September 2020

Traditional Celebrations

The Hungry Ghost Festival (2 September) is one of several traditional festivals held amongst Chinese communities across Asia to worship ancestors. Special ceremonies are performed to avoid the wrath of the ghosts such as putting the family’s ancestral tablets on a table, burning incense and preparing food three times on the day to feed the hungry ghosts. The festival is known as Wandering Soul Day in Vietnam and is the second most important festival in the country after Tet, while in Malaysia it is celebrated with staged opera performances and roadside puppet shows.

Galungan (16 September) 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. Celebrations take place in the familial temples where, according to the Balinese, the gods come down to earth and the ancestors’ souls pay a visit to their family.

The Qufu International Confucius Festival (26 September – 10 October) is held annually in Qufu, Shandong Province. It is marked by a grand ceremony worshipping Confucius, performances at the Temple of Confucius and Cemetery of Confucius, and occasionally a kung fu competition.

International Events

There are several intriguing events happening across China this month, including Zhangjiajie International Forest Festival (12 – 15 September) and the Xian Ancient Culture Art Festival, which is held annually over one week in September.

Thailand’s River Kwai International Half Marathon (13 September) also takes place this month; as well as the Grand Sumo Tournament in Tokyo (13 – 27 September).

The Formula 1 Grand Prix (18 – 20 September) is one of Singapore’s most highly anticipated events each year.

The Beijing 798 Art Festival is held annually at the end of September and takes place at Beijing's 798 Art Zone – one of China's main centres for cutting edge contemporary art located in the northeast of the city.

DiverseCity's KL International Arts Festival showcases more than 50 local, regional and international artists in over a dozen venues in Malaysia’s capital city of Kuala Lumpur.

Traditional Thai-Laos Long-Boat Racing takes place in several cities across Thailand, including Bueng Kan, Pichit and Nan. During the festival, religious ceremonies are accompanied by cheering teams competing for H.R.H. Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn's Cup.