Tag Archives: Holi Festival

10 Festivals to Check Out in Asia This March

If you are spending time in Asia this March, and you’re not quite sure what to do or where to go, you’re in luck. We’ve rounded up the best things to do in Asia in March, so you can arrange your itinerary around festivals, concerts, events and celebrations in the area.

Bali

1. The Bali Spirit Festival

The Bali Spirit Festival is in Ubud, and it’s an annual celebration of dance, yoga, and music. The festival runs over 4 days and 5 nights in the cultural centre of Bali, and will have an interesting mix of both local, indigenous Indonesian culture, and international performances.

balispirit

The festival also includes more than 95 workshops, so you can meet teachers and gurus from a bunch of different fields. This is the place to go if you’re hoping to “find yourself” in Asia, and you’ll be rubbing shoulders with 4,500 other people who are hoping to do the same.

Find more things to do in Bali >>

Vietnam

2. The Perfume Pagoda

theperfumepagodaThe Perfume Pagoda is located about an hour from Hanoi, and the site itself dates back over 2,000 years, to when a Buddhist Monk decided to meditate in the area. The site is now where this religious festival is held, and the festival officially begins on the 15th of February, continuing through the whole month of March.

Expect to see hundreds of thousands of pilgrims making their way to the festival, which is the most famous Buddhist site in Vietnam.

China

3. The Shanghai Peach Blossom Festival

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China has an overwhelming amount of festivals, especially early in the year. The Shanghai Peach Blossom Festival is celebrated from the 26th of March to the 20th of April, and has been running since 1991. Chinese music is played by local ethnic folk musicians, and there are plenty of other entertainment options such as pig races, acrobatics, picnics, and of course the chance to take photos of the gorgeous peach trees-the main draw to the area.

Find more things to do in Shanghai >>

4. The Zigong Lantern FestivalFestive-Chinese-New-Year-Lantern-Design-2015-With-Zigong-Lantern-Festival

The Zigong Lantern Festival is also on, and runs for around a month, from early February to mid-March. The festival has been going strong since the Tang dynasty, and tourists are drawn to the thousands of traditional lanterns made of silk, glass, paper, porcelain, and bamboo.

5. Baiyun Temple Fair

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Visitors to Beijing will want to check out the Baiyun Temple Fair, which runs from mid-February to early March. You’ll get to try plenty of local snacks, browse the folk handicrafts, and enjoy the painting exhibitions. This is an important fair for Taoists, and has become increasingly popular with locals, who play games and watch the Peking opera, dragon dancing, kung fu shows, and stilt walking.

Find more things to do in Beijing >>

Hong Kong

6. Hong Kong International Film Festival

00221917dec40ed68f1c07If you’re stopping over in Hong Kong in late March, be sure to check out the Hong Kong International Film Festival. The festival is also a big deal to the Chinese, who have the opportunity to show films that they wouldn’t be able to show in China.

7. The Hong Kong Arts Festival

HKAF 2012 2 The Hong Kong Arts Festival also runs throughout March, and includes numerous performances from China and overseas, including ballets, operas, and symphonies.

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Thailand

8. Pattaya Music Festival

PATTAYA-INTERNATIONAL-MUSIC-FESTIVAL01If you’ll be down south, be sure to head to Pattaya for the Pattaya Music Festival, which will feature every type of music that is at the front of the Thai Industry. Music fans will love this festival, and Pattaya gets crazy at the best of times.

9. The Bangkok International Jazz Festival

7eee4ecb6595160eaaad14e90adf3The Bangkok International Jazz Festival also draws jazz lovers from around the world, and you’ll usually find it in CentralWorld Square, over six days. Enjoy world-class artists, and take some time to do some shopping in the city while you’re there.

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India

10. Holi Festival

Holi-Images-Holi-Celebration-Holi-Festival-Of-Colors-Holi-Colors-Holi-Colours-Free-Images-3During the full moon in March, Holi is the festival of colours, and is when both children and adults welcome Spring by throwing coloured powder at each other. Dyed water is also thrown from buckets, shot from syringes, and poured into balloons and tossed at people.


Article contributed by Stacey Kuyf, onetravelsfar.com.

Visit travelog.me for more information on things to do when living or traveling in Asia.

Need more information to help you find the best things do this  month in Asia?

Images courtesy of (from top to bottom) Festivals of Colour USAUltimate Bali, Event-Carnival, Travel Chinesecio, Jenniferrana.comBeijing Tourism, China Daily, PR Web, All About Jazz, Wikipedia.

11 Festivals in Asia Not to be Missed in 2015

1.  Pingxi Lantern Festival, Taiwan

Date: February
Location: Pingxi District, New Taipei City

Taiwan Lantern FestivalYou’ve seen breathtaking photos of the bright, luminous lanterns floating in the sky (even Disney featured this scene in the movie, Tangled) but unknown to most, the famed Pingxi Lantern Festival is not just about releasing lanterns. You can also munch on traditional festival food (tangyuan), make your own lanterns, play Chinese riddle games and many more. If you cannot be in Pingxi on the exact date of the Lantern Festival, there would be several others held all over Taiwan in the month of February and March. Do look out for those as well!

2.  Songkran, Thailand

Date: April
Location: Several Locations, Thailand – Bangkok, Pattaya, Chiang Mai & Phuket

SongkranThe most important festival in Thailand, Songkran celebrates the coming of the Traditional New Year with a splashing good time. The annual water festival will leave you soaked as strangers (locals and tourist) douse you with buckets of water and well-wishes for the New Year. Don’t forget to bring water-proof cameras and shoes, or simply bring a change out when you are thoroughly drenched. Also, do remember to gobble down all the delectable street foods that Thailand offers.

Find more things to do in Bangkok, Phuket & Chiang Mai >>

3.  Holi Festival of Colors, India

Date: March
Location: Various Cities, India – Barsana, Delhi, Jaipur, Mathura & Vrindavan

Holi Festivals of ColorOne of the most cheerful festivals in the world, Holi (also known as the Festival of Love) celebrates the beginning of spring by throwing colors and blessings to one another while singing and dancing the day away. A grander and more heart-warming version of The Color Run, Holi promises a spectacular time. Wear a plain white shirt to ensure that the multitude of colors would stay on your clothing, this way you’ll be able to keep a souvenir from the fun day!

4.  Boryeong Mud Festival, Korea

Date: July
Location: Boryeong, Korea

Boryeong Mud FestivalWhere else can you find a festival that offers a crazy and entertaining time while getting the benefits of a spa session? Boryeong Mud Festival offers that and much more. Other than just rolling in mud and enjoying the many health benefits, you can also enjoy live music, mud skiing competitions, wrestling, body painting, massages and even fireworks. Don’t be afraid to get down and dirty at this muddy festival.

5.  Thaipusam, Malaysia

Date: January/ February
Location: Kuala Lumpur & Several Other Locations

ThaipusamThaipusam is an important Hindu festival where rituals and parades are held in various locations in Malaysia. The most well-known Thaipusam celebration would be in Kuala Lumpur and the temple at Batu caves that attracts more than a million people. The parade starts from Sri Mahamariamman Temple in Kuala Lumpur and embark on an 8-hour journey to the caves. A meaningful, colorful journey that truly celebrates tradition, Thaipusam is definitely a sight to behold.

Browse more things to do in Kuala Lumpur >>

7.  Naadam Festival, Mongolia

Date: July
Location: National Sports Stadium, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

Naadam Festival

The Naadam Festival is a culturally-rich local festival that was recently inscribed on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity of UNESCO. The opening ceremony kickstarts the festival with a booming parade of musicians, monks, wrestlers and costumed warriors/soldiers. In the following week, horse racing, archery and Mongolian wrestling competitions will take place. Naadam is an unique event that will entertain and educate.

8.  Winter Light Festival, Japan

Date: Mid-November to Mid-March
Location: Nabana No Sato, Kuwana City (Mie Prefecture), Japan

Winter Light FestivalNot only does the Winter Light Festival offer the finest Winter Illuminations, including the famous light tunnel and also a brightly lit flower display, it is actually located in a flora-centered theme park. With picturesque gardens, onsen (hot springs) and numerous restaurants/cafes, the light festival offers a comprehensive experience for the festival-goer. However, it gets really crowded and busy on weekends, so do try to go on a weekday.

Click here for more ideas of things to do in Japan >>

8.  Esala Perahera, Sri Lanka

Date: July / August
Location: Kandy, Sri Lanka

Esala PeraheraThe procession of Esala is a magnificent ten-day festival with sophisticated costumes, elephants and sparkling light decorations. Several traditional dance performances such as fire-dances or whip-dances would be carried out during the parade as well. The festival will then end with a splashing water cutting ceremony. One of the lesser-known festivals, Esala Perahera promises a truly native experience untainted by tourism.

9.  Harbin Ice & Snow Sculpture Festival, China

Date: January – March
Location: Harbin, Heilongjiang, China

Harbin Ice & Snow Sculpture FestivalThe largest ice and snow sculpture festival in the world is an annual affair with a different theme every year. There would be two main exhibition areas: Sun Island and Ice and Snow World, so be sure to check both of them out and not miss out on any of the beautiful snow sculptures and full-sized ice buildings. Also, there would be other winter activities such as ice-skating, ice-lantern exhibitions and skiing as well. This is the ultimate festival to go for winter and Christmas.

10.  Diwali, India

Date: October
Location: Various Locations, India

DiwaliDiwali (also known as the Festival of Lights) is celebrated all over the world in many countries such as Nepal or Sri Lanka, but the festival in India is more extravagant, beautiful and one of the biggest merry-making affairs. Viator offers local experiences in the home of Indian natives, if you would like to gain insight into the Indian culture and the true traditional Diwali rituals.

11.  Kanamara Matsuri, Japan

Date: First Sunday of April
Location: Kanayama Shrine, Kawasaki, Japan

Kanamara MatsuriThe winner of the most unique festival experience has to go to Kanamara Matsuri, a festival in Japan that celebrates safe sex and to spread awareness. Festival goers will not only able to follow a Mikoshi parade where the locals parade around with a giant penis, they can also purchase penis-looking candy, carved vegetables and decorations. It is a simple and amusing festival that would make an amazing story to tell your friends.

Click here for more ideas of things to do in Japan >>

Still need inspiration on interesting things to do and places to visit when in Asia? Browse Travelog for useful shortlists of fun things to do and places to visit.

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Images courtesy of (from top to bottom) Odyssey Traveller, Thai Food Online, GoPixPic, Visuallysaptarshi, DemotixHovd Tour, Incredible Snaps, Sri Lanka in Style, Foreign Policy, The Wall Street Journal, Japan Info Swap.

Still not sure what to do next time you travel in Asia? Check out these useful links for more ideas: