What's happening in Asia in July?

Got a trip to Asia coming up? Want a heads up on major events taking place in the region? Here’s our monthly guide to what’s happening in Asia.

July 1: Hong Kong handover anniversary (Hong Kong)

This month marks 22 years since the handover of Hong Kong from British to Chinese rule in 1997. The anniversary is a public holiday known as “Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Establishment Day”. This year, the anniversary will be set against a background of tensions, as it follows some of the biggest mass demonstrations in the city’s history.

July 1-3: Summer Davos (China)

The World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting of the New Champions - also known as ‘Summer Davos’ - will take place in Dalian, a major port city in northeast China. The meeting will bring together politicians, business leaders, academics and others from more than 100 countries. Summer Davos is held annually in China, alternating between the cities of Tianjin and Dalian.

July 3- 5: Bangladeshi PM China visit (China)

After attending Summer Davos, Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will travel to Beijing to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Li Keqiang. Sheikh Hasina is expected to raise the issue of the Rohingya crisis, seeking China's support in urging Myanmar to take back more than 740,000 refugees who have settled in Bangladesh.

July 11-13: Naadam (Mongolia)

Naadam is an annual national festival in Mongolia that focuses on three traditional games: Mongolian wrestling, horseracing and archery. Traditionally, only men were allowed to take part in the competitions, but these days women can also participate in the archery and horseracing events. Although the festival is said to predate Genghis Khan, in modern times it has also come to commemorate Mongolia’s independence from China in 1921.

July 17: Start of Vassa (South Asia)

Vassa, or “rains retreat”, is an annual three-month monastic retreat which is observed primarily by Theravada Buddhists in South Asia. According to Buddhist tradition, the Buddha told his disciples they should retreat during this time as the monsoon period made travel dangerous. In Thailand, the start of Vassa is marked by a festival called Khao Phansa.

July 21: Upper house election (Japan)

Japan will hold an election for the House of Councillors, also known as the upper house, on July 21. Half of the seats in the upper house are decided by election every three years, with members serving six-year terms. This year there will be 124 seats up for grabs, after the total number of seats was increased from 242 to 248. The ruling coalition, led by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party, is expected to maintain its majority.  

July 28: Thai King’s birthday (Thailand)

July 28 is the birthday of Thai King Maha Vajiralongkorn. The date is a public holiday, and is celebrated with a parade, cultural performances, and other activities. King Vajiralongkorn was officially crowned in May this year, two years after ascending the throne.

Main image: Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe/Facebook

 - Asia Media Centre