Headed to Asia in the springtime? Not only is this an excellent time to visit weather-wise (especially the northern countries), there are also countless cultural events and spring festivals in Asia to plan your trips around.
As the lunar new year is held at the end of January, this means that springtime is optimum for new year events that bid goodbye to the old year and welcome in the new. There are also countless modern music and lifestyle festivals celebrating music, arts and heritage.
Here are some of the best spring festivals in Asia in our books:
1. Garden Beats
Date(s): February 29
A festival for the love of music, arts and conscious living pretty much summarizes this festival in a nutshell. Singapore’s first carbon-neutral festival, you’ll find Garden Beats filled with people who are just as passionate about the environment as they are about music and art. Acts the likes of Viken Arman, Crussen, Gioli & Assia, The Illustrious Blacks and more in the lineup are just another reason to attend!
Date(s): March 7
For the ones looking for a multi-sensory experience, Kolour in the Park beckons you to join the other 45,000 people from all over the world for one unforgettable day. Different stages with a variety of different musicians (e.g. Artbat, Black Coffee, Leisure, Mousse T., Oddisee and more) interactive booths, art installations, water activities and a whole host of gourmet food options are just some of this party’s selling points. Tempted yet?
Date(s): March 7-8
One of the premier music festivals in the Philippines, Wanderland‘s lineups have never disappointed over the course of the past 7 years, earning a loyal following with many music and art aficionados in the area. This year, the theme of the festival is sports and athletics. Not sporty? Just go anyway, the music – with acts like Foals, Ben&Ben, IV of Spades, Bruno Major, Omar Apollo and more – will be worth it!
Date(s): March 9-10
The most colorful festival in Asia (if not the world) is without doubt Holi, an ancient Hindu celebration that has been part of Indian culture for centuries. Participants throw rainbow-colored powders over one another to symbolize good triumphing over evil.
The night before Holi, giant bonfires are held in public spaces burning statues of the devil. The colorful festival aims to override negativity, unite those of different backgrounds and castes, and bring together the whole community. While a Holi trip is a busy and crowded experience; it’s also a lot of fun.
Check out Where Goes Rose?‘s blog to help plan your Holi vacation. Many tour vendors also offer Holi tour packages if you’re keen to celebrate as part of a group.
Date(s): March 19-22
If your version of paradise entails exceptional electronic music, beach and boat parties, breathtaking sunsets, delicious food and relaxing sunsets (with a host of Germans), head to the enchanting Thai island of Koh Mak for the Thaibreak Festival. In the lineup you’ll find headliners like Oliver Koletzki, Felix Krocher, Sam Shure, DOTT, Hidden Empire, Niko Schwind and more.
6. Fuji Kawaguchiko Cherry Blossom Festival
Date(s): April 6-14
Lake Kawaguchiko in Japan is one of the most scenic spots in the area. If you’re visiting the country during this season, you may also be lucky enough to spy the famous cherry blossoms! The festival, which is held annually, is free and features a variety of food and souvenir stalls you can browse while taking a break from the gorgeous scenery.
Date(s): April 13-15
This famous Thai water festival held in April is one for your Southeast Asia bucket list.
The Songkran meaning is not so dissimilar to Holi: A new year celebration that aims to wash away negativity associated with the old year. Also like Holi, it brings together the whole community no matter the age, gender or social class.
During the two-day Songkran Festival, participants fill pistols and buckets with water and embark on a water fight of enormous scale. Trust us, it’s as fun as it sounds!
The best place to celebrate the Songkran Water Festival is within the cities like Chiang Mai and Bangkok. If you choose to celebrate in the capital, you can visit designated areas such as Silom and Khao San Road. We wouldn’t recommend bringing phones or cameras unless they’re waterproof or in a water-tight bag. The locals are very passionate about this Asian festival and probably won’t stop to check if you have any valuables on you
8. Yeon Deung Hoe (Lotus Lantern Festival)
Country: South Korea
Date(s): April 24-26
This Korean folk festival originated some 1,300 years ago during the Shilla period and was passed down through the generations, evolving into the grandeur and cultural event it is today. It is currently listed as an “Intangible Cultural Property” of South Korea and remains a sacred day for many.
During the festival, lanterns are lit, symbolizing the brightness and/or lightness of the participants’ hearts. Several events take place over the course of the 3-day celebration including a parade, an exhibition and multiple performances. If you’re hunkering for South Korean culture, pencil this into your calendar!
Date(s): May 1-2
Here’s an event that’s new to the festival scene. One Love Asia Festival‘s concept fuses pop music – with artists such as Goo Goo Dolls, Greyson Chance, Stefanie Sun, Potato, KLEAR and more in the lineup – lifestyle and food! With mainstream music and gastronomic delights at your fingertips, what’s not to like?
10. Boun Bang Fai
Date(s) of celebration: May 8-10
Laos, the sleepy country nestled between Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia, hosts an annual festival called Boun Bang Fai also known as the rocket festival. During the three-day celebration, locals launch their homemade rockets which, despite not sounding very safe, are restricted to official zones during the carnival-like event. There are also floats, cultural dances, and after-parties that go on until night.
According to ancient tradition, the god of rain is responsible for sending water from the skies to keep the land healthy. When he gets busy during the dry season, locals give him a little prod – in the form of makeshift rockets!
Unlike many Asian festivals which are commonly held in big cities, Boun Bang (no pun intended) Fai Festival is held in rural areas for obvious reasons. If you’re touring Laos during April, keep an eye and an ear out!
So which of these spring festivals in Asia are you most interested in attending? Have you attended any of them already? Let us know in the comments!