14 UNESCO World Traditions to Experience in 2019

14 UNESCO World Traditions to Experience in 2019

Every December since 2008, members of UNESCO’s cultural committee meet to decide which of the world’s cultural traditions will be honored for the previous year. This year, 31 traditions were recognized by UNESCO, and 14 of them are in MIR’s destinations. Read More


Celebrating Navruz in Uzbekistan: My Favorite Moments on a Festive Journey

Celebrating Navruz in Uzbekistan: My Favorite Moments on a Festive Journey

Born and raised in Samarkand, Abdu Samadov is full of inside information about Uzbekistan. He has studied in England and the U.S. and is fluent in English, Farsi, and Russian. Abdu guides MIR travelers throughout Central Asia and enjoys sharing his knowledge. Here, Abdu recounts some of the highlights of his travels with MIR's small group tour Backstreets & Bazaars of Uzbekistan. Read More


Classic Celebrations: Wedding Traditions in Uzbekistan (VIDEO)

Classic Celebrations: Wedding Traditions in Uzbekistan (VIDEO)

Uzbek weddings are joyous occasions full of feasting, dancing, and meaningful rituals. Learn more about the country’s traditional wedding customs through photos and video footage from lucky MIR travelers invited to join the celebration. Read More



Celebrate More Than 25 Years of an Independent Ukraine

Celebrate More Than 25 Years of an Independent Ukraine

August 24, 2016 is the 25th anniversary of Ukraine’s Independence Day. On this day, 25 years ago, Ukraine’s parliament adopted the Declaration of State Sovereignty of Ukraine. The momentous declaration came on the heels of the collapse of an attempted coup in Moscow, when communist hardliners tried to overthrow Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev to prevent the looming dissolution of the USSR (see our series on Witnessing the Fall of the USSR). The coup ultimately failed, and so did the Soviet Union. Now, 25 years down the line, Ukraine celebrates long and loud on this proud national holiday. Parades, fireworks, private parties and public festivals are staged across the country. Read More


MIR Moments: Dances, Dinners & Delights in Uzbekistan

MIR Moments: Dances, Dinners & Delights in Uzbekistan

Every few years, internationally respected dance ethnologist Helene Eriksen leads a group of enthusiasts to a different region of the world to explore its traditional dances, costumes and music. Since 2016, Helene has teamed up with MIR for a Dance Tour Through Uzbekistan, which takes travelers on an unconventional journey to the heart of the Silk Road – Uzbekistan – to explore the dances, costumes and music of the Central Asian desert region. Tour Manager Abdu Samadov shares some favorite highlights and surprise moments from the most recent departure of the trip. Read More


Maslenitsa in Russia: Pouring on the Pancakes

Maslenitsa in Russia: Pouring on the Pancakes

Maslenitsa, or Pancake Week, is a favorite holiday in Russia. Today it’s celebrated both as a pagan springtime rite and, similar to Carnival, a last fling before Lent prohibits all pleasurable things. In 2017, Maslenitsa is celebrated from February 20-26. Read More


The Czar’s Ball: A Luxurious New Year’s Celebration in St. Petersburg

The Czar’s Ball: A Luxurious New Year’s Celebration in St. Petersburg

The sumptuous Czar’s Ball, held in St. Petersburg, Russia’s lavish Catherine’s Palace on New Year’s Eve, faithfully recreates the imperial soirees of the 19th century, when no expense was spared to dazzle and entertain the favored nobility. Entering the extravagant palace, guests enter the pages of Tolstoy’s War and Peace. Read More



A Year of Celebrations: Holidays, Festivals and Special Events to Add to Your Travel Calendar

A Year of Celebrations: Holidays, Festivals and Special Events to Add to Your Travel Calendar

We love a good reason to party. Our 2019 calendar is already filling up with festivals and special events to rejoice over. No matter where or how you want to celebrate your birthday, anniversary or latest grand achievement, MIR has the destination expertise and experience to help you mark the special occasion on a trip to any of our legendary destinations along the Silk Route, the Trans-Siberian Railway, through Siberia, Mongolia, Iran, the Balkans, the South Caucasus and beyond. Looking to add a celebration or festival to your own calendar, and add some revelry to your next trip? Here are a few ideas... Read More