Asia is the largest continent in the world, and is, therefore, home to many different types of people. Different religions, ethnicity and ages create a region with unique historic and contemporary cultural traditions. Along with traditions, many people have festivals in order to celebrate. Here are those festivals that you must-see once in your lifetime.
Thaipusam is a Hindu festival that attracts thousands of people to Malaysia every year. Thaipusam consists of an eight-hour procession that begins at Sri Mahamariamman Temple in Kuala Lumpur and ends the temple at Batu Caves. The festival takes place on the full moon in the Tamil month of Thai, which is normally January or February. Malaysia’s celebration is different from other countries as many in attendance bear “kavadi.” Kavadi is a physical burden and ceremonial sacrifice to the God Murugan. The kavadi can be as simple as a pot of milk. However, multiple piercings of the flesh is very common.
The Holi Festival of Colors is a religious Hindu celebration that normally takes place in March. The festival is to commemorate 5 things: the beginning of spring, the beginning of the Hindu new year, a time for renewing old relationships and ending conflicts in current relationships, love and the triumph of good over evil. The festival begins the night before, with lighting of bonfires, accompanied with singing and dancing. On the day of Holi, there is lots of music, dancing, and crowds throwing colored powder at friends and strangers. It is a day to forget who your enemies are as everyone is your brother and sister.
Chinese New Year (Singapore)
The Chinese New Year is, of course, celebrated in China. However, Singapore also throws an amazing celebration. Singapore hosts a 3-day festival that features dragon parades, fireworks, staged shows and musical performances. However, many flock to the country for the street parties. The parties include parades, dance performances and lots of merriment.
Loi Krathong (Thailand)
Loi Krathong is a Buddhist celebration to release the “durkkha” or suffering. In order to do so, people create lanterns which illuminate the skies and waters of the area. The lnatern symbolizes letting go all of the ill will and bad feelings you had the previous year. Thousands of paper lanterns are sent into the night skies on the night of the full Moon in November, and also floated on banana leaves to honor the Goddess of water.