Today is ...

17 January

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

Past Days...

17 January

India (state of Telangana) celebrates Uzhavar Thirunal.

16 January

India (states of Pondicherry and Tamil Nadu) celebrated Thiruvalluvar Day. The state of Andhra Pradesh celebrated Kanuma Panduga/Tusu Puja.

15 January

India (states of Arunachal Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Telangana and Pondicherry) celebrated Sankranti/ Pongal.  In other states they celebrate Makar Sankranti (Karnataka)

Nepal celebrated Maghi Parba/Maghe Sankranti.

Sri Lanka celebrated Tamil Thai Pongal Day. Thai Pongal is a harvest festival celebrated by Tamil people at the end of the harvest season.  It is a four-day festival which runs from last day of the month Maargazhi to the third day of the month Thai on the Tamil calendar, and generally from January 13 to January 16 on the Gregorian calendar. The second of the four days, the first day of Thai, is the main day of the festival and called Pongal.  Thai Pongal is primarily celebrated to convey appreciation and thankfulness to the Sun as the primary energy source of agriculture and good harvests. It is one of the most important festivals celebrated by Tamil people in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, the Indian Union Territory of Puducherry,and Sri Lanka. In Tamil, the word pongal means "overflowing" and signifies abundance and prosperity. On the day of Pongal, there is a symbolic ritual of boiling fresh milk in a new clay pot at sunrise. When the milk boils over and bubbles out of the vessel, people shout "Pongalo Pongal!" They also recite "Thai Pirandhal Vazhi Pirakkum" ("the commencement of Thai paves the way for new opportunities"). This is repeated frequently during the Pongal festival. The Pongal is then served to everyone in the house along with savories and sweets such as vadai, murukku, paayasam.

Tamilians decorate their homes with banana and mango leaves and embellish the floor with decorative patterns drawn using rice flour.  Kolams/rangolis are drawn on doorsteps. Family elders present gifts to the young.

14 January

India, in the state of Gujurat, they celebrated Makar Sankranti.  In the states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, they celebrated Bhogi, the harvest festival of Andhra Pradesh.  Bhogi is where people discard old and derelict things and concentrate on new things causing change or transformation. At dawn, people light a bonfire with logs of wood, other solid-fuels and wooden furniture at home that are no longer useful. The disposal of derelict things is where all old habits, vices, attachment to relations and material things are sacrificed in the sacrificial fire of the knowledge of Rudra, known as the "Rudra Gita Gyana Yagya". It represents realization, transformation and purification of the soul by imbibing and inculcating various divine virtues.

Japan celebrated Coming of Age Day.  This national holiday was established in 1948 as a day to congratulate and encourage people who have reached the age of maturity (20) during the year. Cities and towns throughout the nation hold ceremonies for these people. Originally held on January 15, in 2000 it was changed to the second Monday of January in accordance with the Happy Monday System.

Malaysia (state of Negeri Sembilan) had a holiday for their State Ruler’s Birthday.

13 January

India (states of Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab and Rajasthan) celebrated Guru Govind Singh Jasyanti, an anniversary of a guru's birth or death; marked by the holding of a festival.

12 January

India (state of West Bengal) celebrated Swami Vivekanand Jayanti.

7 January

Cambodia celebrated Victory Day.  This national holiday was established to commemorate the end of the Khmer Rouge regime in 1979.

6 January

Bhutan observed a Traditional Day of Offering.

Myanmar had Kayin New Year which celebrates the New Year of the Karen people.

4 January

Myanmar celebrated Independence Day, marking independence from British Empire in 1948.

3 January

Bhutan celebrated Winter Solstice.

Japan (banks and government) had another holiday for New Year.

2 January

New Year’s Day Holiday was observed in Japan.

India (state of Kerala) celebrated Mannam Jayanti.

1 January

New Year’s Day was celebrated in the following countries:

  • Australia
  • Bangladesh
  • Brunei
  • Cambodia
  • China
  • Hong Kong
  • India (states of Pondicherry, Telangana and Tamil Nadu)
  • Indonesia
  • Japan
  • Laos
  • Macau
  • Malaysia (except states of Johor, Kedah, Kelantan, Perlis and Terengganu)
  • Maldives
  • Mongolia
  • Myanmar
  • North Korea
  • Pakistan
  • Philippines
  • Singapore
  • South Korea
  • Taiwan
  • Thailand
  • Timor-Leste
  • Vietnam

New Year's Day is observed on January 1, the first day of the year on the modern Gregorian calendar as well as the Julian calendar used in the Roman Empire since 45 BC. Romans originally dedicated New Year's Day to Janus, the god of gates, doors, and beginnings for whom the first month of the year (January) is named.   In present day, with most countries now using the Gregorian calendar as their de facto calendar, New Year's Day is probably the world's most celebrated public holiday, often observed with fireworks at the stroke of midnight as the new year starts in each time zone.

Taiwan also celebrated Republic Day.

31 December

The following countries had a holiday for New Year’s Eve:

  • Brunei
  • Bangladesh
  • Japan
  • Macau
  • Myanmar
  • Philippines
  • Taiwan
  • Thailand
  • Vietnam

China had another public holiday.

Timor-Leste had a holiday for National Heroes Day.

30 December

China had a public holiday.

Nepal, mostly the Gurung Community, celebrated Tamu Lhosar.

The Philippines celebrated Rizal Day, to commemorate the execution of national hero José Rizal by Spanish colonial government on December 30, 1896.

Vietnam had a holiday for New Year.

29 December

Mongolia celebrated National Independence Day.

Vietnam had a New Year Holiday.

27 December

North Korea celebrated Constitution Day, the enactment of the Constitution of North Korea in 1998.

26 December

Boxing Day / the Day after Christmas was observed in:

  • Australia
  • Hong Kong
  • India (Telangana State)
  • Macau
  • Pakistan

25 December

Christmas Day was observed/celebrated in:

  • Australia
  • Bangladesh
  • Brunei
  • Timor-Leste
  • Hong Kong
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Macau
  • Malaysia
  • Myanmar
  • Nepal
  • Pakistan
  • Philippines
  • Singapore
  • South Korea
  • Sri Lanka
  • Thailand

24 December

Japan had a public holiday for the Emperor’s Birthday.

Christmas Eve was celebrated in Macau and the Philippines.

Cuti Bersama 2018 leave day was observed in Indonesia. Cuti bersama was introduced by the Indonesian government as a means of stimulating tourism within the country and increasing the efficiency of public servants. The holiday is counted in public servants' overall leave. Most private companies and businesses follow suit by adjusting employees' annual leave in line with government policy.

23 December

Japan celebrated The Emperor’s Birthday.  The birthday of the reigning emperor has been a national holiday since 1868. Originally known as Tenchō-setsu (天長節), it was renamed Tennō tanjōbi (天皇誕生日) in 1948. It is currently celebrated on December 23; Emperor Akihito was born on this day in 1933. (Prior to the death of Emperor Hirohito in 1989, this holiday was celebrated on April 29.)

22 December

Macau celebrated Dongzhi Festival to mark the Winter Solstice.

Nepal – various communities across Nepal celebrated different festivals on this day, coinciding with the full moon day of the month of Mangsir as per the lunar calendar.  The day is celebrated as the Dhanya Purnima by communities following the Hindu religion, while the Kiranti people observe the Udhauli festival on the same day.  Dhanya Purnima is a Hindu festival celebrated to mark the conclusion of the rice harvest season across the country. Hindus celebrate the festival by stocking new grain and making offerings to god and goddesses to ensure plentiful supply of grains throughout the year.  Udhauli Parva falls during harvesting season. This festival is mainly celebrated by Kirant community like Rai, Limbu, Yakkha and Sunuwar of Kathmandu Valley and other parts of the country. The literal meaning of “udhauli” is going down. During winter, the birds and animals in upper hills migrate to lower lands. It is from this process that the nature-loving community got the festival’s name — Udhauli. It is believed that from this day, the winter season starts.

Sri Lanka had Unduwap Full Moon Poya Day which celebrates the coming of the Bo-tree sapling. Buddhist Theri Sanghamitta brought this sapling to Sri Lanka all the way from India. In Anuradhapura, this very tree is most revered by Buddhists there. This tree is also the most ancient tree that has been documented in the world.

20 December

SARE Day (Special Administrative Region Establishment Day) was celebrated in Macau.

19 December

India, state of Goa, observed Goa Liberation Day.

18 December

India (state of Chhattisgarh) observed Guru Ghasidas Jayanti.

17 December

Bhutan celebrated their National Day.

16 December

Bangladesh celebrated Victory Day (Bijoy Dibosh), commemorating the surrender of the Pakistani army to the Mukti Bahini.

12 December

India (state of Punjab) observed the Martyrdom Day of Sri Guru Teg Bahadur Ji.  A number of Sikh holidays are Gurpurbs, anniversaries of a guru's birth or death; marked by the holding of a festival.

11 December

Malaysia (state of Selangor) had a state public holiday for the Birthday of the Sultan of Selangor.

10 December

Cambodia celebrated International Human Rights Day. This national holiday was established to commemorate the United Nations General Assembly's adoption and proclamation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Macau had the first working day after the Immaculate Conception.

Thailand celebrated Constitution Day to commemorate the promulgation of the first permanent constitution in 1932.

9 December

Maldives observed The Day the Maldives Embraced Islam. The day is meant to be a day of religious unity. Activities are arranged by the Ministry of Home Affairs which include lectures, speeches and religious ceremonies. Villages also have their own celebrations that include lectures about the history of the Islamic conversion in the Maldives as well as to promote religious unity throughout the country.

Malaysia (state of Kelantan) had a state public holiday for the Anti-ICERD Rally.

8 December

Timor-Leste and Macau observed Immaculate Conception Day.

The Philippines celebrated the Feast of the Immaculate Conception of Mary.

7 December

Timor-Leste observed Memorial Day, which is the anniversary of Indonesian invasion of East Timor, 1975.

A public holiday was held in the Indian state of Telangana for the legislative assembly general election.

5 December

India (state of Jammu and Kashmir) observed the Birthday of Shaikh Mohammad Abdullah.

Thailand celebrated National Day and National Father's Day.

3 December

India, the state of Goa, celebrated the Feast of St Francis Xavier.

Laos had a public holiday for their national day.

International Disabilities Day in Nepal was a public holiday for disabled employees.

2 December

Laos celebrated their National Day to commemorate the establishment of the Lao People's Democratic Republic in 1975. Celebrations include parades and dancing at That Luang temple.

Myanmar also celebrated their National Day, which marks the beginning of student led protests against the British in 1920.