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Updated by Joanna James on Sep 13, 2018
Headline for 5 Festivals to Witness in Your Life in Asia – Asia's Best Festivals
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Joanna James Joanna James
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5 Festivals to Witness in Your Life in Asia – Asia's Best Festivals

If you love the thrill of participating in festivals all over the world, then you're sure to want to check out these five festivals in Asia that will truly captivate and memorise!

1

Sky Lantern Festival

Taiwan's Sky Lantern Festival is a truly magical event of beauty, serenity and wonder. It occurs around March each year as a marvellous end to the Chinese New Year celebrations. Gatherers at the festival buy paper lanterns on which they write down their hopes for the future. The lanterns are then lit and collectively released into the sky, creating a truly spectacular scene. The Sky Lantern Festival is said to trace its origins back to ancient times, during the sovereignty of the Xing Dynasty over 2000 years ago.

2

Holi

Perhaps one of northern India's most well-known festivals, it is also arguably the most fun. It is an ancient Hindu spring festival which celebrates the end of winter and the triumph of good over evil. Today's version of Holi sees citizens of all ages and classes out on the street hurling bucket-loads of coloured water at each other. Water guns and balloons are popular tools of choice for this purpose. Holi has aptly been dubbed the 'Festival of Colours' and it takes place around the end of February or beginning of March each year.

3

Songkran

Songkran is a Thai New Year celebration which is celebrated around the month of April. Traditionally, the customs dictated by the festival require people to return to their home villages and receive blessings from their families and elders. This is done by splashing them with a few drops of scented water. However, in modern times, Songkran shares some similarity with the Indian festival of Holi. It has become somewhat of massive, merry, country-wide water fight. Be prepared to have shopkeepers and strangers fling water at you when you pass by their stores!

4

Kandy Esala Perahera

Sri Lanka's Kandy Esala Perahera, also known as the Festival of the Tooth, is a mid-year religious celebration which takes place either during the month of July or August. It consists of a glamorous procession of traditional Kandyan dancers, drummers and finely decorated elephants. The name, 'Festival of the Tooth', refers to the starting point of the procession, which is the famous Temple of the Tooth in the island's ancient hill capital of Kandy. The Temple of the Tooth is revered by Buddhists, who are the country's religious majority, as it holds the Sacred Tooth Relic which is said to have belonged to the Buddha himself. For more news on popular events and festivals in Sri Lanka, check out publications such as Cinnamon Magazine which is an online travel and lifestyle magazine.

5

Wakakusa Yamayaki

The Wakakusa Yamayaki Festival is celebrated in Japan during the month of January. This festival's name translates to 'Wakakusa Mountain Roast'. It is a fitting name, as the festival involves setting fire to dead grass on the mountainside of Mt. Wakakusa. There are a few competing theories for the origin of The Wakakusa Yamayaki Festival. These include the mountain having been set alight in order to fend off the likes of wild boars; or conversely, being a consequence of skirmishes in the area due to border disputes. If you are in Japan for this festival, make sure to enjoy the brilliant fireworks display which has also become an important part of the celebrations.