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Autumn Celebrations In Asia

By HarryMonday 09th October 2017

When you think of Autumn, the first thing you think of is change. The trees turn from emerald green to rich ambers and ruby reds, and our wardrobes get a revamp too. With all this change in the air, have you ever thought about changing your surroundings? We have uncovered the best autumn celebrations around in Asia for you to experience.

Japan’s Celebration of Koyo

In springtime, Japan is famous for the blooming pink cherry blossoms, but did you know they had an autumn equivalent? Koyo means colourful leaves, and the Japanese have been celebrating the changing of the leaves in autumn for centuries. The season starts in mid-September in the northern part of the country, before heading down to the southern parts in around 50 days. The celebration of autumn foliage dates as far back as the 8th century, when it was written about in the ancient poems in the Man'yōshū collection. Often the celebrations will take place in the large parks in the cities, or some will drive out into the countryside to see the beautiful foliage spread out for miles and miles.

Vietnam’s Tết Trung Thu (Children's Festival)

There are many autumn celebrations in Asia. In Vietnam, they celebrate children in mid-autumn, with a huge festival and parade. This is an ancient celebration, which originated from the Vietnamese belief that children have a special connection to the sacred and natural world due to their innocence and purity. Like with many ancient festivals, Tết Trung Thu comes from a folktale. According to the tale, Cuội’s wife urinated on a banyan tree, making it float to the moon. In his panic, Cuội tried to grab the tree, and pull it back to earth, but instead held on too long and floated to the moon with it. He still sits up on the moon, watching over the earth. To show Cuội the way back home, the children parade the streets with lanterns. An important part of the celebrations is a lion dance, which is performed at the beginning, and during the celebrations. A little like the more commonly known dragon dance (but with only two dancers), performers wear a lion costume and mimic a lion’s movements.

Thailand’s Yi Peng Festival

For those who want to appreciate the beautiful things in life, you need to celebrate the Yi Peng Festival in Thailand. The night sky is lit up with thousands of golden paper lanterns, floating through the air. Locals also make lanterns that float down the river, and decorate their homes and store fronts with the beautiful lights. The celebrations occur on the full moon of the 12th lunar month, which is often November. They celebrate at this time because they believe it is when the rivers are fullest, and the glow of the moon is brightest. This makes it the perfect time to wish for good fortune, and set your lantern free into the night.
Have you been inspired to travel to Asia and take part in the autumn celebrations? Discover our destinations and see how you can have an extraordinary adventure.

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