KEEP yourself busy with this array of festivals and events happening around Asia this week.
International Buddhist Film Festival 2012 Hong Kong, March 16 – May 12
Already under way, this feast of Buddhist films is continuing in Hong Kong until May 12. Films feature happiness, redemption, forgiveness, personal transformation and other themes along the ideals of Buddhist philosophy.
More than a dozen films will be showcased over the month from countries all around Asia.
Lady Gaga – The Born This Way Ball hits Hong Kong, May 2, 3, 5 & 7
Lady Gaga’s epic show will take Hong Kong by storm for four nights this week at the AsiaWorld Expo Arena in Hong Kong. Huge crows have been enjoying her Asian sojourn with enormous crowds attending the Friday 27 April concert in Seoul, South Korea.
The mammoth 110-date tour will also include Japan, Taiwan, Philippines, Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, New Zealand, Australia and 21 European dates. Lady Gaga’s tour is just one of many great live music acts coming to Asia this year.
If you’ve always wanted to see a 42,000-year-old baby woolly mammoth head on down to the IFC Mall in Hong Kong. The relic, right out of the Ice Age, will be on display at the shopping centre around the corner from the Apple Store.
The baby is two feet tall and was found in 2007 in Siberia. The exhibition runs until May 10.
Waisak, Yogyakarta, Indonesia, May 6
This sacred festival commemorates the birth of Buddha and this year is held on May 6. While it is celebrated across Java the biggest events are held at Borobodur in Yogyakarta where offerings such as fruit and flowers are made and candles are lit each night. Processions are also held throughout the city.
If you’ve missed the cherry blossoms around the rest of the country, then head to the northern island of Hokkaido where they bloom a little later than other more tropical centres.
Places to go include Asahiyama Park in Asahikawa City where around 2000 trees are in bloom from early to mid May. Locals will be flocking there too and will help add to the festive atmosphere with stalls, picnics and much merriment taking place. Alternatively Hakodate Park and Goryokaku Park in Hakodate City will also be liberally bathed in the pink flowers as well.