Songkran is the New Year celebration in Thailand and many South East Asian countries. With traditional Buddhist roots, it is the time of the year when Thais honour their families and elders, onto whose palms young people pour fragrant water during Rod Nam Dum Hua ritual on the first day of Songkran.
It is also the time of spring-cleaning and it is believed that splashing water symbolically cleans the misfortunes of the year gone by. Traditionally Thais would pour a bowl over family members, but as the festive spirit took over the celebration, buckets and hoses were brought into the party that has grown into the largest water fight known. This is a nationwide party but Chiang Mai is one of the most popular hubs amongst travelers to enjoy this water fest.
The festival of Holi marks the beginning of spring and the triumph of good over evil in Hindu mythology. It is the time to end conflicts, to revive love and a good reason for Hindus all over the country and abroad to celebrate in a mass party that stars with the burning of the demon Holika and continues with rituals (puja), family visits, delicious food, sometimes bhang and, above all, large vibrant street gatherings where nobody can escape clouds of rainbow-colored powder and water thrown at each other, a tradition believed to have been started by Lord Krishna, who loved to play pranks as a young boy. The festival is celebrated across India, but the best-known hubs are probably the temple towns of Mathura and Vrindavan, not far away from the capital.
Tet celebrates the Vietnamese New Year and is the most important celebration in Vietnamese culture. In the weeks and days leading up to the big event, homes are decorated with symbolic flowers, and it is common to see peach and kumquat trees being transported on the backs of motorcycles.
Rainforest World Music Festival
The Rainforest World Music Festival takes place at the Sarawak Cultural Village in Kuching and is one of the largest musical events in Malaysia. The main stage is situated in the midst of lush greenery in the heart of the Borneo Jungle and is accompanied by food and drink stalls offering local and regional Malaysian and Asian cuisine, an arts and crafts area to satisfy your sure-to-be-tingling creative senses and plenty of souvenirs and festival memorabilia to take home. Visitors can enjoy the relaxed atmosphere as they spend their days learning about music, and their nights enjoying that music under a rainforest canopy.
This is the Tibetan New Year and is the most important festival in the Tibetan calendar, which is based on Tibetan astrology, meaning the dates won’t always align with the Lunar New year. This year, Losar celebrations will fall on 27 February. It is three-day festival with first day celebrations for family and second and third days for visiting and exchanging gifts with friends and distant relatives, reinforcing community ties and cultural identity.
Harbin International Ice & Snow Sculpture Festival
The annual Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival is perhaps the largest ice and snow festival in the world. Taking place in the winter months, this unique festival showcases beautiful ice sculpture artworks, ranging from small mythical creatures and beautifully lit ice lanterns to awe-inspiring 250-feet monuments in an amazing display of craftsmanship and light.
The first ice lanterns were a winter-time tradition in northeast China, hand-made by local peasants and fishermen by pouring water into a bucket, letting it freeze outside then gently pulling out the resulting bucket-shaped ice from its container. Then, they would chisel a hole in the top, creating a hollow vessel in which a candle was then placed, creating a windproof lantern to use while out on the lake.