July 2021

Traditional Celebrations

George Town World Heritage Day (7 July) and the George Town Festival take place in Penang, with activities focusing mainly on Penang's unique heritage and traditions.

Horse racing, wrestling and archery, are played out over two days at the Naadam Stadium for the Mongolian Nadaam Festival (13 – 17 July). The opening ceremony features marches and music from soldiers, monks and athletes before the real fun begins.

Hundreds of chinlone teams from all over the country head to Mandalay to compete in the Chinlone Wicker Ball Festival (14 – 24 July). Chinlone contests for individuals and teams are played with live music from a Sine-Wine, Burmese traditional orchestra.

Boun Khao Pansa (24 July) in Laos marks the beginning of the three-month Buddhist Lent, which commences on the full moon in July and continues until the full moon in October. This is considered a particularly auspicious time for Lao men who enter the monkhood through numerous ordination ceremonies.

Marking the start of the rainy season, the Candle Festival (24 July) is amongst the most beautiful celebrations in Thailand. Held across various cities in the northeast and north of Thailand, the festival showcases extravagant, intricately-carved candle sculptures at colourful, fun parades with music, dance and lots of other festivities.

Tenjin Matsuri (24 – 25 July) in Osaka claims to be the world's biggest boat festival. Highlights include a land procession formed of a parade of over 3,000 people dressed in the imperial-court style of the 8th-12th Centuries.

Many cultural events take place during Gion Matsuri, which is held annually in Japan throughout July, but the most popular is the grand procession of 32 floats that are paraded, some two-floors high and weighing up to 10 tons with a combination of music and performances taking place on them.

Daily performances and handicraft exhibitions celebrating Balinese arts and culture continue throughout July as part of the Bali Arts Festival.

International Events

The Grand Sumo Tournament (4 – 18 July) takes place in Nagoya, Japan.

Held every year since 1978, the Sumida River Fireworks Festival (27 July) is today one of the largest and most famous fireworks festivals of Tokyo. On top of traditional fireworks displays, a contest is held between new creative fireworks at Venue 1 to further enliven the event.

Traditional yet innovative, the Chinese Opera Festival kicks off in Hong Kong during July and sees celebrated artists captivate audiences through a compelling mix of opera genres, including the local Cantonese opera, which is part of UNESCO’s Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. The Hong Kong Summer Fun Festival also takes place this month and offers a dizzying array of happenings throughout the city.

The annual Indonesia International Mask Festival held in Solo, Central Java during July, showcases unique traditional mask dance performances from every corner of the world, including the iconic mask dances of Indonesia.

The Singapore Garden Festival gathers the world's top award-winning garden and floral designers under one roof. Landscape displays and award-winning plants will be showcased at the National Orchid Garden and other parts of the Singapore Botanic Gardens.