March 2020

Traditional Celebrations

The Shwedagon Pagoda Festival (1 – 8 March) is Yangon’s biggest festival. Leading up to the full moon, teams of weavers compete to loom the most cloth for resident monks. Visitors come from all over Myanmar, dressed in the best attire to make offerings of water, light and flowers at the country's most important pagoda.

Pindaya Cave Festival (5 – 8 March) takes place at the Shwe Oo Min Pagoda Cave in Pindaya, where thousands of devotees throng the cave to pay homage to the pagoda. You will find hundreds of small stalls selling delicious local foods, Shan handicrafts, all kinds of cheroots (Myanmar cigars), Shan umbrellas, and tribes from all over Shan State dressed in colourful costumes.

Unlike most cultures across the world that celebrate New Year with parties and sparkling festivities, the new year in the Balinese Saka calendar is dedicated to complete silence. Nyepi Day (25 March) falls on the night of a new moon and is celebrated by carrying demon effigies or huge monsters with bulging eyes made of bamboo, papier-mâché and cloth and known as Ogoh-Ogoh through the streets in torch-lit parades. No travel (domestic, international or local) or activities should be scheduled for Nyepi Day.

The Thay Phuong Pagoda Festival (29 March) is held just outside of Hanoi and sees hundreds of pilgrims travel from across the country to enjoy the pagoda's beautiful scenery and architecture.

International Events

The more eco-friendly Formula E in Hong Kong (1 March), is a motor racing championship for electrically-powered vehicles. It is recognised by motorsport's governing body, the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA), as the highest class of competition for electric open-wheel racing cars.

Keep in good shape at the Tokyo Marathon (1 March). Tokyo provides a fantastic venue for one of the world’s greatest marathons. The Grand Sumo Tournament (8 – 22 March) takes place in Osaka.

Orchid landscape displays and award-winning orchid plants will be showcased during the Singapore Orchid Show (1 – 8 March) at the National Orchid Garden and other parts of the Singapore Botanic Gardens.

This year celebrates the 10th edition of the Cambodia International Film Festival (14 – 22 March). This annual non-competitive festival is held every year in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, and takes place across 10 venues showing over 160 screenings of more than 130 films.

The Borneo Ultra Trail Marathon (14 – 16 March) is an extreme, outdoor ultra-trail marathon taking runners through a combination of natural jungle settings and cultural landscapes via trails, dirt tracks and back-roads in the Kiulu Valley North of Kota Kinabalu.

The annual Peach Blossom Festival (mid-March – mid-April) is celebrated across Shanghai’s city parks, when the pink buds are in full bloom. Folk dancing, traditional Chinese music, pig racing and other local activities can also be expected.

Art Basel (19 – 21 March) in Hong-Kong attracts the world's leading gallerists and collectors, while the Hong Kong International Film Festival (24 March – 6 April), is one of Asia's most reputable platforms for filmmakers, film professionals and filmgoers to launch new works and view fresh features.

Bali Spirit Festival (29 March), is a spiritually charged event that celebrates yoga, dance and music and the synergy of global cultural collaboration through the arts in Bali.

The World Snooker China Open (30 March – 5 April) is one of eight ranking tournaments confirmed by the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association (WBPSA). It is scheduled to take place at Beijing University's Students Gymnasium.