Diverse Cultural Festivals in Singapore – Celebrating Multi-Ethnic Traditions

Consisting of various ethnic communities, Singapore is a true cultural melting pot; due to this, there are various festivals held in the city that are well worth experiencing.

Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year is celebrated by Chinese communities across the world and Singapore is no different. Usually, in January or February, this event sees areas like Chinatown come alive with festivities. Easy to reach from a hotel in Farrer Park, this locale is where one can streets lit up as well as dragon and lion dances.

Thai Pongal

Thai Pongal

Thai Pongal| Img via Wikimedia Commons

A festival observed by Hindu devotees generally in January, Thai Pongal is popular in Southern India. Singapore has a strong Indian community too in the area known as Little India near Park Hotel Farrer Park; here, one can join in the fun, explore streets lined with stalls, watch cultural performances and visit the Sri Senpaga Vinayagar Temple.

Hari Raya Puasa

Observed by Muslims, Hari Raya Puasa is when the month of fasting or Ramadan comes to an end. Normally in May or June, this day is one where devotees head to the mosque, visit family and light oil lamps. A part of this festival is the amazing food which can be sampled at places like the Geylang Serai Bazaar.

Vesak Day

An important time for Buddhists the world over including in Singapore, Vesak Day is generally in May and marks Gautama Buddha’s birth, enlightenment and death. It’s a time for self-reflection, meditation at temples and doing good works to earn merit; on this day, you can view the tradition of “bathing” infant Buddha statues and candle processions.



Fascinating Chinese Festivals Worth Experiencing – Unique Cultural Discoveries

China has a rich heritage with captivating cultural traditions that are linked with festivals throughout the year. Here are such events that are well worth witnessing on your holidays.

Chinese New Year Festival

The Chinese New Year Festival is the nation’s most important festival and goes back over 4,000 years. Be it in Beijing, Shanghai or Xi An, China hotels provide guests with an ideal chance to enjoy the festivities. These usually include red lantern decorations, food-filled gatherings, lion and dragon dances and fireworks.

Chinese Lantern Festival

The Chinese Lantern Festival or Yuan Xiao Festival is held on the 15th day following the Chinese New Year. All manner of lanterns are on display, some set afloat on waterways and others released in the air. The Xian City Wall near Grand Park Xian is a key spot to witness such colourful lanterns.

Qingming Festival

Referred to as Tomb Sweeping Day, the Qingming Festival falls on 4th or 5th April. During this festival, people visit the tombs of their ancestors to sweep them and offer sacrifices; it is also a popular time for spring outings amidst spring blossoms, kite flying and enjoying traditional food like peach blossom porridge.

Mid-Autumn Festival

Mid-Autumn Festival

Mid-Autumn Festival| Img by: Shizhao via Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 2.5

Another well-known cultural event, the Mid-Autumn Festival is a time for family reunions. In the Chinese lunar calendar, the 15th day of the eighth month is when this festival is held; on this day, people will share family meals, enjoy viewing the full moon, light paper lanterns and savour yummy mooncakes.



The Poson Festival in Sri Lanka – The Arrival of Buddhism

Poson Full Moon Poya Day celebrates the arrival of Buddhism to Sri Lanka. It is a day that is celebrated with light and colour and neighbourly harmony, a very special occasion second only to the Vesak Festival for Buddhists ihttps://www.flickr.com/photos/lakpura/15369289710n Sri Lanka.


Poson Festival| Img by: Amila Tennakoon via FlickrCC BY 2.0

Observing Poson with the locals

There are many sites of significance to Buddhists all over Sri Lanka, each more wonderous and full of stories as the next. If you stay in the Fortress Resort and Spa, you will only be less than half an hour away from the Japan Peace Pagoda which is a Buddhist temple with breath-taking ocean views.

Peace Pagoda

The Japanese Peace Pagoda, Unawatuna is one of the eighty as of the year 2000, peace pagodas built under the guidance of Nichidatsu Fujii a Japanese Buddhist monk after his meeting with Mahatma Gandhi inspired him to pursue non-violence and harmony. The pagoda has a sweeping 360-degree deck for a grand view and is within easy reach from all Galle hotels.

The Story of Poson

It was in the 3rd century BC that King Devanampiyatissa was hunting in the royal park and came across a brilliant human figure on the rocky outcrop above him. It was Mahinda, the bringer of Buddhism to Sri Lanka. It is this momentous occasion that is celebrated as the Poson Festival.
The king went on to build many monuments in the kingdom of Anuradhapura in the name of Buddhism including the planting of the Sri Maha Bodhi.

Ancient Temple and Artwork

About 15 minutes’ drive from the Galle town is the Yatagala Raja Maha Viharaya which is a temple that was built during the monarchy in Sri Lanka. It is a simple and peaceful location with beautiful ancient artwork in the cave temple and an ancient Bo tree.



A true believer that the pen is a mighty weapon, Joanna James ventures into reaching the minds of every reader with the earnest hope of leaving an indelible stream of thought. Her interests include Politics, law and Philosophy. Google+

Bluefest, Byron Bay – Experience One of Australia’s Biggest Music Festivals

The Byron Bay Bluesfest is considered one of the biggest music festivals in the world, and attracts hundreds of thousands of people every year from all over the world.


The Byron Bay Bluesfest was founded by Kevin Oxford in 1990 and started off with a notable but fairly humble crowd of six thousand attendees.

Enter Peter Noble

Peter Noble took ownership and control of the festival in 1994, and immediately worked his magic into building up the scale of the event. He received a Medal of the Order of Australia for his services to music, tourism and the community.


All of the recent Bluesfests have attracted annual audiences of over 101,000 people from all over the world. The attendees also have a wide age-gap, ranging from children to elderly people. Many celebrities also regularly attend the event, such as Matt Damon, Chris Hemsworth and Jason Momoa. It’s definitely one of the best child friendly festivals.


There’s a wide range of bands and musicians who take the stage, from legendary veterans such as Jethro Tull and Santana, to modern marvels like Mary J Blige, and famous newcomers like the Zac Brown Band and The Strumbellas. A journey to this festival is a great idea to have one of the best vacations with kids, and you’ll find it regularly on blogs such as The Family Travel Blog.

The Chinese New Year in Bangkok – Celebrating New Beginnings

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 area are considered to be some of the highest in Bangkok. Chinatown is a riot of colours, scents and sights with a myriad of street-side stalls, restaurants and shops selling an array of items ranging from food to gold.

Where to Enjoy the New Year

If you are visiting Bangkok during the Chinese New Year these celebrations should not be missed.Visitors can look forward to seeing during this time include dragon dancers, lavish banquets, parades, acrobatics, the lighting of firecrackers & fireworks and the decorating of streets and shops. If you are looking for a Siam hotel in Bangkok which offers easy access to Bangkok’s Chinatown, consider staying at Anantara Siam Bangkok Hotel.

A true believer that the pen is a mighty weapon, Joanna James ventures into reaching the minds of every reader with the earnest hope of leaving an indelible stream of thought. Her interests include Politics, law and Philosophy. Google+

Tips for a Successful International Conference – Planning Your Event Just Right

While planning an international conference is no easy task, there are certain aspects one can be mindful of and which will help ensure the event goes as smoothly as possible. Do remember to keep these points in mind!


When it comes to an international conference, it’s key to pick the right destination. This could be in your home country, or for easier access for international delegates, you may have to choose another country that can be conveniently accessed by road, rail or air.


Once the destination is selected you need to find the right venue for your event. It should be able to host the expected number of guests and ideally have easy access to onsite or nearby accommodation. If you are looking for such a convention centre Bali has to offer, venues such as Bali International Convention Centre are amongst the available options.


Setting a proper agenda is key not only for the flow of the conference but also to ensure its effectiveness. Make sure to group topics being spoken on in a way that naturally or logically connect with each other. Having breaks and sessions for discussion and networking are also important parts of an agenda that should be considered.


Do remember no matter how well you plan and carry out the conference, a hungry guest is an unhappy guest! Ensure that the event is well catered for not only in terms of main meals but in between snacks and drinks too.

A true believer that the pen is a mighty weapon, Joanna James ventures into reaching the minds of every reader with the earnest hope of leaving an indelible stream of thought. Her interests include Politics, law and Philosophy. Google+

Traditional Bali Food Fight – Get Set, Ready, Rice!

Tipat War is one of the most popular, traditional food fights in Bali. This is an annual event hosted in the village of Kapal.

When is it

This is a joyful event held in the fourth month of the Balinese calendar, which usually falls on September and October. Accommodation for participants are available in any Seminyak resort in Bali . Visitors may pick budget or luxury hotels based on their convenience, options include Anantara Seminyak Bali Resort.

What is it?

This is an event when the village’s throw rice cakes at each other to celebrate the rice harvest every year. This is in fact considered one of the biggest traditional food fights in the world.

How it starts

The local men in the village would gather to the village temple to pay homage to the gods for a bountiful harvest. After the prayers everyone will collect to the temple courtyard for the first rice cake fight.

Tipat war

The first fight is a mild warmup for the main event. Participants would divide into two groups and start throwing Tipat at each other. Tipat is a cooked rice wrapped in coconut leaves. The actual war usually take place in the village streets.

A true believer that the pen is a mighty weapon, Joanna James ventures into reaching the minds of every reader with the earnest hope of leaving an indelible stream of thought. Her interests include Politics, law and Philosophy. Google+

The Phuket Vegetarian Festival

Celebrating the Cruel-Free Lifestyle

If you agree with the great Einstein that “nothing will benefit health and increase the chances for survival of life on earth as the evolution to a vegetarian diet”, then the Phuket Vegetarian Festival is perfect for you!

What’s it About?

Just as the name suggests, the Phuket Vegetarian Festival is all about celebrating vegetarianism. It originates from the belief of the Chinese community that abstaining from meat and other stimulants in the time of the 9th lunar month in the Chinese calendar, gives good health and peace of mind.

When is it?

The event takes place from the 20th to the 28th of October at some of Phuket’s major shrines like Put Jaw, Bang Niew, Jui Tui, Kathu, and Cherng Talay Shrine. There are many Phuket luxury hotels the likes of Anantara Layan Phuket Resort who’ll be able to arrange excursions to these locations for you.

Not For the Faint Hearted

If you faint at the sight of cuts and bruises, then you might wanna stay at the hotel. Why? Because in the processions held at the Phuket Vegetarian Festival, many participants perform daring and gruesome acts such as body piercing and fire walking. You’ll see some men and women puncturing their cheeks with skewers and knives in the belief that doing so they will be protected by Chinese gods.

Feast on Delicious, Cruelty-Free Food

A vegetarian festival needs to have vegetarian food right? The Phuket Vegetarian Festival has so much delicious and cruelty-free food for you try out made from soybean and protein substitutes. When you visit the shrines, keep an eye out for yellow flags with red Thai or Chinese characters to find the food stalls.

A true believer that the pen is a mighty weapon, Joanna James ventures into reaching the minds of every reader with the earnest hope of leaving an indelible stream of thought. Her interests include Politics, law and Philosophy.


All About Bali Vegan Festival – For the Love of Earth!

Vegans and Vegans to be – head over to the Bali Vegan Festival, where you can enjoy the life of a vegan while celebrating the environment, the earth and animals.

Vegans unite!

The festival aims to bring together entertainers, environmentalists, healers and yoga teachers, vegan chefs and lifestyle advisers from around the world.

Celebrate good times

C’mon! The Bali Vegan Festival is a celebration of mother earth. It will celebrate everything that cruelty free and spread awareness for having compassion and love to the earth and its animals.


The festival is set to commence from the 6th of October and last till 8th October 2017. The festival starts at 8 am. Come here early if you want to get the best view of the performances and taste the delectable vegan dishes.


The festival will take place at Paradiso Ubud, which is located off Jalan Hanoman in Ubud near the Earth Café and Market. Paradiso hosts musical concerts, themed festivals, workshops, art exhibitions etc. There are plenty of family friendly activities too, to get everyone involved.


If you want to be a part of this festival, there are a number of Bali resorts to choose from, especially at properties such as Anantara Uluwatu Bali Resort.

A true believer that the pen is a mighty weapon, Joanna James ventures into reaching the minds of every reader with the earnest hope of leaving an indelible stream of thought. Her interests include Politics, law and Philosophy. Google+

Arcade Independence Square – A Colourful Past, A Cosmopolitan Present

Arcade Independance Square

Arcade Independance Square,Nazly Ahmed, (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Amongst the many landmarks often visited by locals and tourists alike, the famous shopping precinct, Arcade Independence Square has a history that is quite intriguing.

A Building with an interesting history

The Arcade Independence Square is housed in the former Jawatte Lunatic Asylum along with several other buildings renovated as a part of the Independence Square Redevelopment Programme undertaken by the government at the time.

As the years went by…

The Jawatta Lunatic Asylum was built under the guidance of the then British Governor, Sir William Gregory in order to replace the existing asylum in Borella. The building consisted of two wings accommodating around 400 patients. Later the occupancy of the building was taken over by several government institutions including the Sri Lankan Broadcasting Corporation and the Auditor General’s Department.

Getting to Arcade Independence Square

The arcade is located in the heart of Colombo. Found a few minutes away from ongoing projects such as Capitol TwinPeaks that targets many looking for a luxury apartment in Colombo, the Arcade is a hard-to-miss landmark.

What to look forward to when at the Arcade

Take a stroll along the carefully manicured shrubs and step inside the time capsule that is the Arcade building. The wooden floors and the enormous staircase guarantee to take you back in time to the colonial times. The arcade features several boutiques such as Charles and Keith and Tommy Hilfiger, a theatre and many popular places to dine in.


A true believer that the pen is a mighty weapon, Joanna James ventures into reaching the minds of every reader with the earnest hope of leaving an indelible stream of thought. Her interests include Politics, law and Philosophy. Google+