Top 10 Must-See Festivals in Thailand


If you're planning to visit the famous land of smiles, make sure to time your travel during one of these amazing festivals in Thailand that will introduce you to the local culture and experience something unique and interesting.

The vast culture and beliefs of Thai people always make them ready for festivities. Below are enlisted some strange yet interesting festivals in Thailand.

Top 10 Must-See Festivals in Thailand

Festivals in Thailand Boon Bang Fai
via Wikimedia Commons| Ananyut Maneechan

Boon Bang Fai (The Rocket Festival)

In the Northeast of Thailand, this festival is celebrated in May to summon the rainy season. Before the crop plantation, bamboo rockets are sent to heaven with the belief that rain god would be allured for monsoon.

This festival proves that Thais have stuck to their belief and culture. This Thailand festival is full of merriment and enjoys with these golden heart people. Villagers make decorated bamboo rockets, use gunpowder and techniques involved. The rockets are displayed and fired in the sky, those rockets which do not reach the height or did not take up their owner is thrown in the mud.

Traditional parade dance, cross-sex dressing, playing, and festival procession marks the Boon Bang Fai festival in Thailand. Sura, a popular beverage, is served at this festival. The monks would be present at the entire festival celebration. Yasothan in Thailand is very famous for its traditional and large scale celebration of Boon Bang Fai.

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Songkran The Water Festival
via Wikimedia Commons| JJ Harrison

Songkran (The Water Festival)

This festival is celebrated in April to mark the traditional Thai New Year. The essence of the festival is to have good luck with Thais. The festival falls on the 13th of April every year. It is among the National festival of Thailand.

People clean their houses, processions of Buddha image take place, and Thai people splash water on each other in this festival. As a mark of respect to monks, water is thrown on their hands. Buddha images are treated with Thai fragrance and water. People visit their hometown to celebrate the spirit of festivities with their elders. Relishing Thai cuisine adds extra spice to festivities.

Monks are given alms, fishes, and birds released are also part of the festival. The inaugural ceremony of the festival takes place at temple Wat Pho. It is the biggest festival in Thailand. Five days’ holiday is granted by the Government. Thailand’s holidays and festivals are merely for pleasing lord and merrymaking.

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Chinese New year
via Wikimedia Commons|siraprapa khrueakaeo

Chinese New Year

The red-themed festival of Chinese New Year is celebrated by Thai People as some of them trace their genealogy from China. It falls in January or February. Large scale festivities will be seen in Yaowarat, also k/a Chinatown in Bangkok.

Traditional dragon and lion dances are the highlights of this Thailand festival. People visit temples, especially WatMangkokKamalawat, before getting in festive mode. Iconic red lanterns ofChina are also part of the festival. Firework all over the Chinatown is a visual treat.

Chinese cuisine is all over the festivities. The fun fiesta comes with lucrative offers on all kinds of stuff. Free Feng Shui advice is alluring. Good time to buy souvenirs and Chinese fans as a keep for fond remembrance of the festival.

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Wonderfruit Music and Arts Festival

It is an annual fiesta of arts, music, lifestyle workshops in the fields of Siam. This festival is celebrated to infuse positive and unceasing zest in people. The festival takes place in December.

The festival has Thais, Chinese, Asian, and Western culture blend. International composers make music for the occasion. The festival idea is based on six pillars of faith in art and architecture, wellness, farm to feasts, music, family talks and workshops

The signature palate and cocktails of chefs are to be relished at all costs. Near the venue, one can enjoy the soothing spas and massages. The festival lasts for four days of power-packed performances.

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Lopburi Monkey Banquet (Food Festival)

In the North of Bangkok, there is a place named Lopburi, where a monkey has feasting for a day. This food festival of monkeys is called as Lopburi Monkey Banquet.

A grand banquet is organized by nearly 3000 macaques by locals and tourists alike. It is estimated that almost 4 tons of fruits, vegetables, and other eatables are fed to these naughty guests.

The musical program and human monkey dance is a fun element of this strange festival in Thailand. It would be fun to see sometimes monkeys shying to have their piece from the spread.

The belief of the festival goes back to Indian mythology, where Lord Hanuman saved the daughter of one of the God’s in Thailand. As a mark of respect, monkeys are fed here for the whole year, but one day is devoted to their gala feasting.

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Yi Peng Lanterns in Chiang Mai Thailand
via Wikimedia Commons|Nik Cyclist from Bangkok,Thailand

Yi Peng (Lantern Festival)

The spirit of the festival is that glowing lanterns would banish the glooms of life. Chiang Mai is the hub for this festival of radiance or Loi Krathong. This festival takes place on a full moon day.

Paper (kongmin) lanterns are blown in the air. On banks of the river, Peng boats are float laden with lanterns. Fireworks, display of artistic candles, procession, rituals, wax images of lord Buddha, giving alms, and clothes to monks are all the inevitable part of the candle festival.

The twinkling of lanterns in the sky gets synonymous to twilight. The houses of locals are adorned with beautiful baskets of candles. The vendors will have a variety of Thai delicacies to offer. The traditional Thai dance also takes place. In the Thailand festival list, this festival is much awaited.

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Candle festival
via Wikimedia Commons

Candle festival

Ubon Ratchathani, Isaan is famous for the candle festival. It is celebrated to mark the two remarkable days in the life of Lord Buddha. These days are Asanha Puja (to honor the first sermon of Lord Buddha) and Wan KhaoPansa (beginning of Buddha lent).

The festival starts with the making of wax sculptures of Lord Buddha, Hindu mythology, cities of Thailand. The candles are placed at temples to out shadow gloom of back luck. Light and sound show, traditional dancing, singing, a procession of a wax statue, handicraft displays, Thai delicacies are part of this festive fervor.

On the first-day, wax sculptures are taken to Thung Si Mueang, and the whole park is decorated. On the morning of the second day, the procession is taken out. The dancers and musicians carry out these procession to temples.

The food and clothes of the monk are presented to them at this festival.

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Phi Ta Khon mask festival
via Wikimedia Commons|Surakrit

Phi Ta Khon (Ghost Festival)

It is a three-day festival celebrated, especially in Loei Province of Northeastern Thailand. The dead are being awakened by calling their spirits in this festival. The festival falls in June month.

The festival is celebrated to honor a significant incident in the life of Buddha, it is said that once Prince Vessantara (Lord Buddha) went on a long journey of quest and did not return after a long time. He was assumed to be dead, but much to their dismay, he returned hale and healthy. To mark the happiness of his safe return, the Ghost festival is celebrated.

The festival is full of merriment. The adroitness in artistically handcrafted masks is worth appreciating. The hand-painted, scary, colorful masks are worn on the faces. Parading and dancing around the street are so vivid. Alcohol is consumed to come into festive mode.

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Mekong Naga Fireballs
via Wikimedia Commons

Mekong Naga Fireballs

This fascinating festival of Thailand is celebrated in October or November at the holy Mekong River. The festival had a very ardent belief that Phaya Naga, with divine powers, makes the pink fireballs rise in the sky with no sound. The beliefs that Buddha returned in Naga form make them dip in rejoice.

The pink fireballs rising to the sky without human interaction is so magical to watch. Although, scientific theory backs the theory of the combustion of sulfur. But as they say, belief is what makes you go, the divine power is preached here.

The Phayanaklights are what they have named this occasion. Around the Wat Ok Phanasa, the phenomenon of the fireball is seen. The firework follows this magical phenomenon. It is one of the best festivals in Thailand.

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Face Piercing Phuket Vegetarian Festival
via Wikimedia Commons|Joseph Ferris III

Phuket Vegetarian Festival

This strange festival of mutilating oneself is celebrated in September or October. It is a Chinese festival celebrated in Phuket.

It is a festival of the belief that being on vegan during this festival cleanses the body from inside and provides relief. The festival marks the thanksgiving to Gods and happiness to recover the Chinese opera group from fatal malaria in 19th-century.

The strange site of people piercing their faces with daggers and skewers. Walking on hot coals and lying on knives sent chills down the spine. They believe that little bloodshed in this process would please the Chinese Gods.
Firecrackers amidst all the bloody sport, Chinese opera, Chinese, and Thai cuisines, dancing marks the festive fervor.

The events take place at the nine Chinese festivals of Phuket. On the first-day lantern, the pole is raised marking the start of the festival. The home statues are brought, fed, and lightened up with spiritual fervor. The rituals emphasize purity and abstinence from sex and drink also.

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