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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 2019

Nabana no Sato Winter Light Festival Japan 2020

October 15, 2019 - March 31, 2020
Nabana no Sato, 270 Urushibata, Komae
Kuwana City,Mie511-1144Japan
+ Google Map
Japan light tunnel

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 2019

Harbin Ice Festival China 2020 Extravaganza

December 25, 2019 - February 25, 2020
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 2020

Tsagaan Sar 2020 in Mongolia

January 25 - January 27
Various
Tsagaan Sar, Mongolia

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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Chinese New Year 2020, Global

January 25 - January 30
Various
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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Chingay Parade Singapore, 2020

January 31 - February 1
F1 Pit Building, 1 Republic Boulevard038975Singapore + Google Map
S$28.50 – 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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February 2020

Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival 2020, Taiwan

February 8 - February 9
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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Hong Kong Arts Festival 2020

February 13 - March 14
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 2020 is this vibrant…

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Valentine’s Day 2020 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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Naked Man Festival, Okayama (Hadaka Matsuri)

February 15
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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Khövsgöl Ice Festival 2020, Mongolia

February 28 - March 1
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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March 2020

Winter Golden Eagle Festival 2020, Mongolia

March 3 - March 4
Chinggis Khaanii Khuree Complex, Chingisiin Khuree Tsogtsolbor
Ulaanbaatar,Mongolia
+ Google Map
Golden Eagle Festival Mongolia

At Mongolia’s Golden Eagle Festival in winter, ethnic Kazakhs show off the breathtaking skills of their trained hunting eagles, alongside cultural displays of Kazakh...

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Camel Festival Mongolia 2020 (Temeenii Bayar)

March 6 - March 7
Gobi Desert Dalanzadgad,South GobiMongolia + Google Map
Camel Festival Mongolia

During the Camel Festival, held in the Gobi Desert of Mongolia, nomadic herders show off their skills during the biggest camel race in the world, alongside cultural activities…

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Holi Festival 2020 India

March 9 - March 10
Multiple Venues
Holi Festival

Holi festival India 2020 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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Cherry Blossom Season Japan 2020

March 16 - April 20
All over Japan
Cherry Blossom Japan

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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Nowruz or Persian New Year 2020

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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April 2020

Kanamara Matsuri, Japan Penis Festival, 2020

April 5
Kanayama Shrine, 2 Chome-13-16 Daishi Ekimae
Kawasaki,Kanagawa210-0802Japan
+ Google Map
Japan Penis Festival

The Japan Penis Festival is arguably the country’s most amusing event when tens of thousands of revellers roam the streets of Kawasaki city in April to pay tribute to fertility…

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June 2020

Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival 2020

June 25
Hong Kong Harbourfront Arena Hong Kong,China + Google Map
Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival

One of the most dramatic festivals in Asia, the Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival, this year in June, celebrates an event from some 2,000 years ago when Qu Yuan, a…

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July 2020

Naadam Festival Mongolia 2020

July 11 - July 15
ulaanbaatur ulaanbaatur,Mongolia + Google Map
Naadam Festival. Photo credit Marcin Konsek

Also called the Olympic Games of nomads, the spectacular Naadam Festival in Mongolia is the country’s biggest event and its national pride. Taking place every July...

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August 2020

Nehru Trophy Boat Race 2020, Kerala, India

August 8
Kerala KeralaIndia
Nehru Trophy Boat Race Kerala, India

Held every year on the second Saturday of August, the Nehru Trophy Boat Race that sees huge, iconic snake boats engaged in a fierce and colourful contest, has turned into…

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Ganesh Chaturthi Festival 2020, India

August 22 - September 1
Mumbai Mumbai,India + Google Map
Ganesh Chaturthi festival worldwide festivals

The spectacular Hindu Ganesh Chaturthi festival in September is an 11-day affair of colourful festivities, involving singing, dancing and theatre honouring the birth of the...

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