Thailand, the land of smiles is rich in culture and tradition. There are numerous captivating festivals celebrated across the province throughout the year. The country never fails to entertain the visitors with its vibrant festivals, delightful heritage, and with a glimpse of tradition. Each month offers significant revelries that are celebrated across the country, and yes there are plenty of eager tourists who also take part in it.
There’s no better way to experience the incredible country with its ethnic diversity through its spectacular festivals. The color and sacred rituals of these magnificent events will make you feel special. For travelers who want to enjoy a colorful and exciting celebration, these Thailand festivals will surely enthrall them. The events will help the visitors to a vibrant holiday retreat in the land of smiles. Before we dive into the depths of knowing the 7 Thailand festivals, let’s see what are all the significant festivals in Thailand that are being celebrated all around the year.
Songkran: The Water Festival:
Songkran Water Festival is perhaps one of the most entertaining festivals in the Thai province. This festival is the Buddhist New Year festival and usually associated with spring cleaning at home and welcoming the New Year. The Thai people spend time with their family giving respect to their elders. They gently sprinkle or pour warm water on relatives, close friends, and neighbors to wash away the bad luck of the previous year and usher in a fresh start for the upcoming future.
The 3-day long festival also involves a water fight in which people participate across the country. People enjoy drinking, dancing, and music along with drenching from head to toe with water. They use buckets, hose pipes, water guns, and anything else that they can get their hands on to splash water on others. Sounds fun right?
As the biggest fun festival in Thailand, you can see the wild scenes of exuberance across the province. One thing is for sure, you will definitely get wet! No matter where you are in Thailand, you’ll witness a fun celebration. Let’s know about the Songkran festival in cities like Bangkok, Phuket, and Pattaya.
During the Songkran festival in Bangkok, the capital city experiences a massive crowd as many of the people travel back to their hometowns for family reunions. The tourists can also enjoy the colorful and festive vibes in Bangkok. The biggest parties are found in Khao San Road and Silom Road. Many hotels have pool parties and dance party extravaganzas with water cannons.
Phuket also sees the wildest celebrations during the Songkran Festival. You will find a morning till night party and fun in the island city. Even the police involve themselves by swapping their firearm for a water pistol for a few days.
There is no surprise that Songkran festivities last longer in the party city Pattaya as the water fights go on for a week-long period. Every bar in Pattaya will have a selection of water butts in front with blocks of ice floating in them. Every hotel becomes a nest for water shooters. Soi 6 and 7 create complete chaos and an unavoidable crossfire in Pattaya. Beach Road is also cut off to traffic and stages are set up for live music and foam machines.
Held on: 13th to 15th April every year
Chinese New Year:
The colorful and exciting Chinese New Year is considered as the biggest Chinese festival. It is known as one of the most exhilarating celebrations at the official Chinatown of Bangkok. This area’s narrow and lively passages are an exciting place to explore during the festive season.
If you are planning to go to Bangkok around the Chinese New Year, head straight to the Chinatown on Charoen Krung Street. You can see the dragon and lion dancers, firecrackers, iconic Chinese lanterns, and crowds of worshippers including locals. They gather to participate in the fanfare and enjoy some Chinese banquets. The locals pray to Gods, participate in big family feasts, and celebrate at home by paying respect to their ancestors during the festival.
The colorful performances and the exotic dragon dances extend further the streets of Yaowarat, NakhonSawan, KohSamui, Chiang Mai, and Phuket. The Chinese banquets, food stalls, and dragon parades at the temples are really must-see and worthwhile for the tourists.
Held On: Usually in January or February every year (Depends upon the Lunar Calendar)
Phuket Vegetarian Festival:
Phuket Vegetarian Festival is one of the most surprising and unusual festivals in Thailand. This festival is so famous among world travelers because of the extreme acts undertaken by the locals. During this festival, some locals walk barefoot on hot coals and voluntarily pierce their faces or body parts with weird objects in order to purify their souls. There is a belief that Chinese gods will protect them from harm in return for painful demonstrations on their bodies.
They honor two Taoism’s Gods named Lam Tao and Pak Tao. They are accompanied by drums, fireworks and vegetarian cuisine. They walk with other participants in a procession. The ceremony of this festival takes place in the vicinity of 6 Chinese temples. This infrequent 9-day event is also known as the Nine Emperor Gods festival.
This annual festival takes place in October. However, if you have an irrational fear of blood, you should probably give this one a miss!
Chiang Mai Flower Festival:
The flower festival in Chiang Mai is one of the distinctive festivals one can experience in Thailand. The floral displays and floats parade make the flower festival a unique experience in the land of smiles.
This festival is held every year on the first weekend of February. Chiang Mai is nicknamed as the Rose of the north; the sweet fragrance and intense bloom of it give another shade to the place. The SuanBuak Hat Park in the old town is surrounded by the flowers such as orchids, chrysanthemums, and the Damask Rose. These flowers make Chiang Mai an ideal showcase in Southeast Asia.
During the 3 days festival, the city turns into a plethora of colors with decorated flowers winding across the city. You can see the floral arrangements, miniature trees, and ornamental plants and flowers with creativity.
A laid-back ambiance at the street food stalls and crowds make the flower festival fun and entertaining event for both young and old alike. A friendly and laid-back atmosphere, plenty of street food stalls and manageable crowds make the Chiang Mai Flower Festival a fun and relaxed event ideal for both young and old.
Boon Bang Fai: Rocket Festival:
If you are planning for a Thailand tour, then attend the Boon Bung Fai skyrocket festival. It is a colorful festival that showcases the local Thai culture and cuisine with a bang. It is considered as the noisiest festival in Thailand. You can see the rockets go up to a height of more than 20000 feet.
This festival is held before the monsoons begin. It is usually held between the months of May and June. There is a belief that rain is going to encourage rice crops to grow. This is a festive break for the locals before harvesting of crops.
It is a unique festival in Isan. Isan is a Sanskrit word which means northeast. The majority of the part is Lao speaking people. You shouldn’t miss the festival when you are in Thailand.
Loi Krathong: The Festival of Light:
People across Thailand gather by the water after dark to release floating baskets (Krathongs) filled with burning candles during the Loi Krathong festival. The Krathongs are usually made from banana tree trunks or lilies. There is a belief that bad luck and negative thoughts will go away as the rafts drift away.
The locals place flowers and coins to thank the water goddesses for providing rain during the rice harvest season. The flickering candle pays respect to Lord Buddha. Loi Krathong is one of the largest festivals in Thai Province. The three-day event is filled with processions, beauty contests, and firework displays. There is a river parade with Krathongs usually held by the Govt. organizations and businesses with a prize for the most creative design.
The candle festival is closely tied with the Yi Peng festival as it occurs on the same night with the Buddhist principles of releasing the past and wishing good for the future. As both the festivals fall on the same night, you can experience both floating sky and water lanterns at once.
Loy Krathong is held in November on the full-moon night according to the lunar calendar. It is one of the most celebrated festivals in Thailand. There is a huge opening ceremony on the Chao Phraya River and at the Sukhothai. In Trat, a border place near to Myanmar, the locals use coconut shells for Krathongs which they string together to make beautiful chains.
During this festival, people work in teams and fire rockets to the sky. Every team competes with other teams to send the rocket to the highest elevation. Earlier, the rockets were made of bamboo and nowadays they are using steel and plastic storm pipes. Apart from rockets, people also enjoy traditional costumes, music, and dance. There are beauty contests and performances held showcasing folktales of princesses and princes.
Ubon Ratchathani Festival: The Candle Festival:
This festival is also one of the finest festivals in the region of Isan that showcases the skills and talents of Thai artists.
People make intricate wax carvings and parade the sculptured candles of temples. These wax carvings are usually made up of beeswax and are decorated with Thai and Hindu folklore and mythology. The candle symbolizes the preparation for the rainy season. The ethereal sight of the candlelit parade will give you a really memorable experience in Thailand. The candle procession on full moon day marks the beginning of Buddhist Lent. All the candle sculptures are entered into a competition where artists from across the world participate in the spectacular full-moon festival in Thailand.
This gives a stunning experience for visitors filled with festivity and joy. Visitors can know more about Thai traditions and customs.
Visiting a local festival in Thailand can be one of the best ways to know the culture and heritage. It can also be great fun for you. Whether you’re taking part in sacred lantern release or getting soaked in the streets if you want to coincide your trip with one of these incredible festivals, plan the upcoming festivals. We’ll help you out in every manner.