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!

bucketlistAndroid Users
Bucket List app
i wish appiOS Users
iWish app

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.

Continue reading The Ultimate List of East Asian Festivals for your Bucket List

Macau 2011: Legend of the Dragon Boat Races

Dragon Boat Drummer
An Intense Drummer

Where the Dragons Sleep
Dragons are often thought of as mystical creatures which guard castles and evildoers in western fables, but this is a far cry from the historical presence of dragons in Chinese folklore. Here, dragons are powerful and auspicious (lucky) creatures which have command over sources of water. They are the symbol of countless emperors and appear on dynastic flags throughout thousands of years of history. In modern times, the Chinese people more frequently consider themselves the descendants of dragons, which is a tribute to their appreciation of the mythical creature. And if you can imagine these descendants riding on the back of long, scaled, immortal creatures barreling through the rivers and open seas, then you are ready to be a spectator of one of China’s oldest traditional festivals: “Dragon Boat Festival ” or Duānwǔ Jié [端午节]. Continue reading Macau 2011: Legend of the Dragon Boat Races