No matter what time of the year you’re visiting Thailand, there’s always a chance for you to witness a festival taking place in some or the other part of this popular Asian country. Festivals of this nation are not only a joyous occasion for its locals but they also allow tourists to be a part of the celebrations. Some of these festivals are held in the temple grounds, while there are others that can also be enjoyed on the streets. Dates of several festivals vary each year as they are held according to the lunar calendar.
If you plan your Thailand holidays for the traditional Thai New Year, you’ll get to enjoy the Songkran festival. For an entire week, you’d witness water thrown around by the locals and tourists alike. You can also take hold of a water gun, a bucket full of water, or a hose pipe to splash water on people. They’ll not spare you either. As the festival falls in the month of April, which is Thailand’s hottest month, everyone gets involved in this friendly water fight. During this festival, most of the shops, restaurants, banks, and other establishments shut down completely. Usually, the big shopping malls remain open.
Every year on the twelfth lunar month, the Yee Peng lantern festival is held in Chiang Mai. It usually falls in November, but the dates can vary. This festival of mass lanterns is a part of the Loy Krathong festival. The Yee Peng festival, which precedes Loy Krathong, involves releasing the floating lanterns into the sky by the locals. If you’re visiting Chiang Mai on the occasion of Yee Peng and Loy Krathong festivals, you can witness the local homes and public areas all lit up with colourful lanterns and flags. The act of releasing the brightly-lit lanterns during the Yee Peng festival and the ‘krathongs’ on the occasion of Loy Krathong festival symbolises letting go of all misfortunes of the past year.
The Yaowaraj area in Bangkok is the official Chinatown in the Thai capital and if you’re visiting the city in January or February, you may get to witness the grand celebrations of the Chinese New Year. Crowds of enthusiastic worshippers come out on the street and light the firecrackers on this occasion. Some fantastic performances of dragon dancers can also be seen on the street. Shopping malls and Chinese restaurants across Bangkok also come up with special offers or discounts on certain goods and services.
You’ll get to see the unique Candle Festival in July while exploring the city of Ubon Ratchathani, which is one of the major cities located in the region of Isan. This festival is a wonderful mix of creativity, culture, and delightful celebrations. Teams of immensely talented artists create huge wax sculptures that are a perfect mix of traditional and contemporary art. These waxworks are paraded on the streets and are accompanied by traditional music and dance performances. As this is one of the Buddhist holidays, the sale of alcohol is prohibited on this day.