Today is ...

20 May

Timor-Leste celebrates Independence Restoration Day, the 19th 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.

Past Days...

19 May

Cambodia celebrates 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.

17 May

India (state of Assam) observed Janmotsav of Sri Sri Madhabdeva.

Malaysia (State of Perlis) had a state public holiday for the Raja’s Birthday.

16 May

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

  • Bangladesh (Buddha Purnurma)
  • India (Buddha Purnima / Shyada Pidar) – in the states of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Chandigarh, National Capital Territory of Delhi, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Mizoram, Orissa, Sikkim, Tripura, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal)
  • Indonesia (Buddha Day)
  • Laos (Visakhabousa Day holiday)
  • Malaysia (Wesak holiday except Johor, Kedah, Kelantan and Terengganu)
  • Singapore (Buddha Day holiday)
  • Nepal (Buddha Jayanti / Ubhauli festival / Chandi Purnima)
  • Sri Lanka (the day following Vesak Full Moon Poya Day)
  • Thailand (Visakha Bucha holiday)

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

India (state of Sikkim) had a State Day.

15 May

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

  • Cambodia (Visakh Bochea Day)
  • Laos (Visakhabousa Day)
  • Malaysia (Wesak)
  • Singapore (Vesak Day)
  • Sri Lanka (Vesak Full Moon Poya Day)
  • Thailand (Visakha Bucha Day)

14 May

Cambodia celebrated HM King Norodom Sihamoni's Birthday. This holiday was established in 1953.

Myanmar celebrated Kasone/Kasong Full Moon Day (Buddha Day).

13 May

Thailand had a holiday for the Royal Ploughing Ceremony.  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.

11 May

Bhutan observed Zhabdrung Kuchoe, to mark the passing of Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal in 1651 at Punakha Dzong.  He was the first person to unify the warring valley kingdoms under a single rule. In Bhutan, Zhabdrung is revered as the third most important personality behind Guru Rimpoche and the Sakyamuni Buddha. During this national holiday, Bhutanese visit temples/monasteries where prayers ceremonies are held.  The holiday is a national day of mourning.

9 May

India (states of Tripura and West Bengal) observed Rabindranath Tagor Jayanti.

The day following Buddha’s Birthday was observed in:

  • Hong Kong
  • Macau

Philippines had a holiday for the Presidential Elections.

8 May

Buddha’s Birthday was observed in:

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

6 May

Indonesia had another public holiday for Cuti Bersama 2022.

5 May

End of Ramadan – a Muslim festival that marks the end of fasting continued to be celebrated in many countries in Asia:

  • Indonesia
  • Maldives (On the Occasion of Eid ul-Fitr)
  • Pakistan (Eidul Fitr)

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

China had another holiday for Labour Day.

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.

Thailand celebrated the Anniversary of the Coronation of King Maha Vajiralongkorn.

End of Ramadan – a Muslim festival that marks the end of fasting continued to be celebrated in many countries in Asia:

  • Bangladesh (Eid-ul-Fiter)
  • Brunei (Hari Raya Aidil Fitri)
  • India – state of Telangana (2nd day of Ramazan)
  • Indonesia
  • Malaysia – states of Johor, Kedah, Kelantan and Terengganu (Hari Rasa Puasa)
  • Maldives (On the Occasion of Eid ul-Fitr)
  • Pakistan (Eidul Fitr)

3 May

China had another holiday for Labour Day.

End of Ramadan – a Muslim festival that marks the end of fasting continued to be celebrated in many countries in Asia:

  • Bangladesh (Eid-ul-Fiter)
  • Brunei (Hari Raya Aidil Fitri)
  • India – most states (Ramazan / Id-ul-Fitr / Kutha-e-Ramzan)
  • Indonesia
  • Malaysia – states of Johor, Kedah, Kelantan and Terengganu (Hari Rasa Puasa)
  • Maldives (On the Occasion of Eid ul-Fitr)
  • Nepal (Ramjan Edul Fikra)
  • Pakistan (Eidul Fitr)
  • Philippines (Eid’l Fitr)
  • Singapore (Hari Raya Puasa)
  • Sri Lanka (Id-ul-Fitr)

India (state of Karnataka) celebrated Basava Jayanthi / Akshaya Tritiya.  The states of Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab and Rajasthan observed Maharshi Parasuran Jayanti.

Japan celebrated 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.

Vietnam had another holiday for Labour Day.

2 May

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

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).

A Labour Day holiday took place in:

  • China
  • Hong Kong
  • Laos
  • Macau
  • Malaysia (except Johor, Kedah, Kelantan and Terengganu)
  • Singapore
  • Sri Lanka
  • Thailand

End of Ramadan – a Muslim festival that marks the end of fasting was celebrated in many countries in Asia:

  • Bangladesh (Eid-ul-Fiter)
  • Brunei (Hari Raya Aidil Fitri)
  • India – state of Kerala (Ramazan / Id-ul-Fitr / Kutha-e-Ramzan)
  • India – state of Puducherry (Day before Ramasan/Id-ul-Fitr)
  • Indonesia
  • Malaysia – states of Johor, Kedah, Kelantan and Terengganu (Hari Rasa Puasa Holiday)
  • Maldives (Eid ul-Fitr)
  • Pakistan (Eidul Fitr Holiday)

Vietnam had a holiday for Liberation Day/Reunification Day/ Labour Day.

1 May

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

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

India (state of Assam) celebrated Tithi of Damodardev and Maharashtra Din Day was celebrated in the state of Maharashtra.

30 April

China had a holiday for Labour Day.

Vietnam observed Gày Thống Nhất (Reunification/Liberation 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

Bangladesh celebrated Jumatul Bidah.

India (state of Jammu and Kashmir) celebrated Jumat-ul-Wida.  The states of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh observed Shab-i-Qadr.

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.

28 April

Bangladesh celebrated Shab-e-Qadar (Night of Destiny).

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.

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.

23 April

India (state of Manipur) observed Khongjam Day.

22 April

India (state of Tripura) had another holiday for Garia Puja.

21 April

India, (state of Tripura) celebrated Garia Puja and the state of Assam celebrated Sati Sadhani Divas.

19 April

Australia (state of Tasmania) had a holiday for Easter Tuesday.

Brunei celebrated Nuzul Al-Quaraan (Quran Revelation Day).

Malaysia (states of Kelantan, Kuala Lumpur, Labuan Territory, Pahang, Putra Jaya, Perlis, Penang, Perak, Selangor, Terengganu) celebrated Nuzul Quran (Quran Revelation Day).

Timor-Leste had a holiday for the second round of Presidential Elections.

18 April

Easter Monday was observed in:

  • Australia
  • Hong Kong (Day Following Easter Monday)
  • Macau (bank holiday – the First Working Day after Easter)