Thailand Events & Festivals

Thailand Events & Festivals

There are countless festivals and special events held in Thailand throughout the year. Some of these are celebrated nationwide whilst other festivals are specific to particular cities or provinces. With a number of Thai festivals and Buddhist holidays, the exact date varies each year because it depends on the lunar calendar and the night of the full moon. Listed below are some of the best-known annual Thai festivals and special events. The dates listed here are not public holidays in Thailand unless stated. Please note that dates of local festivals may be liable to change while others are still waiting for dates to be confirmed.

January

  • New Year’s Day (public holiday) – January 1
  • Children’s Day – second Saturday in January (January 11, 2020)
  • Bo Sang Umbrella and Sankhampaeng Handicrafts Festival, Chiang Mai – usually third weekend in January (January 17-19, 2020)

February

  • Chiang Mai Flower Festival – usually held on the first full weekend in February (February 7-9, 2020)
  • Chinese Lunar New Year – date falls in January/February. Celebrated in many areas of Thailand, but particularly in the Chinatown districts of Bangkok and Chiang Mai as well as Phuket and Trang (January 25, 2020 – Year of the Rat)
  • Valentine’s Day – February 14
  • Trang Underwater Wedding – Valentine’s Day. Events in Trang Town and Ko Kradan (February 13-15)
  • Burapa Bike Week, Pattaya – mid-February. Regarded as the biggest gathering of motorbike enthusiasts in South-east Asia.
  • Phuket International Blues Rock Festival – mid/late February
  • Makha Bucha Day (public holiday) – date falls in February/March (February 8, 2020)

March

  • National Elephant Day – March 13
  • National Muay Thai Day – March 17. Ayutthaya hosts the Martial Arts Festival and Wai Khru Ceremony and smaller events and ceremonies are held at various Thai boxing gyms and venues in Thailand
  • Pattaya International Music Festival – mid-March

April

  • Poy Sang Long Festival – various locations around north Thailand, particularly in Mae Hong Son (late March/early April)
  • Chakri Day (public holiday) – April 6
  • Songkran Thai New Year Water Festival (public holiday) – April 13-15
  • Wan Lai Festival – mid-April at locations in Chonburi province including Pattaya
  • Phuket Bike Week – mid-April

May

  • Labour Day (public holiday) – May 1
  • Rocket Festivals, Isaan – mid/late May. Various local events in areas of north-east Thailand with the most famous being the the ‘Bun Bang Fai Rocket Festival’ at Yasothon
  • Royal Ploughing Ceremony, Bangkok – date usually falls in May
  • Hua Hin Jazz Festival – usually held in May/June
  • Chiang Mai Inthakin City Pillar Festival – date usually falls in May
  • Ko Samui Yacht Regatta – held in May/June
  • Visakha Bucha Day (public holiday) – date falls in May/June (May 6, 2020)

June

  • Birthday of HM Queen Suthida – June 3 (public holiday)
  • Phi Ta Khon Ghost Festival, Dan Sai, Loei – (usually held in June/July)

July

  • Asahna Bucha Day (public holiday) – date usually falls in July/early-August (July 5, 2020)
  • Khao Phansa – falls on the day after Asahna Bucha (July 6, 2020)
  • Birthday of HM King Maha Vajiralongkorn (Rama X) – July 28 (public holiday)
  • Ubon Ratchathani Candle Festival – held during July and associated with Asahna Bucha and Buddhist Lent
  • Phuket Yachting Race Week – mid/late July

August

  • Queen Dowager Sirikit’s Birthday (public holiday) also celebrated as Mother’s Day – August 12
  • Por Tor Hungry Ghost Festival, Phuket – held August/September

September

  • Thai National Flag Day – September 28

October

  • HM King Bhumibol Adulyadej Memorial Day – October 13 (public holiday). Commemorating the passing of HM King Bhumibol Adulyadej (Rama IX)
  • Awk Phansa (marks the end of Buddhist Lent) – usually in October (October 13, 2019) (October 1, 2020)
  • Buffalo Racing Festival, Chonburi – held in October/November
  • Chulalongkorn Day (public holiday) – October 23
  • Royal Barge Procession, Bangkok – October 24, 2019  Rescheduled for December 12, 2019
  • Naga Fireballs, Nong Khai
  • Vegetarian Festival – usually takes place in September/October. Celebrated at various locations in Thailand including Phuket, Trang, Krabi, Bangkok and Chiang Mai.

November

  • Loy Krathong – date usually falls in November
    November 11, 2019 (date for 2020 to be confirmed)
  • Yi Peng Lantern Festival, Chiang Mai – held to coincide with Loy Krathong. November 9-12, 2019 (date for 2020 to be confirmed)
  • Elephant Round-up Festival, Surin – third weekend in November
  • Monkey Banquet Festival, Lopburi – last Sunday in November

December

  • King Bhumibol Birthday Commemoration Day (public holiday) the day on which HM King Bhumibol Adulyadej was born is also celebrated as Father’s Day and National Day – December 5
  • Constitution Day (public holiday) – December 10
  • Royal Barge Procession, Bangkok – December 12, 2019 (was originally scheduled for October)
  • Concert in the Park, Bangkok
    Outdoor concert season begins in Bangkok. From January 2019 the new venue is at Chulalongkorn University Centenary Park (previously at Lumphini Park). Free entertainment courtesy of the Bangkok Symphony Orchestra. Concerts on most Sundays from mid-December through to the end of February.
  • New Year’s Eve (public holiday if it falls on a weekday) – December 31. New Year Countdown events held at various locations in Thailand including Bangkok, Chiang Mai and Pattaya

Caitlyn

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