10 dates in 2023 you won’t want to miss

Every year, Oban publishes a free international e-commerce and travel marketing calendar. This calendar lists key dates in different markets around the world – including lesser-known dates as well as famous milestones – and is a valuable resource for marketers who use it to plan campaigns in target markets. The full calendar features over 190 dates – here, we’ve highlighted 10 eye-catching milestones in 2023:


6th January: Three Kings Day, Spain

Also known as Epiphany, this day celebrates the three wise men visiting the baby Jesus. The way this day is celebrated depends on what kind of Christian you are and where you live in the world. For example, in Spain, Epiphany morning is the major gift exchanging occasion. Whilst Santa (‘Papá Noel’) is increasing in popularity, it’s the three kings and their camels who ‘deliver’ the presents in this market.


4th February: Venice Carnival, Italy

One of the most famous carnivals in the world, the Carnevale di Venezia attracts hundreds of thousands of tourists every year. Parades line the city of Venice, where onlookers marvel at elaborate masks and costumes. Travel and hotel brands can take advantage of this influx of international tourists by advertising hotel deals far in advance, as seasoned visitors know to book their accommodation as early as possible.


23rd March – 14th May: Keukenhof, The Netherlands

The Netherlands is world-renowned for its beautiful fields of tulips in wide ranges of colours and varieties. Also known as the ‘Garden of Europe’, Keukenhof is open to the public during its 8-week tulip display, where tourists can see the 7 million bulbs in full bloom. In 2022, 1.1 million people visited Keukenhof.



5th April: Songkran, Thailand

Songkran is Thailand’s New Year national holiday and is also known as the ‘Thai Water Festival’. The water is symbolic of spiritual cleansing: the country-wide water fight is an opportunity to rid yourself of bad luck from the past year, blessing you with happiness and good fortune for the coming year. Despite muted celebrations during the pandemic, the event has a history of drawing in tourists – in 2018, the festivities attracted over three million foreign visitors, with the top visitor markets being China, Malaysia, Laos, Russia and India.


6th May: King Charles III’s coronation, UK

The UK will enjoy an extra bank holiday this year to commemorate His Majesty The King’s Coronation on the following Monday. Over 8,000 guests attended Queen Elizabeth II’s Coronation, but King Charles III’s is expected to be smaller, with approximately 2,000 dignitaries present. With street parties, barbecues and the best of British food and drink on the menu, there’s plenty of opportunities for marketers and particularly for British brands.


1st June: JD 618 Shopping Festival, China

This colossal mid-year shopping festival in China was originally launched by JD.com but has since spread to other e-commerce platforms. JD.com saw over $56.48 billion in sales during the 2022 extravaganza. E-commerce brands focusing on China should include the first 18 days of June when planning promotion periods, as Chinese consumers shop from the beginning of June.


1st – 15th July: Ochugen, Japan

Gift-giving is an important aspect of Japanese culture. Two major gifting occasions in Japan are Ochugen and Oseibo, which occur in July and December respectively. Ochugen gifts are given to convey gratitude to family, friends and work colleagues. Typical gift items include confectionery, alcoholic beverages, tea, fruit, laundry detergent, and soap. The retail value of the Ochugen market was worth ¥670 billion in 2022.


22nd August: Qixi Festival, China

Also known as ‘Chinese Valentine’s Day’, this event celebrates the romantic legend of two lovers meeting in the stars for one day each year. Marketing activity typically kicks off in early July and is a particularly lucrative time for the luxury sector. In recent years, high end brands such as Louis Vuitton, Valentino and Miu Miu have found success by localising their campaigns and choosing celebrity ambassadors that resonate with Chinese consumers.


28th September: Chuseok, South Korea

Often thought of as the ‘Thanksgiving’ of Korea, this is a time for families to come together and pay respect to their ancestors. As city dwellers make long car journeys to visit far-away relatives, it’s not unusual for traffic jams to go on for hours. A traditional Chuseok ritual is ‘Cha-rye’, where 20-30 dishes are prepared and eaten together to honour past generations. The required ingredients usually double or triple in price at this time, as almost every Korean family will have them on their shopping list.


10th October: World Mental Health Day, International

World Mental Health Day aims to raise awareness of mental health issues and reduce stigma. After a challenging time with the pandemic, many consumers are  engaging in self-care routines to support their physical and mental health. By 2025, the worldwide health and wellness market is expected to reach over $6 trillion. Marketing aside, this is an opportunity for businesses to engage in conversations about staff and customer wellbeing.


20th November: El Buen Fin, Mexico

This annual shopping extravaganza sees locals flocking to brick and mortar stores for big savings. However, the e-commerce presence of this event is significantly on the rise thanks to younger consumers taking an interest. In 2019, 52% of online El Buen Fin shoppers were younger than 35. In 2022, the most popular product categories were electronics, household appliances, fashion, furniture and homeware.


23rd December: Super Saturday, US

This date is the last Saturday before Christmas. It’s recognised as a major day of American retail revenue, where last-minute shoppers get their Christmas shopping done. In 2022, US consumers were expected to spend approximately $870 on Christmas gifts on average. E-commerce marketers can create urgency by using countdowns in their campaigns.

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These are just 10 dates from Oban’s 2023 international marketing calendar – click here to see the full calendar.

Oban International is the digital marketing agency specialising in international expansion. Our LIME (Local In-Market Expert) Network provides up to date cultural input and insights from over 80 markets around the world, helping clients realise the best marketing opportunities and avoid the costliest mistakes.

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