February 2020

Traditional Celebrations

Vat Phou Festival (6 – 8 February) in Champasak is an annual festival including displays of traditional music, dance and sports. Vat Phou is the most famous Hindu temple complex in Laos and is now listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

There are several Hindu celebrations to enjoy throughout the month of February. Thaipusam (8 February) is observed in Singapore and Malaysia as a highly symbolic Hindu festival celebrated in honour of Lord Murugan who represents virtue, youth and power to Hindus and is the destroyer of evil.

The Gunbing Festival (8 February) is a folk custom taking place in Harbin, China. On the night of Yuan Xiao people gather together on the frozen river and light candles, before rolling on the ground to rid themselves of bad luck and roll in the good luck. The festival stems from an old folk legend.

The Spring Lantern Festival (8 February) in China and Hong Kong falls on the 15th day of the first lunar month (8 February). This is a celebration of the last day of Chinese New Year celebrations when couples spend time together on what’s informally known as ‘Chinese Valentine’s Day’.

The Perfume Pagoda Festival (8 February) in West Hanoi sees thousands of pilgrims arrive at a sacred cave to pray. Also, don’t miss the eccentric Naked Man Festival (15 February) in Okayama, Japan.

Galungan (19 February) is celebrated by Balinese people every six months as per the Balinese calendar. Galungan celebrates the victory of good (Dharma) over evil (Adharma) and encourages the Balinese to show their gratitude with offerings, prayer, and dance. It also marks the time when ancestral spirits of deceased relatives visit the Earth. The last day of the celebration is Kuningan (29 February), when they leave earth.

International Events

Le Tour de Langkawi (1 – 29 February) is one of the biggest events on the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) Asia Tour Calendar. Covering more than 1,200km, the race takes place over 8 stages across Langkawi Island, Mayalsia.

Enjoy the winter snow at the Sapporo Snow Festival (4 – 11 February), one of the most popular winter events in the country.

The Bay Regatta (5 – 9 February) is Thailand’s most scenic regatta. Now in its 23rd year, the race returns with new routes and venues for 5 days of yacht racing and social events around Phuket, Phang Nga and Krabi.

The Chiang Mai Flower Festival (7 – 9 February) has been running for over 40 years and celebrates the beauty of flora over 3 days at the start of February each year.

The Hong Kong Marathon (9 February) starts in the scenic Tsim Sha Tsui area of Kowloon, racing up into the New Territories and heading back down to a spectacular finish in Victoria Park on Hong Kong Island.

The Penang Hot Air Balloon Fiesta (9 – 10 February), provides a chance to float above Padang Polo (Polo Ground) in Penang on a huge hot air balloon, while the Singha Park Chiang Rai International Balloon Fiesta (12 – 16 February) offers floaty fun.

The inaugural Borneo Half Marathon (23 February) takes place in Kota Kinabalu, East Malaysia; showcasing its coastline and fringes that include some of the city’s most iconic landmarks.

The annual Spring Festival Flower Fair (24 – 26 February) sees the streets of Guangzhou come alive with fragrant and beautiful fresh flowers and golden tangerines.

This year celebrates the 16th edition of the Jakarta International Java Jazz Festival (28 February – 1 March). In the first 10 years the festival was running, names such as the late James Brown, Santana, Stevie Wonder and Jamie Cullum have graced the stage - with many more big names set to join their ranks.

The Giant Puppet Parade (29 February) is an annual event for the children of Siem Reap in Cambodia. The Giant Puppet Project is a local children’s community arts project and is the largest of its kind in Siem Reap, Cambodia.