Planning your calendar for 2019? Here are a few events to look out for.
NEPAL, January: Nepal’s first professional midwives are born as part of the country’s effort to reduce maternal and neonatal mortality rates. Twenty-nine students are expected to graduate from bachelor of midwifery programs at the National Academy of Medical Science and Kathmandu University.
ANTARCTICA, January-February: Scientists, pack your parkas. The Weddell Sea off the coast of the Antarctic Peninsula — one of the coldest, most remote and unexplored parts of the planet — hosts researchers from Cambridge University’s Scott Polar Research Institute. The research team plans to sample the seafloor underneath the ice to gather data on marine life, while looking for the wreck of the Endurance, the sunken ship of the polar explorer Ernest Shackleton.
ENGLAND, Feb. 10: Films must actively promote diversity in their productions in order to be considered for outstanding British film and outstanding debut by a British writer, director or producer — two new categories at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts awards. Oscars, your move.
UNITED STATES, Feb. 14-17: London, New York. Next stop: Los Angeles. Frieze, the global art fair known as much for the art as for the fashionable attendees, expands its reach to sunny California.
FRANCE, March 9-16: Tomorrowland, a Belgian music festival franchise, is raising the stakes of après-ski. “Tomorrowland Winter: The Hymn of the Frozen Lotus,” its first foray into winter events, promises to attract thousands of music lovers, who will be able to ski in the French Alps during the day and dance to electronic music into the night.
BRITAIN, March 29: Britain signs its divorce papers with the European Union. If you thought Rupert Murdoch’s legendary split from his second wife was bad, just wait until you see the price tag on this one.
INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION, April: Space Race, 2019 edition: Just a few months after Russia’s contract to send American astronauts to the International Space Station on the Soyuz spacecraft expires, Elon Musk’s SpaceX is scheduled to fly its first test flight with a crew. A successful outcome would bring NASA closer to regaining the ability to transport its own astronauts to the orbiting lab since it retired its space shuttle fleet in 2011.
JAPAN, April 30: Emperor Akihito of Japan, who was previously treated for prostate cancer and had heart surgery in 2012, becomes the first royal in two centuries to abdicate from the throne.
ITALY, May 11-Nov. 24: Ralph Rugoff, the artistic director of the Venice Biennale, presents his much-anticipated exhibition about the fake news era, “May You Live in Interesting Times.”
CANADA, last week of June: The first commercial diving tours to the wreckage site of the Titanic cost $105,129 — the equivalent of a first-class ticket on the ship’s inaugural voyage, according to the organizers. All aboard, Leo and Kate!
CHILE, July 2: If 2019 only gives us one total solar eclipse, perhaps it’s worth the trip to South America in midwinter. Clouds may be looming, but La Serena in Chile promises reliable views of the spectacle for about 2 minutes.
SWITZERLAND, July 18-Aug. 11: Once every 20 years since the 18th century, the Swiss town of Vevey invites visitors to celebrate its winemaking tradition with a “pourmenade.” The Fête des Vignerons, or Winegrowers’ Festival, recognized by Unesco as an intangible cultural heritage of humanity, is expected to attract more than 20,000 people, who will be reveling in music, dancers, floats, a parade and other wine-related celebrations.
UNITED STATES, July 19: Donald Glover as Simba, Beyoncé Knowles-Carter as Nala and James Earl Jones as Mufasa: It’s unclear whether more children or adults will be waiting in line on opening night for the 2019 remake of Disney’s animated movie “The Lion King.”
SOUTH AFRICA, August: The OppiKoppi Music Festival — the Burning Man of the South African bushveld region — started 25 years ago as an unassuming rock ‘n’ roll get-together. In a way it still is, but with over 20,000 people.
FRANCE, August: It’s “The X Factor” for opera singers: Les Azuriales invites 10 finalists chosen out of up to 150 auditioning singers from around the world to a villa on the Côte d’Azur to compete and create an opera from scratch in a week.
ENGLAND, Sept. 29: Oxford welcomes its inaugural class of global Rhodes scholars — the first students to be able to apply to a Rhodes scholarship from anywhere in the world in the 115-year history of the program, traditionally limited to select countries. This means that British nationals may be among the recipients of one of the country’s most prestigious academic awards for the first time in history.
CHINA, October: Zaha Hadid Architects designed Beijing’s new Daxing International Airport, which is set to be the world’s largest. The expected capacity is 72 million passengers by 2025. You might want to tag your suitcase!
THAILAND, November: The Monkey Banquet Festival is a good day to be a monkey in Lopburi, or Monkey City, as it is often referred to. During the celebration, a spread of candy, fruit and soda is offered to the long-tailed macaque monkeys as a thank you for bringing tourism to the city.
SWEDEN, Dec. 10: As a man sows, so shall he reap. (Or, in the #MeToo moment, many men). After a sexual scandal rocked the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2018, the prize this year will be awarded either twice or not at all, depending on whether the Swedish Academy has “won back the public’s trust.”
TURKS AND CAICOS: SuperShe, a female-only community with holiday retreats around the world, will open its tropical second location, with a capacity of 16 female guests, after the first one, in Finland, debuted in 2018.
CHINA, late 2019: East and West meet at the West Bund Art Museum on Shanghai’s Museum Mile. The venue, designed by David Chipperfield, will house an outpost of the Parisian modern art museum Centre Pompidou for five years.
UNITED ARAB EMIRATES, late 2019: The Museum of the Future (an oxymoron?) opens in Dubai. Even though it’s nearly 8,000 miles away from Silicon Valley, it intends to become the largest incubator for futuristic innovation and design in the world.
UNITED STATES: Luke, I am your theme park! Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, split between Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Florida and California’s Disneyland Park, is set to be the largest single-themed expansion of Disney’s theme park empire. The attraction will include a hotel offering Disney’s first-ever “360 vacation” package, which will take guests through a fully immersive story line over a few days. Not enough intergalactic fun? Don’t forget: “Star Wars: Episode IX” will be released in theaters on Dec. 20, 2019.