Today is ...

23 May

There are no public holidays or days of significance in Asia on this day.

Past Days...

22 May

Buddha’s Birthday was observed in:

  • Hong Kong
  • Macau (Dia do Buda)
  • South Korea (Sukka Tansin II)

21 May

Cambodia had a holiday for National Day of Remembrance.

20 May

Cambodia observed Day of Remembrance, formerly called the National Day of Hatred, which falls on May 20, is an annual event in Cambodia. It commemorates the Cambodian genocide of the Khmer Rouge regime that ruled the country between 1975 and 1979.

Timor-Leste celebrated Independence Restoration Day, the 13th Anniversary of the day that Timor-Leste’s Constitution came into force in 2002 and the country was given its sovereignty.  Portugal and many other countries organized campaigns in order to collect donations, provisions and books. Control of Timor-Leste was slowly taken with the progressive disarming of the militias and the beginning of the reconstruction of houses, schools and other infrastructures. Xanana Gusmão returned to the country, as well as other Timorese who had gone into exile, including many with university education. Elections were held for a Constituent Assembly that became responsible for drafting Timor-Leste’s Constitution.

17 May

The month of Ramadan began in:

  • Brunei
  • Malaysia (states of Johor, Kedah and Malacca)

16 May

Cambodia continued to celebrate HM King Norodom Sihamoni's Birthday with another public holiday, the final day of celebrations.

The month of Ramadan began in:

  • Maldives
  • Pakistan

15 May

Cambodia had another holiday to celebrate HM King Norodom Sihamoni's Birthday.

14 May

Cambodia had a holiday to celebrate HM King Norodom Sihamoni's Birthday.

Thailand had a holiday for the Royal Ploughing Ceremony Holiday.  The Royal Ploughing Ceremony dates back over seven hundred years, with a brief interruption in the 19th century. The present King revived it in 1960, continuing a long royal tradition of ensuring the success of the new year’s rice planting season.  It’s more than just a religious ceremony – this ritual is a State-sponsored event involving highly-placed civil officials. The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives takes on the position of Lord of the Harvest; four single female Ministry officials are appointed Celestial Maidens to assist him. With half of Thailand’s people still dependent on farming for a living, the Royal Ploughing Ceremony is an important yearly event that honors the bond between the King, the government, and the farmers who sustain the country.

13 May

Cambodia celebrated HM King Norodom Sihamoni's Birthday nationally on May 13. It was established in 1953.

10 May

Indonesia observed the Ascension of the Prophet Isra Mi’raj Nabi Muhammad.  Isra and Mi'raj, also known as Al Isra' wal Miraj, is observed on the 27th day of the month of Rajab, the seventh month in the Islamic calendar. This event marks the night that Allah (God) took Mohammad (also known as Mohamed or Muhammed) on a journey from Mecca to Jerusalem and then to heaven.

9 May

In India the state of Uttar Pradesh celebrated Lok Nayak Maharana Pratap Jayanti and the state of West Bengal observed Rabindranath Tagor Jayanti.

Malaysia had a public holiday for the General Election.

7 May

Australia (Northern Territory and Queensland) had a public holiday for Labour Day.

Malaysia (state of Pahang) celebrated Hari Hol.

South Korea had a holiday for Children’s Day.

Sri Lanka had a holiday for May Day.

5 May

Japan celebrated Children’s Day.  This national holiday was established in 1948, as a day on which to esteem the personalities of children and plan for their happiness. It is on this day that the Japanese equivalent of the Dragon Boat Festival is held. On this day, and for some time before it, families who have a boy in their home may fly koinobori and decorate their homes with armor or samurai dolls. Children's Day marks the end of Golden Week.

South Korea also celebrated Orininal - Children’s Day, the day on which to esteem the personalities of children and plan for their happiness. In Korea, Children's Day started on May 1, 1922, when 8 persons including Bang Jeong-Hwan declared the Day and held an anniversary. In 1946, the Day changed to May 5, and became a public holiday in 1975.

4 May

Japan celebrated Greenery Day.  This national holiday is celebrated as a day to commune with nature and be grateful for its blessings. Originally established in 1989 and held annually on April 29 (the late Shōwa Emperor's birthday), in 2007 Greenery Day was moved to May 4, and April 29 was renamed "Shōwa Day". Greenery Day falls during Golden Week.

3 May

Cambodia celebrated Royal Ploughing Ceremony (Pithi Chrat Preah Neanng Korl) which is an ancient royal rite held in Cambodia to mark the traditional beginning of the rice-growing season.  In the ceremony, two sacred oxen are hitched to a wooden plough and they plough a furrow in some ceremonial ground, while rice seed is sown by court Brahmins. After the ploughing, the oxen are offered plates of food, including rice, corn, green beans, sesame, fresh-cut grass, water and rice whisky.  Depending on what the oxen eat, court astrologers and Brahmins make a prediction on whether the coming growing season will be bountiful or not. The ceremony is rooted in Brahman belief, and is held to ensure a good harvest.   In Cambodia the ceremony is typically presided over by the monarch, or an appointee, and has been overseen by both King Norodom Sihamoni and Prime Minister Hun Sen.

Japan celebrates Constitution Memorial Day.  This national holiday was established in 1948, to commemorate the day on which Japan's post-war constitution took effect. Constitution Memorial Day falls during Golden Week.

2 May

Bangladesh observed Shab-e-Barat (Night of Records). The night of Shab-E-Barat commemorates the entry of Muhammad into the city of Mecca. Muslims celebrate the festival of Shab-E-Barat with pomp and enthusiasm all over the world. Muslims believe that on the night of Shab-E-Barat, god writes the destinies of all men for the coming year by taking into account the deeds committed by them in the past. It is considered one of the holiest nights on the Islamic Calendar.  Shab-E-Barat is translated as 'the night of records', 'the night of assignment' and 'the night of deliverance'. The observance involves a festive nightlong vigil with prayers; in some regions, this is also a night when one's deceased ancestors are commemorated.

Bhutan celebrated the birth anniversary of Jigme Dorji Wangchuck the 3rd Druk Gyalpo, who began Bhutan's first steps toward modernization (b. 1928, Thruepang Palace, Trongsa).

India (state of West Bengal) had a holiday for Panchayat Polls.

1 May

Australia (Northern Territory and Queensland) has a public holiday for Labour Day.

May Day/International Labour Day/Labour Day is celebrated in:

  • Bangladesh
  • Cambodia
  • China
  • Hong Kong
  • India (states of Bihar, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala, Puducherry, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal)
  • Indonesia
  • Laos
  • Macau
  • Malaysia
  • Maldives
  • Myanmar
  • North Korea
  • Pakistan
  • Philippines
  • Singapore
  • South Korea
  • Sri Lanka
  • Taiwan
  • Thailand
  • Timor-Leste
  • Vietnam

International Workers Day is celebrated in Nepal.

Maharashtra Day is celebrated in the state of Maharashtra in India.

30 April

Cambodia had a holiday for Visakh Bochea.

China had another holiday for Labour Day.

India (states of Bihar, Chhattisgarh,  National Capital Territory of Delhi, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh) observed Buddha Purnima or Buddha Day which commemorates the birth, enlightenment and death of Gautama Buddha.

Nepal observed Buddha Jayanti.

Japan had a holiday for Showa Day.

Vietnam observed Reunification Day.  It is a public holiday to mark when the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese troops captured Saigon (now Ho Chi Min City) in 1975, signalling the end of the Vietnam War and the start of the transition period towards reunification (2 July 1976) when the Provisional Revolutionary Government of the Republic of South Vietnam and North Vietnam merged to form the modern-day Socialist Republic of Vietnam.  This day may also be called: Black April, Liberation Day, Victory Day, National Day of Shame, National Day of Resentment, Fall of Saigon.

29 April

'Buddha Day', a holiday observed traditionally by Buddhists in:

  • Bangladesh (Buddha Purnima)
  • Cambodia (Visakh Bochea Day)
  • Myanmar (Kasone/Kasong Full Moon Day)
  • Nepal (Buddha Jayanti)
  • Sri Lanka (Vesak Full Moon Poya Day)

It commemorates the birth, enlightenment and death of Gautama Buddha.

China had a holiday for Labour Day.

Japan celebrated Shōwa Day to honour the birthday of the Shōwa Emperor (Hirohito), the reigning emperor from 1926 to 1989.  The purpose of the holiday is to encourage public reflection on the turbulent 63 years of Hirohito’s reign and think about the country’s future.

26 April

Malaysia’s state of Terengganu had a state public holiday for the Terengganu State Ruler's Birthday.

25 April

Australia (and New Zealand) observed ANZAC Day.  ANZAC Day is a national day of remembrance in Australia and New Zealand that broadly commemorates all Australians and New Zealanders "who served and died in all wars, conflicts, and peacekeeping operations" and "the contribution and suffering of all those who have served."  Observed on 25 April each year, ANZAC Day was originally to honour the members of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) who fought at Gallipoli against the Ottoman Empire during World War I.

Bhutan observed Zhabdrung Kuchoe, to mark the passing of Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal in 1651 at Punakha Dzong. The holiday is a national day of mourning.

North Korea celebrated Korean People’s Army Foundation Day.  Kim Il-Sung moved date from 8 February to the date of establishment of his guerrilla army in 1932.

Vietnam celebrated Giỗ tổ Hùng Vương Day.  This relatively new holiday was adopted by the government in 2007.

20 April

Bhutan had a public holiday for National Council Elections.

Sri Lanka had a special bank holiday for Sinhalese and Tamil New Year.

18 April

India (states of Gujarat, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh) celebrated Maharshi Parasuram Jayanti.  The state of Karnataka celebrated Basava Jayanti.

Laos had another holiday for Laotian New Year.

17 April

Cambodia had another holiday for Cambodian New Year.

Laos had another holiday for Laotian New Year.

Myanmar celebrated Myanmar New Year.

16 April

Cambodia had another holiday for Cambodian New Year.

Laos had another holiday for Laotian New Year.

Myanmar continued to celebrate Thingyan (Water Festival).

Thailand had another holiday for Songkran.

15 April

Cambodia had a holiday for Cambodian New Year.

India (state of West Bengal) celebrated Bengali New Year, the state of Himachel Pradesh celebrated Himachel Day and the state of Kerala celebrated Vishu.

Laos had a holiday for Laotian New Year.

Malaysia (state of Malacca) had a state public holiday for the declaration of Malacca City as Historical City.

Myanmar continued to celebrate Thingyan (Water Festival).

North Korea had a holiday for Kim Il Sung’s birthday, also known as Day of the Sun.

Thailand continued to celebrate Songkran.

14 April

Ascension of the Prophet Isra Mi’raj Nabi Muhammad is observed in Brunei, Malaysia (states of Kedah, Negeri Sembilan and Perlis), Philippines and Indonesia.  Isra and Mi'raj, also known as Al Isra' wal Miraj, is observed on the 27th day of the month of Rajab, the seventh month in the Islamic calendar. This event marks the night that Allah (God) took Mohammad (also known as Mohamed or Muhammed) on a journey from Mecca to Jerusalem and then to heaven.  In Christianity the Ascension of Jesus is the Christian teaching found in the New Testament that Jesus was taken up to Heaven in his resurrected body, in the presence of eleven of his apostles, occurring 40 days after the resurrection. In the biblical narrative, an angel tells the watching disciples that Jesus' second coming will take place in the same manner as his ascension.

Bangladesh celebrated Pahela Baishakh (Bengali New Year).

Cambodia celebrated Cambodian New Year.  This national holiday was established to celebrate the New Year in Cambodia. The holiday lasts for three days and is considered to be the most important festival on the calendar.

Laos celebrated Laotian New Year.

Myanmar celebrated Thingyan (Water Festival).

Nepal celebrated Nepali New Year.

Sri Lanka celebrated Sinhala and Tamil New Year.  Sinhalese and Tamil New Year is the new year of the Sinhalese and Tamil people in Sri Lanka. It is a major anniversary celebrated by most Sri Lankans. It is a public holiday in Sri Lanka.  According to Sinhalese astrology, New Year begins when the sun moves from Meena Rashiya (the house of Pisces) to Mesha Rashiya (the house of Aries). It also marks the end of the harvest and spring.

Thailand had a holiday for Songkran (Thai New Year).  Songkran Festival is the major holiday of the year for Thailand.  Many people return home for family reunions during this period. The first day is known as Wan Maha Songkran, the second as Wan Nao, and the third as Wan Thaloeng Sok. The 14th is also observed as Family Day.

India:
Most states celebrated Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Jayanti.  Bhim Jayanti is a festival observed on 14 April every year to commemorate the memory of Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar. This day is celebrated as the birth anniversary of Dr. Ambedkar who was born on this day in 1891. It is a public holiday in many of the Indian states.  It is a customary to pay homage to Babasaheb’s statue at the Parliament, New Delhi by the President, Prime Minister, and Leaders of prominent parties on this day. It is celebrated throughout the world especially by formerly oppressed communities who embraced Buddhism under his guidance.  In India, a large number of people visit Babasaheb's statue at the prominent place of their village/city in procession with lot of fanfare of dhol, tasha, dance throughout the day and into the night.

State of Tamil Nadu celebrated Tamil New Year.

State of Orissa observed Maha Visubha Sankranti.

States of Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir, Madhya Pradesh and Punjab celebrated Vaisakhi/Baisakhi.

13 April

India (state of Jammu and Kashmir) observed Mairaj-ul-Alam / Shab-i-Meiraj.

Myanmar celebrated Thingyan Eve.  Thingyan is the Burmese New Year Water Festival and usually falls around mid-April. It is a Buddhist festival celebrated over a period of four to five days culminating in the new year. The dates of the festival are observed as the most important public holiday throughout Myanmar and are part of the summer holidays at the end of the school year. Water-throwing or dousing one another from any shape or form of vessel or device that delivers water is the distinguishing feature of this festival and may be done on the first four days of the festival. However, in most parts of the country, it does not begin in earnest until the second day.

Thailand celebrated Songkran (Thai New Year).  Songkran Festival is the major holiday of the year for Thailand.  Many people return home for family reunions during this period. The first day is known as Wan Maha Songkran, the second as Wan Nao, and the third as Wan Thaloeng Sok.

Sri Lanka celebrated Sinhala and Tamil New Year’s Eve.

Philippines observed the Ascension of the Prophet Isra Mi’raj Nabi Muhammad.

12 April

Thailand had a holiday for Songkran.