A guide to Thailand festivals

It’s little secret that Thailand loves a good old-fashioned party. Long been renowned for throwing incredible, colourful, varied and, in some cases, plain wacky festivals, locals and tourists flock far and wide to take part in the various celebrations.

From three-day-long water fights to millions of candle lanterns being released to multiple rockets being fired, each and every festival is as unique as it is special.


Five must-not-miss Thai festivals:

1.     Songkran

When: April

Where: Across the country, but the biggest and best are in Bangkok and Chiang Mai

Lasting three days, Songkran (Thai New Year) brings people far and wide for what’s basically one big street water fight.

2.     Loi Krathong

When:  During the full moon in November

Where: Across Thailand

A feast for the eyes, Loi Krathong festivities sees millions of candle lanterns released into the night sky to give thanks to the water goddess, Phra Mae Khon.

3.     Phi Ta Khon (Ghost Festival)

When: June

Where: Dan Sai, Loei, 500 kilometres north of Bangkok

Quite possibly the most raucous of all the Thai festivals, revelers dress up as ghosts clad in sheets and wear colourful masks carved from coconut trees.

4.     Tesagan Gin Je (Vegetarian Festival)

When: October

Where: Phuket

Not for the faint hearted, a food market this isn’t. A ceremony laden with religion, expect to see ritualized mutilation where participants impale themselves on knives, swords and razor blades.

5.     Bun Bang Fai Rocket Festival

When: May Yasothon, Isaan

Where: Yasothon, Isaan

The start of the rainy season in a country where 70% of the income is from agriculture clearly comes with a festival of a worthy size. Bamboo rockets are launched into the sky in the hope it will spur the god of rain to bring many a shower.