February 2023

Traditional Celebrations

Setsubun (2 Feb, Japan), or the First Day of Spring, takes place at shrines and involves people throwing beans at waiting crowds! A unique ritual to cleanse away all the evil of the former year and drive away disease-bringing evil spirits for the year to come.

The Chiang Mai Flower Festival (3-5 Feb, Thailand) showcases beautiful flowers and decorative plants in full bloom. Suan Buak Hat Park is transformed into an open-air exhibition centre where you can find a magnificent tapestry of floral splendor that blankets the land, agricultural exhibitions, floral displays, contests, and sales.

The Lim Festival (3 Feb, Vietnam) 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 the locals’ unique vocal stylings through Quan Ho folk songs.

Thaipusam (Feb 5, Singapore) is a highly symbolic Hindu festival celebrated by Singapore’s Tamil community. It is an annual procession by Hindu devotees seeking blessings, fulfilling vows, and offering thanks.

During the Perfume Pagoda Festival (Feb 5, Vietnam) thousands of pilgrims make the journey to the Perfume (Hương) Pagoda - Vietnam’s most revered Buddhist pilgrimage site.

The Spring Lantern Festival (Feb 5, Hong Kong) falls on the 15th day of the first lunar month. Love likes to have the final word, and on the last day of Chinese New Year celebrations, couples spend time together on what’s informally known as ‘Chinese Valentine’s Day’, a title also awarded to the Seven Sisters Festival.

The Sapporo Snow Festival (Feb 11, Japan), also known as Sapporo Yuki Matsuri, is held over one week in Hokkaido's capital Sapporo. It is one of Japan's most popular winter events.

Wat Phou Festival (Feb 6-8, Laos) held in Champasak, celebrates possibly the most famous Hindu temple complex in Laos and is now listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The historical temple is celebrated with an annual festival and displays of traditional music, dance and sports.

The Naked Man Festival (Date TBA, Japan) sees about 9,000 almost naked men parade through the city. After being "purified" with cold water, they gather in Saidai-ji temple where at 10 pm a Shinto priest throws two sacred sticks ('shingi') and a hundred other lucky ones into the crowd of men.

River Hongbao (Date TBA, Singapore) is a lively festival that offers a special Chinese cultural experience – from giant lanterns to mouth-watering food. You will be astounded by the larger-than-life lanterns depicting figures of Chinese myth and legend, handcrafted onsite by craftsmen from China.

The spectacular Chingay Parade (Date TBA, Singapore) brings together multicultural performers from across the globe with a grand opening, dramatic performances and emphatic closing ceremony. Expect acrobat artists, giant artistic puppets, and dramatic shows.

The Bau Nyale Festival (Date TBA, Indonesia) is held annually based on the traditional Sasak Calendar, which falls around February each year. Nyale is a type of sea worm that surfaces only around this time of the year. Large crowds gather to catch the Nyale along a number of Lombok's beaches. The Bau Nyale Festival also features various art performances, such as the Wayang Kulit (leather puppet show), and theatrical plays.

For the Komodo Festival (Date TBA, Indonesia), prepare diving gear, snorkels, and camera - ready to immerse yourself in a spectacular underwater festival experience.

International Events

Singha Park International Balloon Fiesta (8-12 Feb, Thailand), is considered top of the most charming balloon events, with participants from 14 countries, including the United Kingdom, United States, Switzerland, Brazil, Philipines, South Korea, Taiwan, Austria, Latvia, Germany, Italy, and Japan.

The Hong Kong Marathon (12 Feb, Hong Kong) sees elite runners compete in Hong Kong‘s largest outdoor sporting event every year. The Hong Kong Marathon has grown from just 1,000 competitors in 1997 to tens of thousands in recent years. This year sees a full marathon, a half marathon, and a 10 km run taking competitors past some of the best urban scenery Asia’s world city has to offer.

The 26th Bay Regatta (22-26 Feb, Thailand) is a celebration started by a group of Phuket-based sailing enthusiasts and a photographer who wished to showcase the stunning beauty of the Phuket, Phang Nga and Krabi seascapes.

The Singapore Airshow (Date TBA, Singapore) offers a unique platform for industry thought leadership through its high-level conference, forums and co-located events. Leading industry players, government and military chiefs gather here bi-annually to contribute to dialogues, exchange ideas, and seek solutions and strategies to advance the interests of the global aerospace and defence sector.