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Best Places to Enjoy a Sunny Christmas
08 Nov 2017PLACESBY SweetEscape

How do we get different seasons in different places? The answer is that Earth’s orbit is a bit lop-sided. As the Earth spins around the Sun, the part closest to the Sun is hot and the farthest, cold! In the Southern Hemisphere, summer takes place during the end of the year until the beginning of the next. Here are where to go for that summer Christmas.

Melbourne

by Wei for SweetEscape in Melbourne

by Wei for SweetEscape in Melbourne

Paying homage to the name of its state, Melbourne is recognised for its mix of modern architecture which intersects with an extensive range of nineteenth and early twentieth century buildings. You can find historic building almost anywhere you go, making them elegant backgrounds for your photos. Although not in Europe, but Melbourne certainly feels very Victorian. Visit Collins Street, Princess Theatre, Carlton Gardens, and Flinders Street Station to name a few.

Cape Town

by Marcel for SweetEscape in

by Marcel for SweetEscape in

A coastal city in South Africa, Cape Town receives 3,100 hours of sunshine per year. You can definitely enjoy a hot Christmas because summer lasts from early December to March. Places to visit and take photos (with SweetEscape of course!) include Cape Town CBD, Strand, Table Mountain, Port of Cape Town, and Cape Town City Hall. The most famous beach is Clifton that has 4 beaches with sweeping views of the Atlantic Ocean where you can get your tan on.

Auckland

by David for SweetEscape in Auckland

by David for SweetEscape in Auckland

If you are looking for another cityscape, Auckland is a nice choice. It is a major city in the north of New Zealand’s North Island. You can visit the iconic Sky Tower, Viaduct Harbour, which is full of superyachts and lined with bars and cafes, Auckland Domain, the city’s oldest park and is based around an extinct volcano, and Mission Bay Beach with its seaside promenade.

Chiang Mai

by Patpong for SweetEscape in Chiang Mai

by Patpong for SweetEscape in Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai is a picturesque city in mountainous northern Thailand that still retains vestiges of walls and moats from its history as a cultural and religious center. Which is why it is home to hundreds of elaborate Buddhist temples, including 14th-century Wat Phra Singh and 15th-century Wat Chedi Luang. This is a place to relax and recharge your batteries with fabulous food and leisurely wandering.

Bali

by Aldo for SweetEscape in Bali
by Aldo for SweetEscape in Bali

by Aldo for SweetEscape in Bali

For some beach fun, Bali is always the best place to go. But Bali is more than that. You can see its forested volcanic mountains and iconic rice paddies. The island is home to religious sites such as Uluwatu Temple, Besakih Temple, and Bat Temple. To the south, the beachside city of Kuta has lively bars. You can also try yoga and meditation retreats to clean your mind, body, and soul.

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SweetLove With Andrea: 10 Funniest, Most Memorable Eid al-Fitr Moments
08 Jun 2018STORIESBY Andrea

Lo and behold, the Eid al-Fitr holiday is coming our way! We bet you already have your mudik trip all planned out, or if not, you must be slowly but surely preparing your cozy get-together with your extended family. It's exciting yet nerve-racking at the same time, we get it, but guess what? It can absolutely be funny and memorable too!

Our resident catwomanizer, Andrea Gunawan, is back at it this Friday with another installment of SweetLove with Andrea; but instead of her regular musing on love and relationship, she's back with a set of funny and memorable Eid al-Fitr stories from her readers. From the classic (missing out on the Eid prayer), the embarrassing (you think it's already Eid, but not yet!) to the downright bizarre (lizard is apparently the key to making your opor ayam extra delicious!) , here are the 10 unforgettable Eid stories that will make you go 'aaawww' or 'lol!'. Take it from here Andrea!

Hi everyone,

It’s me again! Don’t pretend like it’s easy to focus on work these days, as Eid al-Fitr holiday is just around the corner. Most of us are busy daydreaming about coming home to gather with our families next week. According to Wikipedia, Eid Mubarak or (Arabic: عيد مبارك‎) is a traditional Muslim greeting reserved for use on the festivals of Eid al-Adha and Eid al-Fitr. Eid means "celebration" and refers to the occasion itself, and Mubarak means "blessed". So Eid, meaning “celebration,” and Mubarak, meaning “Blessed” literally translates to wishing your friends a blessed holiday.

A lot happen during the holidays and everyone has at least one memorable holiday moment. I asked my followers to share their stories. Some stories made me giggle, some warmed my heart. For each story, I will include a quick excerpt to give you a glimpse of what the fuss is all about. Here are the 10 funniest, most memorable Eid al-Fitr moments:

The Anticlimactic Eid

“The holiday celebrates the conclusion of the 29 or 30 days of dawn-to-sunset fasting during the entire month of Ramadan. The day of Eid, therefore, falls on the first day of the month of Shawwal. The date for the start of any lunar Hijri month varies based on the observation of new moon by local religious authorities, so the exact day of celebration varies by locality.

Now because of that, a lot of families, including mine, had gone to great lengths to prepare the meals, such as ketupat, rendang, opor ayam, etc to celebrate Eid that evening, but the moon had another plan in mind. It didn’t appear until the next day so we ate the meals for suhoor and iftar, and the next day during the actual celebration, the whole family had Indomie for dinner.”

Where Did Everyone Go?

“Last year, we all woke up late and rushed to the mosque to join the mass Eid prayer. We got there and everyone stayed quiet, listening to the sermon. We were about to pray when we realized everyone was going back! We didn’t realize what was happening, until my mother said that Eid prayer starts with two units of prayer, followed by the sermon. We missed the prayer.”

Don't Leave Me Just Yet, Dad!

“So when I was a kid, the family was going on a road trip back to our hometown, where we passed Sumedang to take a quick rest. My dad went out to smoke, and my mom was fast asleep. I told my siblings I was going to grab a bite, so I went out of the car to buy some street food. I was waiting for my food when the seller told me that my dad had driven away. What kind of dad left his own child in the middle of nowhere? I didn’t have a mobile phone then and all I had was five thousand Rupiah.

I frantically told the seller to cancel my order so I could run to the nearest phone booth to call my dad. He looked at me with pity and handed me the food anyway. He then took me to the phone booth and helped call my dad’s number. Of course he didn’t pick up because he rarely picked up unknown numbers. But thankfully he picked it up after a few tries so he could go back and fetch me.”

Show Me The Receipt

“Last year was my first Eid with my husband. His family tradition includes giving his grandmother a green envelope as she lives alone in the village. After I went back, my mother-in-law called me, asking where she could cash the check. It wasn’t a check. It was a blank receipt. I made a mistake of distributing a blank receipt. To my entire family. It was embarrassing.”

What Time Is It Again?

“When I was a kid, I stayed over at my grandparents’ house the night before Eid so we could pray at the mosque together in the morning. We needed to go earlier so we could get the best spots in the mosque. The morning came and my aunt woke me up and told me get ready quickly because it was 5.30 am already. I panicked and dashed to the bathroom right away. I realized we were out of shampoo so we rushed outside to find one in a neighbor’s shop. We were a bit confused because it was still dark outside and we could hear fireworks.

We banged on the neighbor’s shop’s door and he opened the door with a sleepy face, asking what we wanted at this hour. I told him I needed a shampoo, and he asked me why I needed to shower at this hour, and I told him I needed to rush to the mosque. And what came out of his mouth shocked us. Turned out it was still 11.30 pm. My aunt put on her numberless, analog wrist watch upside down by mistake and misread the hands. Everyone laughed their asses off at us when we got home.”

Good Woman Down

“During Eid prayer, the lady in front of me farted, and she just collapsed all of a sudden. The person next to her asked her what happened, and she told him she suddenly felt dizzy. But she just ripped a loud and nasty fart!”

To Each Their Own Rendang

“So my dad is a Muslim and my mom is not. Every Eid holiday, my mom would cook us the haram and halal versions of rendang (spicy meat). The Muslim ones in the family are only allowed to eat the halal rendang made out of beef, whereas the non-Muslims are only allowed to eat the haram rendang made out pork.”

The Last-Minute Secret Ingredient

“Every Eid, the whole family gathered at the grandparents’ to have a potluck dinner. A couple of years ago, it was my turn to bring opor ayam (chicken cooked in coconut milk). I was cooking it the night before when a house lizard slipped and fell into the boiling pot so I immediately plucked the poor thing out. Brought it to serve to the family and only ours didn’t eat it because we knew the secret ingredient added in the last minute. Thankfully no one got an upset stomach.”

...But That's Not The Vinegar!

“We had our neighbors come to our house for dinner during Eid al-Fitr and we served pempek (fish cake) and Coca Cola. All of a sudden one of the guests started pouring the Coca Cola into his pempek bowl and proceeded to eat it. Seems like he thought it was the vinegar, which is typically stored in a used Coca Cola bottle. He continued to eat it until he finished it like nothing weird just happened. We just ate in silence while looking at each other and the whole house burst into laughter the moment he stepped out of the house!”

Put On Your Best Show!

“In my family, we’ve got this tradition where we have to perform before the elders give us the green envelope. We call it “Eid’s Got Talent”. It doesn’t matter what we do, we could sing, play a guitar, dance, or stand there and be cute, usually for the little ones. They encourage us to be brave, creative, and to work for what we want from a young age. God, I can’t wait to go home next week.”

by Marcel for SweetEscape in Bali
by Cathy for SweetEscape in Perth
by Henliauw for SweetEscape in Seoul
by Gim for SweetEscape in Kuala Lumpur

SweetEscape is online platform that connects you with local photographers around the world. Our mission is to capture your life precious moments, anywhere in the world. SweetEscape is available in over 400 cities around the world.

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