11 JULY 2015, MONGOLIA
Naadam – translated as ‘the Manly Games’ – is a three-day ritual conducted across Mongolia that sees men dressed in traditional costumes engaging in the ancient arts of horse riding, archery and wrestling to pay homage to mountain gods.
Singapore Grand Prix
18 SEPTEMBER, SINGAPORE
Grand Prix weekend in Singapore is more than a fleet of formula one cars roaring around the Marina Bay Street Circuit. This September long weekend is packed with concerts – Pharrell Williams, Maroon 5 and Spandau Ballet are 2015’s big acts – and rooftop parties.
9 AUGUST, SINGAPORE
Singapore’s National Day is always reason to revel but the festivities are set to be epic in 2015 when the Lion City marks 50 years since gaining independence from Malaysia, with parades, fireworks, and street parties.
Busan International Film Festival
1 OCTOBER, KOREA
The Busan International Film Festival will celebrate its 20th anniversary in 2015 – BIFF is considered to be Asia’s most significant movie event – showing 312 films from 79 countries in 2014 – with the southern city scheduling a swag of premieres in a 4000-seat outdoor theatre built for the annual 10-day exhibition.
3 NOVEMBER, JAPAN
The first Culture Day was in 1948, to coincide with the creation of Japan’s post-war constitution, and now art exhibitions and street parades are scheduled to promote traditional endeavours.
New Year’s Eve
31 DECEMBER, VIETNAM
Celebrate New Year in Saigon, southern Vietnam’s biggest city, and witness an awesome spectacle with thousands of motorbike-riding locals descending on the city centre and doing endless circuits of the streets to form a sea of headlights and a wave of traffic so thick it’s almost impossible to cross the road.
Harbin Ice & Snow Sculpture Festival
5 JANUARY 2016, CHINA
The Harbin Ice & Snow Sculpture Festival kicks off with an opening ceremony packed with fireworks and theatrical performances before the destination becomes home to a temporary city of intricate ice carvings illuminated by colourful lights after dark.
14 FEBRUARY, JAPAN
The Japanese adopted a unique approach to celebrating St Valentine’s special day, with women shunning tradition to give men chocolates. The country’s department stores create elaborate displays leading up to the romantic occasion.
24 MARCH, HONG KONG
The international arts spotlight falls on Hong Kong in March when Art Basel – a three-day exhibition of modern and contemporary art – happens alongside the renowned Hong Kong Arts Festival and new Art Central event.
Great Wall Marathon
21 MAY, CHINA
Athletes keen to complete one of the world’s unique marathons can tackle three distances – a 42-kilometre circuit, 21-kilometre half course, and 8.5-kilometre fun run – with the challenging route climbing steep sections of the world’s longest wall as it winds across mountainous terrain near Beijing.
The Great Singapore Shopping Sale
The Great Singapore Shopping Sale happens every year during May, June and July, with stores around the city and suburbs – from the shopping centres on Orchard Road to indie boutiques on Haji Lane – slashing prices by up to 70 per cent. It's the best time of the year to bag a bargain from both Singaporean and international brands but be prepared for crowds.
13 APRIL, THAILAND
The new year is celebrated in Thailand during the annual Songkran Festival with locals playfully soaking each other – and any unwary tourists who cross their path – with water for three days to wash away the past and prepare for fresh experiences.