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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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June 2019

Ultra Music Festival Singapore. 2019

June 8, 2019 - June 9, 2019
Ultra Park, 1 Bayfront Avenue018971Singapore + Google Map
Ultra Music Festival

Light up your glow sticks and trip the light fantastic at the 4th edition of the Ultra Music Festival Singapore on 8 and 9 June. Electronic Dance Music (EDM) lovers…

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Bali Arts Festival 2019, Indonesia

June 16, 2019 - July 14, 2019
denpassar BaliIndonesia + Google Map
Bali Arts Festival

Bali’s cultural event of the year, the month-long Bali Arts Festival, will once again turn the tropical island into a festive and performing arts mecca for the 41st time this…

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July 2019

Rainforest Fringe Festival 2019

July 5, 2019 - July 12, 2019
Kuching Kuching,SarawakMalaysia
Rainforest Fringe Festival Malaysia

During a period of eight days in July, the best of Sarawak’s art, music, culture, craft, photography, film, food and heritage will be showcased in the heart of Kuching, the…

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George Town Heritage Celebrations 2019

July 6, 2019 - July 8, 2019
George Town World Heritage Site George Town,PenangMalaysia + Google Map
George Town Heritage Celebrations

When on 7 July 2008 UNESCO granted World Heritage status to Penang’s capital George Town, the local government marked the event by declaring it a public holiday...

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November 2019

White Temple Thailand Light Fest 2019

November 22, 2019 - December 22, 2019
Wat Rong Khun, ตำบล ป่าอ้อดอนชัย อำเภอเ มืองเชียงราย
Chiang Rai,Chiang Rai57000Thailand
+ Google Map
White Temple Light Fest Thailand

Thailand is pulling out all the stops from 22 November to 22 December when the inaugural Wat Rong Khun Light Fest will light up northern Thailand’s already very bright White…

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December 2019

Wonderfruit Festival 2019, Thailand

December 12, 2019 - December 16, 2019
The Fields, Siam Country Club
Pattaya,ChonburyThailand
+ Google Map
Wonderfruit Festival Thailand

Within just a few years, the Wonderfruit Festival has risen to become one of the most anticipated festivals in Thailand blending music and gastronomy with wellness...

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Royal Barge Procession 2019, Bangkok, Thailand

December 12, 2019
Along the Chao Phraya River Bangkok,Thailand
Royal Barge Procession, Thailand

The magnificent Royal Barge Procession in Thailand, a very rare and grand event with much splendour, will take place again this December after a seven-year-long hiatus...

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October 2020

Phuket Vegetarian Festival 2020

October 17, 2020 - October 25, 2020
Phuket Phuket,PhuketThailand + Google Map
Phuket Vegetarian Festival

Thailand is certainly no stranger to everything that’s quirky and out of the ordinary. The Phuket Vegetarian Festival held in autumn – also known under its more Taoist-inspired...

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Loy Krathong and Yi Peng Festivals, 2020

October 29, 2020 - October 31, 2020
Various
Loy Krathong Yi Peng Thailand

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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November 2020

Angkor Photo Festival 2020, Cambodia

November 28, 2020 - December 5, 2020
Siem Reap Siem Reap,Cambodia + Google Map
Angkor Photo Festival

Siem Reap, Cambodia, is set to be brought to life with powerful images from across Asia when the annual Angkor Photo Festival and Workshops...

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January 2021

Thaipusam Festival Malaysia 2021

January 28
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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February 2021

Chiang Mai Flower Festival 2021 in Thailand

February 5 - February 7
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, now celebrating its 45th anniversary, is one of the most colourful events in Thailand attracting thousands of floral enthusiasts year on year. The 2021 Chiang…

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Chinese New Year 2021, Global

February 12
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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April 2021

Songkran, Thailand Water Festival, 2021

April 10 - April 15
thailand Thailand
songkran worldwide festivals

Songkran, or Thailand's water festival, is an occasion of great fun especially in the major cities such as Bangkok and Chiang Mai. Songkran 2021 Guidelines Government officials have...

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Khmer New Year 2021, 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. Despite restrictions within Cambodia due to the rising Covid infection rate, the traditional celebration is still…

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May 2021

Rocket Festival Thailand (Bun Bang Fai) 2021

May 8 - May 10
Isaan region Thailand
Rocket Festival Thailand

Home-made rockets roaring into the skies, dirty humour, cross-dressing parades, mud fests and lots of rice wine – the centuries-old Rocket Festival Thailand, or Bun Bang Fai...

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Cheung Chau Bun Festival, 2021

May 16 - May 20
Pak Tai temple, Pak She StreetCheung ChauHong Kong + Google Map
Cheung Chau Bun Hong Kong

If you love eating Chinese buns, then the Cheung Chau Bun Festival could be right up your alley. Held annually on the island of Cheng Chau in Hong Kong, the…

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June 2021

Phi Ta Khon or Ghost Festival 2021, Thailand

June 11 - June 13
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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July 2021

George Town Festival 2021, Penang

July 10 - July 18
George Town Penang,Malaysia
George Town Festival Penang Malaysia

Less than a week after celebrating its UNESCO World Heritage Day, once again culture, art and heritage will take over Penang’s capital during the George Town Festival from 10 to…

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Candle Festival Thailand, 2021

July 23 - July 25
Different locations across the country Thailand
Candle Festival Thailand

Marking the start of the green (or wet) season, the Candle Festival in July is amongst the most beautiful celebrations in Thailand. Extravagant, intricately-carved candle sculptures are shown off at…

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