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Updated by Joanna James on Sep 13, 2018
Headline for Traditional Festivals of Thailand – Mark Your Calendars!
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Joanna James Joanna James
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Traditional Festivals of Thailand – Mark Your Calendars!

The traditional festivals of Thailand are a great way to learn about the country's dynamic and rich culture. Celebrate with the locals or be a mere spectator.

1

Songkran Festival

The Songkran Festival is an annual event held from the 13th to 15th April and is mainly a massive water fight which takes place on the crowded streets of the country. As April is known to be the hottest month of the year, the Songkran festival is a much appreciated event on the calendar and the festival also serves as the perfect way to beat the tropical heat. Most offices, banks, restaurants and shops close during this period as everyone gets to the streets to celebrate and douse each other- including the cops- with water! Some police personnel even trade their guns for water pistols and cheekily aim it at passersby. The symbolic meaning of dousing each other in water is to wash off any misfortunes from the old year before the start of the New Year. If you're staying at a Koh Samui beach resort, and are looking for other water related activities to beat the heat, properties such as Anantara Lawana Koh Samui Resort offer a number of options!

2

Loy Krathong

Loy Krathong is another festival which revolves around the celebration of water. This ancient festival, celebrated in November honours the water spirits for providing ample water during the growing season. The locals head down to the rivers and send colourful banana leaf bowls, lanterns and baskets with candle lights. The 'floating away' signifies the art of letting go of anger and grudges of the past year and a way of bringing in good luck for the new year. 'Loy' translates to 'float' while 'krathong' refers to a local floating sculpture made from a banana tree trunk that is decorated with banana leaves and flowers. Some activities held during this festival include beauty contests, krathong competitions, Ram Wong dance performances and many more.

3

Rocket Festival

The Rocket Festival is held on the northeast of Thailand each year. As the name suggests, this festival revolves around the act of shooting rockets towards the sky to mark the season of rice growing. Over the years, the festival has been turned in to a competition to see which rocket will stay airborne for the longest period. The festival is celebrated with music, dancing, singing, drinking and other forms of revelry.

4

Ghost Festival

The Ghost Festival also known as Phi Ta Khon combines religion, a party atmosphere and local handicrafts. During this 3 day festival, locals wear colourful, bright masks and parade through the streets

5

Royal Barge Procession

The Royal Barge Procession has been taking place for the last 700 years and has a religious and a royal significance to Thailand. This festival occurs quite rarely. The procession features an elaborate display of 51 barges, including the barge built during King Rama IX's reign. The oarsmen are usually dressed in traditional costumes and usually chant as they row down the Chao Phraya River.