Wednesday, November 13, 2013

10 Festivals In Asia That Will Change Your Life (Part Two of Two)

Asia is a popular tourist destination for many reasons, including its mouthwatering food, beautiful sights, and remarkable infrastructure- but thousands of people flock to the countries of Asia each year for another reason as well- their festivals. 

Countries across Asia such as Japan, Korea, China, Thailand, India, and more are host to spectacular festivals and parades on an almost monthly basis. Every festival brings something fun and culturally significant to the table, but we have a handful of festivals that prove so unique and exciting, you'd have to be crazy to not add them to your to-do list. The first five, mentioned in our previous blog, include the Naadam Festival in Mongolia, the Full Moon Party in Thailand, the Lantern Festival in China, the Mud Festival in South Korea, and the Ice Festival in China. The next five are equally as remarkable as the first and might just have you pulling out your calendar to plan your next trip! 

6. Cherry Blossom Festival
Here at ONCEkids, we are huge fans of this festival, and it seems like many other people are too because it has made number 6 on our list of life-changing Asian festivals! In Japan, the cherry blossom has become a metaphor for the nature of life and is an extremely important aspect of their culture. So visiting one of Japan's parks during the Cherry Blossom Festival, which coincides with their blooming season, will not only let you take in the beauty of the tree and it's blossoms, but also connect you with Japanese culture and tradition. 

7. Diwali
Also known as the Festival of Lights, this event is one of the most beautiful and culture rich times in India. It will take your breath away to witness candles and lanterns being lit and released as far as the eye can see. This festival is not only extraordinarily aesthetically pleasing, but it also possesses a deep connection with Hindu culture. The lights and fireworks are used to represent the continuous triumph of good over evil.

8. Thaipusam
The next festival on the list is certainly not for the faint of heart! This event is much more for observing and learning rather than participating but remains equally life-changing! Like the Full Moon Party, this religious celebration takes place during a full moon in January, to celebrate the birth of Murugan, who defeated the evil demon Soorapadman. During this festival, tens of thousands of tourists gather at the Temple at Batu Caves to witness the ceremony. 

9. Holi
Many of the parades, holidays, and festivals in Asia have an underlying historical significance, and this holiday is no exception! The Holi Festival has ancient origins and, like Diwali, is purposed to represent the defeat of evil through good. On this day, it is tradition to hug one another, wishing them a 'Happy Holi'. Oh and did I mention to throw paint and colored powder at each other also? You heard me right! This festival is home to the Carnival of Colors, where there is singing, dancing, and chasing each other with dry powder and water guns filled with colored water. The Indian festival is sometimes referred to as the Festival of Love, because it encourages people to forgive and forget, to laugh and play, and to feel careless, something many of us do not always have time for in our day-to-day lives. 

10. Songkran
Instead of mud, the Thai New Year (known as Songkran), likes to use water! This last festival is so cool because it is literally one giant water fight. So get some old clothes and shoes on and get ready to get soaking wet then covered in flour! This new year's celebration really stood out to me for how unique it is and also because its all about just letting loose and having a ridiculous time, something we all should indulge in every once and a while! 

To learn more about the cultural and diversity taught at Fujimini Island, please click here.

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