National Multicultural Festival 2017 – Canberra

The only thing we look forward to in summer (we’re not a fan of the heat) are the myriad of festivals that take place in Canberra and the National Multicultural Festival 2017 is one of them. Celebrating diversity since 1996, through the showcase of food, music, dance, costumes, culture and friendship, Joseph and I have always made it a point to make a visit.

For three years in a row we have written about it, sharing some tips and information. You can read about them here (2015) and here (2016), but what keeps us going back year after year? For starters, it is not easy to stay at home when the whole of Canberra is out indulging in festivities that bring cheer and merriment! Not to mention, the delicious food from every single part of the world being on offer. Rain or shine, we make it point to attend and while we have our favourite stalls to visit, we do try to savour something new each year.

While we were on a hunt for our best-loved Iranian stall that services delicious meat and rice, we stumbled upon this very colourful Indian percussion performance that had everyone’s attention. What caught our eye was the female drummer and her expressive movements both in body and face. Have a look in the video below.

While February is known for it’s intense heat, the day we chose to visit the festival saw us walk in a bit of a drizzle which made for gorgeous weather. We carried bottles of water with us to keep hydrated and came with a budget in mind. You don’t want to visit without a plan of action (experience has taught us this). We also downloaded the festival app, which helped us navigate through the crowds. We didn’t spend too much time searching and we suggest you download it too if you’re heading in today.

Festival tips:

  • Make use of the additional Action blue and red rapid services if you prefer taking the bus or park for $2 dollars flat at the Canberra Centre on Sunday.
  • Carry bottles of water to avoid dehydration. There is a water fountain near Garema place as well.
  • Always make a point to visit early in the day if you’d like first dibs on the food.
  • Visit the ASEAN Showcase for a taste of South East Asia.
  • Download the festival app which includes the map and stall listings as well.
  • Allocate time to enjoy some of the performances.
  • Visit the embassy booths for some travel planning inspiration.
  • Try the kebab from the Macedonian Orthodox Community of Queanbeyan and Districts Inc, vadai from the Maharaja’s, grilled platters that include baby octopuses from the Greek stall (bright blue banner, you can’t miss it) and meat and rice from our favourite Iranian stall next to the Banana leaf Restaurant who by the way had a stall of their own serving up kottu roti.
  • Cool down with a pineapple gelato sundae.

The National Multicultural Festival 2017 program can be found here.

Rosemarie John

Travel and Beyond by Rosemarie John and Joseph Ellis portrays a kaleidoscope of all things travel related mixed with just the right dosage of history and culture.

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