The Chinese New Year festivities may have come to an end for another year, but the fun in Asia doesn’t have to end in February. OZO hotels have compiled three unmissable cultural celebrations to add to your travel itinerary, in Hong Kong, Thailand and Sri Lanka, all happening this April. What better way to beat the post-holiday blues than to start planning your next big Asian adventure? Whether you’re looking to dust off your
dancing shoes, a wet and wild New Year, or a truly local experience, OZO hotels got just the festival for you.
Sónar in Hong Kong
13th April 2019
Respected by music fans all over the world for its eclectic line-up, Sónar is an unmissable event in Hong Kong’s cultural scene. Linking music, creativity and creative technology, Sónar has a well-earned reputation for uniting electronic music lovers and creative people across different disciplines and communities.
The festival, which was launched in Barcelona in 1994, is set to return for the Hong Kong edition’s third instalment.
Festival goers can look forward to performances ranging from live acts to DJs, including British trip hop musician Bonobo, English electronic music duo Aluna George and Art Department, among nine other acts.
Alongside the music, attendees will find intriguing creative technology experiences in the Sónar+D section.
These include hands-on workshops hosted by leading creative pioneers; thought-provoking talks by tech-industry trailblazers; spectacular audio-visual performances and new media arts featuring AR, VR, AI and more; and MarketLab, where visitors can try out new products and prototypes from around the world, from the latest apps and devices to digital innovations and musical instruments.
After the festivities come to a close in the early hours, rest easy with up to 15% off bookings at OZO Wesley Hong Kong. Superb bedding and intuitively designed rooms give you just what you need for a good night sleep in style. Guests can also enjoy complimentary late check-out at 16:00 (until 31 December 2019). Rates start at 725 HKD per night. For more information, visit www.ozohotels.com/wesley-hongkong
Songkran in Thailand
13-15th April 2019
More than just a three day party, the Songkran festival celebrates the Thai New Year with cleansing rituals and plenty of quality time with family and friends. Officially held from 13-15th April, many cities in Thailand may start as early as 12 April by sprucing up the streets and tidying temples for the holiday.
Those looking for a more authentic Songkran experience on Koh Samui should visit the nearby temples, Wat Plai Laem or Wat Phra Yai. Traditionally, families gather together to visit local temples to pray for blessings, and to pour water onto Buddha statues to cleanse and wash away bad luck. Another fun custom, especially for kids, is the building of decorated sand pagodas. If you’re planning a day of temple hopping, don’t forget appropriate clothing which should cover the shoulders and knees.
If you’re after something a little livelier, with dance music and water fights aplenty, Chaweng neighbourhood is the place to be during Songkran. With its friendly faces and bustling streets, much of Koh Samui’s party scene can be found here. Stacked Burger at OZO Chaweng Samui is conveniently located on the main street, making it easy for revellers to take a juicy burger break and wash it down with an ice-cold drink.
Don’t miss out on the biggest splash of the year — book a stay at OZO Chaweng Samui, with complimentary airport transfer for bookings of three or more nights and rates starting at 2,880 THB per night. Only a short walk to central Chaweng, OZO is your ideal base this Songkran. Valid for stays until 30 June 2019. For more information, visit www.ozohotels.com/chaweng-samui
Sinhala and Hindu New Year in Sri Lanka
13-14th April 2019
On 13 and 14 April each year, Sri Lanka celebrates the Sinhala and Hindu New Year (also known as Aluth Avurudu). Festivities are wonderfully musical, colourful and flavourful. Expect rhythmic drums and sweet delicacies being served as homes are cleaned and repainted. Home to one of the world’s most famous Buddhist temples, the Sri Dalada Maligawa, or Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic in Kandy welcomes visitors to experience the celebrations.
At dawn on New Year’s Day, also known as Aluth Avurudu Udawa, firecrackers, drums and bells signal new
beginnings. Annual rituals are held throughout the day, some of which visitors can join in. An abundance of food and well wishes are shared— plates of homemade sweetmeats are exchanged with the intention of no plate returning empty. At the local temples, the village chief anoints visitors with an herbal oil essence, purifying the body and spirit.
After all the yearly traditions are over, the streets fill up with more music and celebrations, including tug-o-war and even a public pillow fight.
Discover the charms of Kandy, a UNESCO World Heritage City amongst green hills, with the “Explore Kandy”
package. In addition to a full-day city tour of Kandy’s shops and popular attractions, guests will also enjoy a
complimentary room category upgrade and early check-in / late check-out. The package starts at 244 USD for two nights, and is valid for stays until 31 October 2019. For more information, visit www.ozohotels.com/kandy-srilanka