7 unique Asian Summer Events

Festivals, apart from being fun,  are a great time to understand a place’s culture, history and traditions. Here are 7 unique Asian Summer Festivals you are sure to enjoy:

Taiwan Balloon Festival, Taitung

When: June 30 – August 6

Gently soar above the East Rift Valley and float up in the sky enjoying gorgeous views at the Taiwan International Balloon Festival in Taitung County. The Balloon festival is in full swing and offers myriad unique entertainment options including flying shows, mooring activities, balloon rides, a night glow music concert and even balloon wedding celebrations! Click insta-worthy pictures of you soaring up, up and away or of glorious views from your place in the sky. Head to Taitung and celebrate the wind, the sun and the sky and come back to earth gently with memories for a lifetime.

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Gion Matsuri, Kyoto

When: July 1-31

Gion Matsuri is a month long festival that is an unmatched combination of religious traditions and street celebrations. The annual festival is a great time to experience and enjoy Kyoto culture. Though the festival has its origins as a prayer for deliverance from plague, it has evolved to be a spectacular and enjoyable celebration. Locals and visitors deck themselves in beautiful yukata robes and indulge in delicious street food and beer. The festival is a great time to interact with the locals and indulge in some seriously gorgeous food. The highlights of the celebrations are the two biggest processions of traditional parade floats, held on 17 July and 24 July.

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International Arts Carnival, Hong Kong

When:July 6-August 13

Planning a family vacation to Hong Kong? Head to the International Arts Carnival for a fun-filled experience of performing arts for the entire family. From mind-blowing balancing acts and aerial silk rope feats to the world wide hit Gazillion Bubble Show to internationally acclaimed art, movie and theatre programs, there are a variety of events to choose from. The carnival has a great line up of local and international artists who will entertain, engage and enthrall you. The events are held at various venues across Hong Kong.

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Busan Sea Festival, South Korea

When:August 1- 7

The Busan Sea Festival is the ultimate summer beach festival with more than 30 other smaller events and festivals happening during the same time. From rock music concerts to dance and sporting  events to even a literature festival, you will be spoilt for choice. The epicentre of the celebration is  Busan‘s most popular beach, Haeundae.

The evening atmosphere is electric with musicians from all over the world entertaining at The Busan International Rock Festival. Did you know that this is the world’s only free-of-charge beach live music festival!  Want to party hard? Shake a leg at the International Beach Dance Festival held at the Gwangalli Beach. Adventure junkie? Enroll in any of the many sports tournaments or get a free lesson in ocean rafting, canoeing, kayaking or scuba diving during the festival.

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 National Day, Singapore

When: August 9

See Singapore in all her glory on National Day. With red and white flags fluttering everywhere in the city, the streets of Singapore are vibrant on national day. The National Day Parade is a one-of-a kind spectacle with military parades, song and dance performances, a scintillating fireworks display all in the background of the glorious Singapore Marina. 2017 marks 50 years of inception of National Service and there will be a fitting tribute held for those who have served the nation at the Marina Bay Floating Platform. The theme for the 2017 National Day Parade is  -One Nation Together; a call to celebrate the diversity of Singapore and harness it to strive for the betterment of this fabulous island.

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Kadayawan Festival, Davao City

When: August  15

The Kadayawan Festival is a festival of thanksgiving to the deity ‘Manama’ for the gift of a good harvest, the benevolent side of nature and life. Celebrated every year in the city of Davao in Philippines, the festival showcases the rich culture, unique traditions and beautiful produce of the land. Also in focus are the tribal groups or What  lumad and their exquisite arts and crafts. Be a part of the Kadayawan Festival and you are sure to go back home with some art items that are conversation starters and souvenirs that will up your popularity quotient.

Like any of the world’s best harvest festivals, the best of the best produce and dishes of the land are showcased and your taste buds will absolutely relish the experience. Make sure you mingle with the locals and get an insight into the food that powers the land and its people.

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Yu Lan Hungry Ghost Festival, Phuket

When:  August 22th – September 19th

The Hungry Ghost Festival or the Por Tor Festival is celebrated in several destinations across Southeast Asia. It is held in honour of wandering spirits or the deceased who may be trapped in hell. It is a major celebration in Phuket. In Phuket, festival activities centre around the Por Tor Gong shrine which has the Por Tor god or the king of hell as the main deity. The fifteenth day of the seventh lunar month is believed to be the day of the Ghost, a day when the wandering spirits arrive in search of food and solace. Relatives wait with a variety of food and incense and lights. In the evening, lotus shaped lanterns are floated in the river in the hope that spirits find their way back to a peaceful home.

There are several processions across Phuket held to entertain and cheer the Ghosts so that they dont cause any trouble to the living. Food is in plenty. Do take time to indulge in the red  turtle shaped ceremonial cakes or Ang Ku. This is a great time to experience the culture, tradition and cuisine of beautiful Phuket.

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