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Thailand Tourist Information : Festivals & Events 2013
*New Year's Day (1 Jan)
Thai people celebrate New Year nationwide. However, grand-scale celebrations take place in many areas in Bangkok and major provinces like Chiang Mai, Pattaya, and Phuket. In Bangkok, you can enjoy the exhilarating countdown events on the night of December 31 at Ratchaprasong area (Central World Plaza), Siam Paragon, Rama VIII Bridge, Silom and Sanam Luang.

Chiang Mai Flower Festival
(Taking place for 3 days from the First Friday of February =
1-3 Feb)
This festival is held to promote the growing of flowers and decorative plants in Chiang Mai, featuring a parade of colourful petalled floats and beauty contests.

Chinese New Year Festival
(10 Feb)
Lion Dance FestivalMost colourful lion and dragon dances are staged by the Chinese community in Nakhon Sawan City and in Chinatown, Bangkok.

*Magha Puja Day
(on the full-moon day of the 3rd Thai lunar month = 25 Feb)
One of the holiest Buddhist holy days, Magha Puja Day marks the occasion when 1,250 saint-disciples of the Buddha spontaneously gathered to hear his preaching. This day is now considered Day of Love in Buddhism.

*Chakri Day (6 Apr)
The day to commemorate the founding of the present Chakri Dynasty in 1782.

*Songkran Festival (13 - 15 Apr)
Songkran FestivalThe traditional Thai New Year, joyfully celebrated throughout the country with rituals of merit making, honouring elders, and parades of dancers and music troupes.Water splashing, an amusing way to make you cool in the hot season makes the festival most interesting. It is celebrated in a grand way in Chiang Mai, Khaosan Road and Silom Road in Bangkok, Pattaya and at Phra Pradaeng near Bangkok.
Related links : Thai New Year's Day

*National Labour Day (1 May)
To celebrate the Labour Day, a great number of Thai labourers gather at Sanam Luang to join the festivities held by the government which include pop concerts, cultural shows, dances and a variety of fun activities and entertainment.

*Coronation Day (5 May)
The day when the reigning King Bhumibol was crowned as the 9th king of the Chakri Dynasty in 1950.

*Ploughing Ceremony (13 May)
Ploughing Ceremony Presided over by the King, this ancient Brahmanic ceremony is held at Sanam Luang in Bangkok to mark the beginning of the planting season and to bless the farmers with bumper harvests in the year.

Rocket Festival (11-12 May)
Rocket FestivalCalled "ngan bun bang fai" in Thai, it is a unique festival of the Northeast, most elaborately celebrated in Yasothon province. Bamboo rockets are launched as an annual plea to gods for plenty of rainfall in the rainy season.

*Visakha Puja Day
(on the full-moon day of the 6th Thai lunar month = 24 May)
It is one of the most important Buddhist holy days. On this day in different years, the Buddha was born, attained Enlightenment and entered Nirvana.

*Asalha Puja Day
(on the full-moon day of the 8th Thai lunar month = 22 Jul)
On this day the Buddha gave his first sermon to his first five disciples after his Enlightenment.

*Khao Phansa Day
(1st day of 8th waning moon = 23 Jul)
The first day of the three-month period of Rain Retreat when monks meditate and study the Buddha's doctrine and laymen renew their commitment to follow the precepts of Buddhism. Monks are required to stay at their resident temples throughout the Rain Retreat period.

Candle Festival (Jul)
Candle FestivalPeople in many provinces in the Northeast celebrate Khao Phansa Day by arranging processions of folk dances and floats to the monasteries, carrying huge, intricately carved candles to be lit continuously throughout the Rain Retreat period. Grand celebrations take place in Ubon Ratchathani province.

*HM the Queen's Birthday (12 Aug)
Queen SirikitTo celebrate the Queen's birthday and the Mother's Day, a grand celebration is held at Sanam Luang in front of the Grand Palace. There are free concerts and performances given by many popular Thai artists and a variety of entertainment. Buildings along Ratchadamnoen Road and other main roads are decorated with thousands of colourful lights, flags and portraits of the Queen.

Vegetarian Festival (5-13 Oct)

During this period, people of Chinese origin all over the country make merit by abstaining from food and oil from animals. The large-scale festival is held in Phuket and Trang. Sacred rituals are performed at various Chinese shrines and temples. People carry the god statues in a great procession and observe traditional magical performances as a sacrifice to their gods.


Boat Races (Sep-Oct)
Boat Races
Courtesy of TAT

In September and October, when the rivers and waterways are in full spate, boat-racing festivals are held in several provinces that the rivers flow through. The best known are held in Nan, Phichit, Phitsanulok and Chumphon.


* Chulalongkorn Day (23 Oct)
Held to commemorate the death of King Chulalongkorn the Great (Rama V) who passed away in 1910.

Loi Krathong or Festival of Light
(on the full-moon day of the 12th Thai lunar month = 17 Nov)
Loi Krathong is the most romantic festival of this country. In the evening, people gather at the waterside to float krathongs, lotus-shaped vessels lovely decorated with flowers and lit candles, as a thanksgiving and worship to the Goddess of Water. Magnificent celebrations are held in Sukhothai and Chiang Mai.

Surin Elephant Round-up
(The 3rd weekend of Nov)
Surin Elephant Round-upA northeastern province, Surin is famous for its world-famous elephant round-up. The show features elephant football, elephant race and hunt and elephants in ancient battle.

The River Kwai Bridge Week (around the end of November or the beginning of December)
The River Kwai Bridge Week
Courtesy of TAT
It is held in Kanchanaburi province to commemorate the horrible ordeal suffered in the construction of the Death Railway to be used by the Japanese army as a route of supply from Thailand to Burma in World War II. The festival features a historical exhibition, fun fair, bazaar and exciting light & sound presentation.

*HM the King's Birthday (5 Dec)
Huge crowds gather at Sanam Luang and on Ratchadamnoen Road in Bangkok on the evenings of the 4th and 5th to celebrate jubilantly.

*Constitution Day (10 Dec)
It is to commemorate the day on which Thailand's first Constitution was promulgated by King Prajadhipok (Rama VII) in 1932.

* New Year's Eve (31 Dec)

*A public holiday
Schedules are subject to change without notice. For more information, please check with TAT, tel. 0 2250 5500 (150 lines).

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