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Ellyana Navarro

on 17 January 2016

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Hakata Dontaku Matsuri (Fukuoka)
held on the 3rd and the 4th of May in Fukuoka City. People dance and parade through the streets with wooden
which is a utensil used for serving rice. It is also called
Hakata Dontaku Port Festival
because there are lots of events held around the Hakata Port.
Tanabata Matsuri (Sendai, Miyagi)
takes place from the 6th to the 8th of August in Sendai City, Miyagi. It is a festival based on the
Chinese legend about two stars, Altair and Vega.
You will find thousands of huge colourful paper decorations hanging in the streets.
Kochi Yosakoi Matsuri (Kochi)
began in 1954 after local people created the
Yosakoi Naruko Dance
. The dance is based on their old folk song, called
“Yosakoi Bushi.”
People dance passionately with the uptempo music, carrying clappers called
which make a click-clack sound. It takes place during the middle of August.
Tenjin Matsuri (Osaka)
a festival supported by the
Tenmangu Shrine
in Osaka, and is held on the 24th and the 25th of July. The highlights are on the second day with both a
land procession
a river procession
. At the river procession, the illuminated boats reflect off the river the fireworks go off in the sky.
Kishiwada Danjiri Matsuri (Kishiwada, Osaka)
takes place in Kishiwada City, Osaka, during the middle of September.
Danjiri are wooden floats, many of which are heavier than 3000 kg.
The Kishiwada Danjiri Matsuri is one of the
most thrilling festivals
in Japan. People pull their huge floats at breakneck speeds, with the team leaders hopping and dancing on top of the floats.
Nebuta Matsuri (Aomori)
takes place from the 2nd to the 7th of August in Aomori City.

are lantern floats which depict human figures and are accompanied by thousands of chanting dancers.
The parade starts at sunset and continues for hours.
Yuki Matsuri, Snow Festival (Sapporo)
takes place in February. The origin of this festival was
six snow statues built by local high school students
in 1950, and now it has become an international contest of gigantic snow sculptures.
Kanda Matsuri (Tokyo)
Awa Odori (Tokushima)
are traditional festive occasions.
Some festivals have their roots in
festivals centuries ago, but have undergone great changes as they mixed with local customs.
is the Japanese word for a
festival or holiday
. In Japan, festivals are usually sponsored by a local shrine or temple, though they can be secular.
Almost every local has at least one matsuri in late summer/early autumn, usually related to the
rice harvest

Favorite elements of the most popular matsuri, such as the
Nada no Kenka Matsuri of Himeji or the Neputa Matsuri of Hirosaki
, are often broadcast on television for the entire nation to enjoy.

Gion Matsuri (Kyoto)
a one of the most famous festivals in Japan. It takes place during the entire month of July, but the highlight is the grand procession of floats called
“Yamaboko Junko”
on the 17th and 24th. It takes place on the Kawaramachi and Oike Streets.
This is the
largest traditional dance festival
in Japan. Men, women and children dance on almost all of the streets in Tokushima City, from the 12th to the 15th of August. They wear summer cotton kimono and straw hats. More than a million people get together for this festival, and it is a spectacular sight. You can even join them to dance with the rhythmic music!
one of the most famous festivals in Tokyo and is a
festival for the Kanda Myojin Shrine
. The main action happens during the middle of May. The portable shrines, called
, are accompanied by about a thousand people, and after they leave the Kanda Myojin Shrine in the morning, the parade continues through the Kanda district, Nihonbashi and Akihabara and returns to the shrine in the evening.
Characterized by diverse styles and themes, traditional Chinese festivals are an important part of the country's history and culture, both ancient and modern. A close relationship exists between many of the traditional festivals and chronology, mathematics, the
Chinese Calendar and the twenty-four solar terms
. Many of the customs connected with the traditional festivals have links with religious devotions, superstitions and myths.

Almost every festival has its own unique origins and customs which reflect the traditional practices and morality of the whole Chinese nation and its people.
Chinese New Year
also called
Spring Festival
, has more than 4,000 years of history. It is the
and the
most important
annual event for Chinese people.

Pasting scrolls, the character 'Fu', and paper-cuts pictures, setting-off firecrackers and fireworks, paying New Year visits, and eating jiaozi are its customs.
Lantern Festival
The Lantern Festival of 2016 falls on February 22. There is no holiday for this traditional festival.

The first significant feast after Spring Festival, so called because the most important activity during the night of the event is
watching various wonderful Chinese lanterns.
And because every household eats yuanxiao (a rice ball stuffed with different fillings) on that day, it is called
Yuan Xiao Festival.
For its rich and colorful activities, it is regarded as the most recreational among all the Chinese festivals and a day for appreciating the bright full moon, and family reunion.
Qingming Festival
also known as
Pure Brightness Festival or Tomb-sweeping Day
, which falls on either April 4th or 5th of the gregorian calendar, is one of the
Chinese Twenty-four Solar Terms
. From that date temperatures begin to rise and rainfall increases, indicating that it is the crucial time for plowing and sowing in the spring. The festival therefore has a close relationship with
. However, it is not only a seasonal symbol; it is also a day of paying respect to the dead, a spring outing, and other activities.
Dragon Boat Festival
Falling on the 5th day of the 5th month according to Chinese lunar calendar, the Dragon Boat Festival is
one of great significance
. It has been held annually for more than 2,000 years and is notable for its educational influence. The festival commemorates the
patriotic poet Qu Yuan
(340-278 BC), and also acts as a chance for Chinese people to build their bodies and dispel diseases. Many legends circulate around the festival but the most popular is the
legend of Qu Yuan
Double Seventh Festival
Falling on the seventh day of seventh lunar month, the Double Seventh Festival in China is what
Valentine's Day to the western countries
. As it is a day of great importance to girls, the event is also called
Young Girls' Festival
. Because of the beautiful legend about
Niu Lang and Zhi Nu
, the festival has been endowed with the meaning of great romance.

Mid-Autumn Festival
Falling on the 15th day of the 8th month according to the Chinese lunar calendar, the Mid-Autumn Festival is the
second grandest festival
after the Spring Festival in China. It takes its name from the fact that it is always celebrated in the middle of the autumn season. The day is also known as the
Moon Festival
, as at that time of the year the moon is at its roundest and brightest. Appreciating and offering sacrifice to the moonlight and eating moon cakes are the customs.
Chongyang Festival
Held on the 9th day of the 9th lunar month, Chongyang Festival is also called
Double Ninth Festival
. In Chinese, nine is regarded as the number of
(which means masculine as opposed to Yin which is feminine). The ninth day of the ninth month is the day that has two Yang numbers, and '
' in Chinese means double which is how the name Chongyang was created. It is a day for people to eat Chongyang cake, drink chrysanthemum wine, climb mountains, and pay homage to chrysanthemums.
Winter Solstice
Winter Solstice (also
Winter Festival
), one of the 24 Solar Terms, is a traditional Chinese festival. It usually falls on December 21st, 22nd or 23rd instead of on a fixed day. On that day, the northern hemisphere has the
shortest daytime and longest nighttime
. After that, areas in this hemisphere have longer days and shorter nights.

During the Spring and Autumn Period (770 – 476 BC), Chinese people identified the day with an ancient tool named an Earth Sundial. Throughout Chinese ancient times, it played an important part as an influential festival, as the proverb goes “Winter Solstice is as important as Spring Festival”.
Laba Festival
Falling on the eighth day of the 12th lunar month, Laba Festival was originally an occasion for people to give sacrifices to their ancestors, and to pray to heaven and earth for a good harvest and good luck for the family. Many years later, it has become a
Laba Congee eating event
- a porridge that contains different types of rice, beans, dried nuts, bean curd, and meat.

NOrth korean FESTIVALS
There are only two major festivals in North Korea, both of which visitors are allowed to attend; the Spring Dragon Boat Festival and the Mass Games May through October. Other celebrations and North Korea holidays are held to mark the birthdays of the Great Leader Kim il Sung and the Dear Leader Kim Jung-il.
Kim Il Sung Birthday Celebration
May Day
International Workers’ Day is celebrated in North Korea, as it is elsewhere in world, on May 1, with Pyongyang seeing a huge folk festival in Toesongsan Park along with sporting events and parades.
Dragon Boat Festival
Dragon boat races are as popular in North Korea as they are in China, with the annual Dragon Boat Festival taking place at the beginning of spring in early June. A visit to the major event in Pyongyang is an approved tour activity.
Victory Day
This important festival on July 27 marks the day on which the Korean War armistice was signed, and involves mass dancing and military parades.
Liberation Day
Liberation Day is a national holiday in North Korea, held on August 15 as part of the huge Mass Games festival in Pyongyang’s main stadium.
Workers’ Party of Korea Foundation Day
This event celebrates the founding of North Korea’s Workers’ Party, a cornerstone of the country’s ruling elite. Held on October 10, it is a chance to see one of the country’s Mass Dances as well as the last days of the famed Ariring Mass Games in Pyongyang.
The celebration of the life of North Korea’s founding father, Kim il Sung, is held every year on April 15. The capital, Pyongyang, sees military parades and parties, while smaller events take place across the country.
South korean FESTIVALS
Until the mid-20th century, Korea was primarily an
agricultural society
, and the seasonal rhythms of daily life were organized by the lunar calendar. As a society where farming was hugely important for the subsistence of its members, it developed a great variety of semi-religious events where prayers were offered for a good harvest and abundant food, and which gradually developed into communal celebrations and festivals.
Lunar New Year
which is generally regarded as the
most important of all the traditional seasonal festivals
, is celebrated with a special festival food called
.Eating it signified becoming one year older (this means that a child born on the 29th of the twelfth lunar month becomes two years old only two days later). The festival is also related with the ceremony of performing the
(New Year’s Bow) before the elders of one’s family and neighborhood. After Sebae, the elders present New Year’s gift money to their juniors.
The Day the Buddha Came (aka Buddha's Birthday
During what is sometimes referred to as the "Festival of Lanterns," every temple in the country gets lit up like a Christmas tree in celebration of the birth of the Enlightened One.
Baekje Cultural Festival (Buyeo or Gongju)
Every October, this historical event celebrates the great Baekje kings with over 100 traditional performances and events throughout the area.

Held on the muddy beaches of Daecheon every July, this is basically organized mud play. Not only is it a great photo op, but you also get a beneficial skin treatment while rolling around in the mud. The dirty activities include mud wrestling, mud slides, and making mud soap. Mud pies are optional.
Pusan International Film Festival
The largest and most renowned of Korea's film festivals, it is a wonderful showcase for current films from throughout Asia. Usually held sometime in October.
Andong Mask Dance Festival (Andong, Gyeongsangnam-do)
Although the highlight of the festival is the Korean talchum (mask dance), performers from other countries show off their masked splendor, as well.
Celebrating the traditional "Dano" (the fifth day of the fifth month of the Lunar year), it is one of the few places you can see traditional shamanistic rituals. It usually happens sometime in June.
It can be difficult keeping track of the top Hong Kong festivals and events, there is such a wide range of exciting happenings and top notch events throughout the year, it seems there is always something going on, Hong Kong has become the
events mecca of Asia
Hong Kong Chinese New Year Celebrations
celebrated on the first moon of the Lunar Calendar, which normally falls in January or February, and is also known as the
Lunar New Year or the Spring Festival.
The festivities continue for the next fifteen days culminating in the Lantern Festival with the first full moon of the year. That's right, this is a massive 15-day party, where lots of red and gold abound and the happy noises of drums, gongs and firecrackers explode in every corner. Dancing lions and parading dragons make their ways on the streets, friends and family come together to share in the joy of the New Year.
Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival
also known as the Tueng Ng Festival, is one of the favourites amongst the revelry of Chinese Festivals celebrated in the territory. Taking place on the 5th day of the 5th Lunar month, normally in May or June in our calendar, this event goes as far back as the 3rd century and is most well-known for its energetic and colorful dragon boat races, where teams of paddlers race the long narrow boats accompanied by the beat of the drum down to the finish line.
Mid-Autumn Festival Lantern Carnivals
take place in many parts of the territory and run for a few days before and after the festival proper which is celebrated on the 8th Full Moon in the Lunar Calendar, usually around September/October in the Western calendar. Together with the Tai Hang Fire Dragon Dance celebrations, they are the centerpieces of the festivities of the Mid-Autumn festival or Moon festival as it is also known. The Lantern Carnivals, besides showcasing an incredible variety of colorful, bright shiny lanterns, feature also many cultural events and performances including song and dances, kung fu, acrobatics, craft demonstrations and the like.
National Day
Hong Kong celebrates National Day every year on October 1st. It marks the founding of the People's Republic of China on October 1st, 1949 and is celebrated throughout Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau. The festivities include a host of activities such as Flag Raising Ceremonies and Parades, but the main showstealer is without a doubt the magnificent fireworks display in Victoria Harbour.
Hong Kong Halloween celebrations
used to be that a handful were joining in the spooky atmosphere in some way or another, whether it was just some decoration or pumpkin here and there or dressing up for the occasion, whereas others did not even know what Halloween was about. In the last couple of years though, it is just as common to see the pumpkins and spiderwebs during this period as it is the red lanterns and firecrackers during Chinese New Year... the demons and vampires have quickly caught up in the territory and Halloween is here to stay.
Hong Kong WinterFest
The series of events sponsored by the Hong Kong Tourism Board which kick-off in early December and run up until the New Year's Countdown on January 1st. One of the highlights is the centerpiece in Central's Statue Square, which becomes the season's icon. Theme and commercial sponsors vary from year to year, so it's always a very much anticipated surprise of what the current season will bring.
Taiwan Festivals are Chinese New Year, Lantern Festival, Tomb Sweeping Day, Dragon Boat Festival, Ghost Festival, Mid-Autumn Festival, and Double Ninth Day which are festivals similar to China.
With a 400-year history blending inhabitation of Chinese, Portuguese and other western cultures, Macau has all sorts of festivals and holidays. Traditional Chinese festivals, local folk and religious feasts and great international events and activities entertain travelers all year long. Although once a Portuguese colony, Chinese people dominate the popular of Macau -- up to 95%, among which most are from Guangdong and Fujian provinces with their prevailing traditions and folk customs. As a result, celebration of Chinese traditional festivals form an important part of Macau's festive feast.
Chinese Lunar New Year (Spring Festival)
The traditional Chinese Lunar New Year (Spring Festival) is the greatest celebration in Macau. It is a New-Year welcoming and family gathering time when people get together for a grand family feast. Local people like going out to buy beautiful flowers to decorate houses-- considered to bring good luck to a family. Devout prayers bless a good future and fortunes in A-Ma Temple or Kun Iam Temple.
Dragon Boat Festival
(Double Fifth Festival) is another important Chinese festival. The annual Macau International Dragon Boat Races are very popular in Southeast Asia. The exciting boat races attract crowds from all over the region.
A-Ma Festival
A-Ma Festival on the day of 23rd of March is dedicated to the goddess, A-Ma, said to be a legendary heroine who saved Macau people from storms. People pay homage to the goddess in A-Ma Temple on the day.
Macau Open Golf Tournament and FIVB World Grand Prix and Macau International Marathon
are three world-known events which attract thousands of crowds to the city.
A variety of colorful tourist events such as Macau Int'l Music Festival, Arts Festival and the International Fireworks Display Contest are held by local tourist organizations and companies as well.
Boryeong Mud Festival (Daecheon, Chungcheongnam-do)
Gangneung Danoje Festival (Gangneung, Gangwon-do)
take place throughout the year and are mostly celebrations of Mongolian Culture. Panoramic Journeys can design a bespoke tour to Mongolia incorporating any of these festivals, alternatively we have designed several small group tours timed to coincide with the festivals, reflecting our own personal highlights of Mongolia

Held over 2 days at Lake Khovsgol. In winter the lake freezes over, with ice around 1.5m thick, and forms the venue for the Ice Festival’s events, including ice skating races, ice sumo, tug-o-war, ice rally-driving, and horse sled races. Temperatures below -20°c are common, dropping to up to -40°c at night, so a warm Mongolian deel (coat) comes in handy!
Officially billed as the "Thousand Camel Festival", this annual celebration in the heart of the Gobi is organised by a local organization whose remit is to protect and preserve the Bactrian camel population, which has been steadily declining over the past twelve years. Visitors of the Camel Festival get the chance to interact with and learn about these intriguing animals and the camel herders' nomadic way of life. The festival begins with a colourful parade - which visitors can join in on camelback - before competitions including camel races and camel polo.
Tsagaan Tsar
The festival of the lunar New Year, Tsagaan Sar or ‘White Month’ marks the passing of winter and arrival of spring. The exact date is dependent upon the Mongolian lunar calendar.
is Kazakh New Year and celebrates the coming of spring. This Kazakh feast on the Spring equinox includes dancing and singing with traditional Kazakh games.
the biggest event of the Mongolian year! Naadam, which means "games", is celebrated in every town and village across the country. It features the three manly sports: wrestling, archery and horse racing. The strongest wrestlers, fastest horses and expert marksmen come together to compete for the National title.
Horse Festival / Gobi Naadam
Horse racing, wrestling and archery against the back drop of the Khonghorin Els Sand dunes.
The Eagle Festival is held during the first weekend in October, run by the Mongolian Eagle Hunter's Association. It showcases the lives and livelihoods of many of the nomadic people of Mongolia's westernmost province Bayan Olgii. Dressed in full eagle hunting regalia and mounted on groomed decorated horses, the entrants compete for the awards of Best Turned Out Eagle and Owner; Best Eagle at Hunting Prey and Best Eagle at Locating Its Owner from a Distance. Other sporting activities include horse racing, archery and the highly entertaining Bushkashi - goatskin tug of war on horseback.
Nomads Day Festival
An insight into the Nomadic lifestyle with horse demonstrations and participation encouraged! Followed by a mini Naadam festival.
Navarro. Jimenez. Lesmoras. Buñag. Pinguel. Salvador. Melorin. Lacar. Ong.
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