February 2021

Traditional Celebrations

Vat Phou Festival (12 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.

The Perfume Pagoda Festival (17 February) in West Hanoi sees thousands of pilgrims arrive at a sacred cave to pray.

Vietnamese New Year (11 – 16 February) is known as TET and is the most important event in Vietnamese culture. It is usually celebrated on the same day as Chinese New Year. We would advise booking well in advance if you do want to travel in Vietnam at this time.

Chinese New Year (12 – 17 February), or as it is known in China - the Spring Festival, is the main event of the month. This takes place not only in China but in all Chinese communities around Asia including Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia. It’s the most important celebration in the calendar for Chinese people, with family members travelling back to their hometown to join loved ones. Bright colours and non-stop celebrations mark this auspicious, energy-fuelled event. Travellers can join joyous processions, explore seasonal markets, watch riveting lion dances and share in the jubilant atmosphere.

The Tibetan New Year (12 – 14 February), also known as Losar, occurs on the first day of the second lunar month, during which 'sacred pills' of barley are eaten to wish the Dalai Lama a prosperous new year.

One of the most eccentric festivals in Japan, the Naked Man Festival (15 February) takes place this month in Okayama, Japan.

Saraswati Day (16 February) is celebrated annually in Bali to celebrate the gift of knowledge. During Saraswati Day, students dress in their ceremonial finery for a communal prayer. Resource books are piled high and blessed with offerings of fruits, flowers and a sprinkling of holy water.

Held in Lim Village, just 18km from Hanoi, the Lim Festival (24 February) originally celebrated Ba Mu, who led her life as a Buddhist nun at Lim pagoda. The festival is held on Ba Mu’s day of enlightenment and is famous for showcasing locals’ unique vocal stylings through Quan Ho folk songs.

The Spring Lantern Festival (26 February) in China 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’.

International Events

Enjoy the winter snow at the Sapporo Snow Festival (2 February), one of the most popular winter events in the country. This year the snow festival is staged on three sites: the Odori Site, Susukino Site and Tsu Dome Site, to ensure social distancing.

The Bay Regatta (3 – 7 February) is Thailand’s most scenic regatta. Now in its 24th year, the race returns with new routes and venues for 5 days of yacht racing and social events around Phuket, Phang Nga and Krabi. Thailand’s River Kwai International Half Marathon (21 February) also takes place this month in Kanchanaburi.

The Chiang Mai Flower Festival (5 – 7 February) has been running for over 40 years and celebrates the beauty of flora over 3 days at the start of February each year.

Singha Park International Balloon Fiesta, Considered one of the most charming balloon events, with participants from 14 countries, Singha Park Chiang Rai International Balloon Fiesta (10 – 14 February) is a fun-loving festival held over five days, combining daily balloon competitions and the sensational Balloon Magic Night Glow.

This year celebrates the 17th edition of the Java Jazz Festival (26 – 28 February), taking place in Jakarta, Indonesia. In the festival's first 10 years, 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.