11 things you may not know about Asian festivals

  • Asia spans a huge variety of countries, cultures and religions. Learn more about everything from the Lunar New Year celebrated across the region and India’s Diwali to the myths and legends behind lesser known festivals.
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1. What is Holi?

Holi is the Hindu festival of colours, which celebrates the triumph of good over evil, and involves people throwing dye powder over one another. Learn more

People really let down their hair for this holiday. Um, Holi-day. Photo: EPA-EFE

2. What is Mid-Autumn Festival all about?

Chinese legends, lanterns, and mooncake mountains in Hong Kong explained. Learn more

Colourful lanterns are a hallmark of the annual Mid-Autumn Festival. Photo: Sam Tsang

3. What is Ramadan?

Observed by Muslims around the world, this is a time of fasting, prayer, reflection and community. Learn more

Ramadan is a joyous time for Muslims.

4. What is the myth behind the Dragon Boat Festival?

The festival pays tribute to a much admired poet who made the ultimate sacrifice after a massacre in his homeland. Learn more

Participants compete during The Dragon Boat Festival in Aberdeen last year.

5. What is the Dragon Boat Festival?

The annual festival celebrates the life and death of Qu Yan, a famous Chinese poet. Learn more

The team gives the practice their all, even when it means getting soaked

6. What is the Cheung Chau Bun Festival?

An annual Taoist celebration held on the small Hong Kong island of Cheung Chau. Learn more

Some climbers get in a little practice before the event.

7. What is Navroz?

Navroz, or Nowruz, is the Persian New Year. Learn more

8. What is Diwali?

The festival of lights; a major festival celebrated in India and around the world by Hindus, Jains and Sikhs. Learn more

9. What is Rosh Hashanah?

This holiday is the holiest day in the Jewish calendar. Learn more

These items are important symbols for Rosh Hashanah

10. What is Hanukkah?

The Jewish Festival of Lights celebrates the rededication of a temple during the Maccabean Revolt. Learn more

The holiday celebrates miracles – and food!

11. What is dragon boating?

A traditional Chinese sport which is practised during the summer Dragon Boat Festival, and which is now a competitive global sport. Learn more

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