Thailand is a Buddhist country and Buddhists have many festivals. In this article I have narrowed things down to 10 large festivals.
It is worth
noting that that the Thai people are very enthusiastic when it comes to their colorful festivals.
The festival is held on the Eastern new year 13 to 15
April. This falls on the hottest part of the year, the end of the dry season. Songkran is a cleansing festival and it is celebrated by throwing water on people or shooting them
with water guns. Songkran is the largest Thai festival.
During the Balloon Festival, they have a daily launching of a massive number of balloons creating a breathtaking spectacle. During the festival their
are a number of concerts and firework displays. The festival organizers also have a tethered balloon, that takes visitors up for a ride.
Ubon Ratchathani Candle Festival
festival is held all over Thailand, but the one in the province of Ubon Ratchathani is the largest. During the festival giant candle statues are paraded through the streets. The
statues are of Hindu or Buddhist mythological scenes.
The festival is held in mid July, the exact date depends on the Buddhist calendar.
Phi Ta Khon
This festival is held over 3 days.
During the first day they hold a
series of games and a procession. The participants in the procession wear colorful masks made out of rice husks. Be warned the costumes may have some sexual bits.
second day they fire rockets and hold dance contests.
The third day involves listening to sermons from monks.
A Krathong is a decorative floating container. The container is made from the trunk of a banana tree or bread. The Krathong is decorated with a candle, banana
leaves and incense sticks. Sometimes people put a coin on the Krathong as a offering to the river spirits. You launch your Krathong on a pond or river making a wish as you do
During Loi Krathong beauty contests are held, they are known as “Nopphamat Queen Contests”.
Bun Bangfai Rocket Festival
During the first 2 days of the
festival they have dance, music, processions and folk theater.
Bunfai is held just before the rainy season. On the third day of the festival bamboo rockets are fired into
the sky. Launching the rockets is meant to help the rainy season and harvest.
The festival is held in the North East of Thailand.
River Kwai Bridge Week
This festival commemorates the 60,000 foreign prisoners of war that died, in the area, during the Second World War. The bridge itself was built by POWs and was part of the
During the festival they put on a show using planes, trains and explosives.
Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya World Heritage Fair
This festival has a great location. It takes place in the Ayutthaya Historical Park which is a UNESCO
World Heritage Site. The fair showcases traditional dancing, lifestyle and music.
Lopburi’s Monkey Feast
The Monkey Feast is exactly what it sounds like. Chefs
spend hours preparing a large vegetarian feast. Then hundreds of wild monkeys come in and eat the feast until they can’t eat anymore.
Phuket Vegetarian Festival
First let me say this festival isn’t my cup of tea. The vegetarian part is a cleansing ritual meant to improve the participants health. During the festival there are
ceremonies in which people pierce their cheeks with various sharp implements. So if you don’t like loud, bloody festivals stay away from this one.