July 2024

Traditional Celebrations

The International Kite Festival (Throughout July, Indonesia) is held along Sanur Beach, Bali. Traditional giant kites (4 metres in width and almost 10 metres in length) are made and flown competitively by teams from the villages (banjar) of Denpasar. The event is a seasonal religious festival intended to send a message to the Hindu Gods to create abundant crops and harvests.

At the Tana Toraja Funeral Festival (Throughout July, Indonesia), fascinating and elaborate funeral rites are conducted to send the spirit of the dead to the afterworld and to prevent misfortune for the deceased's family. Expect plenty of chanting and dancing which is performed to honour the deceased and bid farewell.

Gion Matsuri (Throughout July, Japan) the festival of Yasaka Shrine, is the most famous festival in Japan. It has many events as part of the festival but the most popular is the grand procession of over 30 floats that have music and live performances as they travel through the streets.

George Town Heritage Day (7 July, Malaysia) in Penang commemorates when George Town became a UNESCO-listed Work Heritage Site. It celebrates the city's rich cultural legacy through vibrant events and activities.

The Tabot Festival (7-8 July, Indonesia) in Sumatra, marks the Islamic New Year and commemorates Hasan Hussein, Prophet Muhammad's grandson. The lively event includes parades featuring decorated Tabot structures, religious activities, traditional art performances, and folk games with large markets and exhibiitions.

The Yadnya Kasada Festival (14-15 July, Indonesia) is extremely important for tenggerese tribes. Also known as the Javanese Volcano Festival, this event is held as it is believed the celebrations help promote good health and appease Mother Nature.

Pagerwesi (17 July, Indonesia) celebrates Sang Yang (the creator of the universe) with grand ceremonies island wide. Pagerwesi is celebrated every 210 days based on the Balinese lunar calendar and can be interpreted as ‘iron fence’. It is a day when man should fortify the space around himself to fend off evil spirits – the continuous battle between good and evil.

George Town Festival (19-28 July, Malaysia) in Penang is dedicated to celebrating and preserving local arts, culture, and heritage. It features artistic performances, including dance, music, theatre, photographer, and heritage exhibitions.

Buon Khao Pansa (20 July, Laos) marks the beginning of the three-month Buddhist Lent, which commences at the full moon in July and continues until the full moon in October, this is considered a particularly auspicious time for Lao men to enter the monkhood and is marked by numerous ordination ceremonies.

The Tenjin Matsuri (24-25 July, Japan) is Osaka's biggest summer festival. It also claims to be the world's biggest boat festival with a land procession formed of a parade of over 3,000 people dressed in the imperial-court style of the 8th-12th Centuries.

International Events

Bali Arts Festival (15 June - 13 July, Indonesia) celebrates the arts and culture of Bali with daily performances, handicraft exhibitions, and other cultural activities during which time the whole of Bali comes to life with offerings of dance, music, and beauty.

Ubon Ratchatani Candle Art Festival (Date TBA, Thailand) celebrates the onset of the rainy season and holds traditional significance for Buddhists. It features a parade of monks from local temples who ride decorative floats with carved candles depicting Buddhist motifs. Floats also carry a woman who represents an angel from each template where the candles were made.

The Grand Sumo Tournament (14-28 July, Japan) in Nagoya provides the chance to catch the heavyweights in action at one of Japan's most prestigious sumo events.

Internet of Things (IoT) (18-19 July, Singapore) is a leading conference and exhibition that converges tech enthusiasts and industry leaders to explore the latest trends and showcase innovations and new concepts.

The Sumida River Fireworks Festival (Date TBA, Japan) dates back to 1733 and is one of the largest and most famous fireworks festivals in Tokyo. On top of traditional fireworks displays, a contest is held between new creative fireworks that always draw a large crowd.