Masqueraders look east! Elimu Mas Academy has been invited to take part in the opening and closing ceremonies of the Beijing Festival – known as Carnival in China – from 28 September to 5 October.

Elimu is confident that the band will be the highlight of the festival, as it will be the first time any carnival group has participated in the event.

The band is an ‘old China hand’, as it has previously made some very successful trips to the Shanghai Tourism Festival, but this year’s tour breaks new ground by heading to the very heart of the People’s Republic of China. If the enthusiasm of Chinese visitors to Notting Hill Carnival is any guide, the beauty and energy of real masquerade in China’s capital will set the city alight with delight.

The invitation to participate is something of a coup for Elimu. It shows just how far China has come in opening itself up to outside cultures and also indicates the high reputation of UK mas.

The total cost per person – including BA flights, accommodation in a shared twin room, internal travel and transfers, three meals a day, costume*, guided tours etc – is £878 (* if you provide your own, there is a reduction of £100).

The organisers of this once-in-a-lifetime experience stress that anyone interested should get in touch and register straight away, as participants need to make a down payment of £100 immediately. The balance must be paid in full by 20 August.

For more details, contact Elimu’s tour manager, Ansel Wong: elimuband@gmail.com