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Welcome back, educators! We hope that you had a wonderful holiday season.

The new school year has begun and it's time to start fresh by planning for exciting excursions with your students. Hands-on learning experiences are lessons that stay with students long into the future. Now that we’ve reached 2020, you may start to wonder where EWT will take you next! Below you will find original and creative experiences from different cultural backgrounds in exquisite destinations. They may happen every year, every four years or even once in a decade for the last four centuries. Ice, light, color, art, history – just say the word, anything is possible in 2020!

Contact us today to incorporate one of these events into your next customized itinerary!



ICE – Winterlude Festival
When: January 31 to February 17, 2020
Where: Ottawa, ON and Gatineau, QC

This winter festival attracts more than a million people every year to Canada’s National Capital area, shared between Ottawa in Ontario and Gatineau, right across Ottawa river in Quebec. Managed by the Department of Canadian Heritage since 1979, this celebration-on-ice has the largest skating rink in the world as well as a snow park, an ice sculpture competition, several ice parties and exhibitions, all divided in four major locations in the area. Cool, eh?

While in Ottawa, don’t miss the Parliament Hill to learn more about Canadian history and politics, and Downtown Rideau for resting, eating and shopping.



LIGHT - Summer in Tokyo
When: August 2020
Where: Tokyo, Japan’s capital

Tokyo, a megalopolis of close to 40 million people, will host the 2020 Summer Olympic and Paralympic games for the second time. This massive urban space will receive athletes and tourists from all over the world, who will discover a city that glows day and night, authentic food and ancient colorful temples. Between the end of the Olympic games (August 9) and the Paralympic opening ceremony (August 25), the best way to enjoy Japan’s old traditions is to attend the Bon Festival, the tradition of honoring the spirit of passed ancestors. Through different dances (the Bon Odori), rituals and lights – lanterns (specially the Toro Nagashi or floating lamp), candles, bonfires – this celebration is not just a chance to remember those who passed but also a familiar festivity full of fun.

In Tokyo, you may also want to visit the Tokyo Skytree, a 634.0-meter (2,080 ft) TV tower and observatory deck to admire this immense city; from Tokyo, don’t miss the short trip to Hakone, a hilly village and home of several Onsen, traditional Japanese hotels and base for iconic Mt. Fuji day trips.



COLOR – La Tomatina
When: August 26, 2020
Where: Buñol, Valencia, Spain

Its origins are debatable, and now it has similar festivals in other corners of the world, but the original Tomatina – a one hour, 145 tons of fruit (yes, tomato is a fruit!) fight – is one of the most curious and fun festivals that happen every year in Northeastern Spain. With a clear set of rules (“Squash tomatoes before throwing them to avoid hurting others”) and a paid attendance, this battle starts only after a ham is picked up from a slippery tall pole covered in soap. Then trucks loaded with tomatoes parade the city and the fun-filled-food-fight covers the streets with red tints. Firetrucks and locals disperse the dirty mob with water hoses and this dormant town returns to business as usual.

Once in Valencia, try to learn some words in Valencian, the regional language that carries some resemblance to Catalan and is proudly spoken by approximately 2.4 million people. For more authentic experiences also as part of the Valencian heritage, attend a match of Valentian pilota – a game of obscure origins that at first glance seems like a hybrid of tennis and handball.



ART – Oregon Shakespeare Festival
When: Spring to Autumn, 2020
Where: Ashland, OR

Ashland, a city of 20,000 nested in the Rogue Valley, hosts every year a theater festival dedicated to celebrate the works of William Shakespeare, the greatest writer in the English language. Classic and contemporary versions of his plays are performed in three different venues while several activities – classes, clinics, talks and tours – are offered to school groups and individuals, and permeate the daily schedule of events. The festival receives 400,000 visitors, and for only four opportunities since 1935 the entire canon of plays was performed in one season. Fear not, the 2020 calendar of events is already available and the classic “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” will be easy to follow and suitable for the whole family.

If your inner Hamlet still ponders “To be or not be” in Ashland, ‘Nothing will come of nothing’ if you stay home. Ashland is home of an Independent Film Festival in April, a 5-day all-genre 90-movie extravaganza. In addition, Vogue magazine recently showcased Ashland as the core of the next “Napa valley” – a 90 minutes’ drive will take to you the deepest lake in America at the Crater Lake National Park. Expect good food, fresh coffee, beautiful sceneries and unforgettable memories because “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy”!



HISTORY – Passion Play
When: May 16th to October 4th 2020
Where: Oberammergau, Germany

Oberammergau is a village in Baviera not far from the Austrian border, and less than two hours drive from Munich. Besides the astonishing surrounding Alps, fairy castles, and hearty meals, it hosts every 10 years a rare spectacle of faith and art: Oberammergau’s Passion Play, which recounts the Passion of Christ and is performed in the local theatre, specially built for this great occasion. This recurring practice begun in 1633, when the villagers made the promise that, if spared from plague, they will reenact the Passion every ten years. This was very common in Europe then, and yet what makes their version unique is that the Play is merely funded by the Oberammergau residents. Only those who were born there can be casted – not even the neighbors from Unterammergau can have a role! About two hundred actors, several technicians, and backstage operators are involved in the herculean task of this massive work as volunteers or to receive a symbolic compensation.

The 42nd edition will happen in 2020. The excitement and anticipation have been growing in the last couple of years, specially when the town announced the names of the actors to play the main roles. Even though the 5-hour play is performed in German, people will flock to Oberammergau to witness the marvelous recreation of a sacred story through the physical and financial efforts of a tiny community.

Oberammergau is home of beautifully decorated churches, frescoes (Lüftlmalerei) and woodcarving traditions, which are certainly concrete reasons to spend a couple of days in town. The neighboring villages of Ettal and Unterammergau, along with the town of Garmisch-Partenkirchen – hometown of highest point in Germany, the Zugspitze – are excellent places for half and full-day trips both in winter and summer times.



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