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Kataragama is a venerated religious site which is frequented by many Sri Lankans of all ethnicities. It also happens to be one of the 16 places on the island visited by the Lord Buddha. History The Kataragama deity is believed to have lived in the jungles near the Menik River with his two wives. King Dutugamunu is said to have visited the deity to fulfil a vow he made to him after defeating his rival. He was told to build a shrine on the location where a golden arrow shot by the Kataragama deity landed, hence, the location of the temple as seen today. The Festival The Kataragama festival commences 10 days prior to the full moon which falls on July and ends with a …

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Celebrated during the auspicious month of April, the New Year Festival is a very important national holiday for both Sinhalese Buddhists and Tamil Hindus in Sri Lanka. Who celebrates it The solor festival is celebrated by both the Sinhala Buddhist and Tamil Hindu Communities. What it’s About Unlike western celebration where the New Year is celebrated at midnight on 31st of December, the Sinhala and Tamil New Year is determined by astrological signs and is celebrated when the sun moves from the House of Pisces to the House of Aries. Traditional Customs and Rituals The rituals and customs followed by the Sinhala Buddhist community are similar to those observed by the Tamil Hindus. A variety of rituals such lighting the fire in the hearth, preparing …

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Thailand is renowned for its culture, and there’s so much to experience where that is concerned. One of the best, and most famous, festivals that happen in Thailand is Songkran. What is Songkran? Songkran is derived from the ancient Sanskrit word, Sankranti, and is a reference to the traditional New Year that is celebrated in South Asian countries such as Cambodia, Myanmar and Vietnam. So it’s an International Thing? The traditional New Year is celebrated in many ways throughout the world, in nations such as Sri Lanka, for example, it’s the ‘Sinhalese New Year’, in Myanmar it’s called ‘Thingyan’. Only Laos and Thailand refer to the occasion as Songkran. Songkran in Thailand Since Songkran is associated with purification and washing away of bad luck and …

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Thailand’s Songkran celebrations have become famous throughout the world, especially since the nation breaks into a massive water fight with people of all ages taking part in the festivities. Songkran This is the name for the traditional New Year that is celebrated in many countries across South Asia, which includes Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, and Cambodia. The Festivities Songkran is associated with purity and the washing away of past misdeeds, which is where the water aspect comes in. Many would visit temples, pour water on Buddhist statues, as well as loved ones are common practices. The Water Fights The ‘water festival’ is mostly celebrated by young people, and entire streets tend to get closed off to cater to this massive celebration that has become world-renowned, …

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Malaysia is one of the most colourful nations in the world where culture is concerned, and the nation is at it’s most beautiful around the time of the traditional new year, known as Songkran. What is Songkran? Songkran is the traditional new year that is celebrated through most of Asia, including Vietnam, Thailand, Laos, North-East India, Sri Lanka, and parts of China. This period commences when the sun moves through the Aries constellation. Penang This state is situated towards the northwestern coast of the Malaysian Peninsular and consists of parts. It’s one of the best places to be during this time because of two particular festivals. Penang International Food Festival The food culture of this state is quite famous, and this is why the Penang …

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Celebrated with much pomp and pageantry, the Chinese New Year is an important cultural event that takes place not just in China, but in cities around the world which are home to a Chinese community such as Bangkok. Chinese New Year in Bangkok The Chinese New Year is celebrated by various communities in Bangkok and most of these celebrations take place in and around Chinatown. The festivities truly commence with Dragon Parades which are significantly longer than what most have seen before. Chinatown in Bangkok Bangkok’s Chinatown, the enclave of people from China in Bangkok, is a major tourist attraction in this city for it is known to be one of the oldest areas. As a result of its history, prices of land in the …

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