February 18, 2016
You maybe surprised to know here in Thailand – April is not Just about Songkran
Finding the actual dates of festivals in Thailand is never easy (see our post explaining more about what and who dictate their timing), but April is in the main all about the one national (crazy) festival that is Songkran, the dates are supposedly the same across the Kingdom, 13-15th April 2017, but many of the provinces will have a local ‘Songkran Festival’, where the dates, at times names and periods of festivals may vary. (see our list of the biggest Songkran events across Thailand).
For more on the history, spiritual meaning and the rules (yep you may not believe it but the festival has its own set of rules) in what is the world’s largest water fight see our post Wet and wild in Thailand
For more on what’s happening each month click on any of the following
A word of warning…..It is worth noting most Thai people like to return home over this eagerly awaited festival, so they can spend time with their families and to ensure they get to join in with the water mayhem. Therefore be prepared for traffic chaos from both the people trying to get to and from their homes, worse still if you get caught in the middle of a towns celebrations.
Below is a selection of Thailand Festivals in April 2017, with links to the relevant Province information on Wikipedia, where you will find general information on how to get to there, along with information on what else to do in the province. Those highlighted will link you to a more detailed description of the event as posted on our Asia BackPackers web site.
While some the event names, may not seem that inviting, each festival has its own unique place in the history of its local people. That said each has its own identity, plus they all have a number of traits in common, they all deliver a blaze of colour, provide more than a dash of fun and you will always be surrounded by the warmth of the Thai people and best of all they are almost all free to join in.
We will update this post with dates, times and new festivals as they become known to us
Thailand’s Goddess of Mercy
To Mo Chinese Goddess Festival where the people of southern Thailand show respect to a goddess that is known throughout Asia Thailand’s Goddess of Mercy
When: Annually in April
Every year, on the 23rd day of the third month of the Chinese calendar (around April), a festival is held at the Chao Mae To Mo Shrine, located in Soi Phuthon, Charoen Khet Road, in Su-ngai Kolok sub district, Narathiwat.
This is a time for both merit making and joyful celebrations, with a whole host of activities, including a procession featuring local people from the surrounding provinces and from other countries, bedecked in their local and national costumes, accompanied by Chinese dancing lions, a show of acrobatic ….for more on the festival and the importance of the goddess click Here
Luang Pho Sothon Celebrating Fairs
When: It starts from the 14th day of the waxing – moon of the 5th lunar month, (April) to the 1st day of the waning moon, in the fifth month of the lunar calendar.
Where: Wat Sothon Wararam Worawihan. Municipality of Mueang Chachoengsao alongside the Bang Pakong River. Chachoengsao Province. Central Thailand
The celebrations and the procession, of a replica of Luangpho Sothon, taken by land and by river, is the largest annual event of the province. The three days are cloaked in a traditional Thai fair, which have for countless centuries been carried out on temple grounds throughout the kingdom.
The fair is a combination of the local people’s desire to meet their neighbours, sell their wares, pray and ask the enshrined images for good fortune over the coming months. Added to the festivities are daily performances by Thai dancers, dressed in traditional costume, who for a small donation will entertain the worshipers. (It is said that this is similar to the performances seen at the Four-Faced Buddha at the Erawan Shrine in Bangkok).
The nearby river front also gives you the opportunity to take a Long-tailed boat service to and from the city market.
For more on the Fair, the legend of the three Buddha’s and the importance of the Buddha image of Phra Phuttha Sothon click here.
Loi Ruea Chao Le Festival (or “Floating Boats of the Sea Gypsies”)
When: Annually on the Full Moon of April (11th April 2017)
Where: Moken villages on the South Surin Island (Surin Tai island) Mu Ko Surin National Park. Phuket Province
This annual private event (invitation only), is to help The Moken in their struggle to preserve their traditional culture in the face of growing tourism and with it, the influence of western culture.
Every year in the sea gypsy villages on South Surin Island (Surin Tai island), the Moken conduct the ceremony of “Loi Reua”, to pay homage to their ancestrial spirits and to ask the spirits of the dead to care for and protect the Moken people. This is a very auspicious occasion for the sea gypsies who are often described as sincere and peace-loving, preferring to flee trouble than engage in disagreements. For more on the people and the festival click here
Chakri Memorial Day
When: Annually on the 6th April
Where: Across Thailand
Chakri Memorial Day 2017; is a Public Holiday in Thailand and is a time for reflection, for its people on their long and colourful past. It is held on the 6th of April each year (unless the 6th falls on a weekend, then the holiday falls on the immediate Monday). Government offices, schools, and banks will be closed, but most other businesses open as usual on this day.
Chakri day commemorates both the coronation of Rama I, and the time for the people of the Kingdom, to pay homage to all the previous 9 Kings, in the Chakri dynasty, plus the current and tenth King, his majesty Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun (Rama X). At the age of 64, Vajiralongkorn is the oldest Thai monarch to ascend to the throne. He succeeded his farther the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej (Rama IX).
For more on the day and the Chakri Dynasty click here
Wan Lai and Kong Khao Festivals
When: Annually on the 16th – 21st April
Where: Across Chonburi Province
Thailand in April is not all about Songkran. While most of the rest of the Kingdom of Thailand will celebrate the Thai New Year over the 13-15 April, here in the Province of Chonburi the locals call Songkran the Wan Lai Tradition and there are five unique and colourful festivals that run from the 16th to the 21st of April each year. For more on each event see our post
Thao Suranari Memorial Fair
When: Annually 23rd March – 3rd April 2017
Where: Around the Thao Suranari Monument between Chumphon and Ratchadamnoen Roads. Nakhon Ratchasima City-Nakhon Ratchasima Province
In Memory of one of Thailand’s Greatest Heroines: The festival (billed as the biggest in Isaan) is filled to the brim with local cultural performances in song, dance and music, with the unique Khorat songs such as Phleng Khorat, played in the evenings. The song is a dialogue duet, singing tradition that has developed into a folk spectacle by the people in Khorat and traditionally uses only hand clapping with no musical instrument to accompany the vocals.
For more on the event and details on the heroine of Korat and how she turned the tide on an invading army click here
Si Satchanalai Elephant Back Ordination Procession
When: Annually April 7th – 8th
Where: The procession is held around the village of Ban Hat Siao and the Si Satchanalai District Office. The ordination ceremony is held at Wat Hat Siao. Amphoe: Si Satchanalai, Sukhothai Province Northern Thailand
The soon to be monks are carried on the backs of elephants that once used to work the local land, these towering animals which can number between 20-30 beasts, are painted and decorated in their best finery, with their passengers attired in traditional Phuan clothing, this includes the mahout and at least one other person there to carry a huge colourful parasol to keep the sun off the novice while they parade around the town and across the river. (Others may well climb aboard during the parade as they try to join in the celebrations).
The parade is led by a mass of well-wishers, family and friends, along with musicians and huge mobile stereo systems, all joining in the cacophony of sound that surrounds the festivities. While not Songkran the people will also make the effort to keep these majestic animals cool by dousing them as often as possible with water until they first reach the cool waters of the river and then after until they reach the Wat entrance and the young men begin their journey into monkhood
The event also has its share of traditional folk dances, along with an array of music and cultural demonstrations, a selection of local handicrafts, and of course a rich boiling pot of Thai food and drinks, all of which adds to this rich mix of colour and sound.
For more on this event click here
Trang Food Festival (งานมหกรรมอาหารดี ศรีตรังบาน)
When: Annually 30 March – 3 April
Where: Somdech Phra Srinagarindra Park 95 (Khao Pae Choi). Trang. Southern Thailand
Southern Thai food is renowned for its spiciness. Much of the cuisine has its origins in Malay, Indonesian and Indian food. Favorite dishes from the south include Indian-style Muslim curry (massaman), rice noodles in fish curry sauce (Khanom Jeen),rice and vegetable mix with Voodo sauce (KhaoYam), pork fried with Dasheen and red tofu sauce (GoYuk) plus chicken birayani.
Trang also has a unique breakfast cuisine found nowhere else in Thailand Dim Sum, which can consist of; consists of; Ja Kuai (deep fried bread), Go pii and Pa Tong Ko (local sweet donut) all washed down with Go pii (black coffee served with sugar).
This annual festival is held to further promote dishes of Trang Province. Food stalls of Trang restaurants offer dishes at discounted prices. Additional activities are an eating championship and cultural performances.
Kwian Phrabat Tug-of-war Tradition (ประเพณีชักกะเย่อเกวียนพระบาท)
When: Around Mid April (TBA)
Where: Wat Tapon Yai, Amphoe Khlung. Chanthaburi Province Southeast Thailand
Kwian Phrabat or the Buddha’s footprint tug-of-war competition is a local tradition that has been observed for more than a century and plays out over the traditional Songkran period, the competitions are a mixture of fun and serious matches and while you can expect to be soaked during the day in the evenings there will be various forms of dry entertainment taking place. The festival will also include the elegant and traditional Rot Nam Dam Hua ceremony (pouring scented water onto the hands of the elderly to seek their blessing see more on this traditional and ancient ceremony).
Hae Nam Khuen Hong Festival
When: Annually 17 – 19 April
Where: The plaza of Chaopho Mueang Dong Monument, Tambon Ban Tuek, Amphoe: Si Satchanalai. Sukhothai Province Northern Thailand
During the festival 14 local villages will amass approx. 50 of their elephants which they will lavishly decorate and paint before parading them between the shrine of Chaopho Khao Mung, and the plaza containing the Chaopho Mueang Dong Monument to pay homage to the memory of this ancient local hero. For more on this festival click here
Nang Yai Wat Khanon Festival
When: Around the 13-14th April (TBA)
Where: Tambon Soifa, Amphoe Photharam, Ratchaburi Province (about two-hour drive South from Bangkok).
The event includes not only performances by the temples own puppeteers (each performance has a cast of approx. 20 puppeteers and 10 musicians playing traditional musical instruments and narrators) but also from troupes from around the Kingdom, including the smaller rod puppets from Klong Bangluang, puppet dance from Phetchaburi.
That’s not all there will also be workshops and demonstrations of mask and puppet making and other traditional performing arts including the Lanna Khon Dance, telling the “Origin of Songkran Day” and the Dikir Hulu Muslim folk dances.For more the festival and art of Nang Yai, along with details on other types of puppeteers click here
Poy Sang Long
When: Annually in April Dates to be confirmed
Where: Wat Pa Pao on Manee Noparat Road. Chaing Mai Northern Thailand
This colourful tradition of the Shan people called Poy Sang Long is to celebrate its young sons who are to be ordained as novice monks and happens in only a selected number of Shan temples in the provinces of Chaing Mai and Mae Hong Son.
On the first day of this three-day festival, the selected boys known as luk kaeo, or “Crystal Sons” and who are usually between the ages of 7 -14, have their head and eyebrows shaved (to remove all vanity), they are then bathed in herbal water before feasting with their family after which they spend the night in the temple.
The second morning of Poy Sang Long, finds the boys donning white turbans, each are then assigned three attendants, one to act as the body guard, one to shade him with an umbrella, while the third is there to carry him atop his shoulders as the boy prince is only allowed to touch the ground either inside a family home or a temple, then each new prince along with their attendants and a mass of dancing and drumming participants set off in a parade to the temple.
On the third day the boys are again carried in a procession, escorted by their attendants and flanked by family and friends who are all eager to greet their newly found prince, as they believe their Crystal Son will bring them good luck. This time the boys are attired in the most lavish of clothes and jewellery, with faces powdered to represent the most affluent of nobility, the parade is led by traditional Shan musicians in a mass of colour and noise.
This is the point when the extravagance comes to an end. The boys ask permission of the senior monk to be ordained. Once this has been granted they start the process of removing the elaborate make up and costumes and change into the saffron robes of a traditional monk that have already been provided by their parents. The boys will remain as novice monks for at least one month, as they learn the pillars of Buddhism
The ordination of a son is a proud moment for all Buddhist parents, as they believe it will give them the highest merit. While for the boys it is hoped that the memory of this special occasion will stay with them forever. For more on the event the Shan people along with a host of picture click here
Phanom Rung Historical Park Festival
When: 31st March -5th April 2017
Where: Phanom Rung Monument. Buriram Province Northeast Thailand.
Phanom Rung or full name, Prasat Hin Phanom Rung is Perched 402 metres on top of a dormant volcano, this somewhat magical place was built between the 10th and 13th centuries and has commanding views of the surrounding countryside, from this vantage point you can see all the way to the Dongrek Mountains in Cambodia (Due South) and if you look to the Northwest you may also just see the smaller Khmer temple of ‘Prasat Meuang Tam’ some 8 kms away. The location and size of the complex is a sign of its prior importance in the Khmer Empire.
The festival is held to celebrate the 6 am sunrise in April each year and with it, the mystical powers the sun’s rays have on those who are fortunate enough to witness the light as it streams through the open temples doorways. It also includes a buang suang ceremony, (see here: You Tube of the ceremony) along with a gloriously colourful parade to pay respect to the gods and spirits. There are a number of traditional cultural dance & music performances and on April 4 and 5 there is the Phanom Rung Devalai light-and-sound presentation. The 3pm show depicts the procession of a former Khmer princess, while the 7pm light-and-sound show presents the history of Phanom Rung.
For more on the monument’s past and its Hindu roots along with more on the festival and the other days you may witness this spectacle click here
Thai Song Dam Festival (ประเพณีไทยทรงดำ)
When: Annually on the 18th April
Where: Song Dam Village, Khao Yoi Amphoe, Phetchaburi Central Thailand
Khao Yoi is in the North of Phetchaburi and is always the first stop for tourists who are visiting the province as it is under 2 hours from the centre of Bangkok. The popular attractions are the Khao Yoi Cave, the teakwood ordination hall at Wat Kuti, and Thai Song Dam community center.
The festival is awash with colour, as the villagers wear their traditional costumes through-out the day. There is a Buddhist merit-making ceremony and an abundance of more playful celebrations including folk plays and dancing. To see more on this unique festival and its people click here
Wai Khru Bucha Tao Ceremony (พิธีไหว้ครูบูชาเตา)
When: Annually around April – May
Where: Ban Ton Pho, Ban Phai Nong and Ban Salai, Tambon Tha Chang, Amphoe Nakhon Luang. Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya Central Thailand
This wai khru ceremony, as with all Wai Khru ceremonies is to pay tribute to their teachers. In this instance it is held by blacksmiths and knife-makers of Aranyik knives who also pray to the spirits who live within their forges. The ceremony is normally held on a Thursday nearest to the day of the waxing moon of the 5th lunar month (around April – May). Thursday is traditionally the day of the Hindu God Brihaspati presides over, and is the day of other Hindu deities and gods of wisdom and teachers.
After chanting for a congregation of angels and saluting the Triple Gem, the master of the ceremony will chant for a congregation of gods which include Siva, Vishnu, Brahma, Vishnukarma, Matuli, Vaya and others, as well as Thai, Lao, Mon, and Chinese masters who handed down to them their ironwork skills and secrets. All the participants, tools and equipment will be sprinkled with lustral water to ensure each person continued success, prosperity and to sweep away any possible future accidents.
Cantaloupe Day and Aranyaprathet Fair
This quiet part of Isaan that normally has the feeling of being the stage for a spaghetti western border town, comes alive for a few days of the year, when it celebrates its best known home grown produce
When: Annually 6-15th April
Where: Aranyaprathet railway station. Sa Kaeo Province Eastern Thailand
The town of Aranyaprathet is ideally situated if you are planning to travel to neighbouring Cambodia, situated as it is 6 kms from the border and far larger Cambodian town of Poipet ((officially Paôy Paêt It is famous for its strip of casinos, which is frequented by many Thai’s as gambling is illegal in Thailand). The border town is also on Route 33, part of the route connecting Bangkok and Siem Reap, the city nearest Angkor Wat.
During April every year when melons are being harvested locally the town plays host to this agricultural fair. The event includes a host of agricultural contests and presentations, a wonderful colourful parade of floats decked in cantaloupe, a beauty contest along with a myriad of booths selling local handicrafts and produce. That’s not all during this 9 day event there are also a range of other entertainment shows and activities.
For more on this fair and the province click here
Paet Rio Mango and Products Fair
When: Annually March to April
Where: Phutthasothon School in Amphoe Mueang, Chachoengsao Province Central Thailand
The province is home to one of Thailand’s most loved fruits the sweat mango and has around 140 square kilometers, mostly in Amphoe Bang Khla and Plaeng Yao, dedicated to growing this succulent fruit. There are several mango species, each offering a different flavor profile, such as Raet, Khiao Sawoei, Nam Dok Mai, Chaokhun Thip and Thong Dam. During the mango season there is an agricultural fair in its honour featuring agricultural produce contests, agricultural exhibitions, along with a mass of booths selling local handicrafts, food and drinks and of course a huge choice of different ways to enjoy mangoes.
More on the province
Derived from Khmer, the name Chachoengsao means deep canal, the province is also called Paet Riu, which means eight and Rio means stripes. The name is believed to have come from the way dried fish (which are abundant in the area) were pierced together into eight stripes before being sold. Chachoengsao(Paet Rio) is located to the east of Bangkok, approx. 80 kilometers from Bangkok. Wat Sothon Wararam Worawihan is the largest temple in the province and unlike most other temples in Thailand the roof is gray not orange/gold.
Phuket Bike Week
When: 14-16 April 2017
Where: Patong Beach, Phuket Town, Phuket. Southern Thailand
The annual Phuket Bike Week (now in its 22nd year) is on the 8th -16th April 2016. The event is expected to draw over 10,000 motorcycles and 50,000 visitors from 30 countries to Phuket. The excitement will take place in Patong Beach on 8th -10th April 2016 and in Phuket Town on 15th-16th April 2016. While not on the same scale as the bike week in Chonburi (Held Annually in February) the event promises to be a mass of colour and noise with bike shows and a music festival, all designed to straddle the Songkran water Festival during April 13 – 15
Pu Cha Phaya Lo Fair (Bucha Phra Lo) (ประเพณีปู่จาพญาลอ-บูชาพระลอ)
When: Annually on the 9th April
Where: Wiang Lo Ancient Town, Ban Huai Ngio, Amphoe Chun Phayao Province Northern Thailand
This ancient ruined town with its former walls, moat and temples was once a flourishing out-post of the Northern Kingdom of Phayao and may have been abandoned when the Burmese took control of the tiny kingdom in 1558. The festival is to pay homage to the former inhabitants of Wiang Lo and to ensure the history of this once important town is not forgotten. During the days event there are parades, cultural performances and a procession inviting the spirits of Wiang Lo’s past Kings to give their blessings on those in attendance. The evening is finished with a light and sound presentation.
Nonthaburi Fruit Fair
When: Annually mid April – to the beginning of June
Where: Rip-rap court in front of the old city hall, Muang District. Nonthaburi province Central Thailand
Nonthaburi Province is renowned for growing the best durian in the country, where it has been grown for over 400 years. The fruit is known as “durian Nont” which means durian from Nonthaburi Province. It is also known as the most expensive durian in the world. If you like your fruit why not stop in at the Nonthaburi Fruit Fair There are plenty of stalls and booths selling fruits, such as mangosteen, santol, Burmese grape, mango and of course Durian amongst other tasty local fruits. Plus a huge selection of flowering and decorative plants produced in Nonthaburi
Contact Nonthaburi Provincial office of Tourism and Sport Bangkra-Sor, Nonthaburi 11000 , Thailand Tel. 0-2589-5479
Tham Erawan Festival
When: Annually 12-15 April
Where: The Tham Erawan Cave on the border between Loei and Nong Bua Lamphu Provinces. Northeast Thailand
Situated inside the mountain of Pha Tham Chang is the Tham Erawan Cave, only accessible via a winding 600-step stone stair case. At the caves entrance sits the crossed legged golden Buddha statue of Phra Buddha (Chaisri Maha Munee Lokkanart). The entrance of which leads to a huge hall dotted with various types of stalactites and stalagmites in all manner of strange and eerie shapes that are picked out from the caves dark interior by both natural lighting from the caves opening and the colourful electrical lighting that is strategically place within the caves depths. A local gruesome folktale, Nang Phom Hom (The Lady with Fragrant Hair), who was the daughter of an elephant is said to have taken place here.
During the festival at the nearby temple, local villagers will make khan mak beng (Elaborate sculptures of varying sizes made from banana leaves and flowers) and take them in a colourful procession to the cave via the staircase. Later the khan mak beng will be judged with winners receiving prizes. There is also a beauty contest, a banana eating contest and of course this would not be Thailand if they did not also provide you the opportunity to treat yourself to buying local handicrafts and delicious local food.
For more on the festival and what else to do and see in the province click here
Krabi Rock and Fire International Contest 2017
When: 1st – 30th April 2017
Where: Railay Bay, Ton Sai Bay, Krabi Southern Thailand.
The contest provides participants with the opportunity to climb the craggy, challenging limestone cliffs and rock formations overlooking the emerald waters of the Andaman Sea. With Krabi offering some 600 rock-climbing routes, with numerous challenges for individuals of various levels of skills and experience. There are also several beginner climbs, so that even the novice climber can experience the thrill of climbing. Equipment rentals, instruction, and guides are all available. The towering cliffs of Railay Beach and Ton Sai Beach attract rock climbers from all over the world and have steadily gained fame as one of the premier rock-climbing destinations.
There are a number of different competitions including a lead climbing marathon, deep water soloing and a fire contest.
Koh Chang’s Food and Fruit Festival
When: 1 Apr – 31 May 2016
Where: Koh Chang Municipal Office Koh Chang, Trat Southwestern Thailand
Koh Chang is the second largest island after Phuket and benefits both from an abundance of sea and land produce which it proudly showcases during this event. This is your opportunity to try the famous and uniquely tasting Chani Durian or as it is commonly known as the “Koh Chang Durian” which has a hint of salt to its normal smelly but tasty flesh. You can expect to find a vast array of locally produced agricultural products and freshly caught fish and shell fish along-side a magical assortment of traditional handicrafts, there are also a number of various stage performances featuring the local Thai culture.
For more info contact: Koh Chang Municipal Office Tel. 039-586176 Koh Chang agricultural office Tel. 039-586180
Monkey Feeding Festival (งานบุญพาข้าวลิง)
When: Annually on the 2nd April
Where: Kosumpi Forest Park Maha Sarakham Province Northeast Thailand
This is one of two forest parks in this province, that derives most of its wealth from agriculture, the park is located on the Chi River and was formed to protect the natural hunting grounds of a number of crab eating birds and the local population of the rare “Golden monkey”, (Goldern Hair Macaques are only found in southeast Asia). They share this small forest with approx. 800 of the more common crab eating macaques.
The park opens its doors to enable the public to witness close up these at times rude but always funny primates eat a feast provided by the park rangers
Lampang Trains and Horse Carriages Day (งานวันรถไฟรถม้าลำปาง)
When: 1st April
Where: Nakhon Lampang Railway Station. Lampang Northern Thailand
The Northern Province is celebrating the 17th Train and Horse Carriage Festival, commemorating the opening of the first railway from Bangkok to Lampang in 1916 and on the 1st April in the same year when the first royal train pulled into the station. The event is also to salute the horses that played such an important part to the provinces earlier trading ability.
The day includes both exhibitions of trains and horse carriages and the participants will dress up in the traditional style of costume of the period. There will also be numerous other shows and performances featuring cowboys and cowgirls costume competition, a food festival and finishes with a light and sound show. There will be horse carriages on hand through-out the day and early evening should you wish to conduct your own sight-seeing adventure.
Phrathat Si Song Rak Fair (งานนมัสการพระธาตุศรีสองรัก)
When: Annually usually late April – early May (The full moon day of the 6th lunar month)
Where: Wat Phra That Si Song Rak Dan Sai district Loei Northeastern Thailand
Built in 1560 and located on a hill on the border of the former Kingdoms of Ayutthaya and Lang Xang, stands Wat Phra That Si Song Rak, built as a monument to the resolve of the kings of these two kingdoms, who agreed not to invade each other’s territory and to join forces against the invading Burmese armies. The temple was built in a style similar to that found in Laos and has a 30-meter-high ‘Chedi’. The wat is a focal point of this festival in and where local residents offer items made of candle wax to the temple’s monks, while this is a normal practice of merit making in this festival it takes on a deeper meaning as the temple is home to a Wax figure of the original the founder of the Temple.
A word of warning: It is important not to offer any red-colored items to the temple or to dress in red when you visit as this is regarded as invoking bad luck.
This same small backwater of a town is also host to the worldwide renown Phi Ta Khon Festival (also spelled Pee Ta Khon (Thai: ผีตาโขน), sometimes known as the Ghost Festival)
Click here for more on the Phrathat Si Song Rak Fair
Don Luang Cotton Festival and the Legend of Ngam Nong Nguek Festival
When: Annually at the beginning of April
Where: Don Luang and Nong Nguek Villages. Lamphun. Northern Thailand
Now in its 15th year Don Luang village is renowned as as the biggest handmade weaving cotton center in Thailand. The opening ceremony starts at 5 p.m. with a light and sound show plus a number of traditional performances.
Activities within the festival include cotton fashion shows, Ngam Nong Ngeuk Legend Beauty Contest, Demonstrations of processes of weaving cotton. See more Lamphun tourism and TAT Chiang Mai at Tel. 66 (0) 5324 8604, 66 (0) 5324 8607
PHRA MAHACHANOK FESTIVAL AND UTAI THANI RED CROSS FAIR
When: 1 – 9th April 2017
Where: Uthai Thani Stadium Uthai Thani Provice Central west Thailand
The ceremony is held annually on April 6th with light and sound performance to honor Phra Mahachanok (“The Story of Mahajanaka”). The story recounts the last incarnation of the Buddha as King Mahajanaka, who ruled the kingdom of Mithila, before being born again as Siddhartha. As King Mahajanaka, he valiantly faces challenges and trouble of every kind – from sinking ships to bloody succession feuds – and survives them all through his remarkable perseverance.
The late King His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej, published a book on this subject in 1997, it was later made into a animated movie.
For more contact The municipality office of Uthai Thani Tel : 056-511061
Ang Thong – Festival of Art and Culture
When: April 8 – April 11, 2017
Where: Wat Chaiyo Worawiharn, Chaiyo District, Ang Thong Province
The people of this central Province are mostly farmers, while Ang Thong means “gold basin”, thought to have derived from the basin-like geography of the area, and the golden color of the rice grown in the region. It is also famous for basketry along with different and varied produce made of bamboo rattan and the manufacture of drums.
This annual event is designed to show case the Provinces handicrafts and includes a number of Buddhist ceremonies and lots of art and craft demonstrations. Plus there are a vast arrays of music and dance presentations. While the province is one of the smallest in Thailand and just under hours south from Bangkok, it is home to over 200 temples.
For more information TAT office Suphan Buri Tel. 035 – 536030, 535789, 536189
Phra Mahachanok Festival and Utai Thani Red Cross Fair
When: 1st -9th April 2017
Where: Uthai Thani Stadium. Uthai Province. Western Thailand
The ceremony is held annually on April 6th with light and sound performance to honor Phra Mahachanok and booths selling OTOP products.
More The municipality office of Uthai Thani 056-511061 TAT. Uthai Thani Office Tel: 0 5651 4651 – 2
Kanchanaburi Wax Candle Procession Songkran
When: 13 April 2017 – 14 April 2017 all-day
Where: Wat Nongprue, Nongprue district, Kanchanaburi
Kanchanaburi has its own distinctive Songkran traditions, the highlight of which is the spectacular beeswax candle procession and other activities that accord with the Buddhists’ belief of the locals. The celebrations take place around Wat Nongprue in Kanchanaburi. Visitors will be able to take part in merit-making activities at the temple, the gentle pouring of water on local elders to show respect and to enjoy an exhibition that tells the story of the candle procession in Kanchanaburi. There will also be booths selling local products and tasty treats.
CONTACT:TAT Kanchanaburi +66 (0) 3451 1200 (Information and pic supplied by TAT)
Poom Pone Castle Festival (NIANG DOTHOM LEGEND)
When: 1 – 30 Apr 2017
Where: Poom Pone Castle, Dom, Sangkha, Surin
Get to know the legend of Poom Pone Castle in the light and sound performance (Niang Dothum Legend), enjoy the silk fashion show, join in the ritual to sprinkle water on elders, pay homage to the castle and watch local and cultural performances.
Sangkha District Office Tel: 0 4457 1247 and TAT 0 4451 4447-8 (Info and pic curtsy TAT)
PRASAT TA MEUN FESTIVAL (งานเยี่ยมเยือนปราสาทตาเมือน)
When: 12th Apr 2017
Where: The Ta Muen Thom Local Community, Ban Nong Khanna, Ta Miang, Phanom Dong Rak, Surin Surin Province
The festival includes Super Mini Marathon Race from Ta Miang District Administration Organization to Prasat Ta Meun with a total distance of 13 km., Fun Run for good health with a total distance of 5 km., Miss Ta Meun Beauty Contest, folk shows and Surin cultural performances. (info and pic curtsy TAT)
Qingming Festival or Tomb-Sweeping Day
Where whole families take the time to remember, those that they have lost and to remember, what they still have
When: 4 or 5th April each year
Where: Across Thailand
The Qingming or Ching Ming Festival, also known as Tomb-Sweeping Day in English, is a traditional Chinese festival, held on the first day of the fifth solar term of the traditional Chinese Luna solar calendar. This makes it the 15th day after the Spring Equinox, either 4 or 5 April in a given year.
The event is when Chinese people (and their descendents), visit the columbaria (public storage place for urns holding a deceased’s cremated remains), graves or burial grounds to pray to their ancestors.
This is a time when the young and old pray before the ancestors, sweeping and cleaning the tombs, they will also offer food, tea, wine, chopsticks, joss paper, and/or libations to the ancestors. The rites have a long tradition in Asia, especially among farmers.
Some people will carry willow branches with them or put them on their gates and/or entrance to their homes. They believe that willow branches help ward off the evil spirit that wanders on Qingming.
While Thailand has a large Chinese community the major celebrations take place in China, where the holiday is associated with the consumption of qingtuan, green dumplings made of glutinous rice and barley grass. It is also known as Chinese Memorial Day and Ancestors’ Day.
See more in our post Qingming Festival or Tomb-Sweeping Day in Thailand
Songkran Waterfall Sisatchan
When: 8 – 12th April 2017
Where: Si Satchanalai Historical Park, Sukhothai
Each day brings more surprises in this event, with ceremonies to worship long gone monks and the kings from a bygone age. Added to these solemn events are a multitude of colourful and fun shows and presentations from; goddess of water contest, a food festival and your chance to watch an elephant’s parade, and a demonstration of their unique talents.
The festival also highlights the 10 different local cultures in Si Satchanalai.
For more information: Si Satchanalai Municipality Telephone: 0 5567 9918
Salung Luang Songkran Festival in Lampang
When: 9 – 13th April 2017
Where: Khelang Nakorn Park, Tha Kraw Noi Rd, Mueang Lampang, Lampang. Northern Thailand
Salung Luang is the unique Songkran festival of Lampang and its former Lanna Kingdom. This event is in the main, without the copious amount of water throwing you can expect else-where over Songkran.
In this ancient event local people will dress in their traditional attire, to carry a giant silver bowl around the city to receive lustral water, from the people, which will later be poured onto the Phra Kaeo Don Tao, the revered Buddha image which is enshrined at Wat Phrathat Lampang Luang. (salung means water bowl and luang means large).
There will be a merit-making ceremony at the temple, plus a chance to make a sand pagoda, along with more traditional Songkran ceremonies of pouring water onto ones elder family members. As it is also possibly Thailand’s biggest days of the year, there is also a traditional Thai fair and various forms of entertainment, plus of course the chance to splash water on everyone else.
Contact: Tourism Authority of Thailand, Lampang Tel. 0 5422 2214 – 15
Songkran in Phra Pradaeng, Samut Prakarn
When: 21 – 23 April 2017
Where: Around Phra Pradaeng Municipality Building, Samut Prakarn. Central Thailand
The annual event is also known as ‘Songkran Paklad,’ is the local ‘Mon Peoples’ traditional way of celebrating the New Year. While the rest of the Kingdom is finally getting dry, the Mon people of this district in central Thailand are just gearing up for their more traditional Songkran Festival
All the locally surrounding villages, work together to create a colourful parade that includes elaborate flower wagons, carrying in turn Mon people, including Mr & Miss Songkran contestants, all dressed in Traditional Mon clothing.
There are a number of merit making ceremonies including those that feature Birds and Fish, which will be taken to the Prodketshetharam royal temple, where they will be set free. In Buddhism it is believed that any person who sets animals free will be saved from their own bad fortune and will live a long life.
The days are not just filled with more water throwing but also include presentations on traditional Mon cooking, music and dance, along with demonstrations on the ancient games that are stilled played today.
If you only want to join in the water throwing then the last day is when you want to be there.
Contact: Phra Pradaeng municipality 024634841, Tourism Authority of Thailand, Bangkok 022762721-2 Directions Google maps
Takua Pa Seafood Festival
When: 1 – 30 Apr 2017
Where: Bang Sak Beach, Takua Pa, Phang-Nga. Southern Thailand
The province is on the west side of the Malay Peninsula, and includes the many islands of the Phang Nga Bay. The most famous one is the so-called James Bond Island, a needle formed limestone rock in the sea, which featured in the 1974 movie The Man with the Golden Gun.
The Ao Phang Nga (Phang Nga Bay) National Park was established in 1981 to protect the many islands. The Similan Islands and Surin Islands, two of Thailand’s main diving destinations, are also part of Phang Nga Province
This annual festival is divided into 3 zones; Seafood Zone which features booths from hotels, General Zone, and OTOP zone. There are also Cooking contest, food stalls and music shows. Plus the opening ceremony includes a woderful light and sound performances.
Rayong Fruit Festival
When: 30th April – 4th May 2017
Where: Rayong Eastern Thailand
This festival is the perfect place for fruit lovers and offers you the chance to enjoy the taste of fruit from all over Thailand.
There are also fruit procession, a Miss Fruit Orchard beauty pageant, a fun filled fruit eating competition, fruit basket arrangement competition, papaya salad cooking contest and cultural performances.
Ko Phangan Colourmoon Festival
When: 23-27 April, 2017.
Where: HMS Phangan Memorial Museum near the island’s Thong Sala Pier. Ko Phangan
To most international visitors, the lush island of Ko Phangan is famous for its fun-filled parties that take place under the light of a full moon. But to Thais and locals, it’s the sweet local coconuts that are mostly celebrated. This amazing fruit is used in many Thai dishes, sweet and savoury and the milk, oil and shell make beautiful products and ornaments. The Ko Phangan Colourmoon Festival will showcase this amazing local product and the way of life of the island people, giving visitors new insight into Ko Phangnan.
Under the “Coconut is Life” theme, there will be several events taking place over the five days including a Coco Colourmoon Music Festival with well-known Luk Thung singers, a coconut inspired fashion show, an international fishing competition, sports events, a bird singing competition and a Mr. and Mrs. International Coconut pageant. There will also be a range of food stalls giving visitors the chance to try local Ko Phangan dishes, many using the rich milk and meat found in the local coconuts.
Contact TAT Tel: +66 (0) 2250 5500 ext. 4545-48
The Big Pride Week 2017
When: 27 -30th April
Phuket Pride is now a week long celebration with the goal of incorporating something for everyone, from sporting day events such as Beach Volleyball, Pool competition or a day out out on secluded Islands. Besides these daily activities, there are also a sit down Gala Dinner,Grand “Big Night Out” and on the last day, our Grand Parade. Throughout the week the owners of the gay bars in Soi Paradise also lay on special parties and shows.
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