So much in Asia depends on the calendar. In February in Beijing, more than 20 million people all set off fireworks to celebrate Chinese New Year. In Nagaland in India, tribes from all over the region meet to compete, dance, and celebrate. In Thailand, spectators look on as celebrants perform bizarre rituals at the Nine Emperor Gods Festival.
With an intimate and unique knowledge of Asian culture, Remote Lands knows the importance of experiencing culture the right way. Whether you want an up-close view of the Sing-Sing festival in the Asaro Valley of Papua New Guinea or a quiet walk through the Sapporo Snow Festival in Japan, Remote Lands can give travelers the best possible experience on their celebrations throughout Asia.
Sri Lanka

Elephant Gathering

August-September annually

An incredible spectacle happens every year during the end of August and start of September when around 300 elephant all converge on the banks of the Minneriya Lake, in the north of Sri Lanka. The phenomenon, known as ‘the Gathering’ is one of the highest concentrations of these Asian Elephants to be found anywhere in the world.

Location Minneriya Lake, Sri Lanka

Esala Perahera


One of Sri Lanka’s most spectacular and colorful festivals is Esala Perahera, a 10-day event in the central city of Kandy. Held to commemorate an ancient Buddhist tooth relic, this festival features processions through the streets, dancing, and music. It all ends with a peculiar ‘water cutting’ session (with swords) in the river.

Location Kandy, Sri Lanka

Vel Festival


Vel Festival sees the ceremonial chariot of the God of War, Skanda, pulled between two of Colombo’s major Hindu temples. Over two to three days, body painting and colorful outfits can be seen alongside painful displays of religious devotion, where participants dangle themselves by piercing their skin on their backs with metal hooks.

Location Colombo, Sri Lanka

Kataragama Festival


This important Hindu festival takes place in the pretty pilgrimage town of Kataragama in the south of the island. On the day/night of the full moon in July (somtimes in August), devotees subject themselves to various ritual torture techniques in a bid to appease their deities. It’s not for the faint-hearted, but certainly an unforgettable spectacle.

Location Kataragama, Sri Lanka

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