• AAPI Celebrations and Holidays

  • The Asia-Pacific region is a mosaic of diverse countries, each boasting a vibrant cultural heritage punctuated by a multitude of significant holidays. These celebrations span the calendar year, offering a tapestry of unique traditions, beliefs, and festivities. Embark on a journey through the months as we explore the major holidays celebrated across these nations. Let's delve into the rich and colorful spectrum of celebrations that grace the region.

    The Lunar New Year, a widely cherished event, takes place in either January or February. Many countries and communities with Chinese heritage actively participate in this joyous occasion. It encompasses various activities such as dragon and lion dances, firecrackers, family reunions, and the time-honored tradition of exchanging red envelopes filled with money to invoke good luck. While China, Taiwan, and Vietnam (Tet) observe a seven-day holiday, Hong Kong and Korea (Seollal) partake in a three-day celebration. The populace often engages in purchasing items like red envelopes, auspicious fruits like oranges and tangerines, traditional foods including dumplings, fish, and rice cakes, new clothing, ornate decorations such as lanterns and paper-cuttings, as well as plants and blossoms like plum and cherry flowers. These customs contribute to the festive ambiance of the Lunar New Year, symbolizing luck, prosperity, and well-being.

    Holi, renowned as the Festival of Colors, is a springtime celebration prominently observed in India, Nepal, and communities with deep Indian roots. Taking place in February or March, Holi spans two days and involves vibrant colored powders, water balloons, and water guns that are playfully used to splash each other with an array of hues. Alongside these lively activities, traditional Indian sweets and distinctive dishes like gujiya (sweet dumplings) and bhang (a cannabis-based drink) are savored during the festivities. The merriment is further enhanced by music, dance, and singing.

    Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar, stands as a sacred period for Muslims, marked by fasting, prayer, reflection, and heightened devotion. Due to its alignment with the Islamic lunar calendar, the dates of Ramadan vary annually. Muslims commonly make purposeful purchases in preparation for this fasting month, procuring items such as food for iftar and suhoor meals, prayer essentials like rugs and Islamic literature, and the symbolic dates, traditionally used to break the fast.

    Buddhist New Year Festivals, known as Choul Chnam Thmey in Cambodia, Boun Pi Mai in Laos, Songkran in Thailand, and Thingyan in Myanmar, are the zenith of the Theravada Buddhist calendar. Comparable to Christmas-New Year celebrations in predominantly Christian countries, these festivals extend over three days, usually in mid-April. Activities encompass temple visits, offerings, and spirited water fights. In this context, commonly purchased items include water guns, temple offerings like flowers, candles, and incense sticks, as well as symbolic elements such as white clay powder and scented water with the aroma of frankincense.

    Hari Raya Aidilfitri, also known as Eid al-Fitr, holds significant religious prominence among Muslims worldwide. This celebratory event marks the conclusion of Ramadan and falls on the first day of Shawwal, the tenth month of the Islamic lunar calendar. Although the precise date shifts annually due to the lunar calendar, it generally falls within April or May. The observance encompasses communal prayers, festive feasting, charitable deeds, and visits to family and friends. New attire, traditional delicacies, and thoughtful gifts are pivotal elements of this celebration. In various Muslim-majority nations, such as Malaysia, Indonesia, and Singapore, Hari Raya Aidilfitri is observed as a nationwide public holiday.

    Golden Week takes center stage in Japan from April 29th to May 5th, encompassing several public holidays like Showa Day, Constitution Memorial Day, Greenery Day, and Children’s Day. During this period, individuals embark on travels, engage in leisure pursuits, and embrace Japanese cultural heritage. The consecutive holidays often grant extended vacation time, fostering increased retail sales and tourism-related expenditures. People may opt to purchase travel-related items, souvenirs, and gifts for loved ones.

    Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month, dedicated to celebrating the contributions of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders to American history and culture, evolved from a week-long celebration in 1978 to a month-long observance in 1990. The month is marked by events such as cultural showcases, educational workshops, and community gatherings, all aimed at raising awareness, promoting understanding, and honoring the diverse heritage and experiences of AAPI communities.

    National Immigrant Heritage Month unfolds in the United States throughout June. It serves as a tribute to the invaluable contributions and cultural tapestry woven by immigrants within the nation. A variety of initiatives, events, and activities are orchestrated to honor the profound impact of immigrants on American society, culture, economy, and history.

    Eid al-Adha, celebrated on the 10th day of Dhu al-Hijjah, the final month of the Islamic lunar calendar, falls in June or July. This celebration entails special prayers, animal sacrifices, communal meals, and acts of benevolence. The holiday underscores unity, compassion, and the willingness to make sacrifices for the greater good. It holds substantial significance as a public holiday in many Muslim-majority nations. Typical purchases encompass sacrificial animals, new attire, festive foods, and thoughtful gifts.

    The Mid-Autumn Festival, a time-honored tradition commemorating the harvest and the full moon, transpires on the 15th day of the eighth lunar month. Generally occurring in September or October, this festival witnesses the sharing of mooncakes, the illumination of lanterns, and gatherings of families. The event is steeped in cultural symbolism, representing appreciation, unity, and gratitude. In nations such as China, Taiwan, and Vietnam, where it is a public holiday, individuals often enjoy a day off to revel with loved ones. Common acquisitions comprise mooncakes, lanterns, and various festive embellishments.

    Chuseok, Korean version of Mid-Autumn Festival and a revered traditional holiday in South Korea, centers around harvest celebrations and family unity. Falling on the 15th day of the eighth lunar month, usually in September or October, it encompasses ancestral rituals, delectable traditional dishes, cultural festivities, and familial gatherings. This three-day holiday prompts the closure of numerous institutions, including businesses, schools, and government offices. Celebratory items purchased often encompass ingredients for traditional dishes like songpyeon, gift assortments, hanbok attire, travel arrangements, Chuseok delicacies, flowers, and ornamental decorations.

    Diwali or Deepavali, the Festival of Light, celebrated by various religious communities, symbolizes the victory of light over darkness. Marked by luminous displays, prayers, sweets, decorations, and gift exchanges, this festival unfolds on the 15th day of Kartika, generally within October or November. A public holiday in countries including India, Singapore, Malaysia, and Nepal, Deepavali inspires acquisitions of sweets, ornamental items like diyas and lights, gifts, new attire, puja essentials, fireworks, greeting cards, dried fruits, electronics, gold, and jewelry.

    Throughout the year, the Asia-Pacific region becomes a vibrant canvas painted with a multitude of major holidays that mirror the diverse cultural heritage of these nations. From the spirited revelry of Chinese New Year and Diwali to the profound contemplation of Ramadan and Vesak, each celebration bears its unique significance and customs. By embracing and comprehending these diverse festivities.

    Let's take a moment to connect with the celebrations that resonate with you and your loved ones. 

    January February March
    International New Year
    Feast of Black Nazarene
    Lunar New Year, also known as Spring Festival, Tet, or Seollal Holi
    Holy Week
    April May June
    Choul Chnam Thmey
    Thingyan Water Festival 
    Boun Pi Mai
    Qingming Festival (Tomb Sweeping Day) 
    Hari Raya Aidilfitri (Eid al-Fitr)
    Labor Day
    Golden Week
    AAPI Heritage Month
    Boun Bank Fai (Rocket Festival)
    National Immigrant Heritage Month
    Dragon Boat Festival
    Eid al-Adha
    July August September
    Islamic New Year Singapore National Day Mid-Autumn Festival
    October November December
    Angam Day (Nauru)
    National Days for several countries
    Diwali (Deepavali)

    Submit celebrations and holidays to be included on this page to apacc@apacc.net.

  • Featured Events

  • Event Calendar

  • Event Calendar
  • Contact Us Contact Us

Asian Pacific American Chamber of Commerce (APACC)

 PO Box 54, Clawson, MI 48017

 248. 430.5855

  • Connect Connect