact on employees, the communities and the environment. This way, the company becomes a regenerative force for society and for the planet.

This movement represents a fast-growing business community worldwide, from which Aniyami recently got certified and joined with the aim of contributing with its knowledge in the area of sustainable tourism.

In Aniyami we have been working from the beginning with the conviction that success is measured through the positive impact that we can generate around us; and we have based on this premise when it comes to creating and offering our trips, as well as establishing internal and external relationships.

Now is the beginning of a new stage in which Aniyami enters the process of measuring this impact with clearer parameters. This will bring benefits to all including your customers, to whom we will offer more respectful and higher quality experiences in different destinations. Also our team will be more involved actively with social projects in Brazil and we will be able to transmit that proximity to the country’s communities and the environment through our travel proposals.

We are very happy to have found a community to share this ideology and from which we can continue to learn, nourishing ourselves with experiences and ideas that seek to increase the number of companies with social and environmental commitment in the world we inhabit.

 

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