Keep on March-ing on
After the multiple cultural celebrations in January and February, March hosts a few couple of exciting activities that just makes the first two months a prelude to the year! Of course, there are also a handful of laidback things that you can look forward to this month, so fret not – here are the best things to do in Asia for the month of March!
1. iLight Marina Bay
Started in 2010, ILight Marina Bay has been the #1 Instagrammable place to be in March. Featuring 20 different interactive light installations from various countries that include the adorable Art-Zoo Inflatable Park, one of Singapore’s most touristy spot will turn into an illuminated wonderland that will be a thrill for both the young and old! Some of these works include those from local artists as well, so be sure to look out for them!
2. Singapore Festival Of Fun
Like its name, the Singapore Festival of Fun aims to be the all-rounded festival that provides nothing but fun for people of all ages. Consisting of three segments and taking place of the span of nine days, this festival will feature carnivals, performancers, street acts and more, including appearances from Nickelodeon characters, local comedians and world-famous performers like Australia’s Bruce Airhead!
3. Rang De Holi
With live performances, loud music and a whole lot of colours, Rang De Holi is a Hindu spring festival that is all about hope, joy and togetherness. Probably the biggest colour festival in Singapore, Rang De Holi will be taking place over the span of two days at Sentosa! So gather your friends for a colourful day of fun!
4. Garden beats festival
For the ones who missed out February’s Laneway Festival, the Garden Beats Festival might just cure your #FOMO woes. Held at Fort Canning, this music festival will feature well-known DJs like Alle Farben and Jan Blomqvist, as well as local DJs like Brendon P, Haan and more.
Best part? Unlike any other festival, Garden Beats Festival allows you to bring your own food, or even have your own picnic within the festival grounds!
5. Fashion Steps Out @ Orchard
Featuring the largest runway in Singapore, Fashion Steps Out takes place in the heart of Orchard Road and showcases works from local and international brands that include those from Uniqlo, Sean & Sheila, FOX and more. Fashion Steps Out will take place over the course of 8 weeks and will also include shopping promotions and possible product launches from Samsung!
6. Pattaya Music Festival
This year will officially be the 15th year of the Pattaya Music Festival and to heat things up, it’s going to feature international acts on top of various local acts! Held by the beach and referred to as Thailand’s biggest beach-music festival, the Pattaya Music Festival is expected to welcome thousands of people in a concert showcasing music genres that will delight every music lover!
7. National Elephant Day
Everyone who’s heard of Thailand would know for sure that elephants are significant to the people in this country. So much so that they decided to have a day dedicated to this friendly giants. Buffets, parades and celebrations are held around Thailand on this day, and spectators can witness dressed up elephants performing tricks and playing games. Not to worry, these elephants are far from being mistreated!
8. National Muay Thai Day
Thailand’s Muay Thai Day is significantly held in Ayuthayya, home of the legendary Muay Thai boxer: Nai Khanom Tom. During this week-long festival, several Muay Thai stadiums and and training camps will host shows and events commemorating the sport. Additionally, spectators will also place garlands on the statue of Nai Khanom Tom, which sits in Ayuthayya itself!
9. Red Cross Fair
Held in Bangkok, Thailand’s Red Cross Fair will feature over 200 booths that range from games and retail shops selling apparel and food. There will also be kid-friendly rides, making it an all-rounded fun fair. Additionally, contests such as Healthiest Child, Healthiest Senior and the Mr and Mrs Cross Youth Ambassador serves as highlights of the event, so be sure to look out for that! Fair-goers can also have their go at donating blood or register to become organ donors at the event as well!
10. Thailand International Balloon Festival
Taking place in Chiang Mai, the International Balloon Festival will feature dozens of hot air balloons from 14 different countries taking part in competition flights and at the same time, offering a breathtaking view for spectators. Apart from concerts and F&B vendors, guests can also look forward to possible hot air balloon rides!
11. Girls Day
Girls Day, or Hina Matsuri, is a traditional festival taking place throughout Japan annually on 3 March. Guests can witness Japanese families performing rituals in hopes that their daughters grow up happy, successful and healthy. The highlight of this festival would have to be the Doll Floating ceremony, a ritual consisting of boats filled with paper dolls that is believed to ward off bad luck!
12. Saint Patrick’s Parade
Started in 1992, the Saint Patrick’s Parade is easily the biggest Irish event held in Japan, with the biggest one in Tokyo, and many smaller parades in the rest of Japan. Expect a whole ton of dancing, food, music and more at this joyous event spanning across a Tokyo’s 3-lane avenue, Omotesando.
Additionally, what is Saint Patrick’s Day without beer? Be sure to check out the famous Matcha flavoured beer sold at the Green Tea Restaurant 1899 Ochanomizu before they run out!
13. Marshmallow Day
Like its name, the Marshmallow Day in Japan consists of guys gifting girls with boxes of marshmallows coming in all shapes, sizes and colours, alongside other forms of gifts. Celebrated in 1978, this festival, also known as White Day, actually serves as a contrast to the world famous Valentine’s Day, that consists of girls gifting guys with chocolates and presents!
14. Honen Matsuri
Truly a festival in which you need to see to believe, the Honen Matsuri is just another one of a kind festival that only Japan can come up with. Although it is reported that Japan has one of the lowest birth rates in the world, that didn’t stop the country from having an actual fertility festival! Held in Nagoya, this festival celebrates prosperity and fertility, and is definitely a must-see when you’re in Japan!
Japan is effortlessly known as the best place in the world to view cherry blossoms and seeing how there are so many cherry trees blooming throughout Japan this season, we can see why! There are several viewing spots located in Japan and it’s recommended that you head there early to secure a good spot before it gets too crowded! Don’t forget to bring along your camera!
16. Lighting Festival
The Lighting Festival is held at the Garden Of Morning Calm in Gyeonggi, Seoul and is the biggest light festival to take place in South Korea. Guests can look forward to a mesmerizing display of over 30,000 illuminated lights that fill out the gardens, creating a beautiful sight that has of course attracted various photographers here.
Do note that the lights may be turned off during inclement weather!
17. Jeju Flower Festival
South Korea boasts plenty of different flower festivals that go on throughout the year and if there’s one that ranks high in the list, it would have to be the Jeju Flower Festival. Also known as Jeju Apricot Flower Festival and Jeju Cherry Blossom Festival, this festival takes place during the Hanami season and aside from gorgeous views of the pink blooms, it hosts a myriad of festivities that include concerts, contests and even a fashion show!
18. Jeju Fire Festival
Also known as the Jeongwol Daeboreum Field-Burning Festival, the Jeju Fire Festival is one of the biggest and definitely a must-see festival in Jeju and is actually an aged old tradition that has been going on since 1997. Guests can witness fire rituals, performances and even fireworks in this fun-filled event that is so popular, it is listed as one of the recommended festivals by the South Korean Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism!
19. Uljin Snow Crab Festival
Uljin is located in North Gyeongsang and houses some of the world’s best crabs – the Snow Crabs. In fact, they have a whole festival dedicated to these yummy delicacy! In this festival, guests can prepare their stomachs for an array of fresh seafood caught or even take part in Snow Crab eating contests and fishing competitions!
South Korea definitely does not fall short in its cherry blossom viewing spots as compared to its very neighbour, Japan. With the many festivals going on around the country, you’re guaranteed to be enchanted by the beautiful colours everywhere you turn.
One of the biggest cherry blossom festivals in South Korea would have to be the Yeouido Cherry Blossom Festival in Seoul. Taking place just by the Han River, the gorgeous blooms of the trees will make a stroll along the country’s most romantic spot about a million times more romantic!
21. Hong Kong Arts Festival
The Hong Kong Arts Festival started in 1973 and takes place annually right after Chinese New Year. Hosting a whole bunch of cultural performances from all over the world, this festival is also the home to many debut musicals that has been replayed in Hong Kong as well as the overseas. This year, guests can expect over 100 performances that include those of Shakespeare and Cantonese opera and theatre!
22. Tai Kok Tsui Temple Fair
The TaI Kok Tsui Temple Fair is a full day event dedicated to the God of the Sea, or Hung Shing. It is believed that the temple was built in worship him after the people thought that he passed away too early. Every year, this annual festival consists of grand parades, that include the appearances of big lanterns, dragon dances, acrobatics as well as musical and cultural performances.
The highlight of the event would have to be the 500-feet Luminous Night Dragon that appears after the sunset, serving as a perfect way to end the night!
23. Hong Kong Street Art Festival
Street arts have and always will be the best way to light up the city, and that’s what the Hong Kong Street Art Festival is all about. Aside from providing great backgrounds for photos, this festival showcases some of the best works from local artists with the use of eco-friendly and non-toxic materials. Also, this festival, that has been going on for three years, is a top favourite for film makers as well so if you’re lucky, you might catch a few movie filmings going on!
24. Asian Contemporary Art Show
Held twice a year, the Asian Contemporary Art Show showcases works from some of Asia’s prominent artists. This Spring, the theme centres around works that are “aimed at initiating dialogue about art and connecting artists with collectors acres Asia and the world”, so guests can expect over 3000 works spread over 80 galleries. From paintings, to photographs and sculptures, this festival is truly a place for the art lovers!
25. ALTN8 Music Festival
Aiming to be Asia’s first multi-venue music festival is ALTN8, that is hosting over 40 international and local acts at 8 different venues in one day! That’s right, with just one ticket, guests have entry to all 8 different venues that feature known acts that include DJ Pierre, Stephan Bodzin, GotSome and more! Early bird tickets are already sold out, so be sure to get your hands on the cheaper tickets before they run out as well!
26. Spring Wave Music and Art Festival
Held in Taipei, the Spring Wave Music and Art Festival will feature Taiwanese singers as well as international acts. With history of attracting more than 20,000 festival goers, this year’s festival aims to be the biggest yet! Interestingly, this festival had its first pit stop outside of Taiwan in Singapore in 2013! Get your tickets quick for one of Taiwan’s biggest music concerts here before they run out!
27. Mazu International Festival
The Mazu International Festival is an annual religious festival taking place in Taichung and features over 5 million participants and is held over a nine-day period, all this to commemorate the birthday of Mazu, also known as the Goddess of the Sea and also Taiwan’s most popular deity! The festival consists of a nine-day hike covering 280 km, and visiting 60 temples along the way.
Although this festival takes place across the cities, it is said that Taichung is the best place to experience the event! Guests can expect martial arts and cultural performances as well as fireworks!
28. Azalea Festival
The Azalea festival is the one festival that truly marks the beginning of Spring in Taiwan and the best place to witness this festival would have to be at the National Taiwan University in Taipei. What started from a plantation plan from one of its professors quickly became a national festival, and this year marks Azalea Festival’s 20th year!
These gorgeous blooms that line up the pathways of the university has attracted students, photographers or simply Instagrammers from around the country to this festival!
29. Calla Lily Festival
Zhuzihu is a small town in Taiwan that is beautifully overwhelmed with white Calla lilies every Spring. With fields after fields blooming over 2 million lilies, it’s no wonder this festival is a must-see when you’re in Taiwan during the Spring season! With such a setting, you can expect a bunch of busy visitors that are scurrying to get the best blooms! Yes, you can take some of these lilies home!
Taiwan isn’t missing out on some cherry blossom loving as well! Head to the country’s biggest cherry blossom festival held in Alishan, or more specifically, Zhaoping Park, where more than 19,000 beautiful cherry trees await you! Do note that this place has become so increasingly popular during this season that pre-booking of tour tickets is highly recommended. So be sure to book your tickets early!