There are a number of religious events taking place around Asia in February, presenting the chance to see some truly distinctive festivities.
Buddhist celebrations provide the opportunity to see humbling ceremonies in Vietnam. The Perfume Pagoda festival in West Hanoi sees hundreds of thousands of pilgrims arrive at a sacred cave to pray. In Cambodia, Meak Bochea is a time when Buddhists honor the final sermon given by Buddha, notably at Oudong Mountain near Phnom Penh when hundreds of monks perform sacred rituals.
The Mahamuni pagoda festival in Myanmar is a special occasion when hundreds of pilgrims from all over the country travel to the most important Buddhist monument in the city.
There are also Hindu celebrations to enjoy. Thaipusam is observed (a highly symbolic Hindu festival celebrated in honor of Lord Murugan who represents virtue, youth and power to Hindus and is the destroyer of evil).
The joyous and always spectacular Chingay parades (annual street parade held in Malaysia and Singapore) kicks off in celebration of the birthdays of the Chinese deities. Expect acrobat artists, giant artistic puppets and dramatic shows.
Chap Goh Meh Celebration (the end of Chinese New Year) sees young ladies of marrying age venture out to popular sea promenades to throw oranges into the sea, wishing for a good soul mate.
The famous Pasola Festival in Sumba, Indonesia, takes place every year in February. Exact dates will be announced only 2-3 weeks prior to the festival, but as a general guideline, it takes place in the last three weeks in February.
Also, don’t miss the eccentric Naked Man festival in Okayama!
Keep in good shape with the annual marathons in Hong-Kong or in Tokyo. Or really put yourself through the paces with an Ironman event in Langkawi, Malaysia. Alternatively, enjoy the winter snow in Japan. Sapporo Snow Festival is one of the most popular winter events in the country and a time when families join together.
It’s still cold in China and Japan this time of year and rainy in most parts of Indonesia. The weather is still ideal in Southeast Asia (Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Myanmar, Malaysia and Singapore), with a heavy focus on travel to Thailand’s eastern seaboard (Koh Chang and Koh Kood). Northern Malaysia shares Thailand’s sunshine with clear bright days in Kuala Lumpur and Penang.