Thailand Festivals

Thailand loves a festival; there are countless festivals and special events held in The Kingdom of Thailand every year. Some of these are celebrated nationwide, including large festivals such as Songkran and Loy Krathong, whilst other festivals are specific to particular regions, cities or provinces. A number of Thai festivals are held to coincide with Buddhist holidays, and therefore the exact date varies each year because as when they are held depends on the lunar calendar and the night of the full moon. Below are some of the best-known annual Thai festivals and special events.

January

  • New Year’s Day (public holiday) – January 1
  • Children’s Day – second Saturday in January (January 10, 2015)
  • Bo Sang Umbrella Festival, Chiang Mai – usually third weekend in January

February

  • Chiang Mai Flower Festival – usually held on the first weekend in February
  • Chinese Lunar New Year – date falls in January/February. Celebrated in many areas of Thailand, but particularly in the Chinatown districts of Bangkok and Chiang Mai as well as Phuket and Trang
  • Trang Underwater Wedding – Valentine’s Day. Events in Trang Town and Ko Kradan
  • Pattaya Bike Week – mid-February. Regarded as the biggest gathering of motorbike enthusiasts in South-east Asia
  • Phuket International Blues Rock Festival – mid/late February
  • Chiang Mai Flower Festival

March

  • Makha Bucha Day (public holiday) – date falls in February/March
  • National Elephant Day – March 13
  • National Muay Thai Day – March 17
  • Pattaya International Music Festival – mid-March

April

  • Chakri Day (public holiday)
  • Songkran Thai New Year Water Festival (public holiday)
  • Chonburi Festival – mid/late April in Chonburi province including Pattaya
  • Phuket Bike Week – mid/late April
  • Songkran New Year Water Festival

May

  • Labour Day (public holiday)
  • Coronation Day (public holiday)
  • Royal Ploughing Ceremony, Bangkok – usually held in May
  • Rocket Festivals, Isaan – mid/late May.
  • Chiang Mai Inthakin City Pillar Festival – usually falls in May
  • Ko Samui Yacht Regatta – held in May/June

June

  • Visakha Bucha Day (public holiday) – date falls in May/June
  • Hua Hin Jazz Festival – usually held  June

July

  • Phuket Yachting Race Week – mid/late July
  • Asahna Bucha Day (public holiday) – date usually falls in July/early-August
  • Khao Phansa (public holiday) – falls on the day after Ashana Bucha
  • Ubon Ratchathani Candle Festival – held during July and associated with Asahna Bucha and Buddhist Lent

August

  • H.M. Queen’s Birthday (public holiday) also celebrated as Mother’s Day
  • Por Tor Hungry Ghost Festival, Phuket – held August/September

September

  • King’s Cup Elephant Polo, Hua Hin – normally held in September

October

  • Vegetarian Festival – usually takes place in September/October. Celebrated at many locations in Thailand including Phuket, Trang, Krabi, Bangkok and Chiang Mai
  • Chulalongkorn Day (public holiday)
  • Buffalo Racing Festival, Chonburi – held in October/November
  • Naga Fireballs, Nong Khai
  • Awk Phansa (marks the end of Buddhist Lent) – usually in October

November

  • Elephant Round-up Festival, Surin – third weekend in November
  • Loy Krathong – date usually falls in November
  • Yi Peng Lantern Festival, Chiang Mai – held to coincide with Loy Krathong (November)
  • Monkey Banquet Festival, Lopburi – last Sunday in November
  • Mass Lantern Release, Mae Jo, Chiang Mai

The mass lantern release at Mae Jo is organized by an independent Buddhist group – dates vary each year with the final date not usually confirmed until a few months before the event is held.

December

  • H.M. King’s Birthday (public holiday) also celebrated as Father’s Day – December 5
  • Constitution Day (public holiday) – December 10
  • New Year’s Eve (public holiday) – December 31.
    New Year Countdown events held at various locations in Thailand including Bangkok, Chiang Mai and Pattaya