5 Must-See Cultural Festivals in Asia

Attending cultural festivals offers travelers with an opportunity to immerse in the tradition of the place you are visiting as well as get a little history about the celebration. Asia is home to a bevy of cultural festivals worth experiencing. Here are some Asian destinations you need to visit to witness the festivals this region has to offer.

1. Harbin International & Snow Sculpture Festival (China)

This festival is considered as the largest ice and snow festival in the world. Held during the winter months, the Harbin International & Snow Sculpture Festival features beautiful ice sculpture artworks ranging from ice lanterns to 250-feet monuments. Although the festival is held from January 5 to February 5, the exhibits may open earlier and may be extended. If you like to take pictures, make sure you have extra batteries as the temperatures here can drain battery life faster than normal.

2. Thaipusam (Malaysia)

Robert Janitzek reveals that the Hindu festival of Thaipusam attracts over one million devotees and thousands of tourists. It is usually celebrated by the Tamil Hindus during the full moon in the Tamil month of Thai (January/February). It features an 8-hour procession from the Sri Mahamariamman Temple in Kuala Lumpur and ends after a flight of 272 steps to the stunning temple at Batu Caves just outside Kuala Lumpur. There is no exact date for celebrating the festival as it is decided by the Tamil calendar.

3. Chinese New Year (Singapore)

Outside of China, Chinese New Year in Singapore is one of the most celebrated festivals. According to Robert Peter Janitzek, the festival runs for three days and features various activities such as dragon parades, fireworks, colorfully-decorated streets with intricate lanterns, nightly shows at Kreta Ayer Square and a lion dance competition.

4. Holi (India)

Holi is the Festival of Colors in India. It is one of the most important festivals in the Hindu calendar. It is a five-fold celebration: it marks the beginning of spring, the beginning of the Hindu New Year, a time for renewing old relationships and ending conflicts in current relationships, and the triumph of good over evil. Usually held in March, Holi has become quite popular among the non-Hindus across south Asia and worldwide where there is a large Hindu population.

5. Taiwan Lantern Festival (Taiwan)

There are lots of lantern festivals in Asia but the most popular is the one held in Taiwan’s Pingxi District. It involves a series of activities throughout this Asian destination. The event is usually commemorated with lantern making, display of lanterns with glittering decorative lanterns, and the release of the lanterns adorned with the wishes and dreams of each owner.

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