As food has increasingly become a part of every travel experience, a myriad of culinary festivals have cropped up with the intention of giving others the chance to sample some of the region’s most tantalizing cuisines. With so many festivals to choose from, it is easy to find something to satiate any appetite and personal taste. Here are five of the best food festivals in Asia, highlighting the unique culture and tastes of the region:
SAVOUR – SINGAPORE
Despite this island’s tiny size, this festival packs a large punch of flavor. The multicultural experience of Singapore translates beautifully to its star food festival, expressing itself with a cornucopia of gourmet flavors exhibited in over 50 dishes from the nation’s most popular restaurants. Celebrity chef classes aim to engage the 18,000 foodies flocking to Savour each year.
THAI PONGAL – SRI LANKA
Like Singapore’s Savour, Thai Pongal is a popular food festival located on an island in Asia. The four-day extravaganza celebrates the Tamil harvest festival with the main event, the Uttarayanam, commemorating the Indic solstice. During this time, families celebrate with a host of traditional dishes highlighted with a big batch of rice cooked in a sweet milk.
MID-AUTUMN FESTIVAL – CHINA
Also known as the Mooncake festival, this event is celebrated in multiple countries throughout Asia including China, Taiwan, Singapore, and Vietnam. The event occurs each year on the 15th day of the 8th month of the traditional Chinese calendar. During the festival, people make offerings to the Goddess of the Moon while noshing on sweet mooncakes made with lotus paste and egg yolk.
DUMPLING FESTIVAL – HONG KONG
Celebrated as a national holiday in both Hong Kong and Macau, this festival occurs each year on the fifth day of the fifth Chinese lunar month. Dumplings are the star of the show as people gather to eat a cornucopia of these delicacies while watching the traditional dragon boat races.
VEGETARIAN FESTIVAL – THAILAND
This nine-day event celebrates the body by an intense detoxication process of both body and spirit. Participants consume only plant-based foods for the entirety of the festival while engaging in a variety of spiritual practices such as walking over hot coals or bathing in hot oil.