Going to festivals is one of the many ways to experience each country’s traditions and culture. Festivals reflect the country’s history and the way of living, and Thailand has so many famous festivals that you may or may not have heard about. We would like to introduce you to 5 unmissable festivals in Thailand that you simply can’t miss if you happen to be here during the festival times.
1. Songkran (Water Festival)
Songkran (aka Water Festival or Thai New Year) is the most famous Thai festival, celebrated every year from 13-15 April. Travellers from all over the world come to experience the fun of water wars in every part of the country. Traditionally, a Buddha statue will be prepared in temples throughout the country for “Bathing Buddha”, where people will pour scented water on the torso of the statue to pay respect. Thai people will also visit their elders or parents, and the young ones will prepare scented water to wash their elders or parents’ feet, then the elders or parents will return the favour with their blessings.
2. Loy Krathong Festival
While Songkran is celebrated at the same time every year, Loy Krathong is different. The festival takes place on the full moon night of the 12th month according to the Thai lunar calendar, so the date changes every year, but it usually falls in the month of November.
Loy Krathong is celebrated by making a “Kratong” which is a slice of banana tree trunk decorated with banana leaves, flowers, a candle, and incense sticks. Then, they launch a Krathong on a river or a canal, make a wish, and apologize to the goddess of water while letting it float.
3. Yi-Peng Festival (Khom Loy or Lantern Festival)
If you’ve seen Disney’s animation called “Tangled”, you must have seen hundreds of floating lanterns across the sky, and that’s exactly what happens in Yi-Peng Festival. Yi-Peng Festival takes place on the same night as the Loy Krathong Festival and is celebrated across the northern part of Thailand. While Krathongs are launched to the water, Khoms (lanterns) are launched to the night sky. People usually make a wish and ask for good fortunes before gently releasing their Khoms to the sky. The sky will be full of hundreds (if not, thousands) of floating lanterns which makes the festival so magical and worth every second of your visit.
4. Chiang Mai Flower Festival
Can you believe Chiang Mai has its own famous annual festival? The Flower Festival is one of the most colourful festivals in Thailand, and usually takes place on the first Friday of February each year and lasts for 3 days. Nong Haad Buak Public Park is the center of the event. The road outside the park will be closed and turned into a street market with music, shows, etc. The highlight of the festival is the parade which includes 25 flower floats, decorated with thousands of flowers with the additional of traditional dancers and marching bands. Last but not least is the Flower Festival Queen contest. The contestants will sit or stand showing their beauty and performing traditional dance on the floats, competing to win the title.
5. Boon Bang Fai Festival (Rocket Festival)
Moving on to North-eastern Thailand, Boon Bang Fai Festival is one of the most famous festivals in Thailand and is celebrated between the months of April and June (depending on each area). The festival usually takes 3-4 days with music, dance performances and parades on the streets. The highlight is on the last day of the festival where people will launch their rockets from morning until evening. There’s even an international rocket competition between the teams of Laos, Cambodia, South Korea, Japan and of course, Thailand to find which one can go furthest, highest and has the most beautiful rocket.
If you’re a festival hunter, you wouldn’t want to miss any of these amazing events. If you have a chance to come to Thailand and would like to visit any of the mentioned festivals, contact TipTop Travel for a private, luxury tour and you’ll receive an amazing tour experience, tailor made especially just for you.