There are as many motives to visit a new destination as one may wish to imagine, from cultural monuments to exotic cuisines, adventure travels or photogenic landscapes and for travelers to Asia. The region offers many more wonders than one would ever be able to reveal.Besides, cultural festivals and celebrations are amongst them.
For many travelers, local events spark their interest for one precise destination and, with the dates and places in mind, they plan their tour around it. For others, the celebrations get mixed into the plan as they build their travel plans. Also, some travelers even come across them while on the way. Whatever the reasons to celebrate on the road, there are plenty of exciting attractions happening in all place all over the continent, and this post brings you ten of them that we consider are must-see cultural festivals within Asia.
1 Holi- the festival of colors
India, 13 March
The festival of Holi marks the inception of spring and the success of good over evil in Hindu mythology. It is the time to end fights, to encourage love and a good reason for Hindus all over the world to celebrate in a mass party.
It starts with the burning of the demon Holika and goes further with rituals (puja), family visits, delicious food.
Moreover, sometimes bhang (preparation of cannabis ), water is thrown at each other and, above all, sizeable energetic street gatherings from where no one can escape clouds of rainbow-colored powder.
A tradition is believed to begin by Lord Krishna, who loved to play pranks as a young boy Festival is celebrated all over India, but the best-known hubs are probably the temple cities of Mathura and Vrindavan, not far away from the capital city of Delhi.
The festival of Holi
Tips: It may seem obvious, but it’s forever worth reminding to wear clothes that you will happily discard, protecting mouth and eyes from the colors. Also, watch out for huge crowds since the local party mood may get a bit overwhelming for outside visitors.
2. Nowruz, the Persian new year
Iran, 21-24 March
Nowruz (Means new day in Farsi) is the Persian new year, celebrated in Iran and many other regions of the Middle East, following an over 7000 years old culture that marks the passing of winter and the coming of the productive spring season. Nowruz celebrations are full of symbolisms, which includes the arrangement of a traditional Haftseen table with all ingredients and objects comprising all the good wishes for the coming year, or the Fireworks Wednesday, a reminder of the festivity’s Zoroastrian past.
The celebration mood adds to the delight with which Iranians take on the streets to greet the season outdoors, with parties and camping. Touring Iran during Nowruz can add an entirely new dimension to the journey. Moreover, even if one risks of being stuck in traffic for extended hours then also there will be plenty of occasions to relish the trip with the forever friendly and considerably hospitable Iranians.
Tips: It is more than recommendable to book accommodation well in advance, as Iranians themselves travel throughout these dates and hotels can get full much quicker. Even if in a celebratory mood, social rules in Iran are pretty strict, and travelers should perceive dressing, drinking and other restrictions for their safety and enjoyment.
3 Mevlana Festival (Mevlâna Anma Törenleri)
Turkey, 10-17 December
The festival of the swirling dervishes honors the death of the 13th-century Sufi poet Rumi, recognized as Mevlana to his supporters. Each 17th of December in the Anatolian city of Konya, the Mevlevi brotherhood praises the saint on the day identified as his “wedding night” with Allah.
Furthermore, with their long robes and tall hats, the dervishes whirl securing the blessings of heaven and bringing them down towards the earth through a ceremony of dance and religious performance. More than a million people attend yearly this ten-day festival of devotion, listed among the UNESCO Treasures of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.At last, one of the excellent reasons to travel to Central Anatolia even in the cold winter time.
The festival of Mevlana
Prices: 50TL (20$ approx.)
Tips: There are lots of activities and celebrations during the festival days. It is quintessential to book tickets and stay well in advance.
4. Songkran Water Festival,Thailand, 13-15 April
Songkran is the New Year anniversary in Thailand and many South East Asian countries. With traditional Buddhist roots, it is the time of the year when Thai people honor their families and elders. Onto whose palms young people splash fragrant water during Rod Nam Dum Hua rites on the first day of Songkran. It is further the time of spring-cleaning. Furthermore, locals believe that splashing water symbolically cleans the misfortunes of the year gone past. Traditionally Thai people would pour a bowl over family members, but as the festive mood took over the ceremony, then the buckets and hoses are added to this party that has grown into the most significant water fight known. Festival is a national party but Chiang Mai is one of the most famous hubs among the travelers to enjoy this water fest.
Tips: Comfortable outfits and anything you do not mind getting wet or ruined are the best dress code for this water party festival, but it is suggested to wear non-slippery shoes to enjoy the street party.
5 Naadam Festival
Mongolia, 11-13 July
Naadam Festival is the Mongolian festival of its nomadic culture and a reminder of the country’s independence in 1921. With its beginning in the wedding and hunting ceremonies of the Mongol Army, now it has now matured as an extraordinary display of sports and tradition in the region. The Naadam Stadium holds an extravagant opening ceremony accompanied by two days of horse racing, wrestling and archery tournaments along with great local performances to delight your experience.While a whole folkloric celebration unfolds in its surroundings with crafts, music, food, and locals in a party mood.All are good reasons to visit Ulaanbaatar on a journey across the Mongolian desert and savanna.
Price: 10 – 25$
Tips: You are likely to stay for long hours under the sun, appropriate clothing and protection are more than justified.
So finally our article on “Top 5 Spectacular cultural festivals to explore in Asia” ends here. Hope you experienced your superb time here with our “Top 5 Spectacular cultural festivals to explore in Asia” list; want some more Top-5 lists, then comment us, subscribe and share us.
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