2010 is an important year for sports, and February sees the arrival of the Vancouver Winter Olympics. Annual events include the colourful Chinese New Year celebrations and the vibrant Mardi Gras in Sydney, Australia.

12th-28th February: Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics

Vancouver 2010 Winter OlympicsIn 2010 Vancouver in Canada will play host to the 21st Winter Olympics. Starting with what is sure to be an impressive opening ceremony on the 12th February, the Olympic programme lasts for just over two weeks and sees participants compete for medals in 15 different winter sports, including skiing, skating, curling, ice hockey and luge.

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14th February: Chinese New Year 2010 Â- Year of the Tiger

Chinese New YearThis year, Chinese New Year falls on the 14th February and last for 15 days. Usually spent with family and friends, traditional Chinese New Year celebrations include exchanging gifts, processions, open-air markets and firework displays. If you have the chance, joining in the fun can be an excellent way to access traditional and contemporary Chinese culture, and where better than a traditional hutong townhouse in Beijing? If your budget wonÂ't stretch to a trip to China, just head to your nearest Chinatown.

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19th February - 7th March: Sydney Mardi Gras

Sydney Mardi GrasThe Sydney Mardi Gras is one of the largest gay pride festivals in the world. While officially lasting from the 19th February to the 7th March, the celebrations usually start much earlier and continue well into mid-March. The highlight of Mardi Gras is the parade, a vibrant procession of colourful floats and outrageous costumes which ends in a massive carnival at SydneyÂ's Moore Park Entertainment Quarter.

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By: Eleanor Brown

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