With Chinese New Year and Valentine’s Day just around the corner, there is certainly no shortage of events and happenings in February. We’ve picked out a few of the must-see ones – so check them out if you’re travelling in these cities during the festive season.
Hub of Entertainment
Fringe World, Western Australia’s largest annual event and the third largest fringe festival in the world, returns bigger than ever to entertain international audiences in the Australian summer. Festival-goers are spoilt for choice with an extensive variety of shows, from comedy, circus and theatre to film and the visual arts, music, dance, cabaret and even children’s shows. Kickstart your visit at The Woodside Pleasure Garden in Russell Square, where most of the action takes place, with free street performances and circus tent shows. Not to be missed are the Fringe World Mermaids, with performers swimming and splashing in the festival’s ever-popular ‘mermaid’ tank.
- When: Until 17 February
- Where: Various venues around Perth, Australia
The lighting up of Penang’s iconic Kek Lok Si Temple during Lunar New Year adds a festive air to the already popular state attraction. Tens of thousands of Chinese lanterns and a colourful array of lights transform the 128-year-old temple grounds into a magical land of lights when the sun goes down. With the support of the state government, the Kek Lok Si Temple has observed this tradition annually for over 40 years. The temple’s usual opening hours will be extended until late during this period to allow visitors to view the lights at night.
- When: 4 – 19 February
- Where: Kek Lok Si Temple, Penang, Malaysia
Despite its origins as a procession to celebrate the birthdays of Chinese deities, the annual Chingay Parade has turned into a multi-cultural national event in Singapore and the largest street performance and float parade in Asia. Held on the first weekend of the Lunar New Year, the street parade is an event celebrated by ethnic Chinese, Malays, Indians, Eurasians and even foreign groups. The lively night parade adds to the Lunar New Year festivities with brightly lit floats, acrobatic performances, lion and dragon dances, stilt walkers as well as dancers clad in colourful costumes.
- When: 15 – 16 February
- Where: Surroundings of the F1 Pit Building, Singapore
Mix Shakespearean comedy with a wacky cast of cyclists and you get an adaptation of Twelfth Night by the HandleBards, hosted by Gardner & Wife Theatre. The HandleBards, a U.K.-based troupe of cycling actors who carry all their sets, props and costumes for their outdoor Shakespeare performances, will crank up the humour by acting out Twelfth Night’s complicated love story with an all-male cast, clad in stockings, suspenders and an array of funny costumes. Bring the whole family and have a laugh at this zany interpretation of a Christmas-time Shakespearean classic.
- When: 14 – 20 February
- Where: PJ Live Arts, Jaya One, Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia
Celebrating The Arts
The 47th Hong Kong Arts Festival is back this month, showcasing its biggest pool of talent yet with over 1,700 international and local artists. This multi-genre arts festival brings together all kinds of performances, from Western and Chinese opera to classical music, jazz, world music, ballet and other forms of dance and theatre, as well as large-scale special events and outdoor events. Tickets are selling fast for performers such as the Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan, Jockey Club Local Creative Talents Series, Hamburg Ballet and John Neumeier, Beijing Li Liuyi Theatre Studio and many more.
- When: 21 February – 23 March
- Where: Various arts venues around Hong Kong, China