10 Best Thailand Festivals

Thailand is one of the hottest travel destinations in the entire world. It is a land of scenic beauty, beaches, plenty of adventures like water sports, and rich culture. All these aspects make it extremely desirable and a frequent bucket list entry. Thailand also happens to be a land of many festivals. These celebrations bring heritage and traditions that have passed from generations to the limelight. Each month brings along with a chance to either witness or take part in these festivities. People of all age groups take part in these celebrations with a lot of enthusiasm. Taking part in these festivities are a great way to make the most of your Thailand tour package by not only learning more about the festival but also having a great time while doing so. Here is a list of the 10 best Thailand festivals to take part in.:-

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  1. Phi Ta Khon (Ghost Festival)
  2. Songkran Festival (Water Festival)
  3. Chinese New Year
  4. Lopburi Monkey Banquet (Food Festival)
  5. Yi Peng (The Lantern Festival)
  6. Boon Bang Fai (Rocket Festival)
  7. Wing Kwai (Buffalo Racing Festival)
  8. Surin Elephant Festival
  9. Phuket Vegetarian Festival
  10. Mekong Naga Fireballs

1. Phi Ta Khon (Ghost Festival in Thailand): ( held in june )

Phi Ta Khon is also known as the ghost festival. It is hands down one of the most interesting celebrations in all of Thailand. It combines religious traditions, local handicrafts with a fun filled party atmosphere. It is celebrated for three days with the attendants donning colourful and ghastly masks. The festival’s origins can be traced back to Buddhist and Animist beliefs. The main parade is held on Friday, Saturday is reserved for music shows and pageants while Sunday is reserved for Buddhist ceremonies. This one makes for a great religious festival worth attending while in Thailand. This is one of the best Thailand festivals without a doubt.

2. Songkran Festival (Water Festivals of Thailand): ( held from April 13th to 15th )

This is also known as the Water Festival of Thailand. It makes for one of the most exciting and entertaining festivals in Thailand. This festival essentially involves a 3-day long water fight. Attendees enjoy music, dancing, and of course a lot of water fights. Instruments like buckets, hose pipes, water guns and a lot more are used for the purposes of splashing water. The prolonged and fun-filled water fights make this one of the best Thailand festivals.

3. Chinese New Year: ( held on 1st February annually )

The best place to celebrate this festival in Bangkok is Yaowaraj. It is also known as the Chinatown of Bangkok. The area is full of narrow, bustling alleys that are a treat to explore. Even a corner of these paths comes to life with dragon and lion dancers during the festivities. There are also firecrackers and red chinese lanterns to be seen. One can enjoy the Chinese banquets that are held during this time along with worshippers and locals. If you do find yourself in Bangkok around the Chinese New year then we recommend you head to the northern edge of Chinatown without a thought. Bright lights and amazing sights make the Chinese New Year one of the best Thailand festivals.

4. Lopburi Monkey Banquet (Food Festival in Thailand): ( held in November )

This festival takes place at lopburi. This town is situated 150 KM north of Bangkok. It is most famous because of the monkeys that reside in this area. It is no surprise then that this is also one of the most popular activities that tourists engage in during their visits. Coming back to the banquet, this is a festival which is celebrated for the simians. During the festival a banquet is laid out for about 3000 monkeys. The feast involves about 4 tonnes of fruits, vegetables and other treats that are enjoyed by the monkeys. This makes for a one of the most interesting festivals in Thailand.

5. Yi Peng (The Lantern Festival): ( held on 8th and 9th November )

Yi Peng is also known as the Lantern festival. Not much different from countries like China and Vietnam, this festival celebrated at Chiang Mai is one of the most spectacular sights you can see. Crowds gather at the banks of the Peng River and release thousands of paper lanterns to the skies. This is more of a tradition rather than a festival. However, that doesn’t take anything away from the beauty of the sight. It makes for a fantastic photo op indeed. In addition to the lanterns, one can also witness religious ceremonies, firework displays, parades and much more on this special occasion.

6. Boon Bang Fai (Rocket Festival of Thailand): ( held in mid of May )

The Boon Bang Fai is one of the best festivals in Thailand which is also known as the Rocket Festival. It is significant in particular to the farming communities of the northeastern regions of Issan. All of the village’s community turns out as this is considered to be the last big “ knees up ” before the planting season. The festivity entails shooting of rockets skywards in a prayer to the gods to send plenty of rainfall the farmers way. The festival being salong with live folk music, beauty pageants, parties filled with fun and frolic. 

7. Wing Kwai (Buffalo Racing Thailand Festivals):

As suggested by the heading, this festival involves buffalo racing. This tradition has been followed for hundreds of years in Thailand. The race course is 100 metres in length and located near the Chonburi City Hall. Apart from the Buffalo racing, one can also see buffalo beauty competitions, buffalo decorations and many such unheard of activities. Tourists can also check fete games that are held after the festivities.

8. Surin Elephant Festival: ( held on third weekend of November )

As one might deduce, this festival is dedicated to the elephants which are found in Thailand. Historically, these giant creatures have been pivotal in many areas like agriculture, travel, and even battles. This festival is celebrated in the northeastern part of the country. Tourists can witness majestic parades of elephants that are fed with vegetables and fruits. Owing to the cultural and historical aspects of the country that are brought to the forefront, this is a festival that shouldn’t be missed. 

9. Phuket Vegetarian Festival: ( held from 24th September to 1st October )

Out of the many Thailand festivals discussed above, this is one of the major festivals celebrated in the country of Thailand. As one might have inferred, it involves attendees abstaining from meat consumption a month prior to the festival. The festival is followed by a month of people engaging in activities that are both gruesome and awe-inspiring. These include bold acts like lying on knives, piercing facial areas. This festival, like many others on this list, is celebrated with fireworks and dancing.

10. Mekong Naga Fireballs: ( October )

The Mekong Naga Fireballs are attributed to attracting a worldwide audience. The festivities are organised on the banks of the mighty Mekong River. One can witness fireballs shooting to the skies without making a sound. These reddish light balls sure make for a spectacular sight. These fireballs can reach a height of about 600 feet without any other external inputs. The phenomenon behind this grand spectacle is not clearly explained although some regard it as an explosion of flammable phosphine gas.

Now you know the whole list of most interesting and popular festivals in Thailand, check out our other Thailand travel blogs to know about best places to visit in Thailand.

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