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Bracing myself I stepped off the curb stone and directly into the path of hundreds of speeding Honda Hero motorbikes. I had no intention of causing harm to myself but having stood waiting patiently for the best part of five minutes I realised I wasn’t going to get to the other side of the road any time soon.
The Loy Krathong Festival is celebrated in Thailand every November. It is a 13th century Sukothai tradition, and involves seeking forgiveness for past sins to the Goddess of water.
When the full moon appears in the night sky, it is time for the locals of Bagan to celebrate the Shwezigon Pagoda Festival. This normally falls in October or November each year, within the Tazaungmone month of the Burmese calendar. The Shwezigon pagoda was built by two great kings from the Bagan Dynasty, and dates back to the 10th century.
A real gem in Cambodia is the magnificent remains of the Khmer Empire’s capitals. Dating back to the 9th century, Angkor is an important archaeological site of South East Asia. Influenced by the Indian subcontinent, Khmer architecture evolved with its own unique style, thus creating a new dimension of oriental art and architecture.
The deserted city of Hampi hosts an annual festival every November, which runs for three days. The festival, known as Vijaya Utsav, is a great cultural experience celebrating the reign of Vijayanagar when Hampi was the capital of his Empire.
A huge bang erupted a few streets away from where I was standing. I jumped in shock, and my instinct was to duck down close to the ground. Everyone around me was going about their business, with beaming smiles on their faces, their teeth glinting in the dark. My heart was thumping fast.
Picture this. You’re tired and the heat is beginning to prickle your skin, in the way you imagine a porcupine attack would feel. Your clothes are clinging to you and it’s been decided they’re your worst enemy right now. Feeling heavy like paperweights, your eyelids want to close. Your feet are burning from the steps you have made in the preceding hours. The surrounding sounds and colours of India become a blur, distorting reality like the view through shaped glass.
Ghosts and sticky rice sound like a very strange combination; something we would dream up whilst restlessly turning in bed, the sheets twisting with us. In Cambodia, however, there is an annual festival which embraces this combination by giving offerings to the dead.
Candles flicker and play with shadows over smiling faces. Drums provide a rhythm to life and join the heartbeat of every single being. Excited chatter ripples through the air. Apart from the stars, peppering the heavens like confetti frozen in time, the sky is dark…but not for much longer.
The brightest full moon of the year in Northern India can mean only one thing – it’s time for Jodhpur Riff. The Rajasthani Folk Festival features concerts and events around the majestic Mehrangarh Fort, and offers a great cultural experience. The not-for-profit project is led by Jaipur Virasat Foundation and Mehrangarh Museum Trust, in an occasion which celebrates and helps preserve Rajasthani traditions.