The Ultimate List of East Asian Festivals for your Bucket List

Welcome to my list of the major festivals and holidays celebrated across Northeast Asia- Japan, North and South Korea, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau, and Mongolia. This will be a continuously updated list as I keep exploring new and interesting festivals that have evolved in the East Asian cultural sphere, also known as Sinosphere (including Vietnam) because they are all historically influenced by Chinese culture.*

Consider adding some of these to your bucket list and I’m sure you’ll never regret the effort to cover them all!

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NOTE: Celebrating some of these festivals usually requires physically being in the country. If travelling that far is impossible, see if you can get to your local Chinatown or East Asian neighborhood on the date of the festival.


Chinese New Year (Spring Festival 春节, Seollal in Korea, ) is celebrated across the world by Chinese diaspora. In 2014 it will be celebrated on January 31 and the final day occurring on February 15- see the Lantern Festival below. This is the most exciting festival I’ve ever experienced. It feels like American 4th of July but more dangerous! Get a more detailed overview on this amazing festival here.

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Chinese New Year 2013: A Retreat to the Mountains

Ben @ the peak of Hengshan

It’s New Year time in China once again and this time I’ve decided to do something a little different. For the Year of the Snake my girlfriend and I are spending 3 days in a quiet, snowy mountain town in Hunan province called “Heng Shan”. It’s one of the 5 “sacred mountains” of China, although this could just be a marketing ploy by the locals… Anyhow, it’s importance to Taoists and Buddhists goes back all the way to 25AD, so there must be something desirable up there! Continue reading Chinese New Year 2013: A Retreat to the Mountains

Understanding the World of Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year is definitely a global phenomenon, which allows me to add CNY to my ongoing series of “Understanding the World of…” articles! Since most Westerners living in towns with a population of at least a few thousand have a Chinese restaurant, I should be able to assume most readers have a passing knowledge of the Chinese Zodiac and the Lunar New Year. If you are pretty sure you know close to nothing about this ancient festival, then go ahead and read this entire post. Otherwise, feel free to skip to parts that interest you or could help you answer tough questions from friends about China. So, let’s get started! Continue reading Understanding the World of Chinese New Year

Ben’s Dragon Year 2012

The Chinese New Year 2012 holidays have finished but I’ve had a great time visiting friends in both Taiwanand Wuhan. (I’ve posted photos in my Photo Album on QQ.) I was told that Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangdong province ID holders are allowed to visit Taiwan without a tour group now. So, if you are from one of these places, take advantage of your new freedom soon!

And, by the way, Wuhan is hiding most of China’s beautiful women (and handsome men) from the rest of the country!  

 图片   图片 (Alishan, Taiwan)                                                          (Wuhan, Hubei)

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