February 2024

Traditional Celebrations

Pasola Jousting Festivals (Throughout February and March, Indonesia) is a showcase for competitive games played by the Western Sumbanese to celebrate the rice planting season. It involves throwing wooden spears at the opponent while riding a horse with two groups of men from different clans or tribes competing against each other.

The Chiang Mai Flower Festival (2-4 Feb, Thailand) showcases beautiful flowers and decorative plants in full bloom. Suan Buak Hat Park is transformed into an open-air exhibition centre with a magnificent tapestry of floral splendor on display.

Setsubun (3 Feb, Japan), or the First Day of Spring, takes place at shrines and involves people throwing beans at waiting crowds! It is 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 Sapporo Snow Festival (4-11 Feb, 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. The Snow Festival is staged on three sites: the Odori Site, Susukino Site and Tsu Dome Site.

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

Tet (9-12 Feb, Vietnam) is Vietnam's equivalent to the Chinese New Year and is just as auspicious. The Vietnamese consider Tet to be the year's most important festival. Family members gather in their hometowns, traveling from across the country (or the world) to spend the Tet holidays in each other's company.

Although it’s not an official holiday in Cambodia or Thailand, Chinese New Year (10 Feb) is celebrated throughout the country, and not just by those who can claim Chinese heritage.

After an opening ceremony, visitors to the Elephant Festival (13-20 Feb, Laos) can enjoy firework displays, live music and performances that entertain crowds late into the night.

During the Perfume Pagoda Festival (15 Feb, Vietnam) thousands of pilgrims make the journey to the Perfume (Hương) Pagoda - Vietnam’s most revered Buddhist pilgrimage site. Travellers can visit Perfume Pagoda at any time of year, but the festival is a unique spectacle to witness.

One of the top three most eccentric festivals in Japan. The Naked Man Festival (17 Feb, 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 10pm a Shinto priest throws two sacred sticks ('shingi') and a hundred other lucky ones into the crowd of men.

Yen Tu Festival (19 Feb - 7 May, Vietnam) is held at Yen Tu Mountain in Quang Ninh Province. The festival is from the 10th day of the first lunar month to the end of the third lunar month. Every year, thousands of visitors visit Yen Tu after the Lunar New Year Festival to pray for good luck and health for their families.

Held in Lim Village near Hanoi, Lim Festival (22 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.

The Spring Lantern Festival (24 Feb, 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 Giant Puppet Parade in Siem Reap (24 Feb, Cambodia) is an annual event that has been running for over 12 years. It is a community art project that brings together students, performers, and volunteers to create larger-than-life puppets that are paraded through the streets of Siem Reap.

A Balinese holiday celebrating the victory of dharma over adharma, Galungan Day (28 Feb, Indonesia) marks the time when the ancestral spirits visit the Earth. The last day of the celebration is Kuningan, when they return. The date is calculated according to the 210-day Balinese calendar.

Kuningan Day (29 Feb, Indonesia) marks the time when the ancestral spirits visit the Earth. The last day of the celebration is Kuningan, when they return. The date is calculated according to the 210-day Balinese calendar.

International Events

The 27th Bay Regatta (31 Jan - 04 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 Borneo Half Marathon (4 Feb, Malaysia) is a running event in Kota Kinabalu, known for its scenic 21km route that passes through the city and along the coast.

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 River Hongbao (8-17 Feb, Singapore) is a lively festival offering a special Chinese cultural experience, complete with everything from giant lanterns to mouth-watering food. Be astounded by the larger-than life lanterns depicting figures of Chinese myth and legend, handcrafted onsite.

The goal of the World Congress on Pollution Control (19 Feb, Malaysia) is to gather scholars from all over the world to present advances in the relevant fields and exchange ideas and information related to World Congress on pollution control.

The Singapore Airshow (20-25 Feb, 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.