Which nations are finest for street journeys? See the highest 5 on the earth

The highly transmissible omicron Covid-19 variant has some travelers thinking twice about air travel again.

while travel bookings are surging this year, some people are sticking with one of the biggest trends to have emerged from the pandemic: the road trip.

“With driving you can significantly lower your risk of exposure when interacting with large groups … making it a safer option,” said Anja Benson, public relations and marketing manager at the vacation home rental website Holidu.

Road trips also give travelers the chance to “clear their minds — something that many will be keen to do after almost two years of being cooped up inside,” she added.

Holidu is behind a new list to inspire travelers to buckle up and hit the road. its “Cross Country Road Trip Index” published in December Factors analyzed such as road quality, gas prices and landscape variety in 118 countries.

It also took into account the number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in a given country and the number of cities in the top 100 world ranking, as determined by the website BestCities.org.

These factors, plus others, were weighted equally in the ranking. When countries tied, the country with the best road infrastructure was given the edge because “having decent roads to drive on is something that every ‘road tripper’ will deem important,” said Benson.

Here are the top five countries on that list, along with famous routes in each destination.

1.United States

Home to 29 of the 100 best-ranked cities in the worldthe United States offers road warriors a range of landscapes, from mountains and deserts to glaciers and forests.

The country also ranked eighth in the world for road quality.

U.S. Route 66

  • Popular route: Chicago, Illinois to the Santa Monica Pier in California
  • Distance: about 2,450 miles

The old US Route 66 stretched across three time zones and eight states — Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California.

Known as the country’s “Mother Road,” Route 66 was decommissioned in 1985, when American transportation officials decertified it and voted to remove its highway signs. Drivers can still trace much of the old route, though the highways have new names now.

Roy’s Motel & Cafe along historic Route 66 in Amboy, California.

Josh Brasted | Getty Images Entertainment | Getty Images

Those who do can see St. Louis’ Gateway Arch; half-buried cars at the Cadillac Ranch outside of Amarillo, Texas; and Route 66 relics along walking tours in Flagstaff, Arizona.

Along the way, there are small towns with old-school diners and vintage barbershops with remnants of the 20th-century Americana that made the route famous.

Pacific Coast Highway

  • Popular route: San Diego, California to Olympic National Park in Washington
  • Distance: about 1,250 miles

Pacific Coast Highway — called “the 101,” “Highway 1” or “PCH,” depending on the location — extends much of the length of the US West Coast, providing breathtaking views of the coastlines of the Pacific Ocean.

The route passes national parks, beaches and picturesque coastal towns as well as cities like Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, San Francisco and Oregon’s Portland.

Travelers can soak in the sun at famous beaches like Long Beach and Huntington Beach, or enjoy the giant trees at Redwood National Park.

Pacific Coast Highway’s Bixby Bridge, near Big Sur, California.

Michael Just | iStock | Getty Images

For a shorter trip, drivers can begin at San Juan Capistrano in Southern California and end at Leggett, north of San Francisco. It’s about half the distance, but still takes drivers along the majority of the Californian coastline.

2. Mexico

Known for its beach resorts and colorful culture, Mexico is also home to 35 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, making it No. 7 in the world by number of heritage sites.

Like its neighbor to the north, Mexico has deserts and mountain ranges. It also has jungles, which give it an edge when it comes to the number of animals present in the country — another factor in the road trip ranking.

Baja California Peninsula

  • Popular route: Tijuana to Cabo San Lucas
  • Distance: about 1,625 miles

Many travel guides recommend a drive down Baja California, a state in Mexico south of the US state of California.

Road trippers can stop to explore Cabo Pulmo, one of the most well-known diving sites along the peninsula. Much of the diving is geared toward experienced divers, though snorkelers can also see Mexico’s diverse marine life.

Visiting Cabo Pulmo between January and March is ideal for whale watching, when humpback and gray whales can be spotted in area lagoons.

Yucatan Peninsula Loop

  • Popular route: Cancun, back to Cancun
  • Distance: about 1,460 miles

Travelers who circle the Yucatan Peninsula can take in the region’s history, culture and famous beach towns.

Drivers can choose their own path, but common routes include a stop to see the Mayan ruins at Chichen Itza — designated one of the “New 7 Wonders of the World” in 2017 — and other UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including the Mayan monuments of Uxmal and the Spanish colonial harbor town of Campeche.

A tourist stands next to the algae-tinted pink lakes of Los Colorados in Yucatan, Mexico.

wanderluster | E+ | Getty Images

On the way back to Cancun, travelers can stop in the beach towns of Tulum and Playa Del Carmen. Another picturesque spot is the collection of pink lakes in Las Coloradas, although visitors are no longer allowed to swim in the water.


Holidu’s study ranks Canada as the sixth country in the world for its “natural assets,” which include its national parks.

The country also scored high for its road infrastructure, with popular cities like Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal clinching spots on the best city list.

Trans Canada Highway

  • Popular route: Victoria, British Columbia, to St. John’s, Labrador
  • Distance: about 4,860 miles

Known as the second-longest national highway in the world, the Trans-Canada Highway runs through all of Canada’s 10 provinces. It can take a month or more to fully take in the picturesque views along the route.

Fall colors along the Trans-Canada Highway near Golden in British Columbia, Canada.

Education Images | Universal Images Group | Getty Images

Hiking in Glacier National Park is a highlight for many road-trippers. The park is open year-round with campgrounds opening in late June, and ski season running from November to April.

Sea to Sky Highway

  • Popular route: Horseshoe Bay to Whistler, both in British Columbia
  • Distance: about 75 miles

A road trip along the Sea to Sky Highway — officially Highway 99 — is filled with natural, cultural and outdoor sport attractions.

Though the distance is short, road trippers routinely stretch out the drive over several days. This grants travelers time to stop at places such as the Sea to Sky Gondola in Squamish, which brings visitors 885 meters (2,900 feet) above sea level for panoramic views of the coastal mountains.

In the winter months, the gondola serves crowds of families who come to ski, hike and snowboard.


With affordable accommodations, food and fuel prices, money goes far in Malaysia, the only country in Asia to make the top five.

“One thing that Asia offers road trippers over western countries is value for money,” said Holidu’s Benson. Malaysia is the “seventh cheapest country in the world for gas at only $1.87 a gallon.”

Kuala Lumpur to Cameron Highlands

  • Distance: about 125 miles

The drive from the buzzing capital city of Kuala Lumpur to the high altitudes of Cameron Highlands can be done in half a day.

Dotted with tea plantations and hiking trails, Cameron Highlands is lush and cooler than other parts of Malaysia.

MOHD RASFAN | AFP | Getty Images

Strawberry-picking season usually lasts from May to August, but travelers who visit at other times can explore the municipality’s bee and butterfly farms.

Cameron Highlands is also well known for its tea plantations. Rolling green hills and English-style cottages surround the area for visitors looking to enjoy a relaxing afternoon tea break.

Petaling Jaya to Langkawi

  • Distance: about 300 miles

This road trip covers most of Malaysia’s western coast, from Petaling Jaya — a city on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur — to the islands of Langkawi, which are accessible via ferry.

The Langkawi Sky Bridge is a curved suspension bridge popular with tourists.

Alfred Cheng / EyeEm | EyeEm | Getty Images

To take a break from the sweltering heat, travelers can stop by the seven-tiered Taman Eko Rimba Kanching waterfalls for a swim. From there, it’s only half an hour to Selangor Fruit Valleya 646-hectare tropical fruit farm with a petting zoo and tram ride.

5 Argentina

Road trippers passing the Argentinian capital city of Bueno Aires — ranked No. 63 on the list of 100 best cities — can “explore its mansion-lined cobblestone streets, bustling boulevards and its nightlife that goes on until dawn,” said Benson.

Those looking for a quieter journey can visit the Yacutinga Rainforest, Andes mountain range or the Patagonian Desert.

route 40

  • Popular route: Cabo Virgenes, Patagonia to La Quiaca, Jujuy province
  • Distance: about 3,230 miles

Argentina’s Route 40 is said to be one of the most captivating road trips in the world.

Ruta de los Siete Lagos, also known as Route of the Seven Lakes, in Argentina.

Evan Lang | moment | Getty Images

One of the biggest highlights along the route is the Route of the Seven Lakes. Visitors can spend an entire day exploring the mountainous backdrops, small villages and aquarium-blue waterfalls in the lake region.

There are also UNESCO World Heritage Sites along the way, including Los Glaciares National Park — the country’s largest national park — and the Cueva de las Manos, or “Cave of Hands,” with cave drawings of human hands executed between 9,500 to 13,000 years agoaccording to UNESCO.

Buenos Aires to Salta

  • Distance: about 925 miles

Travelers embarking on this route usually spend the weekend in Mendoza, arguably Argentina’s most acclaimed wine region. Many of the vineyards here produce the country’s signature wine grape — Malbec. Horseback riding is a popular way to take in the breathtaking scenery.

Vineyards in the Mendoza wine region of Argentina.

Edsel Querini | E+ | Getty Images

The region also attracts visitors looking for an adrenaline rush, with options to go paragliding and whitewater rafting on the Mendoza River.

U-19 World Cup | Ostwal introduced his arrival in type

The craft and variations of the left arm spinner were too good for the South Africa U-19 team

Struggling through the daily commute of commuter trains is synonymous with Mumbai cricketers. But Vicky Ostwal is different. Although originally from Maharashtra, Ostwal spent countless hours on local trains pursuing his cricket aspirations.

“We just hope it’s the start for him. He’s worked hard over the years. And Friday’s effort reflects his passion, perseverance and the sacrifices he and his parents made,” said Mohan Jadhav, East Wales coach at Dilip Vengsarkar Cricket Academy on the outskirts of Pune.

Hailing from Lonavala, a hill station on the Mumbai-Pune national highway, it was Ostwal’s primary school teacher who caught his spark.

Father Kanhaiya, a real estate developer, then began ferrying him to Vengsarkar Academy in south Mumbai.

“When he was about 13, I told his parents that moving closer to the academy would help him. As supportive parents, they moved into a house a few minutes’ walk from the academy and he hasn’t looked back since,” says Jadhav.

Vegan Kitchen: Lower your expenses, save your well being, save the world, eat vegan!

With food prices rising rapidly, more than ever want to find ways to save money on our grocery bills. I’ve always believed that eating plant-based foods is an important way to control costs, and a recent study from the UK confirms that calculating that vegan meals can cut food bills by up to a third.

the Pricing model studyconducted by researchers from Oxford University and published in The Lancet Planetary Health, examined food costs in 150 countries. Based on 2017 prices released by the World Bank’s International Comparative Program, the study found that replacing plant-based foods with animal-based foods could lower food bills in rich countries, including the United States.

In particular, the study found that vegan diets are the most economical and can cut food bills by up to 34 percent compared to the food costs of a typical Western diet. In terms of budget-friendliness, the vegan diet was followed by the vegetarian diet, with the potential to cut food costs by 31 percent; flexitarian diets that could cut costs by 14 percent; and veggie-heavy Pescatarian diets that could actually add 2 percent to the cost.

The study looked at two types of vegan diets – one with more grains and one with more vegetables – and found that while both saved money, the grain-based vegan diet was the cheapest of all the diets analyzed. According to the study’s authors, fruits and vegetables cost more than grains and legumes worldwide. None of the diets modeled by the researchers contained ultra-processed foods.

“We believe that the fact that vegan, vegetarian and flexitarian diets can save you big bucks will surprise people,” said author Marco Springmann, a senior researcher on population health at Oxford Martin School, in a university report on the learning . “When scientists like me advocate healthy and environmentally friendly nutrition, it is often said that we are sitting in our ivory towers promoting something that most people cannot financially achieve. This study shows that the opposite is true. These diets could be better for your bank balance as well as your health and … the planet. “

The idea that vegan food is more expensive has been regularly criticized for a plant-based diet for years.

Before conducting the price comparison study, researchers at Oxford University noted a growing scientific understanding of the health and climate costs of animal foods. However, they found less research (and what there was was contradicting) on ​​the cost to consumers of animal vs. plant-based foods.

The Oxford study went beyond bills at the supermarket checkout. The study found that taking into account a range of nutritional costs that are not currently included in food prices, the price of plant-based foods would drop even further. These external costs included diet-related health expenditure and greenhouse gas emissions caused by the cultivation and transportation of food.

According to the study, including climate costs in food prices would increase the cost savings potential of a vegan diet to 45 percent compared to a conventional diet, while if health costs were included, a vegan diet plan would reduce food costs by 47 percent. If both types of costs were taken into account, a vegan diet would save 53 percent of food bills, according to the researchers.

“There are many other effects of the food system that are not currently reflected in food prices, including effects on biodiversity and air and water pollution,” the study authors noted.

One significant health expense that could decrease as more people in the US eat vegan is the cost of treating moderate to severe COVID-19 infections. During 2021, a trickle of medical research began to uncover a link between a plant-heavy diet and milder COVID infections.

In June, a to learn published in BMJ Nutrition, Prevention & Health Journal, found that among 2,884 frontline healthcare workers in six countries including the United States, those who followed a plant-based diet had a 73 percent lower risk of moderate to severe COVID than employees in health care had to eat more animal foods.

In September, the medical journal Gut a to learn from Massachusetts General Hospital, which analyzed data from 592,571 participants in a smartphone-based study of COVID symptoms and found that those who ate the most plant-based foods had a 9 percent lower risk of developing COVID, and develop a 41 percent lower risk of severe COVID. Study participants came from the USA and Great Britain

For decades, there has been a surge in medical studies showing that plant-based diets protect against many of the leading causes of death in the U.S. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2020 (the last year for which statistics are available) is the front runner two Causes of death Heart disease remained followed by cancer, both related to the high consumption of animal foods. The number of deaths from heart disease saw the largest increase since 2012, increasing 4.2 percent in 2020. COVID was the third leading cause of death in 2020.

The deaths from diabetes and Alzheimer’s, two diseases associated with an animal diet, rose 15.4 percent and 9.8 percent, respectively, in 2020. Of the eleven leading causes of death in the US in 2020, only two (accidental injury and suicide) have no known association with dieting. The potential association between developing severe influenza and pneumonia (the ninth leading cause of death) has not been well studied. All others – stroke, chronic lower respiratory diseases, and kidney disease – correlate with animal-based consumption, and all showed improvement or reversal in patients who switched to plant-based meals.

But health care costs aren’t the only burden that current food prices don’t account for. The US meat subsidies also distort prices at the supermarket checkout and around the world.

after a Paper published Last year, the U.S. spent nearly $ 38 billion annually on agricultural subsidies in the Columbia Journal of International Affairs, less than one percent of which went to vegetable and fruit growers. Instead, the lion’s share of government support goes to ranchers and farmers who grow crops that are used to feed cattle or produce highly processed foods. The same paper noted that these US subsidies not only distort food prices in the US, but also depress international market prices for crops, causing many farmers in poor countries to give up farming and forcing their governments to import food, which could be grown locally if the economy was different.

This brings us back to the study by the University of Oxford, which also examined food prices in poor countries. While vegan food in affluent countries can save money for consumers according to the researchers, it is different in developing countries. The current diet there is often nutritionally inadequate. Because the researchers assessed the cost of following a nutritionally appropriate vegan, vegetarian, flexitarian, pescatarian, and western standard diet, residents of poor countries would have to pay more to meet this standard regardless of what type of diet they followed.

After all, while the Oxford University study brings high-quality, much-needed data into the political debates about food costs, vegan and vegetarian shoppers have known about these savings for generations. For the past few months, I’ve spent time in the Portland Room of the Portland Public Library, where, with the help of archivist Abraham Alain Schechter, I’ve found historical evidence of the affordability of vegetarian foods.

For example, half a century ago the Maine Sunday Telegram ran a story entitled “How to Cut Your Grocery Bill 25%”. The article published on August 20, 1972 reports on the frugality of vegetarian food. Reporter Lloyd Ferris compared the price his family of four paid for groceries, an average of $ 25 a week, to that of meat-eaters in a University of Maine history class he was taking; they were spending an average of $ 35 to $ 50 a week.

“After a year of vegetarian life,” wrote Ferris, “I sometimes believe – perhaps a little complacent – that my carnivorous friends are suffering unnecessarily.”

I don’t feel complacent at all. I am sad to find that this unnecessary suffering drags on for much more than 50 years.

Go back even further, for example 169 years to October 6, 1853, when Jeremiah Hacker‘s alternative newspaper, the Portland Pleasure Boat, printed an article from the American Vegetarian Society. “As much food for the body can be obtained for three cents from floury or plant-based foods as can be obtained from animal food for thirty cents,” the article says.

Recent research from Oxford University adds scientific confirmation to anecdotal information known for more than a century. Eating vegan and vegetarian options has long been the thrifty choice in Maine.

Avery Yale Kamila is a food writer who lives in Portland. She can be reached at [email protected] Twitter: @AveryYaleKamila

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Pictures of the world welcoming 2022, as omicron weighs on celebrations

From Sydney to Shanghai and New York to Paris, the world ushered in the year 2022 with New Year celebrations, which were largely overshadowed by pandemic concerns – even if uncertainty threatens and the omicron variant continues to drive infections worldwide.

Australia and New Zealand were among the first to usher in the New Year, followed by countries in Asia, Europe and North America.

Under the cloud of Covid-19, the world is ringing in New Year’s Day.

Sydney, Australia

Fireworks are seen over Sydney Harbor during the New Year celebrations on January 1, 2022 in Sydney, Australia. New Years Eve celebrations continue to be a little different as some Covid-19 restrictions remain in place due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Wendell Teodoro | Getty Images

As Australia welcomed 2022, spectacular fireworks exploded over the Sydney Opera House and Harbor Bridge. Queues had formed at many lookout points since the early morning of December 31, according to Reuters. Local media reported that the country’s most populous state, New South Wales, recorded 22,577 new Covid cases and four deaths as the number of ICU patients increased.

Auckland, New Zealand

The Waka Hourua sails under a light show from the Skytower and Harbor Bridge during Auckland New Year’s Eve celebrations on January 1, 2022 in Auckland, New Zealand. The light show, called “Auckland Is Calling”, is replacing normal fireworks due to government Covid-19 restrictions.

Dave Rowland | Getty Images Entertainment | Getty Images for Auckland Unlimited

In New Zealand, Restrictions on public gatherings in Auckland have been relaxed on December 30 at 11:59 p.m. local time before the New Year. The traditional fireworks display was canceled for fear of a gathering of night owls. Instead, there was a light show over the Auckland Harbor Bridge, the Sky Tower and the Auckland War Memorial Museum from 9 p.m. to midnight local time.

According to data from Johns Hopkins University, Covid-19 infections exceed 287 million worldwide and the number of deaths is 5.4 million worldwide. Just two days earlier that World Health Organization warns of “tsunami of cases” how Omicron and Delta circulate at the same time.

New York, USA

Revelers celebrate New Year’s Eve in Times Square on December 31, 2021 in New York City. Despite an increase in Covid-19 cases, New Year’s Eve went as planned, but only 15,000 vaccinated participants were admitted, who also had to be masked at all times.

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There were celebrations in New York City on New Year’s Eve, even though they were scaled down and the vaccinated crowd had to obey the rules of social distancing and wear masks. On-site viewers of around 15,000 people were allowed to gather in Times Square to witness the annual ball fall and to welcome the year 2022.

Prepare for the New Year’s Eve ball by installing panels of new Waterford crystals called the Gift of Wisdom in One Times Square. Side by side panels with 2021 crystals on the left (not yet replaced) and new 2022 crystals on the right.

Lev Radin | Pacific Press | LightRocket via Getty Images

Covid cases in the city and across the country may have hit record highs, but former New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio did said NBC on the Thursday before he left office: “We want to show that we are making progress, and we want to show the world that New York City is fighting its way through here.”

Eric Adams was sworn in how New York’s new mayor in a ceremony in Times Square minutes after midnight on Saturday, after the annual New Year’s ball drop, as the city ushers in the New Year.

Shanghai, China

People hold balloons to form the number “2022” during Xintiandi shopping on New Year’s Eve on December 31, 2021 in Shanghai, China as the world prepares for the New Year greeting.

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From Nanjing to Wuhan, Chinese cities canceled New Year’s Eve celebrations to curb the spread of infection. according to the South China Morning Post.

China continues to fight Covid-19 with its “zero tolerance” policy, ending 2021 with the highest weekly Covid cases since taming the original epidemic about two years ago. according to Reuters.

The total number of local symptomatic cases in the mainland last week reached 1,151 after 175 new infections were reported in the community with clinical symptoms as of December 31, the news agency said, citing statistics from the National Health Commission.

Pyongyang, North Korea

People gather to watch fireworks display on January 1, 2022 to celebrate the New Year in Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang.

Kim Wonjin | AFP | Getty Images

Paris, France

A couple kiss on the Champs-Elysees in Paris early January 1, 2022 as the crowds gather to ring in the new year.

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Madrid, Spain

Fireworks light up the sky as part of the New Year celebrations at Puerta del Sol in Madrid, Spain on December 31, 2021.

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Krakow, Poland

People celebrate New Year on January 1, 2022 at Krakus Mound in Krakow, Poland.

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Images of what Christmas appears like around the globe

Glittering pine trees, Santa Clauses and stockings are many people’s ideas about Christmas, but the holiday can look very different all over the world.

From Europe to Asia to the depths of the Antarctic, Christmas is celebrated in nine locations around the world – and in one place around the world.


Christmas celebrations in Croatia start early, with some traditions starting in November.

Like other Europeans, Croatians celebrate St. Nicholas’ Day at the beginning of December, when the children leave their shoes and expect St. Nick to leave them sweets and small gifts according to the St. Nicholas Center Christmas resource website.

In some parts of Europe, children believe that Santa Claus will leave chocolates and gifts in their shoes if they have behaved well. Otherwise, Krampus, a monster-like creature, may leave charcoal or dried twigs.

Monika Skolimowska | Image Alliance | Getty Images

“As a child, I always left a shoe out of the window,” says the native Croat Antonio Zdurich. “Somebody filled it with gifts and candy at night and I woke up and was very happy.”

Many families in Croatia plant wheat on December 13 with the belief that the next year will be successful for them if it grows well, he said.


People in Sweden decorate Christmas trees and exchange gifts, much like in other parts of the world, said the Swede Patrik Kerttu.

The Disney special with the title “From All of Us to All of You” is regularly Sweden’s most-watched TV show of the year and only competes with the country’s try-outs for the Eurovision Song Contest.

LMPC | Getty Images

They also celebrate with Donald Duck. In the past year, more than 4.5 million people – almost half of the Swedish population – looked the 1958 Disney special “From All of Us to All of You”, according to the English-language European news broadcaster The Local. The show has been broadcast there every year since 1959.

Popular foods this time of year include meatballs, ham, smoked or marinated salmon, pickled herring, and a potato and anchovy casserole called Jansson’s temptationsaid Kerttu.


While parts of the country celebrate differently, Christian families in India typically combine Western traditions with customs unique to India.

Mayur Cockatoo | Moment | Getty Images

“Christmas is quite an important holiday for my family because it is the only time of the year that most of the family get together,” said Isha Meleth, a Christian and from the southern Indian state of Kerala. “We’re building a nativity scene [nativity scene] in front of the house … on Christmas Eve. “

Two popular Christmas dishes are kheer, a type of sweet milk pudding, and kallappam, a coconut rice pancake that is more common in southern India, Meleth said.


For most of Japan, Christmas is more of a secular than a religious affair.

Lots of Japanese Celebrate the holiday similar to Valentine’s Day, with couples spending the day together, according to JR Pass, a Japanese rail travel company. It is common for people to go to dinner and run around with their partners looking at the Christmas lights.

One of the most talked about traditions – at least outside of Japan – is the culture fascination with fried chicken for Christmas, often from the US fast food chain KFC.

One theory behind Japan’s custom of eating KFC at Christmas is that for foreigners it was the food of choice for the holiday since there was no turkey. This inspired the company to market it as a Christmas dinner, a representative from KFC Japan told CNBC.

Yuichi Yamazaki | Getty Images

A 1974 marketing campaign called “Kentucky Christmas” launched a practice celebrated today by millions of Japanese, said Tatsuya Noguchi, a representative for KFC Japan.

Pre-orders for food like the “Party Barrel” or the “Christmas Pack” start around seven weeks in advance, according to Noguchi. The restaurant chain also had its highest sales of the year between December 23rd and 25th, he said.

“December 24th is the busiest day of the year – that’s about five to ten times as busy as the annual average,” said Noguchi.


Some 92% of the 110 million people in the Philippines are Christian. Christmas is the most important time of the year in the Philippines, and the country is said to celebrate the holiday longer than anywhere else – from September to January.

“Like many Latin American cultures, my family in the Philippines celebrates Nochebuena, which is a big festival on Christmas Eve,” said Siena Klinzing, who is half Filipino. “It’s about getting together with the family, having a big party and sharing gifts.”

For many Filipino families, Christmas is incomplete without lechon, a whole roast pork with a crispy skin.

Noel Celis | AFP | Getty Images

She said her family was staying up like New Year’s Eve to wish everyone a “Merry Christmas” as soon as the clock strikes midnight, she added.

Another important tradition is Simbang Gabi, which means “mass at night”, where people wake up before sunrise to attend mass for nine days from December 16-24. It is believed that those who have completed all nine days can ask for a blessing. Klinzing said.

United Arab Emirates

Although the UAE’s official state religion is Islam, Christmas is celebrated in some parts of the country.

This is particularly large in the emirates of Abu Dhabi and Dubai, where many expats live.

Dubai has light ceremonies from large, elaborately decorated Christmas trees, like this one in the Al-Wasl Dome in the heart of Expo 2020 Dubai.

AFP | Getty Images

Shopping centers and hotels are often heavily decorated with Christmas trees stretching over several floors, according to Visit Dubai, the emirate’s official tourism website.

Christmas markets, performances, and special holiday menus in restaurants are also common in December.


Christmas in Mexico is marked by large parades with colorful floats and costumes, candy-filled pinatas and Christmas cribs. But one of the most popular customs in the country is Las Posadas, a festival held during the nine days leading up to Christmas.

Costumed dancers take part in a traditional Christmas and New Year parade in Chilpancingo, a town in the Mexican state of Guerrero.

Pedro Pardo | AFP | Getty Images

“Every night the people form a singing procession to represent the journey of Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem,” said The Mexican food blogger Mely Martinez.

These processions usually culminate at someone’s home, where everyone gathers for a party of food like tamales, Christmas punch, and candy, she said. Other popular Christmas dishes include pozole, sweet deep-fried pastry donuts called bunuelos, and a hot chocolate drink called champurrado, Martinez said.


For many in Kenya, Christmas is a time of migration. Cities, including the capital, Nairobi, experience an exodus in December as crowds of people travel to their hometowns and villages to reunite with their families.

Believers from the Legio Maria, a religious movement that arose among the Luo in western Kenya, take part in a Christmas mass near Ugunja, Kenya, on December 25, 2017.

Fredrik Lerneryd | AFP | Getty Images

Most churches keep a vigil on Christmas Eve where people sing Christmas carols and hymns for hours, said Shikriti Mandal, who grew up in Kenya.

On Christmas Day, families and friends celebrate a festival that often includes grilled goat or lamb called nyama choma, Mandal said.


The South Pole is currently home to 70 permanent research stations from 29 different countries, according to Oceanwide Expeditions, a tour operator for the Arctic and Antarctic.

In the absence of the usual Christmas hustle and bustle, broadcasters find creative ways to celebrate among colleagues.

A man dressed as Santa Claus is en route to the Seabourn Quest cruise ship on Christmas morning on Cuverville Island in the Antarctic Peninsula region.

Wolfgang Kähler | LightRakete | Getty Images

“Each of our five Antarctic research stations celebrates Christmas in its own way, depending on the weather,” says Kathleen Maclean, representative of the British Antarctic Survey. Some roast a turkey and eat canned and frozen vegetables while others sing Christmas carols, watch Christmas movies, and play board games, she said.

Despite the celebrations, research continues as “long-term surveillance data remains to be collected,” Maclean said.

International space station

The Christmas spirit is so great that people have found a way to celebrate it 227 nautical miles (420 kilometers) above the earth.

According to the NASA website, astronauts did Christmas, Hanukkah and New Year’s Eve were celebrated on board the International Space Center for 21 years and have developed some traditions in the process.

Celebrations on the ISS include decorating the station, enjoying plastic bag versions of traditional foods such as Turkey, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes and cookies, and filming holiday greetings sent back to earth.

Christmas also comes twice on the space station, as it falls on January 7th on the Russian Orthodox calendar that many Russian astronauts follow.

Singer, SlimFlow evokes emotions in new single “Model Your World”

Music evokes several feelings, it moves the world. David Okuna is one such artist whose lyrics make life worth living.

Popularly known as SlimFlow, the artist who grew up in the cool town of Jos, Plateau State, has continued to thrive ever since he chose music as a way of conveying positive messages. He has only spent a few years in the mainstream music industry and SlimFlow has captured the hearts of music lovers with his reggae style.

His latest single, Style Your World, which was released a few days ago, is currently trending on social media platforms.

The song directly reflects a point of view on a product. “It’s a branch of my business. I’m a partnership with the company, he reveals, “when you hear this song you will relax,” he said.

The reggae dancehall music act treats music with great power and passion. His incredible skills in reggae music make it seem like he was born with it; he delivers his texts, lines with breathless enthusiasm and a good helping of messages that heal the heart.

Most of his songs are based on true life stories, the lines are often magical, steeped in meaning.

In addition to the latest single, the artist, who studied computer science at Delta State Polytechnic, also released an EP a few months ago called Enamored; Other songs on the track are Dreams, Alia, Control with Spider Rider, Ease Up and Antidote with Fynest Roland.

His other songs include Hustle Go Pay with Semojrah Naki, My Woman, Give Thanks, Zion and others are a pleasure to listen to.

In Hustle Go Pay, SlimFlow preaches the reality of life in the country, the song motivates the listener to get involved in positive things.

The song Zion is a spiritual song in which the artist pours out his thoughts. “The song is very spiritual,” he revealed. “It’s the movement of God’s children, it’s a motivational song.”

The artist reveals the profit that believers can achieve in the song. “Listening to the song helps your mindset and lets you focus on your dream,” he noted.

SlimFlow aligns the mind of the listener with its songs on the reality of things. His songs are melodious and inviting. Talk about your motivation. He remembers. “Reggae music is for bigger hearts, it’s different. I was only nine years old when I got into reggae. I kept listening to reggae music from my father’s record player. He used to play songs by Lucky Dube, Bob Marley, among others. “

SlimFlow has carried its message to various major concerts in the country. He is an all-round performer. A powerful composer. He has systematically and skilfully mixed his music with classical Jamaican rhythm: “My songs contain most of the things that happen today. I make sure that I say something that will change people’s lives. Reggae music made me tell the truth. “

Although he doesn’t wear dreadlocks, SlimFlow is an artist who knows performance and composition.

My Type World: Veneda Carter

“We usually go to Alfred Coffee on Melrose,” says Veneda Carter of her crisp early morning trips with her three-month-old daughter Bobbi. “It’s not far from our home so I can walk the quiet streets of the neighborhood with the stroller.”

Cozy jackets from the Kiev label Ienki Ienki and elegant techwear from the Canadian climbing brand Arc’teryx have become the backbone of the practical maternity wardrobe of the native Danish woman, who currently enjoys cult status on Instagram (scroll for mom and baby sports matching Timberlands and layers of synchronized wrap quilts). The haute hiker look (think: roomy deadstock pants straight out of a Hype Williams video paired with studded heeled boots), known on social media as the “Veneda style,” is a hit in her adopted home, in the Carter counts Kim Kardashian and Kanye West as collaborators.

In her West Hollywood home, which she shares with husband Weston (who works for Supreme) and Bobbi, the stylist pays homage to her influences, from resin work by Japanese artists Tycho Koll (a friend of the couple) on vintage issues of Rolling Stone magazine.

Here Veneda Carter gives the Vogue Club an exclusive insight into her world of styles.

Collin Morikawa wins the Race to Dubai in fashion after DP World Tour Championship victory

The 24-year-old made five birdies on his final seven holes on Sunday and scored a round of 66 that put him -17 and three strokes ahead of the rest of the field.

Rory McIlroy had the lead until the final lap but shot a disappointing 74 to finish sixth in a tie.

Matt Fitzpatrick fired a six-under par 66 to move up the leaderboard and jeopardize Morikawa’s spot at the top of the leaderboard, but it was only enough for second place.

Morikawa didn’t need to win this week to win the Race to Dubai, especially as his closest rival Billy Horschel finished 32nd.


But he flipped the style on the track to secure his sixth professional win.

“It feels so good. I would be lying to you if I said I wasn’t watching what Matt Fitzpatrick is doing today, and boy, did he take a run,” said Morikawa.

“It’s an honor. To put my name up against many, many greats in the Hall of Famers – that’s something special. I get touched just talking about it.

“The way my head is wired, I’m always on the lookout for what’s next. But I’ll try to enjoy this one. It’s something special, it’s the end of the year, I’ll enjoy it as best I can. “

It is the latest in an incredible run for the American over the past two years.

Morikawa also won the WGC Workday Championship earlier this year, which together with winning the Open played an important role in making him top the European Tour points list.

The only two events he played in Europe that year were the Scottish Open and then a week later at Royal St George’s, but the points offered for the majors and the WGC events meant he was that week at the DP Tour World Championship as leader of the Race to Dubai.

Morikawa also played a huge role in securing the Ryder Cup in the US, winning three and halving one of the four games he had played.

Holders France e-book World Cup place in model with 8-Zero win over Kazakhstan

Defending champions France have reached the 2022 World Cup finals with one game to go after Kylian Mbappe’s four goals helped them demolish Kazakhstan 8-0 in their Group D qualifier on Saturday.

With this result, France lead the group with 15 points from seven games, four ahead of runner-up Finland, who will be in their last game on Tuesday.

Karim Benzema added two goals while Adrien Rabiot and Antoine Griezmann scored one each to crown an impressive performance at Parc des Princes and seal France’s place in next year’s 32-nation tournament in Qatar.

Coach Didier Deschamps praised his bubbly performance and highlighted the French front, which tore the guests apart with crisp one-touch passes.

“The aim was to qualify, but we also did it in style and you could see how much fun the players had playing together and how they shared things, especially the strikers,” he told French TV.

“It’s good, everyone got their piece of the pie. It’s a result that rewards everything we did well in both halves. The risk at halftime is giving in a little, but we kept going, which also means to respect one’s opponent. “

Mbappe, who was instrumental in winning the 2018 tournament in Russia, added: “We wanted to give ourselves the chance to defend our title. Even for those who took part and won it, it is an ultimate dream to play at a World Cup ”.

“The fans enjoyed it, so did we. We respected the game and our opponents. We wanted to continue until the end.”

Deschamps played a 3-4-3 formation with Kingsley Coman as right-back and the offensive strategy resulted in an avalanche of goals as France’s natural talent shone.

The floodgates opened after Mbappe gave France the lead with an excellent first shot in the sixth minute after an assist from Theo Hernandez, with the home side always two gears ahead of the Kazakhs.

Mbappe added the second with an easy finish into an empty net past a defender in the 12th minute after Coman raced down from right, and he completed in the 32nd minute.

The French never took their foot off the pedal after the break and soon increased their lead with two rapid-fire goals from Benzema, who pocketed the fourth after a Hernandez assist before Mbappe became the supplier.

Rabiot scored his first international goal in the 75th minute when he headed in Griezmann’s corner before the latter scored his 42nd.

Three minutes before the end, the brilliant Mbappe put the icing on the cake after a fine presentation by substitute Moussa Diaby with a grandiose finish in the lower right corner, the home crowd was already in full swing.

Benzema was delighted after teaming up with Mbappe to create a devastating effect.

“We showed that we are compatible, that we can play together and have fun while we score goals, score goals and play for the team,” he said. “I’m so happy to have played like this and, above all, to have won.”

Meanwhile, Belgium secured a spot at next year’s World Cup and continued their unbeaten qualifying run in a 3-1 win over Estonia in Brussels on Saturday.

The semi-finalist in Russia 2018 climbed to an unassailable 19 points in Group E after Christian Benteke scored early and Yannick Carrasco and Thorgan Hazard scored goals in the second half.

The Closing Phrase: Browns reply in model, Jags shock the world! | NFL Information

One of the most dramatic news weeks in recent NFL history was capped by a batch of Sunday games that were equally stunning, entertaining and unpredictable.

Underdogs rose up across the league in Week Nine, including the Tennessee Titans. Their 6-2 record going into their game in Los Angeles showed they were no mugs, but few were giving them a chance against the 7-1 Rams. And that’s where this column begins…

Five Major Takeaways from Week Nine

1) Titans win another way

The Tennessee Titans had not won a football game without a guy called Derrick Henry in the line-up since 2015. But they had to enter a dragon’s den of sorts in Los Angeles on Sunday Night Football and find a way to slay the fire-breathing Rams. And most of us expected the pattern to be the same if the Titans were to find a way to win.

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Brian Baldinger reacts to the news that the Tennessee Titans will be without star running back Derrick Henry for several weeks due to a broken foot

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We expected the Titans to stick with the running game, only this time behind 36-year-old veteran Adrian Peterson, and throw play-action passes off that; giving quarterback Ryan Tannehill easier looks in the passing game.

But the Titans only rushed for 69 yards as a team (their leading rusher was D’Onta Foreman with 29) and Tannehill threw for 143 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Yet Tennessee won 28-16 and it was their defense that was the driving force.

Highlights of the Tennessee Titans against the Los Angeles Rams in Week Nine of the NFL

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Highlights of the Tennessee Titans against the Los Angeles Rams in Week Nine of the NFL

Jeffery Simmons and Denico Autry combined for four-and-a-half sacks of Matthew Stafford, and David Long and Kevin Byard pounced for two game-changing interceptions in 26 first-half seconds. Good teams find a way to win and these Titans are well-coached, resilient and more than just good.

2) Jaguars shock the world!

The Jacksonville Jaguars’ 9-6 win over the Buffalo Bills on Sunday afternoon is why the NFL actually play the games and don’t just run computer simulations based on prior form and current strength of the teams. The computer would most definitely have said “no” when asked if Jacksonville could win in Week Nine.

Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer and quarterback Trevor Lawrence celebrate after beating the Buffalo Bills

Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer and quarterback Trevor Lawrence celebrate after beating the Buffalo Bills

Buffalo came into this contest as the number one scoring team in the league, averaging 32 points per game. Jacksonville were ranked 28th in points allowed, giving up 29 per game. It was not a rosy picture for Urban Meyer’s team.

But they did what so many defenses are doing this year. They took away the big play from Buffalo quarterback Josh Allen and forced him to be patient when moving the ball down the field. That requires discipline and Allen failed on that front, throwing two interceptions and losing a fumble. Two of those turnovers came from Jaguars defensive end Josh Allen, who also had a sack. He took the whole ‘Josh Allen’ thing personally on Sunday, that’s for sure!

Jacksonville Jaguars linebacker Josh Allen registered a hat-trick of a sack, an interception and a fumble recovery against his namesake, Josh Allen, the Buffalo Bills quarterback

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Jacksonville Jaguars linebacker Josh Allen registered a hat-trick of a sack, an interception and a fumble recovery against his namesake, Josh Allen, the Buffalo Bills quarterback

3) Denver beat Dallas with ease

Who was giving the Denver Broncos a chance to beat the Cowboys in Dallas on Sunday? Not me, that’s for certain. Dak Prescott was back at quarterback for ‘America’s Team’ and Mike McCarthy’s side had not lost since opening night in Tampa Bay.

Nobody told Vic Fangio that his Broncos didn’t have a shot though and the wily coach dialled up a defensive game plan that kept the Cowboys – and Prescott in particular – on their heels all night long. What was most surprising about this 30-16 win is that it wasn’t even close. Denver were up 30-0 with six minutes remaining before Dallas picked up a couple of consolation touchdowns.

Watch Denver Broncos quarterback Teddy Bridgewater's 44-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Tim Patrick against the Dallas Cowboys

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Watch Denver Broncos quarterback Teddy Bridgewater’s 44-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Tim Patrick against the Dallas Cowboys

This was a complete team win for the Broncos. The defense sacked Prescott twice and picked him off once. Teddy Bridgewater, meanwhile, threw for a tidy 249 yards and one touchdown and Denver rushed for 190 yards and two scores.

As I watched this one unfold, I kept wondering when Dallas would fight back and they simply never did. Stunning.

4) Cardinals send a message

There was quite a major bump in the road being travelled by the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday. They were coming off their first loss of the season and heading to play a division rival with star quarterback Kyler Murray and wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins out injured.

Some Arizona Cardinals trickery led to a 33-yard touchdown pass from wide receiver Christian Kirk against the San Francisco 49ers

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Some Arizona Cardinals trickery led to a 33-yard touchdown pass from wide receiver Christian Kirk against the San Francisco 49ers

Early in the contest against the San Francisco 49ers, the Cards suffered further adversity when running back Chase Edmonds went down with a high ankle sprain. They didn’t miss a beat though behind the neat passing of veteran backup QB Colt McCoy and the playmaking versatility of James Conner, who touched the ball 26 times for 173 yards and three touchdowns, giving him a league-leading 11 on the season.

Arizona romped to a 31-17 victory that was largely comfortable. To do that without your two best players is mightily impressive. This team is now back at the top of the NFC seedings and with only two teams with winning records (Rams and Cowboys) remaining on their schedule, the Cards are in great shape to make a run.

Arizona Cardinals running back Eno Benjamin trucks over San Francisco 49ers cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick on a 21-yard touchdown run

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Arizona Cardinals running back Eno Benjamin trucks over San Francisco 49ers cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick on a 21-yard touchdown run

5) Browns respond!

The Cleveland Browns had endured a tumultuous week by the time they stepped onto the field to face the Cincinnati Bengals in the ‘Battle of Ohio’ on Sunday. The fallout between quarterback Baker Mayfield and star wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. escalated to the point where OBJ is now no longer on the team.

How would the Browns respond? There would have been Baker guys and Odell guys in their locker room, so would we see a divided team in a key game against the Bengals? Well, it certainly looked like 53 guys pulling in the same direction as Cleveland registered an emphatic 41-16 win.

Cleveland Browns running back Nick Chubb torches the Cincinnati Bengals defense on this 70-yard touchdown run

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Cleveland Browns running back Nick Chubb torches the Cincinnati Bengals defense on this 70-yard touchdown run

Baker was rock solid in throwing for 218 yards and two touchdowns but the real stars of the night were on the defensive side of the ball. Led by Myles Garrett, the Browns recorded five sacks of Joe Burrow. On the back end, the secondary came up with two interceptions and forced a fumble while holding the dangerous Ja’Marr Chase to just six receptions for 49 yards.

Player of the Week: Jeffery Simmons

Jeffery Simmons takes down Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford during his dominant display on Sunday night

Jeffery Simmons takes down Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford during his dominant display on Sunday night

With Aaron Donald watching on from the other sideline, Tennessee’s own dominant interior defensive lineman turned in a display that number 99 would have been proud of.

Jeffery Simmons recorded three sacks, four quarterback hits and three tackles for losses for the Titans in their win over the Rams. He also provided the pressure up the middle for Matthew Stafford’s interception, thrown from his own endzone, that gifted Tennessee a short field for the first touchdown of the game.

That was as disruptive a pass-rushing performance as I have seen in the NFL this season and if it hadn’t been such a disappointing night for the Rams, Donald might even have nodded in approval.

Play of the Week

Cleveland Browns cornerback Denzel Ward picks off Joe Burrow and returns it for a 99-yard touchdown against the Cincinnati Bengals

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Cleveland Browns cornerback Denzel Ward picks off Joe Burrow and returns it for a 99-yard touchdown against the Cincinnati Bengals

The Bengals made a very positive start to their contest with Cleveland, marching down the field on 10 plays to set up a 3rd-and-Goal from the three-yard line. The 11th play could very well have been a Cincinnati touchdown as Joe Burrow fired in the direction of Chase on an out route near the goal line. Instead, the Browns grabbed the momentum that would never be relinquished as Denzel Ward – who was excellent the entire game – jumped the pass, intercepted Burrow and raced 99 yards for the touchdown. It was a 14-point swing and the Browns never looked back!

Coach of the Week: Bill Belichick

Bill Belichick has masterminded a New England Patriots win streak that has them again hunting for a playoff spot in the AFC

Bill Belichick has masterminded a New England Patriots win streak that has them again hunting for a playoff spot in the AFC

We tend to give coaching awards to everyone but Bill Belichick because his greatness is already assumed. But let’s give a nod to the GOAT here who has led the New England Patriots to three-straight wins and victories in four of their last five. They are now breathing down Buffalo’s neck in the AFC East.

Belichick loves facing young quarterbacks and Sam Darnold was the latest target, who threw three interceptions for the Carolina Panthers in Sunday’s 24-6 beating. His team is not flashy, nor loaded with elite talent across the board, but they have played themselves into form and into the playoff picture.

New England confound quarterbacks on a weekly basis and they know how to go and get the football. On offense, they run the ball well behind a physical line and rookie quarterback Mac Jones is improving. Belichick deserves a load of credit for getting this team into a competitive state.

On my Radar

Cincinnati Bengals star rookie receiver Ja'Marr Chase has been slowed the last couple of weeks in back-to-back losses

Cincinnati Bengals star rookie receiver Ja’Marr Chase has been slowed the last couple of weeks in back-to-back losses

The early-season form of Cincinnati rookie wide receiver Chase was historic and fun to watch. But he has been shut down in the last two weeks as defenses put greater emphasis on removing him from Cincinnati’s attack.

The Bengals are still going his way as Chase has been targeted 22 times in defeats to the New York Jets and the Browns, yet he has only caught nine passes for 81 yards and one touchdown. All three Bengals turnovers on Sunday involved Chase – he was targeted on the two interceptions and also lost a fumble.

I refuse to believe Chase has hit the dreaded rookie wall already, so how will he respond? This is not only going to be key for his development, Cincinnati’s fight for a playoff berth is going to depend on getting their star man going again.

Join Neil Reynolds and guests for Inside The Huddle, every Tuesday from 9pm on Sky Sports NFL for a look back on the best of the weekend’s NFL action.