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Top festivals and events in Asia this week – Feb 20-26

February 20, 2012 - Shalini Iyengar

FROM performance arts in Singapore to jungle racing in Vietnam, here is a round-up of the best festivals and events around Asia this week.

M1 Singapore Fringe Festival, February 15-26, Singapore
February is the month of relationships. And it’s not just about romantic love. Explore a different type of relationship – between Art and Faith. Special to the Festival this year are works, organized and curated by The Necessary Stage, that have never been shown in Singapore before, with eight works making their world premieres, and four works their Asian premieres. From dance and theatre to visual art, this year’s theme of Art and Faith revolves around ideas of transiency, mutability, and the provisional and ephemeral nature of beliefs and social norms. Check out Travel Wire Asia’s special coverage of the event here and here.

Sikkim Snow and Culture Festival, February 14-29, Sikkim, India
A celebration with a cause – the Sikkim Festival was organised with the aim of restoring the state’s tourism prospects after the devastating earthquake in September last year. With that in mind, the organisers have sought to present a broad range of activities ranging from adventure sports to music events and tours. With events organised in both high and low altitude areas the Festival will hopefully prove to be a success and give a much needed boost to Sikkim’s tourism-dependent economy.

Mawtinsun Pagoda Festival, February 22- March 7, Burma
The month of Tabaung sees the annual celebration of this festival in Pathein, a city dating back to the sixth century AD. With Burma (Myanmar) gradually opening up, this is a great opportunity to join pilgrims as they pay their respects at the Pagoda. Rather conveniently, Pathein is also conveniently located next to the lovely beaches of Chaung Tha and Ngwe Saung.

Phuket International Blues Rock Festival, February 23-26, Phuket, Thailand
The seventh edition of this music festival promises to live up to its predecessors – they have Chris Thomas King performing as the headliner. The festival is being held at Laguna Phuket, a luxury resort and artists from all around the world are set to be there with artists from Ireland, Australia, Canada, Malaysia and USA performing alongside Thai musicians. Even better, the festival is a charity event with money being donated to a children’s educational fund.

Deccan Festival, February 25-29, Hyderabad, India
Celebrating the Qutub Shahi era, the Deccan Festival 2012 is a five-day celebration of music, dance, art and food. With ghazals, qawalis and mushairas on the cards and accompanying fairs showcasing the pearls and food that Hyderabad is justly famous for, the Deccan festival provides a great opportunity to sample the best of Hyderabadi culture. The city is justly famous for its historic landmarks and the incredible Golconda fort so heading there seems to be a great opportunity to sample some of its many charms.

Madagui Trophy, February 25-26, Madagui, Vietnam
The Madagui Trophy looks like a fantastic opportunity to explore the depths of the Vietnamese forests with an organisation committed to being green in an event whose net proceeds will be donated to a WWF supported project. The race has four skill levels (including one for kids aged 6-12!) and involves teams racing in teams of two. With mountain biking, jungle running and down-river activities involved, the event looks like a wonderful way to discover some beautiful scenery and get some exercise while at it.

King Rama II Memorial Fair, February 25-26, Samut Songkhram Province, Thailand
Held in honour of King Rama II, the ‘Great Artist’ and a UNESCO World Heritage Person, the fair celebrates Thai cuisine, puppet shows, Khon performances and plants making for an eclectic range of activities over the three days.

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