We love festivals – they’re fun, they teach us a lot, and across Indochina there is such a wealthy diversity of them. Festivals are society’s pressure release valve. They suspend normality, subverting hierarchy, legitimising taboos, and enabling release. They are a time out of time – a temporal discontinuity – and unlike all other times festivals are occasions when people can let themselves go, shrug off inhibitions or social mores, and express things which might otherwise have to stay hidden.
For several years now we’ve been analysing festivals across Indochina. From the very local (Laos’s Bun Bang Fai Rocket festival for example) to local takes on regional festivals (take Vietnamese Tet
for instance), to the global (say Halloween), we’ve conducted both qualitative and quantitative studies of what festivals mean to people, and what opportunities they open up. What’s emerged is a fascinating picture, with some festivals in Darwinian ascendency – adapting themselves successfully to an ever changing region – and others in decline, losing relevancy and engagement. We’re now able to start releasing these studies. So if you’re interested in knowing what’s the second most popular day of the year to lose your virginity in Vietnam, or why Christmas is thriving in largely non-Christian region, or what’s driving the come-back of kites in Cambodia, or what’s water got to do with New Year in Myanmar, please join our exclusive Partner network and read.