Event Category: Festivals in Southeast Asia

As one of the most diverse regions in the world and home to hundreds of ethnicities and different religions, festivals in Southeast Asia are probably the best and most fun way to get up and close with its multitude of traditions and cultures.

Popular festivals in Southeast Asia

Festivals are often a prime reason for travellers when choosing their destination, and several of Southeast Asia’s festivals have grown into becoming some of the world’s most popular ones. Songkran festival (or water festival Thailand) has evolved into what must be the biggest water fight on the planet, but also previously lesser known events are getting increasingly popular such as the Phuket Vegetarian Festival Thailand or the Cambodia Water Festival.

Secular and religious festivals in Southeast Asia

Many of the region’s festivals have religious or spiritual origins, from the beautiful Buddhist Loy Krathong in Thailand and the Hindu Thaipusam body-piercing event in Malaysia, to Muslim Eid al-Fitr in Indonesia, Malaysia and other Muslim-populated countries, and Taoist-inspired Chinese New Year all over the region. But also secular events are growing in popularity year by year, whether they are music and art events such as Wonderfruit Festival in Thailand, Ultra Music Festival in Singapore and Rainforest Fringe Festival in Borneo, or literary events such as the Penang Georgetown Festival or the Ubud Writers and Readers Festival in Bali. And of course, as this is Asia, food always occupies a prominent spot during these festivities.

Dates of festivals in Southeast Asia

Most of the region’s events are held on a yearly basis, but since many of them are following a lunar calendar, the dates are slightly different every year. This doesn’t mean you cannot plan ahead – with a little bit of proper research you can always make sure your favourite festivals are included within your travel plans. Just don’t forget to bring your camera!

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January 2023

Chinese New Year 2023, Global

January 22 - February 9
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

Chiang Mai Flower Festival 2023 in Thailand

February 3 - February 5
Nong Buak Hard Public Park, Arak Rd, Tambon Phra Sing, Amphoe Mueang Chiang Mai, Chang Wat
Chiang Mai,Chiang Mai50200Thailand
+ Google Map
Free
Chiang Mai Flower Festival

The Chiang Mai Flower Festival is one of the most colourful events in Thailand attracting thousands of floral enthusiasts year on year. It’s not haphazard that Chiang Mai...

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Thaipusam Festival Malaysia 2023

February 5
Batu Caves, Batu Caves
Kuala Lumpur,Malaysia
+ Google Map
Thaipusam Festival

Every year the impressive Thaipusam Festival celebrations take place inside the Batu caves near Malaysia’s capital Kuala Lumpur. Due to Covid the 2021 celebrations will be more muted ...

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April 2023

Songkran, Thailand Water Festival, 2023

April 13 - April 15
thailand Thailand
Songkran Festival

.Songkran, or Thailand's water festival, is an occasion of great fun especially in the major cities such as Bangkok and Chiang Mai. The whole country grinds to a halt as people are sprayed ...

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Khmer New Year 2023, Cambodia

April 14 - April 16
Cambodia Cambodia
Khmer New Year Trot Dance with Kangcha, photo: Lyheng

Traditional Khmer New Year or Chaul Chnam Thmei is held in April each year. Roads across the country are lined with groups of excited Cambodians armed with water pistols and…

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June 2023

Phi Ta Khon or Ghost Festival 2023, Thailand

June 23 - June 25
In the town’s main street Dan Sai,Thailand + Google Map
Phi Ta Khon Festival Thailand

The immensely popular Phi Ta Khon Festival – also known as the Ghost Festival – is the best reason to visit Loei, a Thai province rarely frequented by international tourists.…

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October 2023

Ubud Writers and Readers Festival 2023

October 18 - October 22
Various venues in Ubud Ubud, Bali,Indonesia
Ubud Writers and Readers Festival, Bali

The Ubud Writers and Readers Festival (often called the Ubud Writers Festival), one of the best literary festivals in the world, is held in the central Bali town of Ubud…

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November 2023

Cambodia Water Festival 2023 Phnom Penh

November 26 - November 28
Phnom Penh Riverside, Sisowath Quay
Phnom Penh,Cambodia
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Free
Festivals in November Cambodia Water Festival in Phnom Penh

This year the Cambodia Water Festival, or Bon Om Touk to give its Khmer name, falls on 7 to 9 November. For three days watch as Phnom Penh’s riverside explodes…

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Loy Krathong Festival 2023, Thailand

November 27 - November 28
Chiang Mai Thailand + Google Map
Free

Thailand’s most beautiful and beguiling festival, Loy Krathong is enormously popular with Thais and visitors alike. Thousands of little candle lights and flowers drift down waterways...

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Yi Peng Festival 2023, Thailand

November 27 - November 28
Chiang Mai Thailand + Google Map
Free
Loy Krathong Festival

one of Thailand's most beautiful festivals, Yi Peng sees the skies illuminated when countless candle-lit paper lanterns are released into the sky.

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