10 Festivals in Thailand to Book Your Travel Times Around
Most festivals in Thailand are rooted in Buddhist, Hindu, or animist traditions. Many of these festivals are popular among tourists visiting the Kingdom. You may have taken part in or read about Songkran, Loi Krathong, and other well-known Thai festivals.
However, there are still many more things to experience and discover in Thailand, including some less known celebrations. In this post, we look at some of the festivals that you might not have known.
1. Loy Krathong – Festival Of Lights
Every November, Thailand celebrates Loy Krathong, a Buddhist holiday. The festival originates from the Sukhothai period. Loi Krathong includes many events and activities, such as making small boats out of banana leaves. They float them along the water to thank the river goddess Yi Peng – a sky lantern festival.
Loy Krathong is one of Thailand’s most beautiful festivals because they hold fair-like activities along the rivers with LED street lights lighting up the pavements. Locals wear traditional clothing, and fireworks light up the dark pavements.
2. Boon Bang Fai – Rocket Festival
The Rocket Festival is for celebrating the rainy season. They hold it in May, so it coincides with the start of the rainy season.
People believe that during this season, the evil spirits are at their strongest. So, people go through all kinds of rituals to keep the spirits from harming them. The activities include making thousands of rockets that they launch into the sky to scare away evil spirits. They also have parades, dancing, and night parties.
3. Vegetarian Festival
The Nine Emperor Gods Festival happens every year around September or October, which honours the nine emperor deities in Taoism. It is said that they imported the festival to Thailand from China. During this Phuket festival, the participants maintain a strict vegetarian diet for the nine days leading to the actual festivity.
Other Taoist-influenced activities during this time include rituals such as releasing fish into the water as worship. They also engage in releasing doves into the sky and walking on hot coals. The mediums pierce their bodies to invoke the gods.
4. Bun Phra Wet
The Thais hold this Festival Of The Holy Rain in mid to late October in Ubon Ratchathani Province.
The highlight includes hundreds of local monks walking in a procession to collect water from the PaSak Chonlasit Dam. They then take the holy water back to a temple in a nearby city. Finally, they hold a special ceremony at the temple in honour of Chao Pho Khao Thong, an ancient god.
5. Phi Ta Khon
They hold this festival in early June in Dan Sai village. During the ceremony, they reenact a Buddhist story about Lord Buddha. They celebrate his return home from exile in his previous life as a prince. The people dress like ghosts in masks made of rice husks that have bright paints and long noses. Also, they tie bells on their bodies, carry a sword and phallic charms.
Other activities include firing rockets with good luck tokens, traditional dances, and prayers by monks.
6. San Lak Muang Festival
This Taoist-influenced celebration started back during the Sukhothai Kingdom in the 13th century. It is a religious ritual for fertility, health, and prosperity.
Highlights of this festival include parades held throughout Thailand, with each province using a unique costume. In modern-day Bangkok, San Lak Mueang is firmly rooted in the city’s cultural fabric. The festival occurs in mid-December.
7. Thai New Year (Songkran)
Also known as the Water Festival, it signifies the start of Thailand’s traditional calendar.
People splash scented water at others (friends and strangers alike) during this festival using water guns and buckets. They believe it’s cleansing and brings prosperity and luck. Also, the Buddhists go to pray, light candles, and cleanse one another with water in the temple. They make a procession with Buddha statues in the streets and pour water on the statues on the last day.
8. Yi Peng (Lantern Festival)
During this festival, the people light many paper lanterns and let them float in the sky at night. It symbolizes the release of terrible memories of the past and moving into the light from the darkness. The lanterns form a beautiful view that many tourists enjoy watching.
Other activities include music, parades, fireworks, religious ceremonies, and great food. Also, they make wishes for a prosperous future.
9. The Monkey Buffet Festival
If you want to watch thousands of macaques attend a banquet, this is the festival for you. The locals serve them a buffet with fruits, vegetables, and sticky rice. The festival takes place in Lopburi and involves dancing, singing, and making speeches to honour the monkeys.
10. The Firework Festival
The people of Pattaya hold this festival every November. Activities include competitions in a firework display, which attract international participants. This festival takes place for two days, the second day being the most popular as participants showcase their skills for 45 minutes.
Attending Thailand festivals will give you a memorable time worth your money. The festivals enable you to learn their culture and have fun, whether taking part or just watching them from the sidelines. Apart from the festivals, you also get to have quality time at their beaches, jungles, and beautiful temples.