Festivals

Festival dancers, India

“Let the colors of Holi spread the message of peace and happiness.”–Unknown


Festivals are a celebration of life and a traditional ritual handed down generations. In Asia festivals are spiritual, an outward event showing gratitude for a good harvest, devotion to their gods, Buddha’s birthday or an invocation for blessings. Filled with color, costume and music festivals are a great way to understand better a country’s beliefs and customs.

Sample Itineraries:

Naga New Year Myanmar (5 days)

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(Held annually January) Popularly known as the Land of Festivals because of the countless festivals that take place year round, Myanmar is still a country for discovering remote tribes. Festivals are closely intertwined with Buddhism centering around a spiritual focus of gratefulness and prayer for good over evil. Each January the Naga ethnic tribe’s New [...]

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Venice Carnival

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Experience one of the world’s most exciting celebrations in the world, Venice Carnival. This annual Italian festival ends with Lent, forty days before Easter on Shrove Tuesday or Fat Tuesday (Martedi Grasso), the day before Ash Wednesday. Masks have always been a key feature of this festival. Traditionally they were made in leather, porcelain or [...]

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Sacred Bhutan–Thimphu Tsechu Festival (9 days)

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Departure September Space is limited This pilgrimage is meant for those persons who seek inner solace through Buddhist values and philosophy. You will have the rare opportunity to visit all the important Buddhist temples and get blessings from important Lamas and Rinpoches. Be a part of the Thimphu Tsechu, one of the largest tsechus or [...]

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Secrets of Japan with Takayama Festival (15 days)

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(Departure October) Japan is a land of continual contradictions; from sky-scraping cities to rustic rural villages, cutting edge technologies to timeless traditions, this is a country rich in cultural anomalies and fascinating contrasts. Visitors to this island nation will recognize the bright lights and bustle of east coast mega-cities, but will marvel at the age-old [...]

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Nepal Cultural Photo Tour with Mani Lama

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Visit A Different Perspective for current photo tours led by Mani Lama Mani Lama shares his expertise on both Nepal’s diverse culture and photography on this escorted tour to Nepal. Even if you have visited before, these activities have been handcrafted so you become a part of Nepal. Meet Paubha painters & woodcarving artists. See [...]

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Hill Tribe Trek Northern Laos

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Departure: October – May This unique tour gives you the rare chance to trek the National Protected Area, Northern Laos. Never before have travelers been able to visit this hidden region with colorful tribes in their distinctive hand woven dress. Walk the real trails of the locals picking medicinal plants from the forest. Cruise on [...]

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Beats in India w/Bob Holman

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Departure January, upon request for groups 10 more Join Bob Holman on the road in India to discover the Beat poets’ path to satori, free poetry and life’s brim-fullest meaning. After meeting up at Columbia University in New York, many Beats migrated to San Francisco, finding a kind of group consciousness. From there, Allen Ginsberg [...]

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Black Necked Crane Festival w/ Bumthang(11 days)

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(Departure November) Colorful festivals are very much part of life in Bhutan and the festivities held to celebrate the annual return of the black-necked cranes to the Phobjikha Valley from their summer breeding grounds high on the Tibetan plateau are ones not to be missed. Held annually on November 12, this “welcome” festival for the [...]

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Takthok Festival (14 days)

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Departure July Kashmir is open once again to the world! This is the only tour you will find which combines visits to the Golden temple, Dharamshala, Dal Lake and Little Tibet. The four doors to get into the Harmandir Sahib or Golden Temple symbolize the openness of the Sikhs towards all people and religions and [...]

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Tiji Festival in Mustang (19 Days)

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Departure May Trekking Nepal’s most remote region of Mustang is a rare opportunity in itself. But the Tiji Festival is your only chance to be a part of a genuine celebration in this Lost Kingdom and is not to be missed. Walk through medieval villages with spectacular views of the Himalayas to Lo Manthang. See [...]

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Hornbill Festival Nagaland

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Celebrated from 1st till 7th of December every year in the village of Kisama, Hornbill Festival is an annual cultural extravaganza celebrated by the tribal people in the state of Nagaland. The festival is named after the hornbill, a respected bird that shows up in the folklore of most of the state’s tribes. Its goal [...]

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Tribal Gujarat w/Rann Utsav

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Departure December Annually The Rann Utsav is called “heaven on earth” because the full moon casts its light over the desert creating a white milky color over all the desert landscape enhancing a “heavenly feeling”. Add visits to the numerous indigenous tribes throughout Gujarat and you have a tribal adventure. See cultural dance, hear folk [...]

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JAZZMANDU (10 days)

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(Departure September, October – annually) The Only Jazz Extravaganza in the Himalayas! Music and art allows us to learn about other cultures through its people’s observations, beliefs and self- expression. By exploring the world of music and art you also discover mankind’s fascination with portraying life through various medias as diverse as life’s experience itself. [...]

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Phi Ta Khon Festival — Ghost Festival (4 days)

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Phi Ta Khon, also known as the Ghost Festival, is held in Dan Sai, a north central region of Thailand bordering on Laos. The events take place over three days and the actual date is chosen by the town’s mystics according to the lunar calendar. A spiritual Buddhist festival, Phi Ta Khon is taken from [...]

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Django Reinhardt Jazz Festival – Samois Sur Seine (9 days)

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We Do More Than Asia Django Reinhardt was a pioneering jazz guitarist and composer who invented an entirely new style of jazz guitar technique called ‘hot’ jazz guitar that has since become traditional music within the Belgian gypsy culture. The Festival de Jazz Django Reinhardt is a yearly event and is seen amongst the Gypsy [...]

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Celebrate Losar

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“Lha gyal Iho” (May the gods be victorious) is the New Year greeting you hear in the Tibetan and Sherpa communities in Nepal. New Year or Losar is celebrated on the first full moon of the first month according to a lunar solar calendar but falls between January – March according to our calendar. Celebrate [...]

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Festival of Elephants (12 days)

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North India during ‘festival’ takes on special meaning. Bursts of color, song, drums, trumpets, dance, elephants in regal garb, banners, fireworks, processions mark the season. Festivals of India portray a rich cultural heritage of the country and this tour is an example of these festivities at its finest. The Elephant Festival, held annually in Jaipur, [...]

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Discover India’s Book Fairs (8 days)

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Book Fairs held in Calcutta and Delhi each year are an unique experience for a lover of books. Calcutta’s annual book fair showcases the best of not just Indian publishers, but also booksellers, writers and bibliophiles from all corners of the globe. Visitors to the fair make their way in and out of the colorful stalls, [...]

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Discover Black Necked Crane Festival (9 days)

Festival dancers, Bhutan

(Departure November ) Colorful festivals are very much part of life in Bhutan and the festivities held to celebrate the annual return of the black-necked cranes to the Phobjikha Valley from their summer breeding grounds high on the Tibetan plateau are ones not to be missed. Held annually in November, this “welcome” festival for the [...]

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Korzok Gustor (13 days)

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(Departure June/July) Korzok Gustor is an adventure to Korzok, a small village bordering on Tibet and one of India’s highest permanent villages. During the summers, Changpas (nomads) camp at various places in their robos or small tents and look after their flock of sheep that produce the famous pashmina, one of the costliest varieties of [...]

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Esala Festival

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Journey through ancient Sri Lanka visitng the UNESCO World Heritage sites of Dambulla, Polonnaruwa, Anuradhapura, Sigirya and finally the hill town and capital, Kandy. During the Esala Festival, Kandy’s streets are alive with fire-dancers, masked-dancers and elephants adorned with lavish garments. Esala signifies the victories of the Hindu God Indra over the demon Vritra, who [...]

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Literary Festivals India

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(Held December/January annually) India’s literature festivals host some of the finest local and international writers and performers today and are considered important to the country not only to preserve this cultural heritage but to offer opportunities to young writers who aspire to be heard. You begin in Kolkata, exploring sites which have greatly influenced writers [...]

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Trans Mongolian Adventure w/ Naadam (17 days)

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(Departure June – September) Note: Departure with Naadam is in June/July Mongolia is a wild and rugged land with sweeping grassy plains and alpine mountains. Few tourists get the opportunity to travel to Mongolia, and even fewer can boast spending Naadam festival away from the Ulaan Baatar crowds. Start your adventure in Beijing to see [...]

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Not all of our tours are listed. Call us to discuss your travel plans 415-331-3791 We’re like you — curious when we hear about a culture or a place and crave to see it for ourselves. That’s what we do. We satisfy your curiosity through genuine cultural and environmental interactions. We arrange private and small [...]

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