The Ultimate Society Calendar: Where To Be Seen In 2018
From an ice sculpture extravaganza in January to a Viennese countdown to remember in December—plus so much more in between—we've put together the ultimate guide to the best events and where to be seen around the world in 2018:
China: Harbin International Ice & Snow Sculpture Festival
Let your inner child run wild at the ultimate winter wonderland. The world’s largest annual ice festival, which has been running since 1963, returns with awe-inspiring snow sculptures, ice lanterns, illuminated ice buildings and a myriad of entertainment.
Skiing, fishing and even winter swimming, across three theme parks and various venues around the ice town of Harbin, China.
From January 5 until February 25. Find out more at harbinice.com
Switzerland: Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie Genève
The curtain rises on the first big horological extravaganza of the year in Geneva, Switzerland. The 28th edition of the watch industry fair, commonly known as SIHH, sees six prestigious new arrivals including Hermès, Armin Strom and DeWitt. If you didn’t score a coveted invite, the industry event opens its doors to the public on the 19th.
From January 15-19. Find out more at sihh.org
Switzerland: Snow Polo World Cup
Over the last week of January, the alpine resort town of St Moritz puts on a magnificent snow polo spectacle as top-class riders, including two women captaining a team for the first time, go head to head for the Cartier Trophy.
Expect to see gallant horses charging full-force across a frozen lake against the stunning backdrop of the breathtakingly beautiful Engadin Valley.
From January 26-28. Find out more at snowpolo-stmoritz.com
Brazil: Rio Carnival
A feast of street parties and samba parades will see more than a million revellers bring some real heat to Rio de Janeiro for the legendary five-day Rio Carnival, a tradition that dates back to the 1640s.
The must-see highlight? The samba parade, of course, where the region’s best samba schools and feather-clad dancers deliver an extraordinary spectacle as they dance and shimmy their way through the Sambadrome.
From February 9-17. Find out more at riocarnaval.org
Hong Kong: Longines Masters
The crème de la crème of the international showjumping circuit will converge at AsiaWorld-Expo for the Longines Masters Hong Kong, the sport’s largest international indoor competition in Asia.
Only in its 6th year, the Asian leg of the prestigious tri-continental series has established itself as a highlight of the city’s equestrian calendar. Expect heart-pounding action, gastronomic thrills and plenty of fashion and entertainment.
From February 9-11. Find out more at longinesmasters.com
South Korea: Winter Olympics
The quadrennial battle of athletic prowess takes place against the picturesque snow-capped alps of Pyeongchang, South Korea. The 2018 edition will see almost 3,000 athletes from 90 nations compete in 102 events across 17 disciplines, including a new addition to snowboarding events, big air, along with mixed double curling and mixed team alpine skiing.
From February 9-25. Find out more at olympic.org
Hong Kong: Art Month
What used to be known as Art Week has exploded into a month-long celebration of local and international art, culture and creativity. While all eyes will be on Art Basel in Hong Kong, which will feature 248 premier galleries from 32 countries, Art Central and the Asia Contemporary Art Show will delight art lovers by shining the spotlight on the region’s young talent.
Venture off the beaten path for a plethora of happenings around town, from street art and seminars to performances and parties.
From March 1-31. Find out more at artbasel.com
Baselworld is the world’s largest and longest established annual mecca of watchmaking and gemological excellence.
More than 100,000 collectors, enthusiasts and industry professionals are expected to attend the six-day celebration of watchmaking innovation, craftsmanship and trends on display from 700 premier brands, including Chopard, Harry Winston, Rolex, Tag Heuer and Patek Philippe.
From March 22-27. Find out more at baselworld.com
United States: Coachella
With advance tickets for the 2018 edition of Coachella selling out in less than four hours—Beyoncé signing on as headliner might have had something to do with it—the California music and arts festivals is set for a bumper year. Get ready for two weekends of phenomenal musical acts, star-spotting and magnificent sunsets.
From April 13-15 and April 20-22. Find out more at coachella.com
United States: Met Gala
The fundraising ball for the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute is hailed as fashion’s biggest party of the year. And this year’s theme, “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination,” aims to spark a dialogue between fashion and the masterworks of religious art in the museum’s holdings.
A trio of remarkable women will be hosting the show—Donatella Versace, Amal Clooney and Rihanna.
April 30. Find out more at metmuseum.org
France: Cannes Film Festival
For almost a fortnight, the marinas, restaurants, bars, nightclubs and cinemas of the French Riviera will be bursting with stars and star-spotters attending the Cannes Film Festival.
A-listers adorned in the latest haute couture will join more than 200,000 actors, filmmakers, studio executives, fans and media on the Promenade de la Croisette during this celebration of filmmaking and glamour.
From May 8-19. Find out more at festival-cannes.com
England: Chelsea Flower Show
Revel in the splendid flower displays, miniature gardens and avant-garde horticultural exhibits at the world’s most prestigious exposition of flowers and landscape garden design. Members of the royal family will be among the more than 150,000 people expected to visit the grounds of London’s Royal Hospital Chelsea for the show.
From May 22-26. Find out more at rhs.org.uk
Russia: FIFA World Cup
The four-year wait is finally over—32 teams will play 64 matches in 11 Russian cities watched by more than 3.2 billion viewers after the quadrennial showdown of the world’s most popular sport kicks off. Defending champion Germany will face strong challenges from heavyweights such as Spain, Brazil, France and Argentina.
From June 14-15. Find out more at fifa.com
England: Royal Ascot
Don your feather-studded fascinators for Britain’s most fashionable annual horse race. Founded by Queen Anne in 1711, the heritage-laden highlight of London’s social calendar welcomes some 300,000 royal watchers and racing enthusiasts—not to mention Queen Elizabeth II, whose own thoroughbred horses have claimed victory at the race meeting.
From June 19-23. Find out more at ascot.co.uk
The biggest names in tennis, including reigning champions Roger Federer and Garbine Muguruza, gather for the most prestigious Grand Slam title of them all, with a star-studded audience guaranteed to be drawn to the action.
From July 2-15. Find out more at wimbledon.com
France: Festival d’Aix-en-Provence
Founded by French countess Lily Pastré in 1948, the annual international music festival held in the sun-drenched southeast of France serves up an operatic feast for its 70th anniversary programme.
It features productions of Richard Strauss’s Ariadne Auf Naxos and Mozart’s The Magic Flute alongside Orfeo & Majnun, an innovative participative urban walkabout followed by a free open-air opera in a co-production with seven European partners.
From July 4-24. Find out more at festival-aix.com
France: Tour de France
The cycling grand tour’s 105th year promises one of the closest battles yet with the shortest race in recent years. Its 3,329 kilometres includes 21 stages of cobbles, numerous dirt roads, three days in the Alps, and a hilly 31-kilometre time trial before the riders cross the finish line in Paris.
From July 7-29. Find out more at letour.fr
Scotland: Edinburgh Festival Fringe
Simply known as "The Fringe", the Edinburgh Festival Fringe is the largest arts festival in the world. It features more than 3,300 shows presenting the finest acts in theatre, comedy, dance, circus, cabaret, children’s entertainment, musicals, opera and more spread over 300 venues across the Scottish capital.
From August 3-27. Find out more at edfringe.com
Spain: La Tomatina
Talk about painting the town red: 150 tonnes of ripe tomatoes will be hurled by 22,000 revellers during the famous Tomatina tomato war, the world’s biggest (and messiest) food fight, traditionally held on the last Wednesday of August in the town of Buñol, Valencia.
August 29. Find out more at latomatina.org
Turkey: Contemporary Istanbul
The Turkish capital’s leading art fair is a key factor in the country’s emergence as one of the world’s most exciting arts hubs. The 2017 edition, which brought together 1,500 artworks and more than 80,000 visitors, saw major sales, including works by Yayoi Kusama and Fahrelnissa Zeid.
The 2018 edition promises a wider and richer programme to excite both local and international art lovers.
September 13-16. Find out more at contemporaryistanbul.com
Some call it Disneyland for adults—and they might not be far off. The world’s most famous beer festival and celebration of Bavarian culture welcomes some six million revellers, many of them clad in dirndls and lederhosen, to a feast of Germany’s finest brews accompanied by scrumptious local delicacies, open-air entertainment and even a gun salute.
From September 22 until October 7. Find out more at oktoberfest.de
Morocco: Moga Festival
Looking to curb Game of Thrones withdrawals? Head over to the Moroccan port city of Essaouira—the filming location of the hit HBO series’ Red City—for a weekend-long rave of open-air techno performances, digital arts, film screenings and beachside parties.
Dates TBC. Find out more at mogafestival.com
United States: Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta
Some 600 vividly coloured, creatively shaped hot air balloons sailing through New Mexico’s crisp autumn air is a sight to behold. With a million children and young-at-heart spectators expected to attend, the nine-day kaleidoscopic spectacle is the world’s biggest ballooning event.
From October 6-14. Find out more at balloonfiesta.com
France: Le Bal des Débutantes
What do Sabrina Ho, Ava Phillippe, Kyra Kennedy and Sophia Rose Stallone have in common? They—along with the daughters of many other illustrious families across the arts, politics, business and other sectors—have made their social debuts at le Bal des Débutantes in Paris.
Simply known as le Ball, the white-tie event is a highlight on the international social calendar. Founded by Ophélie Renouard in 1992, it is an unparalleled evening of glamour, haute couture and youthful exuberance.
Date TBC. Find out more at lebal.paris
India: Electric Daisy Carnival
Expect colours, neon beams, body paint and electrifying performances galore at the first Indian outpost of the Las Vegas-born dance music festival.
Join 300,000 revellers on the Formula One-approved Buddh International Circuit just outside New Delhi on the road to the Taj Mahal for a weekend of Indian and international chart-topping hits, majestic stage designs, art installations and eclectic fun.
Date TBC. Find out more at india.electricdaisycarnival.com
Australia: The Rolex Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race
Widely considered to be one of the world’s most challenging yacht races, the great blue-water classic returns on Boxing Day to see elite sailors aboard more than 100 vessels, from small yachts to multimillion-dollar high-tech supermaxis, set out to conquer 628 nautical miles of treacherous sea and high winds on the Sydney-to-Hobart voyage.
December 26. Find out more at rolexsydneyhobart.com
Austria: Hofburg Silvester Ball
Slip on your dancing shoes for a New Year’s Eve to remember at Vienna’s historic Hofburg Palace, once the centre of a vast empire. The Hofburg Silvester Ball rings in the new year with a dazzling evening of old-world glamour, including fine food, waltzing, fireworks, and kicks off the Austrian capital’s social season.
December 31. Find out more at hofburgsilvesterball.com