October 19, 2015
There are a multitude of festivals across Thailand listed below are just a few of these at times magical, spiritual and always fun events that encapsulate the very essence of the people of the Kingdom and its long and colourful past.
Getting to the bottom of the actual dates of any one event is never easy, with the dates determined by all manner of calendars and other strange and wonderful reasoning. see more
The date and time of the following festivals may change as a result of the weather or postponement by the organisers of the events. To confirm the dates and times….. Call the Tourism Authority of Thailand 1672 or 0 2250 5500.
Chumphon Traditional Boat Races
When: 28 October – 1 November 2015
Where: Chumphon Southern Thailand
The Chumphon traditional boat race is an annual event held at the end of the Buddhist Lent in October and is unlike most other of the events in the Kingdom. While the winners of other traditional Thai long-boat races are decided by the teams that cross the finishing line first, here the contestants face an additional challenge, to be declared the winner of the Chumphon boat race, a member of the crew also has to climb up the bow and grasp their own marker flag.
Activities include the presentation of merit-making offerings, contests that draw attention to the various aspects of the hand-crafted traditional long-boats and cheerleading contests.
Beer Garden Festival
When: November – mid January each year
Where: Across Thailand
|November is traditionally the start of Thailand’s annual beer garden season. All across the country tables and chairs are brought out onto the street and the Kingdom’s main brewers along with a number of international names sell their amber nectar in draft and via large jugs.While not on par with northern Europe’s beer festivals, the atmosphere is close enough and the beer is free flowing.Although a nationwide affair, beer gardens are more prevalent in Bangkok, where they can be found virtually everywhere.A good number of venues really push the boat out to make this time of year a great experience, offering live music (including pop and jazz) and spectacular sound and light shows along with all manner of Thai food.Key venues are the larger shopping malls such as Central World Plaza on Ratchaprasong Junction Central World Plaza, Central City Bangna, Central Rama 3, The Mall Bangkapi, Tesco Lotus Bangna and Tesco Lotus Rama 4. If you are in the city during the festival you will never be far from a cool pitcher of beer.
Buriram Long Boat Racing Festival
When: 7 – 8 November 2015
Where: In Front of Satuek’s District Office Satuek District, Buriram Northeast Thailand
The racing takes place on the Mun River each year on the first full weekend in November there are usually around 40-50 boats joining the competition from nearby provinces. Other than the racing and on land, visitors can also enjoy the colourful long boat procession and other cultural performances.
PHOTO: SOMCHAI POOMLARD
Phra Pathom Chedi Festival
When: 22 – 30 November 2015
Where: Nakhon Pathom Central Thailand
Phra Pathom Chedi Festival is held annually during the 12th, lunar month. The festival is a time to pay homage to Phra Pathom Chedi, and is held over nine days and nights. There are all kinds of entertainment, including parades, traditional song and dance displays, a Thai fun fair as well as displays of the local handy crafts and products.
Rafting in Pai River
When: 1 July – 31 December 2015
Where: Mae Hong Son Northwest Thailand
Situated in the foothills of the Himalayas runs the Pai river and thanks to the abundance of water at this time of the year it offers one of the best white water rafting experiences in the world. The middle section of the Pai River stretches over 60 kilometers of rocky landscape and non-accessible jungle forest; it offers fun by way of as many as 60 rapids, stretching up to class 4.
The course provides an excellent back drop between the wilderness and the challenge of the rapids for both the novice and experienced white water enthusiasts.
Flora Park Mist Festival
When: 1 November 2015 – 31 March 2016
Where: Wang Nam Khiawo District, Nakhon Ratchasima Northeast Thailand
Known as the Switzerland of Isaan the districts motto is ‘Cool climate town..’ and at this time of year is a mass of colour and in the early morning a sea of fog. The festival is held on an area of over 50 rai at Khao Phaeng Ma and you can expect to witness a carpet of blooms from more than 100,000 flowers of over 20 different species, along with the spectacular vertical garden. There will also be over 5,000 English roses of 400 species arranged beautifully across the landscape.
Lop Buri Sunflower Blooming Festival
When: 1 November 2015 – 31 January 2016
Where: Lopburi Central Thailand
The festival kicks off around November until late December every year as this is when the sunflowers are in full bloom. Festival highlights include scenic, train, bicycle, tractor and elephant tours around the ocean of sunflowers. If you are in the province in November why not see the hilarious Monkey Buffet Festival
River Kwai Festival
When: 28 November – 7 December 2015
Where: Mueang District, Kanchanaburi Province Northwest Thailand
Each year this world famous River Kwae Bridge, becomes the focal point of these celebrations. Event highlights include historical and archaeological exhibits, a carnival, folk and cultural performances, rides on World War II vintage trains, and a spectacular light and sound presentation re-enacting the bridge’s World War II legacy. See more River Kwai Bridge Festival and The Sights and Sounds of Kanchanaburi
Pattaya Long Boat & Buffalo Racing 2015
When: 21-22 November, 2015 from 9:00 – 18:00
Where: Map Prachan water reservoir. Banglamung district, Pattaya
This annual event sees teams from all over the Kingdom doing battle on the waters of this large expanse of water east of Pattaya.
A procession through main tourist zones will take place on Saturday, 21st November from 3pm to promote the races. The parade includes colourfully decorated floats and a marching band which moves down Beach Road through Walking Street to Bali Hai Pier.
There are also many other fun-filled activities during the event, such as a fascinating long-drum competition, exciting buffalo race and much much more. Picture from www.pictures-thailand.com
Silk and Phuk Seow Festival
When: 29 November – 10 December 2015
Where: City Hall on Thanon Na Soon Rachakarn. Khon Kaen Northeast Thailand
Thailand has always been famous for its production of silk with Khon Kaen as the stage for this annual event, which aims to promote the art of both silk weaving and the rearing of silk worms. The colourful festival is held in tandem with the moving phuk seow/siao ceremony, a traditional friendship-deepening ritual of the Northeast which involves the exchange of symbolic wrist strings.
“Seow” (a word for “friend” in Northeast dialect) refers to two people who are full of great loyalty, sincerity and share a close relationship with each other. Nothing, even death, will put them apart. This relationship is not only supposed to happen among the two “friends”, but also be felt and shared with others in their families.
The Festival also includes Colourful street processions, featuring local people in traditional clothes, a beauty pageant, traditional Isan cultural shows as well as exhibits on the silk industry all of which add to the fun of this glorious festival.
The Mae Jo 2015 Event
This year’s ‘Pay to Watch’ programme, I am informed is sold out, further-more the organisers are not as they have in the past provided a free event where you could witness during the day the ‘khatin’ (or ‘khatina’) robes ceremony and later in the evening add your lantern to the thousands that were released into the nights sky. While this free day was always jammed packed and at times a pain to get into and out of, witnessing so many lanterns take flight was really quite spectacular. See More (Details on last year’s events can be found here)
Loy Krathong 2015
When: 25th November 2015
Where: Through-out the Kingdom of Thailand
An annual Festival that lights up the water, the sky and your heart.
Loy Krathong (or Loi Krathong), is a colourful, joyful festival and is held every year on the full moon of the twelfth month in the Thai lunar calendar. The Festival is held all over the country, as well as parts of Myanmar (Shan State) where it is known as Tazaungdaing and in Laos.
The festival at times is mistakenly thought to be the same as the ‘Yi Peng – Festival of Light’, and the Mae Jo Sky Lantern Event this is in part due to the use of the same Lanna- style sky lanterns (Khom loi (Thai: โคม ลอย), literally: “floating lanterns” which are released during the festivities. See my post explaining the differences between Yi Peng and Loy Krathong and the Mae Jo event. For more details on the festival of Loy Krathong its history and on both the Krathong and sky lanterns click here
For more on Loy Krathong venues across the Kingdom click here.
When: 20 – 25th November 2015
Where: The Ancient City of Sukhothai. Sukhothai Province
When in the early evening here amongst the ruins of this once great city, the ancient temples once more come alive to celebrate Loy Krathong. It is here as the buildings are lightly bathed by an array of colourful lights that they once more take on a new reverence and majesty, which is complimented by the candle lit Krathong’s as they are released to the surrounding water and the Sky Lanterns that are sent high into the night sky. See more detailed information click here
When: 14th-26th November 2015: Yi Peng day 25th November
Where: Parts of Northern Thailand – Mainly Chiang Mai
Yi Peng (Yee Peng local name or Duenyi Festival) is part of the festival of lights in the North of Thailand. It is an ancient Lanna festival originating from the time of the 14th Century in the Haripunchai Kingdom.
There is quite a bit of confusion about the festivities, it should be noted that this event is not the traditional Loy Krathong (Loi Krathong), but it does have a number of similarities. Nor is it associated with the release of sky lanterns at Mae Jo. It is in fact a festival unique to northern Thailand and with the ancient Lanna Kingdom. See more
When: 19-22 November 2015
Where: Si Narong Stadium, Sikhoraphum Castle (temple) & The Monument of Phaya Surin Phakdi Si Narong Changwang in Surin Province
Surin Elephant Roundup 2015 – The event takes you back to a time when wars were won or lost on the backs of these wise and formidable animals
It is a cultural festival held every year in Northeast Thailand (Isan). The festival has its origins in the ancient royal hunts which were conducted in the province around the time when the Roman Empire was collapsing.
This year’s event also aims to break its own 2003 world records, in what is the world’s biggest elephants’ feast. The record breaking attempt will feature 279 elephants tucking into around 60 tons of food served on a 400-meter long table. See more
When: 9 – 15th November 2015
Where: Brahmathat Court Phimai Historical Park & Chakkarat Stream. Nakhon Ratchasima Province Northeast Thailand
This is Korat or Khorat time to shine with this festival to celebrate the glorious period of Phimai, and the significant role the town played in the very long history of the region.
The festival is in three distinct parts: The Brahmathat Court Light & Sound Show, Long-Boat Racing and the Korat Cat Competition
When: Annually last Sunday in November
Where: Lopburi City in the Lopburi province (also known as Lavo, Lavapura, and Luovo) Central Thailand
One of the few almost non spiritual and one of the most recent annual events to be added to the social calendar of the Kingdom of Thailand is that of the fun filled and some what bizarre ‘Monkey Buffet Festival’ (the first festival only took place in 1989). It is held near the Khmer temple of Phra Prang Sam Yot near the railway station in the Old Town of Lopburi, aptly nicknamed “the city of monkeys,”
Pattaya International Firework Festival & Contest
When: 27 & 28th November 2015
Where: Along Beach Road Pattaya Central Thailand
Come join in the fun that is the Pattaya International Firework Festival and Contest, with 2 days of pop concerts, parades and literally tonnes of fireworks, spread over two days and nights it has something for every-one and the really good news it’s all FREE. See More
Hill Tribe Culture & Sunflower Festival – Doi Hua Mae Kham
When: 1 November – 10 December 2015
Where: Mae Fah Luang District, Mae Hong Son Northwest Thailand
Doi Hua Mae Kham is one of the largest mixed hill-tribe villages in Thailand. Here you will find the ancient Akha, Lahu, Lisu and Yao people, along with Hmong and Tai Yai. Located in the north-western extremity of Chiang Rai province on the border with Myanmar, it is about as remote a place as one can still find in the Kingdom.
The spectacle of this annual tribal event, coincides with the blooming of the Giant Mexican Sunflowers that cover the surrounding hills and valley, which makes for a natural amphitheatre into which is poured the diversity of cultures and history of the many hills tribes that still live here.
If you know of other festivals or events worth noting please do send them in with pictures and we will try to add them here.