Holidays and festivals are one of the best ways to experience culture. Asia is a vast area with several different traditions and religions. This list will help you plan your trip around the most popular celebrations in Asia so that you can make the most out of your trip!
Losar – Tibetan New Year
Losar, or Tibetan New Year, is a two-week celebration that begins on the first day of the first month of the Tibetan calendar. This year it falls on February 17th and 18th.
Tibetan New Year also known as Losar, which means “new year” in Tibetan. During this time people visit friends and family members to give them gifts like money or food items such as barley grains and butter tea (a kind of salty tea). They also visit monasteries offering prayers for longevity and good health before returning home for feasting with loved ones
Water Festival – Laos
The Water Festival is held in Laos every year on the third day of the tenth lunar month. During this festival, people dance to traditional music and eat sticky rice cakes. They also throw water at each other as part of a ritual that symbolizes cleansing away sins and bad luck.
The name of this festival varies depending on where you go: In Thailand it’s called Songkran; in Cambodia it’s called Chaul Chnam Thmey; in Vietnam, Vung Tau Festival; while in Myanmar (Burma), Thingyan Festival is celebrated with lots of water fights!
Songkran Festival – Thailand
Thailand’s most important festival is Songkran, which takes place on 13-15 April every year. The word “songkran” means “to pour water.” It’s a time for pilgrims to visit temples and for families to reunite.
The highlight of this three-day celebration is an all-day water fight! Thais believe that throwing water at each other will wash away bad luck and bring good fortune for the next year. Many tourists attend as well because it’s a great opportunity for them to experience something unique about Thai culture firsthand!
Tango Tahr Festival – China
The Tangy Tahr Festival is celebrated in China on the 15th day of the 7th month of the Chinese lunar calendar. It’s a time for people to pray for good health and a good harvest, as well as celebrate their success in farming and animal husbandry.
The festival takes place during harvest season, when farmers work hard to reap their crops before winter sets in. They pray that they’ll have enough food left over after paying taxes and paying off debts so that they can survive through winter without going hungry or freezing to death (which would be terrible).
Spring Lantern Festival – Taiwan
Spring Lantern Festival, also known as the Chinese New Year, is a traditional celebration of the end of winter and the coming of spring. This festival is celebrated on the 15th day of the first lunar month (usually February).
The festival involves lighting lanterns, eating mooncakes and watching dragon dances. The celebration takes place throughout China but is most famous in Taiwan where it has become an annual event attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors each year.
Naga Fireballs Ceremony – Myanmar
The Naga Fireballs Ceremony, a festival held in early May, commemorates the victory of a dragon king over a nine-headed naga. It’s one of the most colorful and exciting festivals in Asia!
The main event is an annual parade through downtown Taunggyi that includes dancers, musicians, puppeteers and fire dancers. The grand finale takes place at night when thousands of people gather around to watch fireworks shoot up into the sky from small boats floating down the river.
If you’re planning on visiting Myanmar during this time period, be sure not miss it!
Moon Cake Festival – Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia
The Moon Cake Festival is a traditional Chinese festival that marks the harvest season. It’s celebrated on the fifteenth day of the eighth month in the lunar calendar, which falls between September and October on our calendar. The festival is also known as Mid-Autumn Festival, Harvest Moon Festival or Zhongqiu Jie in Mandarin (meaning “Mid-Autumn Day”).
Moon cakes are a popular food during this time because they’re eaten during celebrations for children who have passed their exams and returned home from school for vacation–a tradition that dates back thousands of years! They’re thought to bring good luck and fortune to those who eat them during this special occasion.
Dragon Boat Festival – China, Vietnam, Taiwan and Hong Kong. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Dragon Boat Festival is a Chinese festival celebrated on the 5th day of the 5th month of the lunar calendar. It commemorates the death of Qu Yuan, a patriotic poet who drowned himself in despair over his country’s defeat at hands of an invading army.
In some areas, it is also called Duanwu Festival (端午节). The term “Duanwu” literally means “to start again”, signifying renewal after spring cleaning and preparation for summertime (e.g., planting crops).
We hope you have enjoyed our list of the top 10 Asian festivals. There are so many more to discover and experience, but these are some of the most iconic celebrations that showcase the diversity of culture within this region. If you’re planning an adventure through Asia or just want to know what’s happening on your next vacation there, then look no further than our handy guide!