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These festive online events are set to shake up your holidays at home

By JUSTINE PUNZALAN Published Dec 16, 2020 6:04 am

Christmas and New Year may be a lot different this year, but that doesn’t mean you should spare yourself from the festive holiday feels.

And if there’s one thing worth celebrating this year, it’s that people have become ingenious enough to hold grand events online. For us people who are thrifty or simply don’t want to go out for safety reasons, that means getting as much fun minus the hefty travel cost.

If you’re missing the yuletide cheer that the outside world brings, look no further as we round up some of the exciting holiday events that you could stream right at home during this merry-making season.

Big Hit Labels’ 2021 New Year’s Eve Live Concert

K-pop fans can now spend New Year’s Eve with their idols through Big Hit Labels’ 2021 New Year’s Eve Live Concert. The star-studded event will feature the agency’s roster of talents, such as K-pop megastars BTS, as well as GFriend, TXT, ENHYPEN, NU’EST, Lee Hyun, and Bumzu. International artists Halsey, Lauv, and Steve Aoki are also set to amp up the virtual party.

It will be aired on Big Hit’s mobile app and streaming website, Weverse, at 9 p.m. on Dec. 31 and capped off with a countdown to welcome 2021.

Big Hit announced earlier this month that it would be selling tickets both for the virtual and in-person events. However, the talent agency announced on Dec. 7 that it would stop rolling out tickets for the offline performance following Seoul’s transition to Level 2.5 COVID-19 security."It was a decision made for the safety of the artists and their fans," Big Hit Labels said in a statement.

You can purchase tickets to the online event on the Weverse online shop until Dec. 31. Prices range from P1,732 to P2,609, depending on the number of gadgets you’ll use to stream the concert.

Singapore’s Virtual Christmas Wonderland

Overview of the Virtual Christmas Wonderland

Now you can enjoy the majestic lights show in the Supertree Grove minus the air travel, thanks to Singapore’s Virtual Christmas Wonderland. The online event features hyper-realistic graphics and interactive content inspired by the “Walk of Lights” on-ground affair in the famed nature park.

Housed on the website christmaswonderland.sg until Dec. 31, the Virtual Christmas Wonderland lets you indulge in a 360-degree view of the digitally reproduced light installations in Gardens by the Bay. The website also offers interactive activities: the Path of Tranquility, which allows you to walk through the light tunnel with the options to change its colors and sounds, and the Tinsel Theatre, where you can listen to the merry tunes of the yuletide season.

The Virtual Christmas Wonderland offers an array of activities for the entire family.

It’s a fun and safe holiday treat, especially for the kids, with games such as Midnight Snowball Fight, Puzzlemania, Santa’s Workshop, and Jolly Carnival. They can also have a video chat with Santa when you apply for a Rudolph membership.

Admission starts at 8 Singaporean dollars (P288) for the entire family. To purchase a ticket, visit christmaswonderland.sg.

Ayala Land’s Festival of Lights

Talk about an awe-inspiring holiday experience and the Festival of Lights at the Ayala Triangle Gardens would be top of mind for some people.

Since 2009, the event gathers Filipinos in an enchanting performance staged every night from November to December. This year, the real estate firm is bringing the magic to your home with the Festival of Lights 2020: Lights and Sound Show Virtual Edition.

The 360-degree video features festive animations, lights, and music that would take you right in the middle of Makati through your gadget’s screen.

Not only that, you can stream it anytime on Make It Makati and Ayala Land's social media pages since it was released last November.

Cultural Center of the Philippines’ Sigla ng Pasko

Jazz up your holidays with performances from the country’s top-rated artists with the Cultural Center of the Philippines ’ Sigla ng Pasko virtual presentation. The seven-day event includes acts from Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra, Philippine Madrigal Singers, Ballet Philippines every 8 p.m. from Dec. 14 to 20.

Tune in on Dec. 18 when Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray is slated to serenade viewers with Christmas hymns together with the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra.

The webisodes are hosted by CCP President Arsenio Lizaso and singer Nicole Laurel Asensio and available for streaming every 8.pm. on the CCP – Office of the President Facebook page.

Department of Foreign Affairs’ Fiesta Filipinas

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) is giving Pinoys the delightful sensory experience of festivals beginning this Christmas with “Fiesta Filipinas: An Online Celebration of Philippine Festivals.”

Launched in partnership with the Department of Tourism and the National Commission of Culture and the Arts, the six-part virtual series will feature live and pre-recorded videos of the country’s famous festivals held in 2019.

“Every month from December 2020 to May 2021, one Philippine festival will be featured as a way for locals to introduce their cultural festivity to the world stage,” DFA said.

The program kicks off with the bright and homey vibes of Paskong Pinoy from Pampanga’s Giant Lantern Parade on Dec. 19. Other virtual festivals to watch out for in the coming months are the Sinulog, Ati-Atihan, and Dinagyang on Jan. 30, Panagbenga on Feb. 27, Lami-Lamihan on April 24, and Flores De Mayo on May 29.

Don’t miss out on the fun by staying tuned to DFA’s Facebook page and YouTube channel.

2021 Time Square Ball Drop

Over the past several decades, the New York Times Square has been setting the benchmark for grand New Year’s parties.

More than a million spectators gather on the famed commercial intersection to watch the Times Square Ball Drop, where a huge LED ball light descends from a flagpole on top of the One Times Square building, from 11:59 pm until midnight to ring in the new year.

The tradition is usually fronted by performances from celebrity A-listers like Taylor Swift, BTS, Mariah Carey, and Britney Spears, among many others.

Although there will be no crowds this year because of the pandemic, Time Square Alliance assures the public that the party will continue and the ball will be dropped as usual.

“One thing that will never change is the ticking of time and the arrival of a New Year at midnight on December 31st,” said Tim Tompkins, President of the Times Square Alliance, in a press release. “But this year, there will be significant new and enhanced virtual, visual, and digital offerings to complement whatever limited live entertainment or experiences—still in development—will take place in Times Square.”

And that means we can still keep up with the merrymaking from half a world away. If you have cable TV, simply tune in on channels CNN, ABC, FOX, and NBC on Jan. 1. You can also watch a commercial-free webcast on TimesSquareNYC.org, NewYearsEve.nyc, TimesSquareBall.net, or Times Square NYC’s Facebook and Twitter pages.

Photos from Timo Volz, Big Hit Entertainment, and Time Square NYC on Instagram.