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Festivals & Events

 

 

Тhai festivals tend to be linked to the agricultural seasons or to Buddhist holidays and are most frequent from February to March, after the main rice harvest is in. The general word for festival in Thai is ngaan thêtsàkaan. The exact dates for festivals may vary from year to year, either because of the lunar calendar or because local authorities have decided to change festival dates. For specific dates, contact TAT.

 

Calendar events

JANUARY
NEW YEAR’S DAY 30 Dec-1 Jan
This is the first of Thailand’s three New Year’s celebrations
and features Western-style revelry.

bangkok_new_yearFEBRUARY–MARCH
PHRA NAKHON KHIRI FAIR early Feb
Notable temple festival in Phetchaburi with classical dance and dramatic performances and a beauty contest for local widows.

phra-nakhon-si-ayutthayaCHINESE NEW YEAR Jan-Feb
On the first day of Chinese Lunar Year the Chinese
celebrate đrùđ jeen with lion dances and fireworks,
most spectacularly in Bangkok and Phuket.

china_new_year_bangkokMAGHA PUJA
(MAH·KÁ BOO·CHAH) Feb-Mar
The full moon of the third lunar month is celebrated
countrywide to commemorate the Buddha’s
spontaneous, unannounced preaching to 1250
enlightened monks. It culminates in a candle-lit
walk around the main chapel at every wát.

magha-puja
APRIL
CHAKRI DAY 6 Apr
Across the country, celebrations are held for the
founding of the Chakri royal dynasty.

chakri_day
SONGKRAN 13-15 Apr
Buddha images are ‘bathed’ and a lot of water is tossed about in a nationwide water fight to celebrate the Thai New Year. Tourists are not exempt, so dress to be soaked!

songkran-thailand
MAY–JUNE
SAILBOAT REGATTA early May
Hat Chao Mai , near Trang, holds an annual
regatta for traditional wooden sailboats, accompanied
by music and theatre.
VISAKHA PUJA
(WÍ·SĂH·KÀ BOO·CHAH) May-Jun
The full moon of the sixth lunar month commemorates
the Buddha’s birth, enlightenment
and parinibbana (passing away). Activities are
centred around the wát, with candle-lit processions,
chanting and sermons.

visakha-puja
HUA HIN JAZZ FESTIVAL Jun
This is Thailand’s best jazz festival; see http://jazz
festivalhuahin.com.
JULY
ASALHA PUJA
(AH·SĂHN·HÀ BOO·CHAH) Jul-Aug
Full moon of the eighth lunar month commemorates
the sermon preached by the Buddha upon
attaining enlightenment.

asalha-puja

KHAO PHANSA (KÔW PAN·SĂH) Jul-Aug
The day after Asalha Puja is the beginning of
Buddhist ‘lent’, when young men enter the
monkhood for the rainy season and monks station
themselves in a single monastery for three
months.

khao_phansa
BANGKOK INTERNATIONAL
FILM FESTIVAL late Jul
One of two Bangkok film festivals. The dates vary.

bangkok_international_film_festival

AUGUST
PHUKET GAY PRIDE Aug-Sep
A multiday event that’s been running for years.
The dates change a lot.

phuket-gay-pride
SEPTEMBER–OCTOBER
VEGETARIAN FESTIVAL Sep-Oct
For nine days at the start of the ninth lunar month,
devout Chinese Buddhists give up meat and engage
in stomach-turning acts of self-mutilation.
Mainly celebrated in Phuket, though Krabi and
Phang-Nga celebrate on a smaller scale .

phuket_vegetarian_festival
OK PHANSA Oct-Nov
The end of Buddhist lent on the full moon of
the 11th lunar month sets off a national party. It
cele brates the Buddha's three-month retreat to
heaven to talk to his mother.

ok_phansa
NOVEMBER
LOI KRATHONG Nov-Dec
During the full moon, Thais launch hand-made
lotus-shaped baskets and boats bearing a candle
and flowers into rivers, lakes and canals to thank
the water goddess for life.

loy-krathong
DECEMBER
KING’S BIRTHDAY 5 Dec
Across the country, formal processions and cultural
displays take place. Bangkok's festival centres
around the Grand Palace.

kingbirthday_thailand
BANGKOK JAZZ FESTIVAL Dec
Three-nights of jazz are held in Dusit Park,
Bangkok featuring international and Thai performers.

a_jazz_festival_bangkok
CONCERT IN THE PARK Dec-Feb
The Bangkok symphony plays at Lumphini Park
every Sunday (5.30pm to 7.30pm) between mid-
December and mid-February.

 

 

 

 

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