Thailand Events & Festivals

There are countless festivals and special events held in Thailand throughout the year. Some of these are celebrated nationwide (e.g.Songkran and Loy Krathong) 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 12, 2019)
  • Bo Sang Umbrella and Sankhampaeng Handicrafts Festival, Chiang Mai – usually third weekend in January (January 18-20, 2019)

February

  • Chiang Mai Flower Festival – usually held on the first weekend in February (February 1-3, 2019)
  • 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 (February 5, 2019 – Year of the Pig)
  • 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 (February 14-16, 2019)
  • Phuket International Blues Rock Festival – mid/late February
  • Makha Bucha Day (public holiday) – date falls in February/March (February 19, 2019)

flowers 

Chiang Mai Flower Festival

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 FestivalMarch 15-16, 2019
  • General Election – a general election is set to take place in Thailand on March 24, 2019.

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

Songkran New Year Water Festival

Songkran Thai New Year Water Festival

May

  • Labour Day (public holiday) – May 1
  • Coronation of H.M King Maha Vajiralongkorn (Rama X) May 4-6, 2019
  • 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 18, 2019)

June

  • Pattaya International Fireworks Festival
  • 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 16, 2019)
  • Khao Phansa – falls on the day after Asahna Bucha (July 17, 2019)
  • Birthday of H.M 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

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

hungry Hungry Ghost Festival

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)
  • Buffalo Racing Festival, Chonburi – held in October/November (probable date for 2019 is October 12-13)
  • Chulalongkorn Day (public holiday) – October 23
  • 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 (Phuket Vegetarian Festival: September 28 to October 7, 2019 – dates to be confirmed.)

November

  • Loy Krathong – date usually falls in November (Probable date for 2019 is November 11)

krathong Loy Krathong

  • Yi Peng Lantern Festival, Chiang Mai – held to coincide with Loy Krathong (Probable dates for 2019 are November 10-12. Not yet confirmed)
  • Elephant Round-up Festival, Surin – third weekend in November
  • Monkey Banquet Festival, Lopburi – last Sunday in November
Mass Lantern Release, Mae Jo, Chiang Mai
In previous years there has been a separate sky lantern release hosted by a Buddhist sect at a temple in Mae Jo. The Mae Jo event is not the Yi Peng Lantern Festival. Since 2015 the Mae Jo sky lantern release has been a commercial event aimed at tourists with ticket prices starting from US$100. The real Yi Peng Lantern Festival in Chiang Mai is, and always has been, free to attend.

yi-peng 

Yi Peng

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
  • 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

 

 

 

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