George Town Heritage Celebrations, Penang
Join Penang-ites in commemorating George Town’s 10th anniversary of being listed as a Unesco World Heritage Site. This year’s theme, POTENTIAL – Of the Past, In the Present, For the Future, delves into the town’s rich heritage and celebrates its multi-faceted, multi-cultural practices. Interact with the locals at the community workshops, where you can learn how to play a game of Pachikala Ata or learn how to do a sashiko stitch for your handkerchief. Get a taste of Teochew Opera or the Loy Krathong Dance at the Street Festival, putting George Town’s multi-racial heritage on display for all to see.
Rainforest Fringe Festival, Kuching
6 to 15 July
Bringing together the arts culture in Sarawak, this festival aims to promote Sarawak’s vibrant and thriving cultural identity and traditions. The festival will open with SARAWAK: The Indigenous Showcase, with a repertoire that will showcase aboriginal Sarawak. Free your mind at Yoga in the Wild, or sit back at Rainforest Stories, a collection of films and documentaries that offer viewers a glimpse of Sarawakian culture. With multiple photo exhibitions on site, look out for Tattoos, National Geographic Society Fellow Chris Rainier’s photo exploration on tribal tattoos and their significance.
Dragon Boat Festival, China
8 to 10 July
A long-horned dragon – a symbol of power for the Miao ethnic people – is the fearsome figurehead for a crew of rowers during their annual dragon boat festival. Held on the 25th to 27th days of the fifth lunar month (8–10 July this year), the races take place on Qingshui River, seven hours from Chongqing. This festival commemorates the death of folk hero Guya, who killed an evil dragon. While dragon boat racing is now globally famous, the Miao version is unique, with elements such as a drummer and the standing position of the rowers, as well as their bamboo hats, blue trousers and purple jackets.
Singapore Food Festival, Singapore
13 to 29 July
Savour Singapore in Every Bite at the 25th instalment of the Singapore Food Festival. Packed with flavours that range from conservative to contemporary, strap up for a gastronomic journey through time. Check out STREAT, a two-day food fair featuring a joint pop up by Chef Emmanuel Stroobant and Chef Haikal Johari. The festival’s four pillars of Modernity, Culture, Art and Tradition will also see a range of events under the festival’s umbrella, from a 50-cent food fair to practising yoga with a beer in hand.
Cairns Indigenous Art Fair, Cairns
12 to 15 July
Explore art indigenous to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders of Cairns at the Cairns Indigenous Art Fair, an initiative to build sustainable and ethical arts industries in the region. The fair’s Bulmba-Barra fashion performance will feature 10 indigenous designers, showcasing a variety of wearable art inspired by the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures. Don’t miss the Continental Drift from Blak to Black, a dialogue between various South African and Queensland artists on the complexities of colonisation, featuring Australian artist Paul Bong and South African artist Mohau Modisakeng.
Njangattiri Aanayoottu, Pattambi (Kerala)
Elephants line the premises of the Njangattiri Bhagavathi Temple on this day, with a large feast prepared specially for them. The significance of this events lies in the belief that the Malayalam month of Karkkidakam is one of rejuvenation, and this courtesy is extended to elephants as well. Considered a sacred animal, many people line up to feed the elephant, as the act is believed to be auspicious.
Keeper’s Playground of Infinite Happiness, Singapore
27 July to 5 August
Showcasing over 100 Singaporean and Singapore-based designers, artists, chefs and more, the Keeper’s will keep you infinitely happy over a span of two weekends, with a different theme each weekend. The first weekend of 27 to 29 July will feature fashion retail and food, while the second weekend of 3 to 5 August spotlights Singapore-designed products and food. Whether it’s sampling Gula Melaka flavoured chocolate or taking a walk through artist Nicola Anthony’s installation series of word sculptures – titled Unexpected Happiness – you’ll find something for everyone here.
Bali Kites Festival, Bali
July to October
Once held as a festival to thank the heavens for the abundance of crops and harvest, the Bali Kites Festival has become grounds for competition and community. Taking place on different parts of the island across a span of four months, this festival brings together a large congregation of kite troupes, all piloting their traditional kites in one single area. These huge kites measure up to 10 metres in length and four metres in width, with impressively long tails. During the festival, the sky above Bali is filled with their majestic colours. The main Bali Kite Festival will take place on 3-5 July on Pandanggalak Beach in Sanur.
Makepung Buffalo Races, Bali
July to November
Like a grand prix but with buffaloes instead of cars, these races see buffaloes riding on traditional wooden ploughs handled by their jockeys, who modify the ploughs for racing. Teams will compete in heats that will lead up to the finals, the Jembrana Regent’s Cup and Governer’s Cup. These races are usually held early in the morning, and last up to five hours. Visit the Jembrana Government Tourist’s Office while you’re there to find out when the next race will be.