By: Shari Chase

As an old decade ends and a new one begins, the world is changing, making 2020 a year full of potentially exciting new developments and history-making events.

With everything to look forward to in the 20s, you might be searching for ways to make it a bit more special and spectacular. To inspire you, here are five unique things for adventurous souls to enjoy this year.

Attend The “Penis Festival”

Officially named Kanamara Matsuri, Japan’s “Festival of the Steel Phallus”, is a yearly event at the Kanayama Shrine in Kawasaki, scheduled to take place on April 5 this year. The festival is centred around several phallus-shaped sacred objects which are also commemorated through illustrations, candy, carved vegetables, decorations and a parade. Part of the festival involves prayers for marriages to be blessed with children and smooth marital relationships.

Image courtesy Japan Today

Initially started in remembrance of sex workers who came to the shrine to pray for protection against diseases and misfortune it now focusses on anti-discrimination and sexuality.

The Kanayama Shrine is dedicated to the divine couple, Kanayama Hiko no Kami and Kanayama Hime no Kami, often celebrated as the protectors of blacksmiths and sexuality. These two histories have combined to create a festival that welcomes over 30,000 participants, with a large portion of them coming from various foreign countries.

Take A Dive Into The Bassins De Lumieres

If you love art and history, why not combine them? Visit the Bassins De Lumieres in Bordeaux’s former submarine base where the Germans were forced out of France in 1944. The historical site opens on April 17 as a walkthrough museum when it will become the largest digital art centre in the world. 

The digital exhibition by Culturespaces will showcase works from major artists in the history of art and contemporary art. The artwork will be adapted to the architecture of the submarine base and reflected in the water. This gives visitors a unique perspective, allowing them to view the art from gangways above the water as well as from the quays of the basins. It is sure to be one unforgettable art experience.

Go Party In Glastonbury

This June, the famous Glastonbury festival celebrates its 50th anniversary. It started in 1970 as a Blues festival with 1,500 attendees and now, attracts more than 135,000 attendees to the 5-day music and art festival. Featuring various styles of music, performative art, and many other creative forms of art and design, it also provides a space for displays of environmentally friendly technologies and religious expression. 

The festival has also become somewhat of a celebration of delicious artisanal foods and eclectic handmade goods. The 2020 lineup includes artists like the legendary Paul McCartney, Taylor Swift, Diana Ross and many more. Will you join them?

Take a Historical Stroll Down The Red Carpet

Follow in the footsteps of Hollywood legends when you take to the famous red carpet at The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures. Due to open on December 14, 2020, the museum is a monument to movie history and culture. Currently under construction, when finished, it will include a Spielberg Family Gallery exhibition space, the 1000 seater David Geffen Theatre as well as the smaller Ted Mann Theater. 

Image courtesy The Architects Newspaper

The museum’s mission is to celebrate “the art and science of movies – past, present, and future.” Its six floors are dedicated to Hollywood history as well as global filmmaking. Some feature items include Dorothy’s ruby slippers from ‘The Wizard Of Oz’,  a page of annotated script from ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’, and an extraterrestrial headpiece from ‘Aliens’.

Checkout King Tut’s Enormous 1 Billion Pad

Discover the magic of ancient Egypt when The Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) opens at the end of 2020. Billed as  the biggest museum in the world dedicated to a single civilisation, it is expected to attract approximately 5 million visitors a year and will feature sections devoted to The Old Kingdom, The Middle Kingdom, The New Kingdom and Greco Roman times. Along with a wealth of historical knowledge, GEM will also have a view of the Great Pyramids and is designed to celebrate and show off the history of one of the world’s greatest civilisations.

Image courtesy Egypt Independent

Featuring over 5,000 known artefacts and displaying all of the items from King Tut’s tomb in one place for the first time since the tomb was discovered.

With a little bit of everything going on this year, this is just a brief list of some of the more notable adventures to consider brightening up your 2020. Whether you want to attend a legendary music festival or get lost in ancient history there are many things to discover and do as you make this year extra special.