Festivals are one of the best ways to discover the soul of the destination and what its inhabitants hold dear to their hearts. Here are some festivals not to be missed in our region.
Bikes and booze
The annual Gears and Beers Festival in the Australian town of Wagga Wagga promotes health, fitness and fun for all ages, including a community cycling challenge (for all abilities) and a beer event where craft beers and ciders from across the region take center stage. The teetotalers can opt for locally roasted coffee.
Attendees can also indulge in great food while enjoying musical entertainment, making for a fun day out with family and friends. Registration is mandatory.
When: October 1 & 2, 2022
Where: Wagga Wagga, New South Wales, Australia
For over 800 years, the Tsurugi Horai festival has been celebrated during mid-autumn, where local men wear the mikoshi (a portable shrine) around the city and bless important homes in exchange for offerings. The most exciting part of the festival is the parade of floats carried on the shoulders of the townspeople who follow behind the mikoshi.
The lion dances called shishimai are executed, with the lion defeated by the bakumene monster at the end. This stunning act is usually accompanied by a flute and shamisen (a three-stringed instrument). After which, everyone can frequent the many food stalls that line the streets.
When: October 8-10, 2022
Where: Tsurugi, Hakusan, Japan
The mask-making industry in Bacolod City is home to the famous MassKara Festival, a much-loved event filled with concerts, fashion shows, fun runs, talent nights, beauty pageants, garden shows, drumming contest, etc.
Different barangays in Bacolod take part in street dancing competitions where participants don colorful masks. MassKara means “many faces” in Spanish, and the festival originated in the 1980s to lift the spirits of people who have been struck by hardship and tragedy.
The celebrations last the whole month, with the culmination taking place on October 23rd.
When: October 23, 2022
Where: Bacolod City, Philippines
Shine and sparkle
This year marks the 17th year of the iconic Busan Fireworks Festival, an event that has been attracting more and more international visitors in recent years. Gwangan Bridge serves as the backdrop as colorful fireworks fill the night sky and can be seen from famous Gwangalli Beach, Hwangnyeong Mountain and Dongbaek Island.
Programs include multimedia shows combined with fireworks, lighting, music and storytelling to make for an evening to remember.
When: November 5, 2022
Where: Busan, South Korea
look up to the sky
The sky is the limit with the Taunggyi Hot Air Balloon and Fireworks Festival in November. Marking the end of the rainy season, Burmese people launch thousands of balloons into the sky to ward off evil spirits.
Attracting over 20,000 spectators every year with its delicate paper balloons that come in a variety of designs like animals, birds and mythological characters, attendees can enjoy the colorful spectacle and immerse themselves in the culture of Myanmar. It’s a sight to behold when all the balloons are released at the same time at night, followed by fireworks.
When: November 6 & 7, 2022
Where: Taunggyi, Shan State, Burma
Rhythm of the river
The Ghe Ngo boat race is the culmination of the moon festival, Ok om Bok, which signifies the end of the Khmer year. During the event, groups of men and women race traditional Khmer boats called gh ong – a boat 30m long and 1.5m wide – to the sound of drums, trumpets, cheers and applause from the public on both sides of the Maspero River.
When: November 8 & 9, 2022
Where: Soc Trang, Vietnam
Free as a bird
Bird lovers will rejoice at the return of the Putrajaya Bird Race 2022 after a two-year hiatus due to Covid.
Held in the Putrajaya Wetlands, the area is home to over 2,000 waterfowl from a total of 203 bird species.
The event is open to children and adults alike, with exciting activities such as the Great Bird Race, photography sessions, bird exhibits, a mimicry contest, craft products and even a bird coloring contest. for kids!
When: November 19 & 20, 2022
Where: Putrajaya, Malaysia
For the love of art
ART SG, intended to be Southeast Asia’s leading art fair, will be hosted at the Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention Center in Singapore early next year. It will feature over 150 visionary and exciting works of contemporary art from around the world, including installations, experimental films, talks and performances.
ART SG will present three gallery sectors: Galleries, Focus and Futures.
The event aims to create an immersive place of exploration for all art collectors.
When: January 12-15, 2023
turn up the music
WOMAD NZ returns in 2023 after two years. Held at Brooklands TSB Bowl and Brooklands Park, it is one of the oldest and most established cultural festivals in the world.
Get ready for three days of music, arts and dance and learn about the world through music, multiculturalism, art, workshops and food.
Participants can camp in their own tents or motorhomes – there are also glamping options, VIP packages as well as a stay at Tepee Life Village for a tribal experience. Registration is mandatory.
When: March 17-19, 2023
Where: New Plymouth, New Zealand
wild and wet
The Songkran Festival Phuket attracts many international visitors to Thailand. Celebrating the new year with water as a symbol of renewal, household rituals include sprinkling family members with water, adding a few drops to Buddha for good luck. The fun starts once people gather in the streets to have fun and splash each other.
Starting gently in the morning, Songkran’s wet street parties can turn into water fights in the afternoon or an all-out wet war zone at night. Other less aggressive activities are folklore shows, games and building sand pagodas.
A softer side of the festival is the release of birds and fish into their natural habitats, a symbol of freedom and hope for good fortune.
When: April 13-15, 2023
Where: Phuket, Thailand