Masha Goncharova
© 2017 The New York Times
Distributed by The New York Times Syndicate

© BaikalNature

JANUARY

Expedition to the Pole of Cold
RUSSIA
January — February

To see a frosty fairytale-like landscape, join an expedition to the “Pole of Cold.” Tour guides will lead you to Oymyakon, a Russian village that’s the coldest inhabited place on the Earth’s surface.

 

Charles I’s Art Collection
ENGLAND
Jan. 27 — April 15

This is a reunion you’ll want to attend. The Royal Academy of Arts is bringing together Charles I’s collection of art from the 15th  to the 17th century, including works by Titian, Van Dyck, Rubens, Holbein and Mantegna. A quick refresher: Charles I’s authoritarian rule eventually led to his execution. Oh, if those paintings could talk.

Blind Cricket World Cup
PAKISTAN and UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
Jan. 7 — 21

Blind players from Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal, Australia, South Africa and the West Indies use a hard plastic “audio ball” in this tournament for a game that has been around since the 1920s.

© Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
FEBRUARY
Winter Olympics
SOUTH KOREA
Feb. 9 — 25

Leave it to an Olympic city to set a record: Pyeongchang will be the first-ever Winter Games city to award over 100 gold medals. Among the new events: men’s and women’s mass-start speed skating and big-air snowboarding.

The Year of the Dog Chinese New Year
CHINA
Feb. 16

In 2017, it was believed that there would be a fine of up to 100,000 renminbi, or about $14,500, for selling dog meat in the week before the Yulin Lychee and Dog Meat Festival in June of 2017. Although animal-welfare advocates considered the temporary ban a victory, the meat was still available during the festival. Will dog meat sales continue in 2018, otherwise known as the Year of the Dog? Thousands of online petition signatories hope not.

© Alexis Berg
MARCH
General Election
RUSSIA
March

If President Vladimir V. Putin is successful in the country’s next presidential election, he will become the longest serving Russian leader since Stalin. His most vocal critic, Aleksei Navalny, has promised to run for president, despite being disqualified by his five-year suspension sentence on charges of embezzlement.

 

Art Basel Hong Kong
HONG KONG
March 29 — 31

Looking to make that perfect acquisition but can’t make it to Miami or Basel? Then head to Hong Kong, which seeks to become the capital of the Asian art market. Art Basel Hong Kong is Asia’s biggest art fair, where you’ll be sure to find something from one of the many emerging or powerhouse galleries.

 

APRIL
Marathon Des Sables
MOROCCO
April 6 — 16

Running about 156 miles in the Sahara? Piece of meskouta (Moroccan cake)! Just don’t forget to bring some water. Participants in the Marathon des Sables drink 32,000 gallons of mineral water on average over the 10-day haul.

© Art Basel
Cannes Series Festival
FRANCE
April 2

With HBO, Amazon, Netflix and others shelling out the big bucks for film-production-quality television, Cannes has its timing right to launch a new festival with an official selection of 10 unseen TV series. Vive la television!

Fyre Festival

UNITED STATES
May

You leave millennials stranded without adequate food or shelter on a Bahamian island, and 81% say they’d still go back. The now-infamous organizers of the Fyre Festival, which was marketed as a once-in-a-lifetime luxury experience featuring rock bands, celebrity chefs and V.I.P. accommodations, are giving it another go.

 

MAY
Venice Architecture Biennale
ITALY
May 26 — Nov. 25

The Italians get to host the world’s foremost art and architecture festivals every other year on an island that’s set to sink (whether by water or by tourism, is as yet unclear). The theme for this year’s Venice Architecture Biennale is “Freespace,” focused on the generosity, quality and humanity of architecture.

 

JUNE
Els Castells
CATALONIA
June — November

The Catalonians have been taking castells (or human towers) to new heights since the early 1700s. Watch a child climb to the top of a nine-person tower and hold up four fingers to represent the four stripes of the Catalan flag. Unesco has added the spectacle to the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

 

JULY
Tour de France
FRANCE
July 7

Several mega-fans of the annual cycling race were left “à bout de souffle” (“breathless”) when they learned about two big changes this year: Le Tour will start a week later than usual to avoid too much screen-time overlap with the FIFA World Cup, where the French team is among the favorites to win. And there will be fewer riders: eight instead of nine per team.

 

© Josep Lago/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Parker Solar Probe

THE SUN
July 31 — Aug. 19

To infinity, and … the sun! A NASA spacecraft will fly closer to our solar system’s most well-known star than any other spacecraft in history, thanks to a revolutionary new thermal protection system. A shield eight feet in diameter will protect the spacecraft against temperatures of 2,500 degrees Fahrenheit by cooling it to a nice and chilly 320 degrees Fahrenheit.

 

AUGUST — SEPTEMBER
Pope Francis Visits Ireland
IRELAND
Aug. 21 — 26

Besides being the most meme-able pope in history, Francis will also be the first pope to visit Ireland since Pope John Paul II’s historic visit in 1979. Francis is also expected to go to Northern Ireland, which John Paul II was unable to do because of the political turmoil during the Troubles.

© Filippo Monteforte/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
Bella Skyway Festival
POLAND
Aug. 21 — 26

What is art? At the biggest light festival in the northern Polish city of Torun, art is expressed in “situations.” Water and light situations, that is, which explore the different ways that light can interact aesthetically with water. Categories include “Pleasure vs. Danger” and “Global Vital Commodity vs. Natural Element of the Cosmos.”

The Asian Games
INDONESIA
Aug. 18 — Sept. 2

The pancontinental games, also known as the “Asiad,” are recognized by the International Olympic Committee and feature sports like sepak takraw (kick volleyball) and the Chinese martial art of wushu.

 

© Jeff Pachoud/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

OCTOBER

World Food Day
WORLD
Oct. 16

There’s still over 10 years left to achieve the United Nations’ goal of ending global hunger by 2030, and World Food Day aims to raise awareness. It’s one of the most celebrated days of the United Nations calendar, with over 150 countries hosting marathons, marches, exhibitions and performances.

 

NOVEMBER
Flying Cars to Be Delivered

NORWAY

November — December

Who else has been rating technological advancements by how much they resemble “The Jetsons”? The Dutch company Pal-V will hand over the first keys to customers who bought its “roadable aircrafts.” Essentially flying cars, these gyrocopters have foldout wings that drivers can expand and detract on any runway.

© Scott McIntyre for The New York Times
© Hirotaka Yoshizaki/The New York Times
DECEMBER
KFC for Christmas
JAPAN
December — February

While Americans have been devouring California rolls, the Japanese have adopted the colonel’s chicken. A 1974 marketing campaign known as “Kurisumasu ni wa Kentakkii!” (“Kentucky for Christmas!”) made the fast food chain KFC part of Japan’s holiday tradition. Several Japanese airlines have offered in-flight KFC from December through February, and to this day, KFC restaurants in Japan recommend ordering Christmas takeout weeks in advance.

SOMETIME IN 2018:
Two Private Citizens Fly Around the Moon

THE MOON
Late 2018

Prepare your Instagram feeds. SpaceX announced that it will take private citizens — who have already paid a significant deposit — to the moon on its crew-compatible Dragon 2 capsule.

Chinese Encyclopedia Published

CHINA

Designed to be the nation’s first digital book of “everything,” the Chinese Encyclopedia will feature more than 300,000 entries, each about 1,000 words long, making it twice as large as the Encyclopaedia Britannica. The project has been in the works since 2011, with more than 20,000 scholars from universities and research institutes taking part.