Holidays in East Asia

With so many interesting holidays, Overachiever writer Chau Tang highlights a few of them for us from each of the countries of East Asia.

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Procession of Our Lady Fatima, Macau


  • All Souls Days – People pray for the dead with the aim of helping the souls from a place of suffering inhibited by the souls of sinners who make up for their sins before going into heaven.

  • Feast of the Immaculate Conception – This feast celebrates when Mary was born without sin and that God chose her to be Jesus’s mother.

  • Macau Special Administrative Region Establishment Day – To commemorate the Chinese government assuming formal sovereignty over Macau on December 20th 1999.

  • Dongzhi Festival – which marks the Winter solstice.


Dragon Boat Festival, Hong Kong

Hong Kong 

  • Qingming Festival – people clean up the site of the graves of their ancestors. The festival worships ancestors and requires families to weed graves, touch up the headstone inscriptions, offer food and light incense. Many people burn offerings for their ancestors to use in the after life, a common offering is paper money.

  • Dragon Boat Festival – This festival honours the life and death of the famous Chinese scholar Qu Yuan. People eat rice dumplings (zong zi), drink realgar wine (xiong huang jiu), and race dragon boats.

  • Boxing Day – Employers give out food, money and other goods to their employees. It’s celebrated by watching sports events and starting post-Christmas sales.


Tsagaan Sar Moon Festival, Mongolia


  • Tsagaan Sar Moon Festival – Meaning“White Christmas”, it marks the first day of spring.

  • Naadam Festival– Three games are played – horse racing, wrestling and archery.


Peace Memorial Day, Taiwan


  • Peace Memorial Day – A day that remembers the anti-China riots in 1947 and the harsh crackdowns and violence that subsequently followed.

  • Children’s Day– In 1925, officials from different countries met in Geneva, Switzerland to hold the first “World Conference for the Wellbeing of Children.”


Japanese New Year, Japan


  • Japanese New Year– Families spend time together, with most businesses and operations shut for the day. Homes are decorated with pine, bamboo and plum trees.

  • Coming of Age Day – People celebrate youths transitioning into adulthood. Youths are considered adults as of age 20.


Chinese New Year, China


  • Chinese New Year – Honors household, heavenly deities and ancestors.

  • Golden Week – October 1st, 1949, is the memorial day for the founding of the People’s Republic China.


Day of the Shining Star, North Korea

North Korea 

  • Day of the Shining Star – The Kimjongilia flower is bred from Japanese botanists for Kim Jong II and is made to fertilize on this day.

  • Korean Children’s Union Foundation Day – New children are admitted to ranks of the Union.


Chuseok, South Korea

South Korea 

  • Seotdal Geumeum – Refers to Lunar New Year’s Eve. Peace and tranquility are really important to keep, especially on this day.

  • Chuseok – Referred to as “Autumn Eve” and is Korean Thanksgiving Day. Koreans go to their ancestral hometowns to celebrate with families and because of this, cause one of the biggest traffic jams of the year.

Overachiever Magazine was started by Rehana Paul in October of 2018 to give a platform to all Asian women, non-binary people, and other gender minorities.

Our name is poking fun at the stereotype that all Asians are overachievers, especially Asian women, non-binary people, and other gender minorities. It’s also in recognition of all of us who have had no choice but to be overachievers: managing societal expectations, family obligations, and educational opportunities, all while fighting the patriarchy.

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