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Updated by Joanna James on May 27, 2020
Headline for Top Festivals in Thailand – Cultural Insights & Fun Experiences Await!
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Joanna James Joanna James
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Top Festivals in Thailand – Cultural Insights & Fun Experiences Await!

To truly experience Thailand's rich culture, nothing beats witnessing some of the country's annual festivals. Each of them has its own traditions and rituals while some offer you the chance to participate too!

1

Chinese New Year

One of the most colourful festivals in Thailand, the Chinese New Year is celebrated with much pageantry especially in Bangkok's Chinatown area known as "Yaowarat". It is held according to dates on the Chinese lunar calendar and generally takes place in January or February. Those visiting the main areas where celebrations are held are likely to see red lanterns, firecrackers being lit, lively performances and iconic dragon dances. You can also witness such Chinese New Year festivities in certain temples in Phuket, Nakhon Sawan, Chiang Mai and Koh Samui.

2

Songkran

Songkran is the traditional Thai New Year and is extremely popular. While this event is rooted in such Buddhist customs as sprinkling water to symbolise purification, it has transformed to offer another element that people look forward to; it involves dousing each other with water and everyone gets involved! Songkran is usually held between 13th and 15th April and is observed throughout the country be it in the capital Bangkok or islands such as Phuket; real estate and accommodation options close to areas where it is celebrated offer ample opportunities to not only witness these water fights but take part in them too!

3

Phuket Vegetarian Festival

Held annually, the Phuket Vegetarian Festival usually falls in the month of September or October which corresponds with the Chinese calendar's ninth lunar month. According to the traditional beliefs of the Chinese community, abstaining from things such as meats, alcohol and other stimulants during this time assist to provide peace of mind and good health. During this festival, some devotees perform acts of self-mortification that invoke the gods; most often this involves body piercing which is not for the faint-hearted! Among the places to see the traditions of the Phuket Vegetarian Festival are the Tha Rua Shrine within easy reach of Layan Residences by Anantara, the Jui Tui Shrine and the Kathu Shrine.

4

Loi Krathong Festival

An event celebrated countrywide, Loi Krathong is also one of the best Thai festivals to photograph. This is because as part of the festival, people send krathongs (a decorated small vessel made from banana leaves) lit with a candle floating along rivers and other water bodies. This is done to pay honour to the goddess of the river as well as to Buddha and the sight of thousands of lit krathongs in the water is truly mesmerising. During this time, concerts and parades are held too along with other festivities.

5

Chiang Mai Flower Festival

Those who love flowers are going to want to visit the Chiang Mai Flower Festival which celebrates all things floral! It takes places in Chiang Mai in the first week of February when one can witness grand floats decked will all manner of colourful flowers. One will also be able to see vibrant floral displays, unique flower arrangements and more. The main parade takes place along Chiang Mai's Charoen Muang Road, while Suan Buak Hat Park which showcases the Damask rose as well as chrysanthemums and orchids is another event hotspot.