Lonely Planet Writer

Gloucestershire, England gears up for Cheltenham and cherry blossom is everywhere in Tokyo this weekend

The best events from around the world this weekend all seem to mark the beginning of Spring, whether it be the Spring Market in Bushwick or the sakura-themed exhibition in Tokyo. This weekend sees the collective getting ready for Spring, and we too are excited.

SMAD PLACE ridden by Richard Johnson at last year's Cheltenham Races
SMAD PLACE ridden by Richard Johnson at last year’s Cheltenham Races Image by Cheltenham Races/Instagram

Cheltenham, one of the world’s biggest race meetings is kicking off in England with horse race aficionados from across the world travelling to the edge of the beautiful Cotswolds. The race meeting runs from Tuesday 15 to Friday 18 March with memorable races such as the Gold Cup, and themed days such as Ladies Day and St Patrick’s Day.

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Robert and Cora Crawley of Downton Abbey
Robert and Cora Crawley of Downton Abbey Image by Driehaus museum

Chicago is honouring the end of Downton Abbey in its own brilliant way.  ‘Dressing Downton: Changing Fashion for Changing Times’ is the latest exhibit at the Driehaus Museum, the 1879 mansion that forms the perfect backdrop to the costumes and amazing outfits that feature in the smash hit series. The costumes on the series were famously painstakingly researched, so it’s an amazing way to trace the evolution of fashion from the turn of the 20th century as well as reminding yourself of how much you’re going to miss Lady Mary and Cora Crawley’s stunning ensembles.

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Sakura, flower blossoms particular to Japanese cherry blossom
Sakura, flower blossoms particular to Japanese cherry blossom Image by Nacho

The fall of the first cherry blossom is a big ritualised event in Japan, where blossom is celebrated in everything from art to food.  The onset of spring is being honoured in Tokyo’s National Museum of Modern Art where rarities such as Kawai Gyokudo’s folding-screen ‘Parting Spring’ will be one of the central pieces to this sakura (cherry blossom) themed exhibit.

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The SHWICK Market
The SHWICK Market Image by Shwick Market

The SHWICK Market is one of Bushwick’s (NYC) nicest craft markets and this weekend it marks the beginning of Spring with 60 plus crafters and makers coming together. It’s well worth it as one can scoop up anything from unique jewellery to upcycled furniture to some of the best street food as well as visit the increasingly trendy neighbourhood.

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