Festivals and events

Asia’s Top Christmas Celebrations

Where to join the Yuletide festivities in Goa, Hong Kong, Cebu and beyond

India

Church Events

Where: Goa

When: 25 Dec

With over 400 churches, Goa is India’s place to be during Christmas, with plenty of parties, Mass and music.

Kolkata Christmas Festival

Where: Kolkata

When: 22-30 Dec

The festival dominates Park Street with food stalls and carol singing. During Christmas and New Year’s Eve, the street turns into a pedestrianised zone, with Saint Paul’s Cathedral hosting a huge Midnight Mass.

Hong Kong

Where: Victoria Harbour

When: Dec

Skyscraper facades are covered in twinkling displays, while shopping malls are decked to extreme levels. A Christmas Market in Stanley is the place to go for last-minute gifts.

Singapore

Christmas Wonderland

Where: Singapore

When: 1-26 Dec

Christmas Wonderland at Gardens by the Bay offers the complete Yuletide experience (and more) with carnivals and a circus. This year you can even meet Santa himself at Santa’s Grotto.

Malaysia

i-city SnoWalk

Where: Selangor

When: year-round

This indoor winter wonderland is consistently at -5°C, with 100mm of snow underfoot wherever you tread. Ice sculptures and sleigh rides are part of the experience.

South Korea

Busan Christmas Tree Festival

Where: Busan

When: 2 Dec-7 Jan

This annual winter festival celebrates Christmas with concerts, a tree of wishes, street performances, mulled wine and photo contests.

Herb Island Lighting & Illumination Festival

Where: Poncheon

When: 1 Nov-31 Dec

Rent a Santa costume and roam around a pink wish tunnel, sparkling buildings and Santa Village, where you can participate in Christmas DIY workshops and enjoy a delicious turkey barbecue.

Taipei

Christmasland

Where: Banqiao

When: 24 Nov-1 Jan

The Banqiao area becomes Christmas central, with food, shopping and special activities such as treasure hunts.

Philippines

Giant Lantern Festival

Where: San Fernando

When: 15 Dec-1 Jan

Artists compete at the Giant Lantern Festival, showcasing the country’s signature star-shaped decorative lights.

Sinulog Festival

Where: Cebu

When: 20 Jan

Specifically honouring Baby Jesus, this festival is filled with traditional dance and feasts.

Japan

Caretta Shiodome Winter Illuminations

Where: Tokyo

When: 15 Nov-14 Feb

Head to Caretta Shiodome complex to see its impressive display consisting of 250,000 LED lights.

Munich Christmas Market

Where: Sapporo

When: 22 Nov-25 Dec

Decorations, mulled wine and German treats are set up at Odori Park, with concerts, workshops and a chance to meet Santa Claus.