Every month Thailand has some celebration, play or festival. They are related to religion, culture, and tradition or minority ritual. Knowing about these Thai festivals in advance will help you plan your trip well, as you might want to join or avoid them. Below is a list of festivals given in the order of the month in which they occur.
New Year’s Day
Is the time at which a new calendar year begins and the calendar’s year count increments by one.
Date: 1st January
Is celebrated to give children the opportunity to have fun and many organizations from both government and commercial sectors have celebration activities for children.
Date: On the second Saturday in January
Chinese Lunar New Year’s
The holiday was a time to honor household and the goddess as well as ancestors. It was also a time to bring families together for feasting and every year is represented by a zodiac animal sign.
Recommended Destination: Chinese New Festival in “Nakhon Sawan Province” is a grand celebration full of excitement throughout 11-day-period of the festival.
Date: Start on the 23th day of the 12 lunar month of the Chinese calendar (28th January 2017)
Maka Bucha Day
Usually on this day Thai people will make merit by going to temples for special ceremony and join in the other Buddhist activities, also keeping the five precepts, include not drinking alcohol (you can’t sell alcohol on this day so this is why most bars are closed) and all kinds of immoral acts.
Date: 11th February 2017
Hae Pha Khuen Thai Festival
They will use the cloth to wrap around the giant stupa that houses the Buddha’s. It is believed that by taking part in this ceremony will bring good fortune and success in life.
Recommend Destination: Si Thammasokarat Park and Phra Mahathat Woramahawihan, Nakhon sri Thamarat Province.
Date: 22th February 2017
National Elephant Day
Thai people have had a close relationship with elephants since ancient times, with the elephant playing a significant role in transportation, battle and considered as the national animal of Thailand. This celebration promotes awareness about protecting the Thai elephant population and its habitats.
Recommended Destination: Chiang Mai, the event are usually organized by Chiang Mai University and Mae Sa elephant camp
Date: 13th March 2017
Chakri Memorial Day
It is a day for the people of Thailand to recognize the contributions of all the kings of the dynasty.
Date: 6th April 2017
Songkran or Water Festival
This is the Thai New Year’s festival. The holiday is known for its water festival major streets are closed to traffic, and are used as arenas for water fights. But there’s another thing that’s important to do, younger people often practice water pouring over the palms of elders’ hands as a way to show respect and they will give you a wish back.
Recommended Destination: Khao San Road, Silom Road, RCA and Thapae, Chiang Mai.
Date: 13th-15th April 2017
Royal Ploughing Ceremony (Peuj Mongkol)
Traditional soothsayers predicted good harvests, abundant food production and plentiful water at the Royal Ploughing Ceremony at Sanam Luang.
Date: 12th May 2017
Visaka Bucha Day
It’s a public holiday in Thailand. The date isn’t fixed because it depends on the lunar calendar. It’s a day when most Thai Buddhists will visit their local temple to make merit because it’s such an important Buddhist day in Thailand.
Date: 10th May 2017
Phi ta Khon (Ghost Festival)
Phi Ta Khon is just part of a three-day event called Bun Phrawet. The parades will take place on the first and second day. The locals will dress up in handmade costume using colorful cloth and wear scary masks so that they look like ghosts. The masks are made from dried stick rice husks then painted to look like the faces of demons with a long pointed nose. It is seen as a Buddhist celebration where locals make merit.
Recommended Destination: Dan Sai district in Loei province in the Northeast of Thailand
Date: 24th June 2017 – 26th June 2017
Khao Phansa or Arsaraha bucha Day (Start of Buddhist Lent)
Many Thai people return to their homes to donate offerings to the temples. In the evening they will do a ceremony called ‘wian tian’, where they walk clockwise around the main shrine of the temple carrying a candle, incense sticks and lotus flowers.
Recommended Destination: Candle festival in Ubon Ratchathani Province
Date: 8th July 2017
Tak Bat Dok Mai (Flower offering to monk)
Is a Buddhist ceremony, which local people offer flowers to the monks as a way of making merit.
Recommended Destination: Wat Phra Phutthabat, Saraburi Province
Date: 8th-10thJuly 2017
Queen’s Birthday or Mother’s Day
In Thailand, the birthday of the queen is set as Mother’s Day. August 12 is the birthday of Her Majesty Queen Sirikit.
Date: 12thAugust 2017
Also known as the Mid-Autumn Festival. On this day, family members gather to offer sacrifice to the moon, appreciate the bright full moon, eat moon cakes, and express strong wishing toward family members and friends.
Date: 22th – 24th September 2017
Ok Phansa (End of Buddhist Lent)
Thai people will usually visit the temple and making merit on this day.
Date: 5th October 2017
Kin Jay (Vegetarian festival)
The idea is to purify both, body and mind. Many restaurants, food stall and supermarkets put the yellow flag in front of their shop which is a symbol of this festival. The shop will offer some vegetarian dishes made of vegetables, fruits, tofu and spices.
Recommended Destination: China Town and Phuket provinc
Loy Krathong Festival
In the evening of the day, people will gather around lakes, rivers and canals to pay respects to the goddess of water by releasing “Krathong” (small container made up of banana leaves and decorated with flower, candles, incense and flowers) onto the water.
Recommended Destination: Chao Praya River, Sukhothai, Chiang Mai
Date: 3rd November 2017
Monkey Buffet Festival
The festival included giving fruits and vegetables to the local monkey in Lopburi Province north of Bangkok. Because the locals believe that monkey´s bring good fortune to the visitors.
Recommended Destination: Lopburi Province
Date: 26th November 2017
Surin, is very well known as “the Land of Elephants.” It has been presenting the Elephant Round-Up for more than 50 years. Elephant Round-Up starts with a wonderful elephant parade after that, the shows also include elephant talent competitions, demonstration of the various techniques.
Recommended Destination: Si Narong Stadium, Surin Province
Date: 16th-19th November 2017
Yipeng Lantern Fest
The festival features beautiful lanterns and launched into the night sky. It is believed that launching one of these balloons can send bad luck and misfortune away into the air, especially if it disappears from view before the fire goes out.
Recommended Destination: Chiang Mai Province
Date: 2nd-4th November 2017
King’s Birthday or Father’s Day
In Thailand, the birthday of the king is set as Father’s Day. December 5 is the birthday of his Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej (Rama IX).
Date: 5th December 2017