Every month, following the cycles of the moon, this festival on Haad Rin beach is celebrated by young, and not so young, revellers. Each night of the full moon, techno enthusiasts meet on Haad Rin beach, renowned for having the most beautiful view of the night sky. Tens of thousands of revelers (up to 150,000 in high season) dance frantically until dawn, accompanied by the best DJs. In 2020, the Full Moon Parties will be held the 9 January, 9 February, 8 March, 7 April, 7 May, 5 June, 7 July, 4 August, 2 September, 3 and 31 October, 30 November and 29 December.
Called Wan Khru in Thai, this day is dedicated to the teachers in Thailand. The first Teachers' appreciation day was held in 1957. There are only a few public or official celebrations. However, this day is celebrated in every school. For teachers, the occasion is celebrated with a day of rest and some extra benefits (free entrance to cinemas, and gifts in certain stores) but it is not an official holiday in Thailand.
The third weekend of January, in the small artisanal village of Bo Sang (around 10 km north of Chiang Mai), the artisans present and sell their new collections of umbrellas, and select a Miss Umbrella... A real festival of colour, that will make your head spin.
This grand festival takes place when the tropical flowers in Chiang Mai are in full bloom and when all the varieties reveal their gorgeous colors. The north of Thailand is known for its wide variety of flowers. The festival is celebrated with floral displays in shimmering colors, a large parade, music and dancing. Spectacular parades of flowered floats in the streets of cities, local beauty pageants and presentations of floral arrangements punctuate this festival.
This important national holiday of Buddhist origin pays homage to the Buddha. It celebrates the day when he preached to 1,250 enlightened disciples. Each year, the event attracts many worshipers to the temples who engage in devotional and meritorious acts in the temples. Candlelight processions take place around the monasteries.
In collaboration with the relevant government agencies, the private sector and the residents of Ayutthaya, a fair is organized each year to celebrate the UNESCO World Heritage City. There are activities such as religious ceremonies like Thaksinanupathan, light and sound shows, cultural shows, local music, live concerts, song contests, beauty contests and much more. This is also an occasion to taste and discover a wide variety of local dishes.
The most important event for true followers of Muay Thai boxing. Wai Khru Muay Thai is a ceremony during which boxers honour their instructors and the great masters of this discipline. The festival is also an opportunity to attend a large Thai boxing tournament in which fighters from around the world participate. Visitors also benefit from various martial arts exhibitions, arts and crafts demonstrations (traditional Thai tattooing, making Aranyik swords, Thai cuisine, etc.) and can, of course, learn about the art of Muay Thai.
The Chinese New Year is the occasion of an important celebration in Thailand, because a good part of the population, especially in the cities, has Chinese origins. This is generally a family celebration. Stores are closed for 4 days and the buses, trains and hotels are crowded. The most spectacular events take place in Nakhon Sawan, north of Bangkok, while in Bangkok itself, the Chinese New Year ignites Chinatown in a huge party, fueled by small concerts and countless food stalls, installed in streets closed to traffic for the occasion. A great mixed crowd to try if you are in Thailand at the time. In 2020, we are entering the year of the metal rat.
Begun in 2007, Earth Hour is a call to join the World Wildlife Fund (WWF, World Wildlife Fund) for a global mobilization: it is to plunge the earth into darkness for 1 hour, from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., to symbolically participate in the fight for the defense of the environment against climate change. Several thousand cities around the world participate in Earth Hour, extinguishing the lights on their buildings and monuments: the Harbor Bridge in Sydney, the Egyptian pyramids, the Eiffel Tower, Times Square... In 2011, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon stated that Earth Hour "[uses] these 60 minutes of darkness to help the world see the light." A hundred countries participate in Earth Hour.
Thai Heritage Conservation Day has been celebrated every year since 1985 both to honor Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, the second daughter of King Rama IX, born April 2, 1955 and celebrate the contribution of the royal family to the creation and conservation of the national heritage. On this occasion, many cultural activities are organized such as academic seminars, exhibitions, conferences, concerts and often tickets to national museums and historic parks are free.
Each year, on April 6, the Thai people commemorate the creation of the Chakri dynasty, the dynasty of the current King, Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun. Founded in 1782, it succeeded the Burmese-defeated kings of Ayutthaya and moved the capital of the Kingdom to Bangkok. The Chakri kings then took the name of Rama. The current King is Rama X.
The Buddhist New Year, around 13 to 15 April each year, is one of the most important holidays in Thailand. Originating from Sanskrit, Songkran means "passage" and refers to the arrival of the sun in Aries, the first astrological sign of the zodiac. The day before Songkran, April 12, is one of the hottest days of the year in Thailand. On this occasion, many Thai Buddhists go to the temples to make offerings and receive blessings from monks before returning home to spend time with their families. In a gesture of reverence and gratitude, they wash the hands of their elders with water scented with rose petals and jasmine. The belief is that water purifies and wards off bad luck. Children (and adults) also begin to play in the water and is an occasion for great water battles between friends. In fact, Songkran has evolved over time to become the world's biggest water fight. Songkran is celebrated throughout the country, particularly in Chiang Mai and Bangkok. It is an exceptional time when visitors can take part in solemn rituals or join in the frenzy of water battles. The festival perfectly reflects the mentality of Thai people : respectful of traditions but also always ready to have fun! Where to celebrate Songkran Bangkok : Wat Benchamabophit (the Marble Temple), Wat Suthat (close to the Giant Swing) ou Wat Ratchabophit (beside the Grand Palace). For the best water fights, go to Khao San Road, Phra Athit Road, Silom Road or Lumpini Park. Samut Prakan : in the district of Phra Pradaeng, the Mon ethnic community organizes several festivities including colorful parades, beauty contests for men and women and countless outdoor shows. Chiang Mai : along the city walls and moats, pickup trucks drive by, spraying everyone they pass with water. You can find refuge in the temples which are particularly well decorated during this period, with stupas made from sand, zodiac flags, and colorful lanterns, including the temples of Wat Phra Sing, Wat Pantao, Wat Chiang Man, and Wat Suan Dok. Lampang : a 1.5 hour drive from Chang Mai or 1 hour flight from Bangkok, a timeless place off the beaten track, ideal for celebrating Songkran as in the days of the Lanna kingdom. Loei : Na Haew, a little known and remote town, hosts one of the most beautiful festivals in the North East. On the program: magnificent processions of towers made of flowers at the Si Po Chai temple.
The Turtle Release Festival gives rise to a ceremony celebrated as part of Songkran (the Buddhist New Year) on 13 April. This day is declared National Fishing Day. Baby turtles are released into the sea on the beaches of Phuket. The Government sponsors events to raise awareness of the importance of protecting this endangered species.
Each 21 April, Bangkok celebrates the anniversary of the founding of the city. A ceremony is held at the City Pillar Shrine near the Grand Palace at 8:09 a.m.
Public holiday for the official coronation anniversary of King Bhumibal Adulyadej, also known as Rama IX, who was crowned on 5 May 1950. His death in October 2016 gave rise to a period of national mourning. This day is a public holiday in Thailand.
Visakha Bucha is the most important celebration in the country, as it celebrates the birth of the Buddha, his awakening and his attainment of nirvana. On this occasion, sermons are given by monks in all the pagodas of the country. In the evening, you can observe religious processions everywhere. In Bangkok, an exhibition on the subject is held for a week, near the pagodas of Sanam. One of the most beautiful festivals in Thailand.
The « Royal Ploughing Ceremony » is a highly symbolic event in Bangkok. Presided over by the king in person or by a member of the royal family, the ceremony marks the beginning of the rainy season and rice planting in Thailand. Raek Na Khwan follows a very strict program. The day before the ceremony, rituals are prepared at the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, within the grounds of the Royal Palace, the monks bless the water and the rice while the king appoints the master of ceremonies. The day of the ceremony, sacred oxen sow grains of rice in the ground of Sanam Luang Square. The seeds are sprinkled with holy water. 7 bowls containing grass, rice, maize, beans, sesame, alcohol and water are offered to the oxen. Thus, the choice made by the cattle will predict the next harvests: rice and maize herald the abundance of cereals and fish; beans and sesame predict meat and fish; water and grass are synonymous with good general harvests, rain but sometimes flooding; finally, alcohol is good for commerce, transport and the economy. Once the ceremony is over, spectators collect the blessed grains of rice which they will mix with their own seeds, a symbol of a good harvest to come. To attend the ceremony, Thais and visitors alike must dress respectfully and appropriately for the event. Dates subject to change. In Bangkok, an exhibition on the subject is held for a week, near the pagodas of Sanam. One of the most beautiful festivals in Thailand.
The 3 June marks the birthday of the Queen Suthida, wife of King Rama X. This is a new holiday in Thailand, celebrated since 2019. Government offices, banks and national museums are closed. Ceremonies are held at Sanam Luang in front of the Grand Palace of Bangkok. The 12 August birthday of Queen Sirikit, wife of the late Rama IX, remains, for the moment, the date of Mother's Day in Thailand.
Phi Ta Khon is one of the most amazing annual events in Isan. The locals disguise themselves as ghosts and take over the Dan Sai district in Loei province. There are parades, processions and Buddhist and pagan celebrations, an awards ceremony, a parade in honor of Phra Uppakhut (a statue of Buddha who has the power to bring rain) and a homemade rocket competition. Don't miss the shows where young people, dressed in colorful ghost masks, stage a local legend and have fun playing pranks. Phi Ta Khon has its origin in a Buddhist legend in which ghosts mingle with humans to participate in a party organized for the return of the prince after a long exile. Dates subject to change.
Khao Phansa is a religious holiday, the equivalent of the beginning of Buddhist Lent which is held at the time of the full moon. This magnificent festival of candles is celebrated in Ubon Ratchathani, in the North-East of Thailand, at the start of the traditional retreat for monks who, for 3 months, will not leave their monasteries. After being shown in the streets of the city, candles of carved beeswax, measuring several meters high, are presented at the pagoda. It is also the moment that families choose to shave the heads of young boys who will enter the monastery. Date subject to change.
This Buddhist religious holiday, which takes place on the full moon day of the eighth lunar month, celebrates the day the Buddha held his first sermon after attaining enlightenment to his first five disciples. It is also the day when the very first Buddhist monk was ordained. The next day is the beginning of Buddhist Lent and the monks' rainy season retreat. There are many religious events and festivals across the country. The most well-known is probably the Ubon Ratchathani Candle Festival.
This new public holiday, established in 2017, celebrates the birthday of King Vajiralongkorn, known by his regnal name of Rama X, who succeeded his father upon his death on October 13, 2016.
This is the official day of the Thai language. It is not a public holiday.
Public holiday for the birthday of Queen Sirikit, the wife of the King of Thailand Bhumibol Adulyadej (Râma IX). A cultural and music festival takes place in the main square of Sanam Luang, Bangkok.
Also known as the “Moon Festival”, the mid-autumnal festival is meant to be tasty. The holiday celebrates the roundest and brightest full moon of the year. It symbolizes family unity. Often Thais and visitors will meet in Yaowaraj, the Bangkok Chinatown, to celebrate this festival from China. Beyond the cultural significance, the festivities are above all an opportunity to taste "moon cakes", which are available in many flavors, from coffee to prunes, ham and ice cream. Date subject to change.
This festival is the most colorful and dramatic holiday of the Chinese minority in Phuket. The ceremony, including ritual practices, is observed with great reverence. To purify body and mind, the Chinese follow a strict vegetarian diet. Various ceremonies are held daily in Chinese temples as well as processions, spectacular demonstrations of relief from suffering. In an effort to gain more merit, the Chinese walk on the embers, pierce their cheeks and body with swords, knives or sharp objects. The first festival took place in 1825 when, according to legend, the members of an opera troupe from China, while on tour on the island, fell seriously ill. Held on the first 9 days of the 9th and 10th month of the lunar calendar. Dates subject to change.
The Procession of Illuminated Boats of Nakhon Phanom or "Lai Reua Fai", which literally means to float a boat of fire, has been practiced for centuries to mark the end of Buddhist Lent. The procession is organized to welcome Lord Buddha who returns to earth after preaching to his mother in heaven during the three month period of Buddhist Lent. To honor him, boats decorated with flowers, incense sticks, candles and lanterns are launched on the Mekong River in the evening. Today, with competitions to select the most beautiful illuminated boats, the boats have become more impressive and decorated. You can also attend cultural shows and street parades in which the locals perform traditional folk dances.
The traditional vegetarian festival invites Bangkok residents to purify their body and mind. Practitioners dress in white, meditate, eat vegetarian only, do not drink alcohol, and do not smoke tobacco. Based on Chinese tradition, the vegetarian festival is held in Yawoarat, Bangkok's Chinatown. It is in the temples, also called "Saljao", that the heart of the event beats. All visitors are welcome. The vegetarian festival is held in several Thai cities. If that of Bangkok is worth the detour, it is in Phuket, cradle of the festival, that the celebrations are the most spectacular. The festival takes place around the 9th day of the 9th month of the Chinese calendar, and lasts for 9 days.
OK Phansa is the day that marks the end of Buddhist Lent. Buddhist Lent is the annual retreat, during the three-month rainy season, observed by monks who stay in a specific temple and are not allowed to move from it. It starts with the day of Khao Phansa ("khao" means "to enter") and lasts three lunar months, generally from July to October, and therefore ends with OK Phansa ("OK" means "to go out"). Wan Awk Pansa (yes, there are several western spellings) takes place on the full moon day of the eleventh lunar month (in October). On this occasion, Thais go to the temples to pray and make offerings, and in the evening, to participate in the "tian wian", a circular procession in a clockwise direction, which takes place three times around a shrine carrying a candle, three lighted incense sticks and a lotus flower. There are many festivals held in Thailand around this day. In particular that of the illuminated boats of Nakhon Phanom, that of the Naga Fireballs of Nong Khai, that of the wax castles of Sakon Nakhon, the Rap Bua Festival of Samut Prakan, etc. The next day, we also attend Tak Bat Dewo, a great ceremony of offerings to monks, the most famous taking place in Uthai Thani.
During the Wax Castle Festival, residents of the Sakon Nakhon region build temples and chapels in beeswax. They thus celebrate the end of Buddhist Lent and the end of the rainy season which lasts 3 months. In order to acquire merit for their current and future lives, these true works of art are presented on floats and paraded through the city. A beautiful competition, embellished with a boat regatta and folk dances. Sakon Nakhon is found in Isan, in the mountainous North-East region of Thailand.
On 13 October 2016, the King Bhumibol Adulyadej, known by the regnal dynastic name Rama 9, died, leaving an orphaned nation. Rama IX was a very popular king considered by many to be the Father of the nation. Having ruled for 7 decades over Thailand, he was probably one of the most popular kings of the kingdom. It was decided in 2017 to honour His memory every year on 13 October, the anniversary of His death. Numerous ceremonies are held throughout Thailand. This day has become a public holiday.
October 23 is a public holiday. Thailand honors the former King. It is the anniversary of the death of His Majesty Chulalongkorn, Rama V, who reigned from 1868 to 1910 and was one of the most respected kings in the country. It is to him in particular that we owe the opening of Thailand to the Western world.
A very colorful festival, famous for its traditional boat races, ignites Phimai during the second week of November. For more than a century, these regattas have attracted thousands of visitors and participants from all over the country to Phimai Historical Park each year. On the program: regattas on the river, processions of royal barges, Buddhist ceremonies and Wimaya Nathakarn, sound and light accompanied by classical Thai dances. A good opportunity to discover Buddhist culture and history.
The traditional festival of lights and lanterns is one of the most beautiful and most popular festivals in Thailand. At the end of the rainy season, on the night of the full moon in the 12th lunar month, Loy Krathong is celebrated throughout Thailand, especially near waterways and by the sea. Thais honour Mae Khongkha, a Hindu goddess of water, and of spirits of waters, which play a significant role in the life of the country. They implore forgiveness for the pollution of rivers and streams, and ask for mercy in hope of good harvests. People make krathong or flower boats, tiny boats made with banana leaves. Their shape evokes the lotus flower. A lighted candle, incense and flowers are placed in the krathong. The Thais deposit these small boats on the rivers, as well as khong to exorcise their faults and their grudges. They also chase away the worries of everyday life by releasing famous celestial lanterns into the sky. A beautiful night-time spectacle.
The traditional lantern festival of Yi Peng, which coincides with Loy Krathong (at the time of the full moon, November 23, 2018), is celebrated with light and sound shows, boat races, as well as various traditional games. The decorations trace the life of Buddha, through Thai literature, history and the art of ancient Thailand. During the festival, the entire city of Chiang Mai - houses, streets, canals, river - is decorated with lights and lanterns. The lanterns rise in the sky like so many prayers to the gods. The festivities take place at the Tha Phae gate, on the banks of the Ping river and at the Municipal Office.
For forty years, the region of Surin has offered, on the third weekend of November, demonstrations of training techniques for work elephants, as well as simulations of ancient modes of elephant combat. After a small presentation ceremony organized in front of the bus station, 200 to 250 pachyderms participate in this celebration given at the Srinarong stadium and in the streets of Surin and the surrounding area. They perform acrobatics, parades, strength exercises and simulated battles. They even put on historical frescoes, all under the gaze of thousands of spectators. Elephants stop at red lights in the middle of rickshaws and spray themselves in the middle of traffic jams ... The elephant has long been the emblematic animal of the country. Depicted on the national flag, it is also always featured in Thai legends, literature, art and architecture.
Every year, on the last Sunday of November, the population engages in a sacred ritual to pay homage to monkeys, sacred animals in Thailand, descendants of the monkey god Hanuman. In Lopburi, the macaques live freely all year round, running on the roofs of the temples and on the electric wires, taking the sun on the tops of stupas or crossing the road without, of course, worrying about the traffic lights! In the temples of Lopburi, and in particular at Phra Prang Sam Yog, one of the major spots of our friends the monkeys, real banquets are organized for them. On the menu for this annual feast: flowers, refined dishes, peanuts, bananas, pineapples, sodas and other delicacies prepared with care are offered to the animals with a thousand and one curtsies, in a great festive atmosphere. Monkeys love it! An original ritual to see that this unique banquet. The festivities are held at Prang Khaek temple, Narai Ratchaniwet Palace, San Phra Kan, Phra Prang Sam Yot and Wat Phra Si Mahathat. Dates subject to change.
A traditional fair that lasts 2 weeks with exhibitions, processions, music, traditional dances and, of course, the election of Miss Silk! This fair is almost a ritual for the people of Khon Kaen, a major center of silk production. Held in front of the town hall.
The birthday of King Bhumibol Adulyadej (Rama IX), who died in 2016, is the National Day. The Thai people celebrate their monarchy, to which they grant great respect. Photos of the king are omnipresent that day. The facades of houses, public buildings and offices are covered with superb decorations and illuminations. In Bangkok, the area between the Chittlâdâ Palace, the National Assembly and the Grand Palace (specially lit for the occasion) is the scene of a multitude of events: films and outdoor shows, dances, concerts… December 5 was the birthday of King Bhumibol Adulyadej, Rama IX, by his regnal name, born in 1927 and died October 13, 2016. He was considered the Father of the nation, so it is quite logical that this date has become Fathers' Day in Thailand and has remained so for the time being.
In Bangkok, there is always a big crowd on the huge Sanam Luang Square (opposite Wat Phra Keoh). In Chiang Mai, all hotels are fully booked. Better to reserve your train seat one night in advance. In Thailand, December 31st and January 1st are public holidays.
December 10 is Constitution Day in Thailand. It celebrates the anniversary of the 1932 Constitution, the first in the history of the Kingdom which passed from absolute monarchy to constitutional monarchy.