Thailand is a Buddhist country with numerous festivals held in a year. Coming here, you should not miss taking part in cultural events such as the lantern festival or monkey buffet festival. There are a lot of traditional festivals held in the last half year.
Asanha Bucha Festival
This is a large Buddhist festival in Thailand, usually held on the full moon day of the 8th lunar month (Thai calendar). On this occasion, Buddhists in the country converged on temples and monks. Some temples organize meditation sessions for Buddhists.
Wan Khao Phansa Festival
After Asanha Bucha day, Khao Phansa ceremony is held to announce the beginning of the Buddhist retreat. On this occasion, many Thai teenagers also have their hair cut to bless of their parents, a common tradition of the Thai people. They will have to abstain from meat, alcohol and cigarettes for 3 months.
August 12nd is an important ceremony in Thailand, celebrating the birthday of Sirikit Queen – who is called “Mother of the country” because she brought prosperous to the country. In this day, Thai people donate. Hundreds of candles are lit to commemorate the Great Mother.
This festival lasts for 10 days and starts from the first day of the 9th lunar month. It’s a unique festival held only in Thailand. During the festival, food such as meat, egg and onion are banned.
Tourists can see the vegetarian festival in Yaowarat and Chinatown Bangkok. Restaurants will hang large banners and flags with striking red letters to attract people as well as state that only vegetarian food is sold here.
The vegetarian festival is held in many places but the most popular one is in Phuket. Besides vegetarian food, people will wear white clothes during the festival and parade in streets. In the evening, some people will walk on the hot coal in the temples.
Naga Fireball Festival
Naga Fireball festival is held in the 9th lunar month and has the appearance of fire balls on Mekong River (The intersection point in Nong Khai, Thailand and Vientiane, Laos). Participating in this festival, you can see many colourful balls flying from the river to the sky, attracting a lot of visitors.
Every October 23rd in Thailand, there will be a commemoration of King Chulalongkorn’s death in 1910, at the age of 57. Normally each province in Thailand has at least one memorial to this king but the most famous monument is the Anata Samakhom Throne Hall in Bangkok.
King Chualalongkhom’s picture is considered a lucky charm for merchants. Therefore, many shops in Thailand display and sell photos of the contemporary king as well as Chulalongkorn.
The Lantern Festival – Loy Krathong
Lantern Festival is held on the full moon of December 12 Thai calendar. Although festivals take place across the country, the largest ones are in four provinces: Sukhothai, Chiang Mai, Ayutthaya and Bangkok.
In Sukhothai, home to Loy Krathong, the festival usually lasts for 2 weeks. Lanterns are laid down along the rivers and illuminate archaeological sites. In addition, the festival has parades, fireworks and concerts attracting people from other regions and foreign tourists.
In Chiang Mai, a northern province of Thailand, this festival is also known as Yi Peng. In Bangkok, besides traditional activities, several hotels on the banks of the Chao Phraya River light up almost all night.
Sakon Nakhon Festival
It’s a huge Thai festival commemorating Ok Phansa Day, also known as the Late Buddhist Lent, taking place from October 28th to 29th. Tourists will see beautiful wax castles by the talented local artists. Along with that, you can see the procession of the wax castle of the Sakon Nakhon people.
Festival of lights on Mekong River, Nakhon Phanom
At first, this festival is held to express respect to the Buddha but then added a light decoration competition to highlight the event. Festival of lights lasts from 27th to 30th October each year. Public, private or temple sectors receive an invitation to participate in the competition.
Monkey Buffet Festival
The festival is held annually on the last Sunday of November in Lopburi province ( about 150 kilometres to the north of Bangkok). Mainly living in Khmer and Phra temple, monkeys are usually seen in Lopburi because they are fed by locals. They sometimes chew the phone wire and cause damage but local people still accept that because monkeys are considered as the descendant of Monkey King Hanuman.
On this day, instead of being fed once, the party is held four times at 10 am, 12 am, 2 pm and 4 pm.
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