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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Headline for 05 Must See Festivals in Thailand – Experience the Outlandish
Joanna James Joanna James
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05 Must See Festivals in Thailand – Experience the Outlandish

Thailand has a wide variety of festivals that promise to stun, awe and even leave you befuddled; Songkran for instance, when you get soaked. Most are based on Buddhism, as the below list explains.


Ban Chiang World Heritage Festival

This festival can be witnessed in the Udon Thani region of the country and is celebrated in February. Ban Chiang is the country's most outlandish pre-historic World Heritage Site, and at this time of the year plays host to a number of cultural events. Performances by dancers from Vietnam, Lahor and Thailand are held; these colourful performances are enhanced with impressive light and sound presentations, sales of local products, exhibitions and a traditional dinner.


Khon Kaen International Marathon

One of the four major cities in the Isan Province, Khon Kaen is not all about business. It is, of course, a vibrant business hub, with the likes of AVANI Khon Kaen Hotel & Convention Centre welcoming a bevvy of executives from across the region. But if you do happen to be in this vibrant city during the month of January, it's hard to resist being part of the Khon Kaen International Marathon. At this time of the year it's hard to find accommodation at any well-located hotel Khon Kaen city centre has to offer; early bookings are recommended. The marathon has seen over 8 events since its start and consists of four events. These are the 42.195km marathon, the 21km half marathon, the 11.55km mini marathon and walk, as well as, the fun run. The course takes participants across the academic districts, ethnic districts and cultural districts. The first five females and first five males to compete the course are rewarded with a trophy and cash.


The Garland Festival

The Garland Festival takes place in Maha Chana Chai, Ban Yard Fah and Yasothon. It is a festival that is held in February. The festival originated from an ancient belief that on this day, the Buddha and his mother return to earth; they are welcomed by the angels with flowers and rice. The belief is now a beloved tradition where villagers make garlands of baked rice, to be taken on the parades and eventually end up as part of the temples pavilion decoration.


Phrathath Phanom Fair

This is a festival that takes place in February or the first week of March. It is a fair that commences in the morning hours with a number of Buddhist ceremonies. The ceremonies are part of the transfer of Phra Uppakhup from the Mekong River banks to the Phrathath Phanom Temple. After this there are worship ceremonies as well as, the blessing of the stupa. Local dances are part of the festivities while stalls selling local products and conducting fun games are started in the temple grounds.


Bun Phawet Festival

Celebrated in Roi Et, this Buddhist feast commemorates the return of Vetsandon, one of the many lives of Lord Buddha. The three day festival takes place in Somdech Phra Srinakarindra Park as well as, Buen Phalan Chai. During these three days, you can witness cultural parades, performances and sermons of good will.