Holidays and celebrations

Holidays and celebrations

January 1 – New Year's Day is celebrated throughout Thailand with plenty of drinking and dancing as well as elaborate family feasts

February 5 – Chiang Mai Flower Festival sees the streets near Buak Haad park are decorated with colorful orchids. This event features street parades, competitions and feasting

February – Chinese New Year; the changing of the Chinese calendar is celebrated throughout Thailand with colorful parades as well as fireworks and feasting

Mid April – Songkran is Thailand’s very own unique New Year festival. Celebrations include visits to the local temple and vibrant water fights in the streets. Expect to get soaked if you are in Thailand at this time of year

May - Visaka Bucha Day is an extremely sacred day for Buddhists - a time of temple going, candlelit processions and feasting with family

June – Phi Tha Khon; the people of Dan Sai in northern Thailand dress themselves in weird and wonderful costumes to both honor and exorcise the dead. A kind of cross between Halloween and April Fool’s Day, this day sees the people of Dan Sai run riot, chasing each other through the streets

June – Yasothon Rocket Festival; this Isaan festival goes off with a bang as all manner of rockets and fireworks are launched into the sky to bring rain to the parched lands

July – Khao Phansa marks the beginning of the three-month rainy season. During this time Thailand’s monks stay inside monasteries. The festival features parades of large decorative candles

22-26 August – Fisherman’s Village Festival, held on Koh Samui, is one of Thailand’s most vibrant music festivals

September - Samui International Regatta; people gather from all over the world to take part in contests that involve sailing yachts around various parts of the island

September – Elephant Polo Tournament, held in Chiang Saen, celebrates the role of elephants in Thailand with special shows and parades through the street

October – Vegetarian Festival; lasting for nine days, this is a time to abstain from eating meat. The festivities are at their biggest in Phuket and feature parades through the streets of men in religious trances with all manner of objects pieced through their cheeks

November – Loi Krathong is held at waterways all over Thailand, particularly in Bangkok and Chiang Mai. People gather to float lotus-shaped vessels on the water for luck, to release turtles and to launch mulberry paper lanterns into the air. This is a time for young lovers to celebrate together

December 5 – King’s Birthday; events take place in Bangkok, especially around the Grand Palace. Highlights include fireworks and a royal barge procession along the Chao Phraya River. The celebrations often start several days early, and on special years elaborate parades and other events are staged

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