Are you planning to travel to Asia within the next year, and are looking for some fun festivities to attend? Well, look no further – we’ve researched some of the more incredible Asian festivals for you to check out during your travels.
Travel Asia: Pulilan Carabao Festiva
You’ll probably never see a water buffalo adorned quite like this! If you travel to Pulilan in the second week of May, you’ll witness the homage to the patron saint of farmers, San Isidro Labrador. Families take their prized water buffalos, scrape away the dirt, shave them, anoint them in oils, and then parade them around the city square dressed as kings. The priests of the Asian city then kneel and ask the buffalos to bless them, promising health and good wishes for the upcoming year to all, including visiting travelers.
Travel Asia: Parade of the God of Medicine
On the 15th day of the third lunar month, the city of Taiwan is taken over by this world-renowned Asian festivity – a must for travelers in the area because of its spectacular parade. At the nucleus of the 160 temple celebration are Pao Sheng in Taipei and the Temple of Ching Tzu in Hseuhchia. Spearheaded by a group called the Centipedes, worshippers attending the city-wide parade throw themselves on the ground to be stepped upon, as a symbolic exorcising of their demons.
Travel Asia: Yasothon Rocket Festival
In the middle of May, things get very noisy for Asian travelers to the Phaya Thaen Park in Thailand. Historically, the festival started as an offering to the gods of the sky, exploding beautiful rockets to encourage rainfall for rice crop growth. Nowadays, event has become something more of a sport, with competitions to see whose rocket can fly the farthest, and whose explodes the most.
Travel Asia: Asakusa Samba
Toyko’s version of the Rio Carnaval happens every August, in the Asakusa district. Travelers to Asia and natives alike are amazed by the colorful sequined costumes and feathers of the dancing Samba girls, along with their full bands marching down the street alongside them.
Travel Asia: The Festival of the Hungry Ghosts
Hong Kong hosts this unusual yearly event, held on the 14th day of the seventh moon (sometime in August, during a full moon). Legend says that the gates of Hades were opened on this day, and the dead who cannot rest were left to run the streets mischievously. The Yue Lan Festival, as it is known in Chinese, has natives of the city putting up odd paper monuments all over the streets, which are then ceremoniously burned on the last day.
Travel Asia: The Monkey God Festival
The Monkey God first appeared in Chinese literature during the Ming Dynasty in the book, “Pilgrims to the West”. Since then, this deity has been celebrated during the month of September at Kowloon’s Sau Mau Ping Temple, by recreating a bizarre attempted execution by other the other gods – which includes such things as a ladder of knives, and charcoal set on fire. Travelers to this strange Asian celebration need not be concerned, though – the Monkey God lived, and so do the participants in this celebration.
Jean Sutherland has worked in the travel industry for over 10 years now and has two online websites devoted to resort spas and day spas. http://www.spasoftheworld.com/ and http://www.dayspalady.com/
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