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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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