February 2022

Traditional Celebrations

Chinese New Year (1 – 3 February) takes place not only in China but in all Chinese communities around Asia including Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, and Indonesia.

The Spring Festival would not be the same in Beijing without the Beijing Temple Fair (1 – 6 February), offering visitors the chance to taste the most authentic street snacks and purchase the best handmade crafts in Beijing.

The Mahamuni Pagoda Festival (1 – 15 February) in Mandalay is a special occasion when hundreds of pilgrims from all over the country travel to the most important Buddhist monument in their city.

Setsubun (2 February) takes place in the morning of the first day of spring, and involves people throwing beans to waiting crowds at shrines! This special ritual cleanses away all the evil of the former year and drives away disease-bringing evil spirits for the year to come.

Saraswati Day (5 February) is celebrated annually in Bali to celebrate the gift of knowledge. During Saraswati Day, students dress in their ceremonial finery for a communal prayer. Resource books are piled high and blessed with offerings of fruits, flowers and a sprinkling of holy water.

Held in Lim Village, just 18km from Hanoi, the Lim Festival (13 February) originally celebrated Ba Mu, who led her life as a Buddhist nun at Lim pagoda. The festival is held on Ba Mu’s day of enlightenment and is famous for showcasing locals’ unique vocal stylings through Quan Ho folk songs.

The Perfume Pagoda Festival (15 February) in West Hanoi sees thousands of pilgrims arrive at a sacred cave to pray.

The Spring Lantern Festival (15 February) is a celebration of the last day of Chinese New Year celebrations in China and Hong Kong, when couples spend time together on what’s informally known as ‘Chinese Valentine’s Day’.

Vat Phou Festival (16 February) in Champasak is an annual festival including displays of traditional music, dance and sports. Vat Phou is the most famous Hindu temple complex in Laos and is now listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

One of the most eccentric festivals in Japan, the Naked Man Festival (19 February) takes place this month in Okayama, Japan.

The Melasti (28 February) ritual is performed 3-4 days before Balinese New Year and sees locals wear white clothing and make an offering to the gods by placing sacred objects in a source of water.

Taking place from early February until mid-March, the Pasola Jousting Festival is a thanksgiving ceremony to the ancestral spirit of people from West Sumba, East Nusa Tenggara. The horses used during this ritual are usually ridden by brave and skilled men wearing traditional costumes.

International Events

Enjoy the winter snow at the Sapporo Snow Festival (5 – 12 February), one of the most popular winter events in the country. This year the snow festival is staged on three sites: the Odori Site, Susukino Site and Tsu Dome Site, to ensure social distancing.

The Chiang Mai Flower Festival (4 – 6 February) has been running for over 40 years and celebrates the beauty of flora over 3 days at the start of February each year.

Singha Park International Balloon Fiesta, Considered one of the most charming balloon events, with participants from 14 countries, Singha Park Chiang Rai International Balloon Fiesta (9 – 13 February) is a fun-loving festival held over five days, combining daily balloon competitions and the sensational Balloon Magic Night Glow.

The Hong Kong Marathon starts in the scenic Tsim Sha Tsui area of Kowloon, racing up into the New Territories and heading back down to a spectacular finish in Victoria Park on Hong Kong Island.

This year celebrates the 18th edition of the Java Jazz Festival, taking place in Jakarta, Indonesia. In the festival's first 10 years, names such as the late James Brown, Santana, Stevie Wonder and Jamie Cullum have graced the stage - with many more big names set to join their ranks.

River HongBao is an annual Lunar Chinese New Year event held in Marina Bay, Singapore. Visitors can immerse in a special Chinese cultural experience through this lively festival. The joyous and always spectacular Chingay Parade also takes place this month and brings together multi-cultural performers from across the globe with a grand opening, larger than life performances and emphatic closing ceremony. Expect acrobat artists, giant artistic puppets and dramatic shows.