November 2020

Traditional Celebrations

A major event in Asia is Deepavali, also known as 'Diwali'. It’s an ancient Hindu festival celebrated in autumn every year in Malaysia, Singapore and Myanmar. The festival signifies the victory of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance and good over despair. Fairs take place in many towns and villages with numerous scheduled performances.

Loy Kratong (1 November) is one of the most picturesque festivals to take place in Asia as people release lotus-shaped rafts with candles onto the water. This festival is celebrated throughout Thailand and in some parts of Laos.

Yi Peng Festival (1 November) takes place in Thailand and is a traditional performance in Lanna style when floating lanterns are released into the night sky. A spectacular sight to behold with live demonstrations on how to make Yi Peng lanterns.

Hakone Daimyo Gyoretsu (3 November) is an annual event held on Culture Day at Yumoto Onsen, Hakone. A procession of a total of 170 people dressed up as samurai warriors and princesses parades over a distance of 6 km in the hot spring town.

Indein Pagoda Festival (4 November) is a Buddhist ceremony held at the shrine complex of Indein, a small village located along Inle Lake. A Buddha image is enshrined at a stupa that sits on the summit of a hill with hundreds of ancient stupas located below.

Shwezigon Pagoda Festival (5 – 16 November) in Bagan celebrates with food stalls, shops selling local products, magic shows, puppet shows, theatrical shows, Zat pwe and Anyeints. Locals and foreigners join in the celebrations together on this auspicious occasion.

The Balloon Festival (21 – 30 November) in Taunggyi witnesses hot balloon competitions happening day and night. Day balloons are usually in the form of Pagodas and animals such as elephant, dragon or ducks, while the night balloons usually in the shape of huge elongated balls with small lighted multicoloured paper lanterns hung around their sides.

The Tazaugdine Festival of Light, also known as the Lighting Festival (28 – 29 November), is a colourful gathering during which special yellow monk robe-weaving competitions are held outside pagodas. The robes are then offered to the monks. At the Koehtatkyi Pagoda in Yangon, 9,999 candles are lit to mark this auspicious occasion.

Oc Om Boc Festival is a celebration of cultural pastimes in Soc Trang, Vietnam. Every year the Khmer community from all over Vietnam and even Cambodia turns out for this festival, with longboat races taking place on the Soc Trang River. Races are held according to the lunar calendar in November (10th lunar month). The races start at noon but things get jumping in Soc Trang the evening before.

Boun Pha That Luang Festival is the largest temple fair to take place in Laos, featuring shows and carnival-type games. Temples are illuminated at night and the festival culminates on the morning of the full moon when several thousand monks receive alms at the 'dak baht' ceremony.

International Events

The Hong Kong Great November Feast (1 – 30 November) offers exclusive themed and discounted menus at an abundance of the city’s top eateries, including Michelin-starred restaurants.

This month the Grand Sumo Tournament (8 – 22 November) takes place in Fukuoka.

Clockenflap is an annual music and arts festival held in Hong Kong during November and is the marquee music event of the year. It incorporates international, regional and local live music, film, art installations and kids' area.