Happy summer holidays y’all! While most of Europe pull down their slatted shutters, switch on their out of office emails and hotfoot it to the beach, other parts of the world are still rocking on and celebrating.
Those with tickets to the sold-out Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival in San Francisco (8 to 10 August) will be getting their groove on alongside Mr Kim Kardashian himself, Kanye West, while other headline artists include The Killers, The Flaming Lips and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
The whole of Thailand will be celebrating the birthday of their beloved Queen Sirikit on 12 August. On the morning of the day itself, an alms-giving ceremony is held, followed by countrywide candle-lighting ceremonies and fireworks displays. But for the entire month of August, Thai households and public places will be decorated with fairy lights and portraits of the revered Queen Consort, whose date of birth has also been designated as Mother’s Day, given her standing as ‘Mother of all Thai people’.
Indonesia and Malaysia’s capitals, Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur, will be celebrating the two countries’ independence on 17 and 31 August respectively. In Jakarta, colourful parades take place throughout the island and the archipelago, with each village holding its own outdoor games and competitions. Flag-waving schoolchildren line the streets, marching military bands perform, and special sales are held in surrounding shops and malls.
Kuala Lumpur’s Merdeka Independence Day parade is also replete with military presentations, a fly-past, multicoloured floats and members of the Soka Gakkai Buddhist society forming the flag of Malaysia in Merdeka Square. The King and Queen of Malaysia attend the ceremony, alongside the nation’s Prime Minister and other notable dignitaries.
Bibliophiles should head over to Guangzhou for the South China Book Festival (16 to 22 August), which this year has zones dedicated to ancient history, education, Hong Kong and Guangdong among other subjects. And keep your eyes peeled for a special appearance from representatives of Malaysia Zoo!
Zoë Manzi, Editor, MO magazine, The Condé Nast Publications
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