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The value of advertising to audiences in the Asia-Pacific region can’t be underestimated. Asia is a hotbed of economic growth, and an increasing middle class means a growing opportunity for marketers.
Digital campaigns that cater to local culture will be the most relevant – and therefore drive the most revenue. Before you start running ads in Australia, China, Indonesia, or Vietnam, make sure you’re aware of the unique holidays and traditions in each country. To help marketers plan social advertising campaigns for a region as populated and large as APAC, we’ve put together this handy reference calendar.
Many APAC countries celebrate New Year’s Eve with celebrations and fireworks. However, China and other countries in the region also have massive festivals for the Chinese New Year. These celebrations often fall in January or February, traditionally involving visiting relatives and setting off firecrackers. Before these festivities, families thoroughly clean up their homes and shop for items related to the festival – like paper animal cut-outs and red envelopes with money to give to their children.
January 1 – New Year’s Day
January 3 – Maulidur Rasul (Indonesia)
January 12 – Coming of Age Day (Japan)
January 26 – Australia Day (Australia)
January 26 – Republic Day (India)
February is also a month of new year celebrations, as countries like South Korea and Vietnam recognize their own new years. Similarly to the Chinese new year, families mark this holiday by cleaning out their house and having big meals with relatives. Many buy new clothes and shoes to wear on the first day of the new year, in addition to buying small gifts for friends and relatives. Red is an important color during these celebrations.
February 6 – Waitangi Day (New Zealand)
February 8 – Korean New Year
February 8 – Tet Nguyen Dan/Vietnamese New Year (Vietnam)
February 8 – Chinese New Year
February 14 – Valentine’s Day
On March 8th, China celebrates International Women’s Day. This day recognizes women’s economic, political and social achievements. To mark the occasion, men buy presents for important women in their lives such as their wives, daughters and mothers. Because of this, the holiday has morphed into a combination of Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day, making it an ideal time to promote products related to each of those holidays.
March 4 – Makha Bucha Day (Thailand, Laos, Cambodia)
March 21 – Hari Raya Nyepi (Indonesia)
March 27 – Easter (Philippines, Australia, New Zealand)
April is a month full of festivals in Asia-Pacific, and as a result this is a huge month for travel in the region. In China, Qing Ming Jie calls for outdoor activities like kite flying. Meanwhile, Thailand’s new year’s festival Songkran turns streets into battlefields as people throw water on each other in the spirit of the holiday’s theme of purification.
April 5-6 – Qing Ming Jie (China)
April 6 – Chakri Day (Thailand)
April 13-15 – Songkran (Thailand)
April 15 – ANZAC Day (Australia, New Zealand)
April 30 – Reunification Day (Vietnam)
In May, two celebrations in Japan recognize nature and children. On Greenery Day, people in Japan appreciate nature by planting trees and spending time outside. Children’s Day is dedicated to the happiness and health of kids, and is celebrated by flying carp-shaped windsocks and displaying samurai armor. In May, many countries also celebrate Mother’s Day by showering mothers with gifts.
May 1 – Labour Day (Singapore, Philippines, Malaysia, Burma, East Timor, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam)
May 4 – Greenery Day (Japan)
May 5 – Children’s Day (Japan, Korea)
May 8 – Mother’s Day (Malaysia, Taiwan, India, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand)
May 8 – Parents Day (Korea)
May 16 – Isra Miraj (Indonesia)
China celebrates its Dragon Boat Festival in June. The occasion is marked with dragon boat races, rice dumplings and an overall emphasis on health and wellness. Many countries in the Southeast experience the rainy season in June, so rain gear such as boots and umbrellas are especially in high demand this month.
June 1 – Vesak Day (Malaysia, India, Singapore, Indonesia)
June 6 – Queensland Day (Australia)
June 9 – Dragon Boat Festival (China)
June 19 – Father’s Day (Singapore, India)
Hari Raya Puasa (or Eid al-Fitr) marks the end of Ramadan for Muslims in Asia. People usually recognize the holiday by housekeeping, buying new clothes and enjoying big feasts with family and friends. Also in July, Japan celebrates Marine Day. This holiday was established to celebrate the importance of the sea, usually involving water sports and cultural activities relating to the ocean.
July 6 – Hari Raya Puasa / Eid al-Fitr (Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore)
July 18 – Marine Day (Japan)
July 30 – Asalha Bucha (Thailand)
In August, many countries in Asia-Pacific celebrate their independence. Singapore marks its National Day with parades, fireworks and other patriotic spectacles. India also marks its Independence Day with patriotism and celebrations, usually having outdoor picnics or meals with friends and family. In Indonesia, the holiday is celebrated with performances, community gatherings and games.
August 9 – National Day (Singapore)
August 15 – Independence Day (India)
August 17 – Independence Day (Indonesia)
Japan honors its elderly citizens in September during Respect for the Aged Day. This holiday celebrates senior citizens with performances, presents and large meals. In China, many celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival with Moon Cake and outdoor celebrations.
September 4 – Father’s Day (Australia, New Zealand)
September 12 – Hari Raya Haji (Singapore)
September 15 – Respect For The Aged Day (Japan)
September 15 – Mid Autumn Festival (China)
September 23 – Autumn Equinox Day (Japan)
September 26 – Queen’s Birthday (Australia)
September 14 – Chuseok (Korea)
The first day of October is National Day in China. Most people have the week off for this holiday, making it a massively popular time for traveling. Stores often offer discounts during this holiday, making it a huge shopping holiday for many Chinese. In Japan, people celebrate Health and Sports Day. This event, marking the opening day of the Tokyo Olympics in 1964, is an occasion for field games, sports, and a general awareness of health and physical activity.
October 1 – National Day (China)
October 2 – Mahatma Gandhi’s Birthday (India)
October 3 – Labour Day (Australia)
October 10 – Health and Sports Day (Japan)
October 11 – Dussehra (India)
October 24 – Labour Day (New Zealand)
October 30 – Diwali/ Deepavali (India, Malaysia, Singapore)
October 31 – Halloween (Australia, New Zealand)
You’re likely aware of Singles’ Day, China’s massively popular shopping holiday. Many single people use this day, organized by e-commerce giant Alibaba, to buy themselves gifts. The holiday has exploded in the last few years, totaling $14.3 billion in revenue over 24 hours in 2015. If you’re looking for an occasion to drive APAC sales through digital advertising, Singles’ Day is it.
November 11 – Singles’ Day (China)
November 23 – Labor Thanksgiving Day (Japan)
Christmas is popular in Asia, even in countries where the religious aspect of the holiday is not celebrated. In Japan, many get into the material spirit of Christmas by giving gifts and hanging lights. At the end of the month, many countries welcome in the next year with New Year’s Eve parties and fireworks.
December 25 – Christmas (Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand)
December 26 – Boxing Day (Australia, New Zealand)
December 31 – New Year’s Eve
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