Every country is the world celebrates many festivals and hosts numerous events throughout the year. But, there are some Southeast Asian countries that pull all the stops when it comes to jubilant festivities. These festivals in South East Asia represent a different culture and are unknown to most of us. Plan a trip to these Southeast Asian countries to experience the unique celebrations. I am providing you with a list of 5 local festivals and events that make for an unforgettable memory.
1. Cambodian Water Festival
Pic by Photasia
This is one of the biggest festivals in Cambodia. Locally known as Bonn Om Toeuk, people from all the country gather in Phnom Penh to enjoy the boat racing. Celebrated every year in November for three days, it marks a reversal of the flow of the Tonle Sap River as well as an end of the rainy season. These days are filled with exciting races, spectacular fire displays, live musical concerts, and beautiful parades. You will get a chance to pamper your taste buds with a special Cambodian rice. In 2018, it will be held from 22nd to 24th November.
2. Chiang Mai Flower Festival, Thailand
Pic by Devon Sampson
Visiting Chiang Mai during Flower Festival means finding yourself amidst vibrant floral displays. Hosted in February every year in the charming city of Thailand, this is the 42nd year of the three-day festival. Usually, it kick starts with agricultural fair and proceeds to have flower floats and exciting parades that are full of performances by school children and professional groups. The last day is about choosing the flower queen. Loud rock music, refreshing beverages, and kiosks offering delicious food add fun to the charming evenings. 2018 celebration will take place from 2nd February to 4th February. Do not miss the parade on Saturday.
Pic by Julian Lim
Singapore is the country of numerous musical events and concerts. But, visiting the country to attend ZoukOut will make for a memorable experience. It is known as Asia’s largest beach music festival. From last 16 years, the event is attracting thousands of EDM lovers from around the globe. This dance and music festival continues to entertain people for two days straight in December every year. Internationally acclaimed DJ’s like DJ Afrojack, Avicii, Masters at Work, Sven Väth, Ferry Corsten, Paul van Dyk, David Guetta, and Carl Cox have performed here over the years. Grab a drink or two and soak yourself in the music.
4. Aliwan Festival, Philippines
Pic by Iana Peralta
Known as the mother of all festivals in South East Asia, Aliwan Fiesta is all about celebrating different cultures. Aliwan, which mean ‘entertainment’ in a local language, will not disappoint you. There are a number of activities you can enjoy like dance parade, float competitions, and even a beauty pageant. More than 5,000 energetic dancers perform here to tell you the cultural stories. All the eighteen regions of the country participate in the competitions. Attending the Fiesta will give you an opportunity to know about the unique mix of social and cultural practices. Prepare your itinerary to get a practical info about the dates and timings of this event in Philippines.
5. Kaamatan, Malaysia
Pic by Tom Rungitom
Kaamatan is the annual harvest festival celebrated every year in Sabah. One of the lesser known festivals in Malaysia, this is held in May and festivities go on for almost an entire month. The cultural and social significance is represented through dance and music and it also represents the beginning of harvesting in the state. The ritualistic preparations are divided into six different stages that end with Unduk Ngadau i.e Harvest Beauty Queen. Being thankful for a bountiful harvest is the main aim of the celebrations. Come here and be thankful with the locals.
Witnessing these major festivals in South East Asia is always delightful as it gives us a chance to soak in the local flavour.