Traveling to Thailand is traveling to a country full of festivals, both local and national. Whenever you visit Thailand, chances are you can attend one of its festivals to experience the most authentic of Thai culture up close. Thai festivals often revolve around religion or superstition. Despite this, due to Western influence, Thai festivities are becoming closer to fun than spirituality. There are parties for all tastes and at any time of the year. Some of these designated days do not fall exactly on the same day each year, because they vary depending on the lunar calendar and the government itself. To know the exact dates of each festival each year you can visit the website of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT). Today we explain what are the festivities that you can see when you travel to Thailand, depending on the time of year.
If you doubt when to travel to Thailand, we recommend that you take a look at our article What is the best time to travel to Thailand? And if you already know when to travel, take a look at our trips to Thailand !
Holidays in Thailand in January, February and March
Chinese New Year
Between January 21 and February 21 , depending on the year, the Chinese New Year is celebrated. In Thailand there is a large community of Thai Chinese, so this holiday takes on great relevance in the country. If you want to experience it up close, one of the best places is in Bangkok’s Chinatown.
- Where? Especially in the Chinatown neighborhood of Bangkok
- When? Between January 21 and February 21
Chinese New Year celebrations last for several days and it is the time when Thai Chinese clean their houses to purify them and make offerings to their ancestors. There are also parades in the street, with dragons, dances and Chinese cuisine.
If you are in Chiang Mai, in the north of Thailand, during the first week of February , you will be able to experience an authentic festival in which flowers are the protagonists. During these days there are parades with sculptures made with flowers and gardening contests.
- Where? chiang mai
- When? first week of February
This festival has its origins in 1977 and is celebrated because it is the time when the trees begin to bloom. In the Chiang Mai area there is a great tradition of flower cultivation, so it is not at all strange that a festival of these characteristics is celebrated in the city. The Flower Festival lasts three days (from Friday to Sunday, in the first week of February) with Saturday being the most spectacular day. Visiting the Suan Buak Had park area you can see a multitude of flower exhibitions.
Holidays in Thailand in April, May and June
Songkran (Buddhist New Year)
If we talk about festivities in Thailand, one of the best known is the Songkran (Buddhist New Year) . This festival is celebrated in mid-April and its protagonist is water.
- Where? Throughout the country, especially on Khao San Road in Bangkok
- When? Mid April
Songkran celebrations last for three days, and Thai people throw water at each other, as if it were a water fight , to welcome the monsoon season and to purify themselves. Years ago water was thrown at Buddha figures and in temples, and then cleaned with this blessed water. One of the most spectacular places to experience this party is on Khao San street in Bangkok . Despite this, throughout the country there are celebrations, Buddhist ceremonies and shows. In addition, this festival arrives at a time of year of intense heat, so this fun water fight also serves to combat high temperatures.
Big Mountain Music Festival – BMMF (Thailand Music Festival)
In May, the most important music festival in Thailand and indeed in Southeast Asia takes place. If you want to enjoy national and international artists you can go to this festival in the province of Phetchaburi, a short distance from Bangkok, the country’s capital.
- Where? in Phetchaburi
- When? May
- More Information: Big Mountain Music Festival Facebook Page
The BMMF has more than 40,000 attendees who enjoy the live music and DJ’s of the festival in a unique and very beautiful environment such as the Kaeng Krachan Country Club, in Phetchaburi.
Holidays in Thailand in July, August and September
Queen’s Birthday Party (Mother’s Day)
In Thailand, the birthdays of the queen and the king are celebrated, both being national holidays. The queen’s day is on August 12, and on this day people dress in blue, which is the color of the queen. During this day there are several free shows throughout the country. In addition, this festivity also coincides with the celebration of Mother’s Day. Thais are often accompanied by their mothers to temples and to give alms.
- Where? Throughout the country, especially in Bangkok
- When? August 12
Thailand International Food Festival
If you are a true foodie and you are looking for authentic Thai food , at the end of September you have an appointment on the beaches of Phuket . It is there where the best chefs in the country meet for live cooking demonstrations and where you can taste the best recipes in the country.
- Where? in Phuket
- When? end of september
With this festival, the Thais end the monsoon season in Phuket, taking advantage of the fact that the temperatures are pleasant and a little cooler than in previous months.
Holidays in Thailand in October, November and December
Phuket Vegetarian Festival
The Vegetarian Festival is held every year in early October in southern Thailand, especially Phuket. During this festival, which lasts for nine days, worshipers are not allowed to eat meat or drink alcohol. Their meals are exclusively vegetarian.
- Where? in Phuket
- When? Beginning of October
Ceremonies are also held at Buddhist temples during the festival. What is most shocking for the traveler are the rituals practiced by some of the faithful. These rituals consist of piercing the face with needles, knives or other elements. Some somewhat shocking images and not suitable for the most apprehensive.
Chula Longkorn Day
On September 23, the death of King Chulalongkorn (also known as Rama V) is commemorated. This king gave way to modern Thailand, with great advances such as the abolition of slavery or the construction of railways. The figure of King Chulalongkorn is highly appreciated by Thais, so September 23 is, throughout the country, an important day to remember and honor him.
- Where? In all the country
- When? September 23
Loi Krathong is a festival celebrated throughout the country on the full moon night of the twelfth month of the Thai lunar calendar, in November. For this celebration, the Thai people show respect to the water, leaving small boats made with banana leaves and incense sticks (the krathong ), floating on the water of the rivers, canals or lakes. These boats are launched in honor of the goddess of water.
- Where? Throughout the country, although those of Chiang Mai and Ayutthaya stand out
- When? November
It is a festival that also celebrates the end of the monsoon season and is surely one of the most traditional festivities . You can attend the Loi Krathong festival throughout the country, although the most recognized are those of Chiang Mai and Ayutthaya.
Origins and symbology of the Loi Katrong
The origin of this festival could be in India, where they celebrate a similar Hindu festival: the Diwali festival. According to King Rama IV, Thai Buddhists adopted this tradition as a ceremony in honor of the Buddha. The act of placing the candles in the water would symbolize a form of worshiping the Buddha . In addition, sailing these lanterns through rivers or lakes is a way of demonstrating the overcoming of past grudges with the aim of starting a new life without them.
December 5 is the birthday of the King of Thailand. Like Queen’s Day, which is celebrated in August, it is a public holiday throughout the country, with various free shows being held in some cities. It is also tradition to dress in yellow, the color that represents the King.
- Where? In all the country
- When? December 5th
Other festivities in Thailand
Full Moon Party
Throughout the year, on the beaches of Koh Phangan, the Full Moon Party is celebrated. This party takes place every night of the full moon and has little to do with traditional festivities. If you are looking for fun, electronic music and entertainment until late at night , the Full Moon Party will surely meet your expectations. It is a type of party where, above all, a young audience attends who enjoys the nightlife
- Where? On the beaches of Koh Phangan
- When? Full Moon Nights