Thailand is one of the most beautiful countries in the world, and on top of its many attractions, great history, and picturesque scenery, it has a rich culture that attracts a large number of tourists from all over the world. One of the rich parts of Thailand’s culture is its many festivals that some of which are religious and some cultural.
Thailand’s festivals are one of the main reasons that this country is very famous among tourists. Almost every time of the year is the time for a traditional or modern festival. Most of Thailand’s festivals are annual things that happen every year in a defined time.
Top 11 Thailand’s festivals
We’ve listed down some of Thailand’s most famous festivals that take place annually. Here are 11 of our favorites.
- Water festival (Songkran)
- Buffalo racing festival (Wing Kwai)
- Ghost Festival (Phi Ta Khon)
- Lantern festival (Yi Peng)
- Lopburi Monkey Banquet festival
- Wonderfruit music and arts festival
- Candle festival
- Chinese New Year
- Mekong Naga Fireballs
- Magha Puja festival
- Phuket Vegetarian Festival
Water Festival (Songkran)
Songkran, or the water festival of Thailand, is undoubtedly the most famous and popular festival in this gorgeous country. These three days ceremony is to celebrate the Thai new year. The water festival of Thailand happens on April 13, 14, and 15 of every year. Songkran is Thailand’s most fun and biggest festival celebrating the Buddhist new year.
Thai people celebrate Songkran with parades, dances, local shows, and, most importantly, water fights. The Buddhist people believe that water is spiritually cleansing. They believe that spraying and splashing water on someone cleanse that person of any bad luck or resentments from the past year and gifts you with fortune and enjoyment for the year ahead.
In the celebration of Songkran, people would collect water poured on Buddha statues and then splash that water on each other. Songkran, or the water festival, is celebrated all over Thailand in April.
Buffalo Racing Festival (Wing Kwai)
Wing Kwai is one of the most interesting festivals in Thailand that takes place on the first weekend after the end of the Lunar calendar’s 11th month. About 100 years ago, in Chonburi province of Thailand, farmers decided to put on a race with buffalos at the end of raining season to respect them as they were really helpful in farming.
Nowadays, this festival is still happening to remind the youth of traditional farming in Thai culture and society. Riding a buffalo is not easy. You have to be professional, and the animal has to be trained; that’s why it is fascinating and exciting. Not everyone can do it!
Ghost Festival (Phi Ta Khon)
Phi Ta Khon is another famous festival in Thailand which is also known as the ghost festival. Ghost festival is another traditional festival with religious ideas. This festival is probably the best festival with religious beliefs and the perfect one to get close to
It is celebrated for three days in which thousands of locals wear colorful, appalling masks with exaggerated faces painted in bright and flashy colors. Phi Ta Khon is a three-day celebration in Dan Sai, and it happens on the first weekend after the end of the sixth full moon based on the Lunar calendar.
Lantern festival (Yi Peng)
One of the greatest festivals in Thailand is the lantern festival, or Yi Peng, full of glamour and charm. The lantern festival happens every November, in which hundreds of thousands of paper lanterns are freed into the sky, and the same number of candles are lit on the ground. released
Despite the paper lanterns that light the sky of Thailand on the night of the lantern festival, parades, fireworks, and releasing paper boats in the river happen on the night of Yi Peng festival. Every year a lot of tourists and locals gather together in the northern part of Thailand to honor the lord Buddha and to cleanse your soul from negativity during the lantern festival. The other name of Yi Peng, or the Lantern Festival of Thailand, is the festival of lights.
Lopburi Monkey Banquet festival
Lopburi Monkey Banquet Festival is one of the most favorite festivals in Thailand among tourists and locals, which is held every year on the last Sunday of November in Lopburi. The ceremony begins with the performance of music and dance by humans dressed as monkeys. After that, the monkeys are invited to the tables to eat. This festival is a food festival but with a jaw-dropping twist.
One of Lopburi’s symbols is its monkeys, and tourists really enjoy feeding them. At Lopburi Monkey Banquet Festival, organizers and visitors will feed all Lopburi’s monkeys with big portions of food and fruit. A grand banquet is held only for monkeys.
Wonderfruit music and arts festival
Wonderfruit music and arts festival is the most famous music festival in Thailand that takes place in the suburbs of Pattaya. Every year a three days celebration of music, dance, art, and food takes place at Siam Country Club of Pattaya in the name of Wonderfruit festival.
A lot of artists come together to perform in Wonderfruit festival of Pattaya. You can hear international music at this festival, but it mostly focuses on Thai and Asian cultures. Wonderfruit is one of the modern festivals of Thailand that attract a large number of tourists.
Candle festival is one of Thailand’s most famous festivals, which mixes this wonderful country’s art and religion. Over 10 grand sculptures of the lord Buddha made from wax are created by Thai artists and then paraded all over Ubon city in this amazing festival. Alongside the elaborated wax sculptures of the lord Buddha, dancers and performers will accompany them with folklore music and dance.
Bear in mind that you are not allowed to sell or buy alcohol at holy Buddhist celebrations and fests. Candle festival is one of those sacred festivals. You must purchase your needed alcohol days before the celebration and stock it.
Chinese New Year
Thailand, as a Buddhist country, doesn’t celebrate the Chinese new year officially. Still, due to the large community of Chinese population and community in this country, it is celebrated as a festival in some parts of this country. The Chinese new year festival happens in the Chinatown of Bangkok. If you can’t travel to China during the Chinese new year, Thailand is a great alternative for your travel destination.
Mekong Naga Fireballs
One of the most beloved festivals in Thailand is the Naga Fireball Festival, which takes place on the night of Wan Oki Pansa at the end of the Buddhist fast in late October and early November in Phon Phisai and Nong Khai.
During this amazing festival, a big will gather around a 250 kilometers river to watch fireballs shoot in the sky. What makes this phenomenon unique is that hundreds or sometimes thousands of luminaries rise to more than 600 meters in the sky without any human involvement. No one knows if this incident has a scientific reason or just a magical cause that makes it happen.
Magha Puja festival
Magha Puja Festival is another exciting festival in this country that happens for religious reasons. This festival celebrates the anniversary of an incident that happened 2500 years ago. At the mentioned time, more than 1200 Buddhist monks came to visit Buddha without an invitation from the lord Buddha. They planned to come and see Buddha in the third month of the Lunar calendar.
What Do People Do? Many Buddhists celebrate Magha Puja Day by exchanging gifts, lighting oil lamps, meditating, and participating in Buddhist activities.
Phuket Vegetarian Festival
unlike what you get from the name, Phuket Vegetarian festival has nothing to do with vegetarianism or eating. This festival is one of the most popular festivals in Thailand, with peculiar features that astonish every visitor.
Phuket vegetarian festival happens on the ninth month of the Lunar calendar. During this festival, people will abstain from meat, onion, garlic, and other ingredients that based on Chinese belief will bring negative energies to mind and body. Another common tradition that makes this festival even more special is piercing faces with weird objects. All of the activities in this festival are to cleanse your soul and mind from negativity.
Final words about Thailand’s top festivals
In this article, we named some of Thailand’s top festivals that most tourists like to attend and shared a brief profile about each one. Hope it helps you get a better view of this wonderful country’s traditions and culture.