Event Category: Festivals in Asia

As the largest and most populous continent in the world occupying almost a third of our planet’s earth area, it’s no wonder that festivals in Asia cover virtually anything you can imagine, from religion and folklore to food and music via the quirky and the downright bizarre. There’s probably no better way to get under the skin of a particular Asian country or destination than by attending a local festival.

Importance of festivals in Asia

On such an incredibly diverse continent where so many different religions, ethnicities and cultures have to co-exist peacefully, festivals in Asia are the glue that binds human relationships and keep people connected to their roots and values while opening up minds to other worldviews.

Types of festivals in Asia

Plenty of festivals in Asia have religious or mythical origins, from the many Hindu festivals such as Diwali India and Thaipusam in Malaysia, or popular Buddhist festivals such as Loy Krathong and Yi Peng in Thailand, to Muslim Eid al-Fitr in all Muslim-populated countries, and animist-inspired festivals of indigenous peoples like the Hornbill Festival in Nagaland, India. But also the more worldly festivals are becoming increasingly popular in Asia, whether they are art and literary events such as the Rainforest Fringe Festival in Borneo and the Ubud Writers and Readers Festival in Bali, or music and food happenings like Singapore’s Ultra Music Festival and the Cheung Chau Bun Festival in Hong Kong. But often a country’s most important event is their culture’s New Year, from Nowruz in many Central Asian countries and Tsagaan Sar in Mongolia, to Chinese New Year amongst all ethnic Chinese across Asia and the fun-filled water battles of Songkran in Thailand.  Others are simply nature’s gift such as the Cherry Blossom Season Japan, or honour fertility like Kanamara Matsuri or Japan Penis Festival. And for some serious winter fun go to China for the Harbin Ice Festival or Mongolia for its Khövsgöl Ice Festival.

Dates of festivals in Asia

Plenty of Asia’s festivals don’t have a fixed date and hence are celebrated at slightly different times each year. That’s because they are often based on lunar calendars like is the case with the Sky Lantern Festival Taiwan, or follow agricultural practices related to planting and harvest seasons such as the outrageous Bun Bang Fai or Rocket Festival Thailand. So don’t forget to do a little bit of research if you plan to incorporate a festival into your Asian travel plans.

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October 2022

Nabana no Sato Winter Light Festival Japan 2022

October 15, 2022 - May 15, 2023
Nabana no Sato, 270 Urushibata, Komae
Kuwana City,Mie511-1144Japan
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Nagoya, Japan - Mar 16, 2018. Giant led light tunnel in Nabana No Sato Park.

Nabana no Sato, a botanical garden in the Japanese prefecture of Mie, is home each year to one of the country’s best and biggest winter light festivals. During several months,…

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December 2022

Harbin Ice Festival China Extravaganza

December 23, 2022 - February 28, 2023
Harbin Harbin,China + Google Map
Harbin Ice Festival

Once mostly a regional affair, the Harbin Ice Festival, China - or the Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival...

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January 2023

Chinese New Year 2023, Global

January 22 - February 6
Various
Free
Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year is undoubtedly China’s pre-eminent and most intense festive period characterised by sumptuous family meals, the colour red, paper lanterns and lots...

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February 2023

Chingay Parade Singapore, 2023

February 3 - February 4
F1 Pit Building, 1 Republic Boulevard038975Singapore + Google Map
S$20 – S$60
Singapore Bicentennial Chingay Parade

There is no event that encapsulates the multi-cultural nature of Singapore than the Chingay Parade, held each year during the Chinese New Year celebrations. Literally meaning...

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Hoi An Lantern Festival, Vietnam

February 4
Hoi An Ancient Town, Cau Temple, Hoi An
Hoi An,Viet Nam
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Lanterns for sale in Hoi An night market

The Hoi An Lantern Festival is celebrated once a month on the full moon, and most significantly on the first full moon of the lunar new year. On these days…

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Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival 2023, Taiwan

February 5 - February 8
Sky Lantern Release Square Shifen,New Taipei countyTaiwan + Google Map
Free
Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival

Experience the magic of the Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival in February when thousands of glowing lights float up into the ink black sky above the small hillside village of Shifen…

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Valentine’s Day 2023 Around the World

February 14
Various
Valentine's Day

It’s that time of the year again that love birds look forward to, many singles dread, and some brave souls try to ignore. The least that could be said about…

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Hong Kong Arts Festival 2023

February 16 - March 19
Different venues in Hong Kong Hong Kong + Google Map
Hong Kong Arts Festival

International top artists giving world class performances ranging from the classical to the avant-garde, and the familiar to the surprising – the Hong Kong Arts Festival is this vibrant city’s…

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Naked Man Festival, Okayama (Hadaka Matsuri)

February 18
Saidaiji Kannon-in Temple Okayama,Chūgoku RegionJapan + Google Map
Free
Naked Man Festival

The Saidaiji Eyo Hadaka Matsuri in Okayama, colloquially known as the naked man festival, is the largest of a series of similar festivals held around Japan. Thousands of naked men...

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Tsagaan Sar 2023 in Mongolia

February 21 - February 23
Various
Free
Tsagaan Sar

Tsagaan Sar or Mongolia’s lunar new year is the most important festival for ethnic Mongols and the people of the Arctic where age-old rituals combine with eating local delicacies such…

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March 2023

Khövsgöl Ice Festival 2023, Mongolia

March 3 - March 4
Khövsgöl Lake Khatgal,Mongolia + Google Map
Khövsgöl Ice Festival, Mongolia

Each March, residents of Mongolia’s Khövsgöl Lake area celebrate the Khövsgöl Ice Festival with horse-drawn sleighs, elaborate ice sculptures, traditional food and vibrant competitions including ice skating, ice sumo wrestling,…

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Holi Festival 2023 India and Worldwide

March 7 - March 8
Multiple Venues
Holi Festival 2022

Holi festival India 2023 is a riotous two-day Hindu celebration where crowds douse each other with colour and water – and is probably India’s most vibrant and fun festival.  Holi…

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Nowruz or Persian New Year 2023

March 21
Various
Nowruz - Persian New Year

Experience the opulence of Nowruz – or Persian New Year – with an abundance of food, music and hospitality in one of many Persian-heritage countries...

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Cherry Blossom Season Japan 2023

March 22 - April 30
All over Japan
Japan Cherry Blossom Festival

The Cherry Blossom Season Japan or sakura is one of the country's top highlights every year when locals and visitors gather to admire the stunning, blooming cherry trees in parks…

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November 2023

Diwali 2023 (Deepavali), Festival of Light, India

November 13
Various
Diwali Festival Festivals in October

What do you do when you return home after having been exiled for 14 years? You heave a sigh of relief and celebrate. That’s what happens during Diwali (also called…

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