Top Festivals in Asia You Must Go to At Least Once in a Lifetime

May 8, 2019 | Asia, ESCAPE, Japan, Korea, Myanmar, Philippines

Loy Krathong – Lantern Festival – Thailand | John Shedrick

With loud music and a lively array of events, you will definitely be in for an adventure of a lifetime as you attend these festivals.

Known for their passionate way of enjoying life, Asia has some of the most awe-inspiring festivals in the world. Whether it’s centered on rejoicing the harvest or celebrating religious figures and cultural identity, Asian festivals offer people a unique look into the soul of the continent.

Every festival is not short of colorful costumes, blinding lights, and sumptuous food. If you want your journey to Asia to be unforgettable, make sure to time your trip properly so you can stop by these festivals below.

Thadingyut Festival of Light, Myanmar

Although the Thadingyut Festival of Light in Myanmar does not boast vibrant costumes and noisy street parties, it’s still one of the most visually appealing festivals in the continent. Celebrated on the full moon of Thadingyut every October, the festival signals the end of the Buddhist Lent.

Festival of Light - Myanmar

Festival of Light – Myanmar | Rajesh Pamnani

This festival celebrates Buddha’s descent from heaven through adorning homes with tons of lights, open concerts, countless food stalls lined with Myanmar local delicacies, and celebrations in the heart of its streets.

Songkran, Thailand

Want to experience a festival that feels like a water fight? Well, make your way to Thailand! Water is such a vital element of this festival so don’t be stunned if you get soaked by water pistols or event buckets filled with water.

Songkran Festival

Songkran Festival – Thailand | Chris Nener

Celebrated in April, or Thailand’s New Year’s Day, Songkran festival also has a heavy cultural and religious significance. Tons of offerings are made in various Buddhist temples. Furthermore, every place is adorned with statues and images of Buddha.

Holi Festival of Colors, India

Arguably the most colorful festival in the world, the Holi Festival of Colors traces its roots to Hinduism. It is also celebrated in Pakistan and Nepal. However, the Indian celebration has become the most iconic of them all.

Holi Festival - India | Rajesh Pamnani

Holi Festival – India | Rajesh Pamnani

Although the festival mostly celebrated by Hindus every March, non-Hindus are still welcome to join the festivities. Here, you will expect tons of singing, dancing, and banging of drums. Its highlight is thousands of people joining in to throw colored powder simultaneously – a true sight to behold.

Boryeong Mud Festival, South Korea

This unique festival is a must-experience at least once in your life. The Boryeong Mud Festival is attended by thousands of people from all over the globe. The mud used in this festival is immensely high in minerals such as bentonite and germanium and is very good for the skin. In fact, the festival was initially celebrated to promote skin care products and cosmetics that were made using the mud.

Mud Festival - Korea - Shawn Perez

Mud Festival – Korea | Shawn Perez

If you’re up for a muddy experience, you should not miss this mudfest which happens every July. Mud body painting, mud wrestling, mud swimming, mud sliding, and all activities you can think of that involves mud is done during this festival so prepare to get dirty!

Masskara Festival, Philippines

Every year, the streets of Bacolod City in the Philippines transform into a vibrant street party filled with thousands of people in grand costumers, colorful masks, and beautiful headdresses.

Masskara Festival - Philippines

Masskara Festival – Philippines | TanoyPhoto

Celebrated every October, the Masskara Festival has become a testament to why Bacolod is dubbed as the City of Smiles. It is also a reminder of how its people are still optimistic despite many challenges.

Cherry Blossom Festival, Japan

Japan is famous all over the world because of its Cherry Blossom Festivals. Locally referred to as Hanami which literally means viewing flowers, these celebrations are done during Spring. This tradition focuses of celebrating the blooming of the breathtaking cherry blossoms or Sakura throughout the country.

Cherry Blossom Festival - Japan

Cherry Blossom Festival – Japan | Stefan Lins

During the festival, the Japanese become aware of the impermanence of some things. This improves their appreciation of the trees’ beauty. Every time the flowers bloom, thousands of people line up its parts to have a picnic or simple gaze upon it. The best part is, you can join the fun!

Experience Asian Festivals Yourself

Celebrating the top Asian festivals is the best way to immerse yourself in the rich and fascinate culture of the continent. It will not only be fun, but also be a social and educational experience as you gain new friends and a brand new perspective on the local culture and lives of Asians.