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July 2021

Gion Matsuri (Shinto) – Kyoto

July 1 - July 31
Gion Kyoto Japan

One of the most famous festivals in Japan, Gion Matsuri takes place during the entire month of July, in the traditional “geisha district” of Gion, Kyoto. This celebration of the Yasaka Shrine grand procession of floats on the 17th and 24th July, which parade along the Kawaramachi and Oike Streets.

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Full Moon of Waso

July 23
All Myanmar Myanmar

Full Moon of Waso falls in July marking the start of Buddhist Lent and for Buddhist clergy across Myanmar it is the beginning of their three-month retreat into monastic life. On the morning of the first day of Full Moon of Waso, people gather robes, food and other essentials and they offer donations to the Sangha.

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Boun Khao Phansa

July 24
All Laos Lao People's Democratic Republic

Early in the morning of the first day of Boun Khao Phansa (Buddhist Lent), local people gather food - rice, bananas and necessities such as soap and toothpaste, and then they take the donations to the temples where they listen to Buddhist teachings and receive blessings. In the evening, monks and their novices carry flowers and candles around the central temple three times. It can be a very calming and peaceful experience to join the Lao people in temples on…

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August 2021

Nebuta Matsuri – Aomori

August 2 - August 7
Aomori Japan

The Nebuta Matsuri features daily parades of handmade festival floats, decorated with huge lanterns depicting everything from mythical stories to popular TV characters. The floats take up to a year to make and are accompanied by large taiko drums, musicians and dancers.

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Awa Odori – Tokushima

August 12 - August 15
Tokushima Japan

This traditional dance festival in Japan sees men, women and children dance on the streets in Tokushima City, between the 12th to the 15th of August, wearing summer cotton kimono and straw hats. More than a million people visit Tokushima during this time and you’re more than welcome to join in!

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Kandy Esala Poya Perahera – Kandy

August 14 - August 24
Kandy Sri Lanka

Esala Poya is a celebration of the arrival of the Buddha Tooth Relic at the famous Temple of the Tooth in the Sri Lankan city of Kandy. The perahera processions takes place all around the island, but the biggest celebrations are in Kandy, where dancers, musicians, elephants and more can be seen all throughout the week, culminating in the biggest procession on the last night of the festival.

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October 2021

Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda Festival

October 6 - October 23
Inle Lake Myanmar

Phaung Daw U Pagoda is the most famous pagoda at Inle Lake. During the Burmese month of Thadingyut, usually between September and October, the festival celebrating this pagoda is held, with festivities lasting up to 20 days. A large boat with a bird motif is built and statues of the Buddha are paraded around the lake, moving from village to village. The high point of the festival is when the deities arrive at the main town of Nyaung Shwe, where…

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Durga Puja

October 11 - October 15
All India India

Durga Puja festival is one of the most important festivals in the region and there are lively processions carrying idols of the Goddess Durga through the streets and down to the river. Durga Puja, major festival of Hinduism, traditionally held for 10 days in the month of Ashvina (September–October), the seventh month of the Hindu calendar, and particularly celebrated in Bengal, Assam, and other eastern Indian states. Durga Puja celebrates the victory of the goddess Durga over the demon king…

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November 2021

Deepavali (Diwali)

November 4
All India India

Every October/November the streets of India erupt with colour and sound as Deepavali, the Festival of Lights, is celebrated. Deepavali or Diwali, honours Lakshmi, the Goddess of Wealth, and during this festival people decorate their homes with lamps, known as diyas, and other decorations, to welcome Lakshmi in. The festival celebrates the triumph of good over evil and light over dark. You’ll see celebratory fireworks all over the country (it is believed that the loud bangs and the bright lights…

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Pushkar Camel Fair

November 11 - November 19
Pushkar Rajasthan, India

The Pushkar Camel Fair, known as Pushkar ka Mela, is a cultural festival/fair held in Pushkar, Rajasthan. The festival sees around 50,000 camels, goats and other livestock brought here for trading and to participate in races. It's accompanied by music and dance performances, cricket matches and a longest moustache competition, fittingly called the Mr. Desert Competition. There are also hundreds of authentic stalls selling jewellery, textiles and other items from the surrounding areas. Visiting the festival of Pushkar Camel Fair…

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Loy Krathong

November 19
All Thailand Thailand

Loy Krathong (roughly translated as "to float a basket") is one of Thailand’s most magical festivals and takes place on the night of the twelfth lunar month (usually in November), at the end of the rainy season when the full moon lights up the sky. The festival celebrates the tradition of making krathong: decorated baskets, which are then floated on a river. If you’re lucky enough to be in Thailand during this special time, you can expect to see thousands of krathongs…

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December 2021

Winter Solstice (Dongzhi) Festival

December 22
Dongzhi China

In the Western calendar, the Winter Solstice falls on December 21 or December 22 when the night is longest and the day is shortest in the northern hemisphere. The Dongzhi festival is a traditional holiday still celebrated by some that has a long history and certain customs.

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