March 12, 2016
While Songkran takes centre stage in the Kingdom every April, the month of May is slightly less manic and is more about the Royal Family, Buddhism, agriculture shows and the manic arms race that takes place across the Northeast of the country every- year
Revised March 2017
The actual dates of festivals across the Kingdom are never easy to pin down as they are defined by all manner of calendars and other strange and wonderful reasons see more.
For more on what’s happening each month click on any of the following
Labor Day in Thailand
While the world may use this day for political flag waving, here in Thailand it is a time of dance, music and an elephant or two.
When: 1st May Annually
Where: Across the Kingdom
National Labour Day วันแรงงานแห่งชาติ (Wan Raeng Ngan Haeng Chat) Coincides with International Workers’ Day. Observed as a holiday by the Bank of Thailand and the private sector.
May Day, Labor Day, or International Workers’ Day, is a public holiday in many countries throughout the worldwide; 80 in total. (The United States, celebrates Labor Day on the first Monday of September).
Usually occurring around May 1st, the date varies across countries and is traditionally associated the start of spring in the northern hemisphere, it was much later in 1886 that the day was associated with a worldwide call for an 8-hour working day, as well as the celebration of workers.
The day time festivities normally consist of parades featuring marching bands, sometimes lead by magnificently dress elephants, along with its fare share of beautiful Thai women, dressed in traditional local attire. The parades will also include local businesses and state agencies mingled with numerous other percussion bands playing traditional lively music, associated with the local culture. For more on this day in Thailand click Here
Coronation Day (วันฉัตรมงคล-wan chat-mong-kol). When the people of the Kingdom of Thailand, get the chance to pay their respects to “Their King”
Coronation Day (วันฉัตรมงคล-wan chat-mong-kol). May 2017 is no longer a public holiday
When: Prior to 2017 the event was held Annually on the 5th May
The cabinet decided in April 2017 to remove the Coronation Day of King Bhumibol Adulyadej as a national holiday.
This means Friday, May 5 will no longer be a day off for those working for Thai companies. However, the cabinet is adding two new holidays. They are July 28, the birthday of Thailand’s current monarch King Vajiralongkorn, and October 13, the date King Bhumibol Adulyadej passed away
Details on what was a national holiday for 80 years are as follows:
Held at Grand Palace in Bangkok and Across the Country
His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej was the ninth King of the Chakri Dynasty and on the 5th May each year the people of this grateful nation celebrated their late Kings coronation. While the King began his reign on the 9th June 1946 he was not crowned until the 5th May 1950. In doing so he was the first King of Thailand to have a coronation ceremony, prior to this there was a private function only attended by royalty and high ranking officials, the King chose to celebrate his crowning with his people and so became the first king to break with a centuries old tradition and have a public coronation.
The love and reverence the Thai people have for the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej and the monarchy in general is often difficult for outsiders to fully comprehend, but it is there for all to witness in the faces of its people, when they come to pay their respects to “Their King” on this most special of days.
For more on what was really a 3 day event click here
Royal Ploughing Ceremony
A combination of two religions and three Ceremonies and the only ‘Royal Ploughing Ceremony’ still to be held in South East Asia.
When: Date TBA From 8:19am to 8:49 am.
Where: Grand Palace and the fields of Sanam Luang. Bangkok.
The Royal Ploughing Ceremony is an ancient rite dating back over 2,500 years and heralds the start of the new rice-growing season. The event is usually in May, with the actual date determined by the king’s own Brahmin astrologers.
While the ceremony was once a purely Brahmin ritual it is now split into two distinct religious events combined into one Royal Ceremony. The Temple of the Emerald Buddha (Wat Phra Kaew) on the grounds of the Grand Palace in Bangkok hosts the Buddhist element while the Hindu part is held five minutes’ walk due north on the open fields of Sanam Luang, Bangkok.
For more on the three separate events that make up this ancient ceremony click here
In celebration of the birth, enlightenment and death of the Buddha
When: Full moon of the month of Visākha. In 2017 it falls on the 10th May
Where: Across Thailand
The Meaning of Visakha Bucha
Visakha Bucha (วันวิสาขบูชา), pronounced Wisakha Bucha in Thai, is the most important religious holiday in the Thai Buddhist calendar. Bucha means ‘Worship’. It is also known as Wesak or Vesak, Buddha Purnima and Buddha Day.
The day is to celebrate the birth, enlightenment and passing of the Buddha. According to the Theravada Buddhist traditions observed in Thailand, (95% of the population is recognized as Theravada Buddhist), these three events all took place on the same day of the year, on the full moon day of the Indian lunar month of Vesakha.
The Buddha’s enlightenment took place on his thirty-fifth birthday and he passed away on his eightieth birthday. Wisaka, the sixth lunar month, usually falls in May.
For more on the day and the associated National Tree Day click here
Prachin Buri Agricultural Products Fair
Where: Muang Prachin Buri, Prachinburi
A traditional Thai agricultural fair where local farmers have the opportunity to show off the best vegetables, plants, and all manner of agricultural products, with contests for best in category. There is the almost obligatory beauty contest, an agricultural vehicle parade along with an army of people selling locally grown and hand made products along with farming demonstrations, local traditional dancers and musicians.
The Tradition of Buddha Cremation (ประเพณีถวายพระเพลิงพระบรมศพพระพุทธเจ้า)
When: After Visakha Bucha Day 11th May 2017
Where: Wat Phra Borom That Thung Yang along road 102, just a few kilometres west of Uttaradit
This unique one of a kind religious ritual is seen nowhere else in Thailand. It features the re-enactment of the funeral ceremony for the Lord Buddha. With the backdrop of the ancient temple, the event includes both monks and local people in traditional dress presenting flowers to the statue of Buddha.
Later while flames consume the statue, the scene climaxes with a firework display that bathes the whole area in a multitude of colourful lights.
Sukhothai Mini-Light and Sound show
When: 5th May 2017
Where: Sukhothai. Lower Northern Thailand
The former Thai capital city of Sukhothai will once again present a series of the mini-light and sound presentation with one show per month scheduled between April and September 2017. The show consists of classical performances and fireworks display.
The show takes place at Wat Sa Si inside Sukhothai Historical Park and starts at 19:30 Hrs. on Friday 7 April, 5 May, 2 June, 7 July, 7 September and 1 September. There will also be a special performance on 12 August which marks Thailand’s national Mother’s Day. Best of all its FREE.
TAT Sukhothai Office is also encouraging tourists to visit Rim Yom market, in the Kong Krailat district of the province, which is open on every first Friday and Saturday of the month. Here visitors can sample a wide variety of local dishes and enjoy shopping for some of the local products of Sukhothai.
Sukhothai, which literally means “dawn of happiness”, is located 439.7 km north of Bangkok or about four-five hours by car or 1 hour 15 minutes by air.
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 there will be a huge selection of flowering and decorative plants produced locally.
The event also includes colourful parades of decorated floats, exhibitions, local performances, and beauty pageants where those put off by the heady scent of durian will find “Miss Durian” less pungent and much more appealing. Nonthaburi is home to the world’s most expensive Durian and can cost as much as 20,000 baht, or about $600, see more
Contact Nonthaburi Provincial office of Tourism and Sport Bangkra-Sor, Nonthaburi 11000, Thailand Tel. 0-2589-5479
Koh Chang’s Food and Fruit Festival
When: 1 Apr – 31 May 2017 (TBC)
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
While April is undoubtedly the month of Songkran, May is the month of ‘Rockets’. These huge pyrotechnics are more the ‘WMD’ proportion than the fireworks that most of us would have encountered. They come in all shapes and sizes from the cylindrical to massive sky bound cartwheels that reach high into the day time sky and which in turn seem to get bigger and bigger each year. (You Tube)
Rocket Festivals (known as Bun Bang Fai) take place throughout Isan (North East Thailand) prior to the start of the rainy season, May-June, with the exact dates specific to each village. Traditionally this ancient festival lasts for 2-3 days.
The Bun Bang Fai is a time when local people will let their hair down and party before the hard work of planting begins, with the new season’s rainfall. The time is one of joy and merit making with food and drink, in evidence everywhere, all wrapped up in a carnival atmosphere.
For more on these festivals including many more pictures and details on the three biggest annual events click here
Rayong Fruit Festival
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.
Yasothon Rocket Festival
When: Normally early to mid May (11-14 May 2017)
Where: Phaya Thaen Park Yasothon. 1.8 kms south west of the main Yasothon bus station
This is undoubtedly the largest rocket festival in the region and as with the majority of rocket festivals across Northeast Thailand the event is spread over three days but Yasothon has its own twist to what can only be described as an ‘Arms Race’.
It is worth noting that the origins of this festival goes back centuries and has its roots firmly steeped in ancient fertility rites.
This is most prevalent in the phallic symbols, that are seen just about everywhere and the bawdy behavior of some of the participants, who amid the riotous festive atmosphere, join in the parade by cross-dressing in gaudy clothing, which in turn leads to air becoming full of smutty (yet inoffensive) humor.
“This festival is truly a unique spectacular and if you are lucky to be in the vicinity during this magical, comical and at times raunchy event do bring both your sense of humour and a set of ear defenders as you will need both in equal measure. The whole festival promises to be a rollercoaster of a weekend”.
For more on the festival, expected dates, location and heaps more pictures click here
When: Normally early May (dates TBA)
While the festivals name, may not fill your imagination with images of dragons and witchcraft, this melting pot of faith and culture, demonstrates in a most colourful way, just how diverse the people of Thailand are and how, the Kingdom has benefited by welcoming ethnic groups from all over Asia.
The Ngan Bun Klang Ban and Phanat Nikhom Basketwork Festival, (งานบุญกลางบ้าน และเครื่องจักสานพนัสนิคม) is by its very name a combination of two events ‘Ngan Bun Klang Ban’ (roughly meaning to ‘Work Together Traditional Fair’) This ancient festival is to celebrate the coming together of three distinct groups of people; the original ethnic Thai’s, Lao and Chinese communities.
For more on the event including why these 3 ethnic people were brought together, some of their shared spiritual beliefs and more click here
Chanthaburi Fruit Festival 2017
Chanthaburi fruit festival is a fruit lover’s paradise offering fresh-picked tropical fruits from local orchards
When: Annually one week in May
Where: Chanthaburi Stadium and throughout the province.
This festival has been known by a number of names over the years and was once had the lofty title of the ‘World Durian Festival’ while the Tourism Authority of Thailand now calls it the less grand name that of the Chanthaburi Fruit Festival. What-ever it is called it is normally held in May each year and held over a one week period at the Chanthaburi Stadium and at venues throughout the province.
The event celebrates of the vast amount of tropical produce grown in the orchards surrounding Chanthaburi city, which is renowned as a rich agricultural region, near Thailand’s eastern border with Cambodia and produces half of Thailand’s durian crop
It’s then not surprising that the most popular fruit, of course, is the Durian, aka, the king of fruits. Loathe it of love it (It is barred from many flights, trains, hotels and closed areas due to its pungent smell) this football-size fruit with its outer spiny armour-like casing, protects the inner 10 or so seeds the size of dates, each covered with a thick, custardy, off-white “meat”, the only edible part of the fruit is as much a cultural icon in Southeast Asia as it is a treasured, eagerly anticipated food.
Not every-one is a fan of this acquired fruit with some even going as far as to write:
“It tastes like completely rotten mushy onions” – Andrew Zimmern, host of Bizarre Foods
“Like eating raspberry blancmange in the lavatory” – Anthony Burgess, author
Whatever your thoughts on the King of Fruits this festival allows you to try it, in all its varies forms along with numerous other fruits grown locally.
For more on the festival and this divisive fruit click here
Nang Lae Pineapple and Chiang Rai Linchi Fair
Where: Chiang Rai
A traditional fruit fair celebrating locally grown fruits, including the delicious exotic Linchi fruit. The fair is held to promote the distribution of locally grown Linchi and other agricultural products such as mango and the famous Nang Lae pineapple. Highlights include a beauty contests and shows celebrating the local cultural diversity along with a mass of stalls offering local hand made products plus food and a selection of folk entertainment.
Phrathat Si Song Rak Fair
The fair is to celebrate that two opposing armies did not spill each other’s blood and whose alliance kept both Kingdoms free from Burmese occupation.
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
This fair is to celebrate the age old bond, between the Thai people of Northern Loei and their boarder kin of southern Lao, it is in the main a spiritual event combined with a great deal of colour and pageantry.
The spiritual element is centered around cleaning of the Buddha images, a quiet and respectful lighting candle ceremony combined with a ceremony to ask for the rains to come and for the spirits to provide an abundant harvest.
The wat is a focal point of this event which always draws many thousands of people from all over the region and from neighboring Lao. Local residents and many social and educational institutions offer simple but colourful ‘Ton Puoeng’ to the Wat Monks.
These inexpensive but lovingly made, sacred offerings are unique to the festival and are placed all around the temple, forming a colourful wall and the perfect backdrop for the many people who come to make merit, dressed in traditional local attire.
For more on the festival along with further pictures click here
Sweet Santols festival and Lopburi food fair 2017
Where: Lopburi. Central Thailand
While the fruit is not actually a native of these shores it is used in Thai cooking in things such as som tam when still not fully ripe.
It is also one of the main ingredients in the santol and pork dish แกงหมูกระท้อน and santol and prawn Thai curries แกงคั่วกระท้อนกุ้ง. The festival hosts its own ‘Santos Contest’, the Miss Santol Beauty Contest and has a wide variety of local food and handicrafts to haggle over, plus a range of shows featuring the local culture.
When: Annually in May
Where: Muang district, Chiang Rai Northern Thailand
Here in the far north of Thailand, Chiang Rai has made a name for itself as one of the best places to try this wonderful produce, along with many other locally grown Asian fruits.
As with almost all agricultural fairs in Thailand there will be a host of contests running side by side with a Miss Lychee beauty pageant, plus a myriad of cultural performances. The fair will also be your opportunity to buy a raft of beautiful local handicrafts along with the chance to let your taste buds run wild trying a multitude of local dishes and drinks.
For more on this festival and the health benefits of Lychee click here
Plajan or Loi Ruea Boat Floating Festival. Where the ancient beliefs of an ever adapting group of Sea Gypsies are blended with the music and dance from two continents.
When: On the full moon day in the sixth (May) and the eleventh months (October) of the Thai lunar calendar. The festival is over 3 days and nights.
Where: Phuket, Lanta Island & Krabi
The festivities are different to the Moken Festival held on the full moon in April, in both the size and shape of the boats that are built to take away bad karma from the villages and the fact that the Urak Lawoi incorporate song and dance into their events.
The ceremonies centre around the setting adrift of small model boats, (thought to represent the craft the people used on their migration north, but which are no longer in use). The launching of these intricately carved vessels bearing candles and tokens from the people is held at night, their purpose is to drive away evil and bring good luck, and it’s also believed that the boat will float back to their ancestral home at Gunung Jerai.
For more on these people and the festival click here
Phrathat Kham Kaen Fair
When: The full moon day of the 6th lunar month
Where: Phra That Kham Kaen Chedi Khon Kaen Northeast Thailand
The city (and later province of Khon Kaen) acquired its name from this ancient Laotian style Chedi which sits some 27 kms from the provincial capital in the grounds of Wat Chetiyaphum, the actual date of construction is believed to be prior to 1783.
Temples across Thailand have been used for eons as both a spiritual heart of a village plus a central meeting place and fairs in all their different guises have been a part of these rural communities for the same period. During the annual Phra That Kham Kaen fair, many thousands of people visit both the temple and the Chedi to make merit and pay homage to the Stupa and the Buddha relics held within it.
The fair is a time of joy when local people have the chance to sell and buy each other’s agricultural products and handicrafts and to take part or simply to admire time honored cultural and musical performances.
Phra That Kham Kaen is historically an important and highly revered Chedi for the people of the province and features prominently on Khon Kaen’s provincial seal, the reverence and importance of the Chedi is believed to come from an ancient legend, concerning a Tamarind Tree
The folk story goes something on the lines of; a former Khmer King ordered 9 senior monks to take relics of the Buddha to be enshrined in the soon to be finished, newly built Chedi of Wat Phra That Phanom in Nakhon Phanom province, (approx. 295 kms northeast of Khon Kaen).
The monks on their way to Wat in Nakhon Phanom camped overnight near the stump of a dead tamarind tree on which the relics were placed…….
For more on the Chedi, Khon Kaen, the legend and why nine is a lucky number in Thailand click here
Boon Mahachart Festival and Boon Bangfai or Rocket Festival
Where: Amphoe Phang Kone Sakon Nakhon Northeast Thailand
When: 1st Week of May
Mahachart Festival and Boon Bangfai or Rocket Festival, (งานบุญมหาชาติและบุญบั้งไฟ อำเภอพังโคน) – The festival is held annually in the first week of May. With a host of activities include the local rocket contest, Mahachart Preying, Phang Kone Cuisine Festival, and the local rocket parade.
See a Video of the event Click Here:
Namatsakan Phrathat Khao Noi Fair
Where: The temple of Phrathat Khao Noi. Nan Province Northwest Thailand
This annual festival (Thai: งานประเพณีนมัสการพระธาตุเขาน้อย), takes place on the grounds of temple of Phrathat Khao Noi, with its white chedi and a huge walking Buddha statue overlooking the valley below. Situated high in the hills around 5 km west of town, over-looking the city of Nan. It takes place on the full moon night of the 8th northern lunar month (Lanna Calandar) or the 6th central lunar month (around May).
In the main this event is a Buddhist affair, with a number of merit making ceremonies and a ceremony paying respect to to the Wat itself and the religious relics it contains. That said there is an element of fun in the proceedings, when in the early evening the night sky is lite by the flames of thousands of small bamboo sky rockets, fired as an offering to the Buddha.
Picture from Charm Nan Today
Ordination Parade on Elephants Back Tradition
When: 14th waxing moon, of the 6th Thai Lunar Month (May – June) TBC
Where: Elephant Study Centre, Ban Ta Klang, Surin. Northeastern Thailand
The annual Ordination Parade on elephant’s back is held around the 14th waxing moon, of the 6th Thai Lunar Month (May – June). It is a time when as many as 100 elephants will transport novice monks and their entourage on this most auspicious occasion.
Activities: Witness the novice monk’s head shaving ceremony at Wat Chaeng Sawang, the ceremony to bless the novice monks, and the great procession to take the novice monks on an elephant ride to Don Buat or the hill where the ordination ceremony is preformed. There is also making offerings to the spirits and asking for forgiveness ceremonies at Talu Palace
TAT Surin Office +66 4451 4447
Yala City Pillar Ceremony (งานสมโภชเจ้าพ่อหลักเมืองยะลา)
When: Annually in May
Where: On the grounds of the Yala Municipal Office
Once a year the sacred Yala City Pillar, is taken from the safety from its home, in the centre of the circle in front of city hall, to be paraded around the city in a colourful and equally noisy procession. Added to the numerous religious ceremonies, that take place over the event are untold stalls displaying goods for sale and others showing exhibitions on local handicrafts. Plus there any number of traditional folk entertainments displays, such as Manora Dance, Nung Talung, and Hulu Li Ke.
These sort of festivities happen all across the Kingdom, where there is reportedly historical evidence that in the beginning of the seventeenth century the practice of human sacrifices was still wide spread and employed when-ever a new City pillar was built in Thailand see more
Khuen That Duean Kao Tradition
An ancient tradition that is a time for the local people to show respect to Buddha, local monks, and to honour former kings
When: Annually May – June
Where: Tambon Ko Taphao, Amphoe Ban Tak, Tak. Northwest Thailand
Each year in this quiet northerly outpost and former independent Kingdom, a warm hearted and colourful, merit making event takes place, to worship the Lord Buddha’s relics, that have for centuries been kept safe in local temples.
This ancient tradition is held annually on the fourteenth waxing moon day and the full moon day of the ninth lunar month of the Lanna lunar calendar, which coincides with the seventh lunar month of Thailand’s own lunar calendar, roughly late May or early June.
For more click here
Pang Sida Butterfly Watching Festival
When: May 1st – 30 June 2017
See more than 300 species of butterfly, while camping and trekking in the National Park visit the butterfly exhibition and play in the Pang Sida waterfall.
When: Mid May
Where: Phra That Hariphunchai Temple., Lamphun Province. Northern Thailand
This annual week long celebration, (known as ประเพณีสรงน้ำพระธาตุหริภุญชัย), is an ancient Buddhist festival where people of all ages and from all over the province, come to make merit.
Wat Phra That Hariphunchai, is situated in the small town of Lamphun approx. 28 km from Chiang Mai, its earliest origins are believed to be from 897 when the then king of Hariphunchai is said to have built a stupa (now the central stupa) to house a hair of the Lord Buddha.
The south-western corner of the temple compound is also home to a stone, indented with four footprints. Worshippers believe these footprints, confirm the legend of a Buddha visit to the area, when during his daily alms rounds, he is said to have predicted that a man would in the future, build a town on that spot and call it Harinphunchai.
It is to these relics that Buddhist people from all over Thailand, have flocked for centuries, to participate in the many ceremonies that take place every day. Along with the ritual cleansing of relics held, normally held in the unusual pyramid-shaped, 46 m high Dvaravati-style, Chedi, built within the temple grounds.
Besides the religious ceremonies, the event also boasts numerous cultural performances, including a battle drum beating contest and a royal drum beating contest…….for more click here
The Rocket Festival and the Legend of Kham Lai Horse
When: 7-12 May 2017
Where: Ban Nong Si Charoen, Ban That, Phen, Udon Thani
Bong Fai Festivals are held every year in most parts of Northeast Thailand, from May – June. It is said that the rocket festivals have a long history that can be mapped all the way back when the local tribes were ruled by Lao kings.
Fore more on the festival click Here
Hat Yai International Balloon Festival
When: 5 – 7th May 2017
Where: Jiraporn Central Stadium, Hat Yai District, Songkhla Province
Balloons from all over the world are expected in this annual event. The two days and nights are filled with an assortemnet of different shapes and sizes of colourful balloons. The event also offers a mini concert, featuring a number of famous Thai artists. The evenings feature spectacular light and sound shows, along with a wonderful night launch of these magnificent hot air balloons.
For more information: TAT Hat Yai Office Telephone 0 7423 1055, 0 7423 8518
Top of The Gulf Regatta
When: 4 – 8 May 2017
Where: Ocean Marina Yacht Club on the shores of Na Jomtien Beach. Pattaya
The 13th edition of Top of the Gulf Regatta Presented by Ocean Marina will take place 4th to 8th May, 2017 at Ocean Marina Yacht Club on the shores of Na Jomtien Beach. A festival of fun on and off the water, the regatta welcomes a diverse range of boats: Optimists competing in the Thailand Optimist National Championships, dinghies, one-design Platus racing in the Platu Coronation Cup, multihulls, and keelboats made up of strong cruising and IRC fleets including the TP52’s.
Elephant Buffet and Jumbo Queen Contest (งานบุฟเฟ่ต์ช้าง และประกวดราชินีช้าง)
When: Annually 1st May
Where: Sam Phran Crocodile Farm, Sam Phran District, Nakhon Pathom Province
This annual event, has been running since 1996, it was once commonly advertised (Starting 1997), as a combination of an Elephant Buffet and a Jumbo Queen Contest. While the Beauty pageant featuring slightly larger than normal Thai ladies has come under fire, (it may now have been stopped totally), for portraying larger Thai women in a bad light, the annual contest still goes on…….so we believe!
The day is held to promote elephant conservation, with the heart of the show a mountainous “Jumbo Banquet”, consisting of over 6 tons of food, used to treat and honor these majestic creatures. This is the best time for visitors to get up close and personal with Thailand’s national symbol.
Throughout the day there are a number of elephant performances, show casing the dexterity and intelligence of these once working beasts of burden, along with shows featuring the parks newest and youngest elephants.
The day is jammed packed with an assortment of other activities including both today’s assortment of different music genre, by see more HERE
Sea Mud Festival
When: 19 May 2017 – 21 May 2017
Where: Opposite Bang Tabun municipal district office, Phetchaburi. West/Central Thailand
The event is in its 8th muddy year and is a time for, out and out dirty fun. With a host of local mud games to watch and for those more adventures to join in, that include; a mud sea boxing competition, a mud sea slide competition, tug-of-war (would you believe in the mud). For the less energetic this is your time to experience mud spa treatments, to take a look at sculptures.
Added to all this mud and noise, is your chance to enjoy fresh seafood, while listening to live music and stage acts. If you still have enough energy left why not see how the local fisherman hunt for shell fish using flat boards and their bare hands.
Contact: Ban Laem District Office Tel: 0 3248 1168 or TAT Phetchaburi Office Tel: +66 (0) 3247 1005-6
MorLam Carnival festival
When: 6 – 7th May 2017
Where: Bueng Kaennakorn, Khon Kaen
Two days of Mor Lam performances by many famous artists, in both classical and modern versions.
Mor lam (Thai/Isan: หมอลำ ) is a traditional form of song in both Isaan and Laos, where it is seen as an important cultural link, between the two neighbours. Mor lam means expert song, or expert singer, Traditional songs typically feature the theme of unrequited love, the songs also reflect the difficulties of life in rural Isan and Laos, intermingled with wry humour.
The choice of instruments typically used, varies from region to region, with modern songs manly featuring larger bands. Contemporary ensembles include several Western instruments, in place of or alongside, traditional instruments. These Mor lam bands often feature electric guitars, drum sets, bass guitars, accordions, saxophones and keyboards, to mimic modern dance sounds or equivalents of native instruments.
Contact: TAT Khon Kaen office 0 4322 7714-6
Chiang Mai City Pillar Festival
When: 21st – 27th May 2017 (TAT provided dates)
The Inthakin or Lak Mueang Festival (also known as Sai Khan Dok or Bucha Sao Inthakin in Thai) is an ancient festival which takes place over 8 days and 7 nights, in what was the capital city of the once mighty Kingdom of Lanna. The event starts on the 12th day of the waning moon of the six lunar month.
This annual event begins on the afternoon on the 1st day with a colourful and glorious procession, featuring a huge number of local people dressed in traditional clothing, accompanied by folk musicians and dancers. The 10th Century Buddha image known as Phra Fon Saen Haa, (literally meaning One hundred thousand drops of rain), takes center stage in the proceedings.
As the procession flows around the walled city, its people will reverently step forward and bless the Buddha image with lustral water, the procession ends when the image eventually returns to its resting place throughout the event in the courtyard of the temple, Wat Chedi Luang, (the image is normally kept at the neighbouring Wat Chiang Man).
It is here the devotees are allowed to venerate the Buddha image and the guardian spirits of the city, particularly the spirits associated with the City Pillar, known as Sao Inthakin (The Lord Indra’s Pillar).
For more on this festival click here
Samui Regatta 2017
When: 20 – 27 May 2017
Where: Chaweng Beach, Bo Phut, Ko Samui, Surat Thani
Attend International Sailboat Race with over 25 participating boats. The event targets Asian and Australian markets.
Contact: Centara Grand Beach Resort Tel: 0 7723 0500
Dino Illumination Festival 2017
When: 8th April -14th May 2017
Where: Garden Gate (Luminous Garden), Amphoe Muang, Khon Kaen
A festival of light and colour featuring a whole host of different shape lanterns such as butterfly and flower lanterns, plus a range of huge dinosaur lanterns, the like of which once roamed the area.
Enjoy performances and stage shows such as magic trick, balloon twisting, and contemporary performances every Saturday and Sunday throughout the event.
Contact www.เที่ยวอีสาน.com or TAT Khon Kaen office 0 4322 7714-6
In celebration Visakha Bucha Day
When: Prior to Visakha Bucha Day (10th May 2017)
Where: Wat Suk Tharam. Nakhon Chaisri District. Nakhon Pathom. Central Thailand
Visakha Bucha Day is celebrated around the world and for Thai Buddhists it’s possibly the most important religious days of the year. Visakha Bucha (วันวิสาขบูชา), pronounced Wisakha Bucha in Thai. Bucha means ‘Worship’. It is also known as Wesak or Vesak, Buddha Purnima and Buddha Day.
Here in this small province 56 km west of Bangkok, the locals put on a show proceeding the big day to re-enact stages in the life of Buddha.
For more information contact: Tambon Tambon Administration Organization Tel: 0 3438 9052, 0 3426 5448
Brutal Ordination Parade 2017
When: 02 May 2017
Where: Ban Non Salao, Chaiyaphum. Northeast Thailand
Brutal Ordination Parade 2017 (No honest that’s the event name)
Being ordained as a Buddhist Monk is something that nearly all Thai men do at some point in their lives and the age-old ordination ceremony is always very special. But how it is carried out can differ greatly in different parts of the country.
The ordination ceremony in the village of Ban Non Salao in the Northeastern province of Chaiyaphum sees the Naga, or Nak, (which is the word used for a young man just before he is ordained), sit on a bamboo litter which is then carried by his relatives to the local temple. But on route, the Nak’s relatives will test his resolution for joining the monkhood by shaking the litter, often quite energetically and the monk-to-be has to hold on tightly.
Witnesses may think it is the ordination parade looks very brutal but local people believe that this endurance test is like a proof of their real intent and determination to become Buddhist monks. Although those fall off from the bamboo stretcher cannot enter the monkhood, but, since the commencement of this ceremony over 40 years ago, there have never been anyone falling from the bamboo stretcher before. So everyone could become the Buddhist monk.
In recent years the parade of the young monks has become quite a spectacle and tourists are always welcome to enjoy this little slice of rather boisterous Thainess.
Displayed image from TAT Newsroom Contest 2014 entrant: ‘Extreme ordination parade of naga’ by Manoon Pongpanpath.
Southern Cowboy Festival 2017
When: 08th – 14 May 2017
Where: Mueang Kamphaeng Phet Municipal Stadium, Rattphum district, Songkhla. Southern Thailand
Thailand’s first-ever Southern Cowboy Festival 2017 is scheduled to take place for one week from 8-14 May, 2017. (Central Thailand has its own cowboy festival in January each year also known as the The National Dairy Cow Festival)
The event will be the first of its kind in southern Thailand with a gathering of cowboys from all over the Kingdom. It is said caravan of horses will be gathering there and show off the cowboy culture to all the fair goers.
Visitors will be entertained and inspired by the fun of country music every night. A wide variety of delicious food and drink will be served and booths selling quality goods and products from southern province will be set up there throughout the event.
Visakha Bucha Day Walking Ceremony to Doi Suthep
When: 09 May 2017 – 10 May 2017
Where: Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, Chiang Mai District Chiang Mai.Northern Thailand
Wat Phra That Doi Suthep is one of the most visited and sacred Buddhist temples in Chiang Mai, known for its beautiful golden pagoda, housing the sacred relic of Lord Buddha. The Wat is around 11 km from the city of Chiang Mai, reached by those that have the mind to do so by climbing 306 steps or for those less energetic by simply taking the elevator.
On Visakha Bucha Day (10th May 2017), Buddhists throughout the world celebrate the birth, enlightenment, and entry into nirvana of Lord Buddha (his death). Wat Phra That Doi Suthep holds its own events at this time, when masses of Buddhists make a pilgrimage, up these well trodden steps in the belief that in doing so, they display meaningful respect to Lord Buddha on this sacred day.
On the way up, local people and local businesses of Chiang Mai will be offering snack and drinking water to the pilgrims. Meanwhile, pilgrims can also engage in numerous merit-making activities, such as, giving alms to Buddhist monks, praying and chanting, and ‘vian tian’ – walking around the Pagoda with candle sticks.
Samui Bike Week 2017
When: 05 May 2017 – 06 May 2017
Where: Chaweng Lake, Ko Samui, Surathani
Samui Bike Week is a motorcycle lovers’ party that takes place annually on the holiday island and attracts bike enthusiasts from around the world. Started in 2009, the bike weekend has become a big event on the biker calendar and this year takes place on 5 – 6 May.
Local and international bike lovers visit Samui to take part in the bike week, show off their machines and ride across the lush island taking in the views. Best of all, the menacing-looking bikers show off their soft side by raising a lot of money for charity. This year, money is being collected to buy medical equipment for a hospital on Ko Samui, such as, new ICU beds and steam sterilisers.
There will also be eco-friendly activities to enjoy, including fish releases and wetland conservation, such as, mangrove planting. There also a strong emphasis on safely and some of the money raised will go towards buying proper safety bike helmets for island residents.
As well as the good work being done, the bike riders like to put on a show, so everyone interested in these machines should come down. As well as music and entertainment there will be a contest to find the most unique bikes; a beautiful bikers pageant and a Thai and international food fair.
The tradition of ordination Naga Chang
When: 8 – 10th May 2017
Where: Wat Khao Ban Ta Klang Study Center, Tha Tum District, Surin Province. Northeast Thailand.
Surin with its large population of elephants is widely known within the Kingdom as the “City of Elephants,” this ancient event is a mixture of Cambodian, Khmer, Laos and Isaan cultures, to celebrate its young men entering, into the monk hood and at the same time honouring the countries national symbol.
At this auspicious time each year prior to Visakha Bucha Day, (The day to celebrate the birth, enlightenment and death of the Buddha) and prior to the actual ordination, at Wat Khao Sawang Ban Ta Klang. Local villages will dress their elephants and their sons in their finest attire and join others in this mass of colour and humanity, in a colourful parade that winds its way around the streets and nearby Mun River.
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