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Festivals

New Year's Day (1 Jan)

The River of Kings IV:
Righteous King of Fantasy Forest -The Musical Stage Play

Date & Time: 31 Jan - 13 Feb / 19.00 - 20.15 & 21.00 - 22.15 (nightly)
Venue: Ratchaworadit Pier, near the Grand Palace, Bangkok

This superb outdoor stage play that mixes the art of puppetry with light, sound and multi-media extravaganza has its theme based on the concept of the Chairperson of the Organizing Committee, Princess Ubolratana, that "Giving is the Greatest Grandeur" to honour the Kings of Thailand. This performance is a perfect mixture of art of the East and the West, reflecting the Thai ways through the international style of play. The plot is about a search for "True Virtue of a Nobleman" to help save "Himabanta", the fantasy forest, and the world which are facing crises.
For more information, please contact your travel agent or the Public Relations Subdivision, Bureau of the Royal Household, Tel. 0 2281 8199, 0 2280 8710 ext. 1104-1114 or www.theriverofkingsbangkok.com


Magha Puja Day
(on the full-moon day of the 3rd Thai lunar month = 16 Feb)
One of the holiest Buddhist holy days, Magha Puja Day marks the occasion when 1,250 saint-disciples of the Buddha spontaneously gathered to hear his preaching.

 

Chiang Mai Flower Festival
(taking place for 3 days from the first Friday of February)

This festival is held to promote the growing of flowers and decorative plants in Chiang Mai, featuring a parade of colourful petalled floats, graceful northern dances and music, beauty contests and display of rare and precious plants.

 

chiang mai flower fesival

 

Lion Dance Festival
(2nd & 4th days after the Chinese New Year)

Most colourful lion and dragon dances are staged by the Chinese community in Nakhon Sawan City and in Chinatown, Bangkok.

 

Chakri Day (6 Apr)
The day to commemorate the founding of the present Chakri Dynasty in 1782.

 

Songkran Festival (13-15 Apr)
The traditional Thai New Year, joyfully celebrated throughout the country with rituals of merit
making, cleaning houses, honouring elders, parades of dancers and music troupes, and boat
races.

What makes the festival most interesting is water splashing, an amusing way to make you cool in the hot season. It is celebrated in a grand way in Chiang Mai and at Phra Pradaeng near Bangkok.

songkran festival

 

National Labour Day (1 May)
To celebrate the Labour Day, a great number of Thai labourers gather at Sanam Luang to join the festivities held by the government which include pop concerts, cultural shows, dances and a variety of fun activities and entertainment.

 

Coronation Day (5 May)
The day when the reigning King Bhumibol was crowned as the 9th king of the Chakri Dynasty in 1950.

Ploughing Ceremony (8 May)
Presided over by the King, this ancient Brahmanic ceremony is held at Sanam Luang in Bangkok to mark the beginning of the planting season and to bless the farmers with bumper harvests in the year.

 

Rocket Festival (taking place at the 2nd weekend of May)
Called "ngan bun bang fai" in Thai, it is a unique festival of the Northeast, most elaborately celebrated in Yasothon province. Bamboo rockets are launched as an annual plea to gods for plenty of rainfall in the rainy season. The festival also includes sacrificial rites, a colourful procession of country folk dances and a beauty contest.

 

Visakha Puja Day
(on the full-moon day of the 6th Thai lunar month)
It is one of the most important Buddhist holy days. On this day in different years, the Buddha was born, attained Enlightenment and entered Nirvana.

 

Asalha Puja Day
(on the full-moon day of the 8th Thai lunar month)
On this day the Buddha gave his first sermon to his first five disciples after his Enlightenment.

 

Khao Phansa Day
(1st day of 8th waning moon)
The first day of the three-month period of Rains Retreat when monks meditate and study the Buddha's doctrine and laymen renew their commitment to follow the precepts of Buddhism. Monks are required to stay at their resident temples throughout the Rains Retreat period.

 

Candle Festival (usually held on Khao Phansa Day)
People in many provinces in the Northeast celebrate Khao Phansa Day by arranging processions of folk dances and floats to the monasteries, carrying huge, intricately carved candles to be lit continuously throughout the Rains Retreat period.
Grand celebrations take place in Ubon Ratchathani province.

 

HM the Queen's Birthday (12 Aug 06)
To celebrate the Queen's birthday and the Mother's Day, a grand celebration is held at Sanam Luang in front of the Grand Palace. There are free concerts and performances given by many popular Thai artists and a variety of entertainment. Buildings along Ratchadamnoen Road and other main roads are decorated with thousands of colourful lights, flags and portraits of the Queen.

 

Vegetarian Festival (22-30 Oct 06)
During this period, people of Chinese origin in Phuket and Trang provinces make merit by abstaining from food and oil from animals, holding processions of god statues along the streets, and observing traditional magical rites as a sacrifice to their gods.

 

Boat Races (normally after the end of Rains Retreat on the full-moon day of the 11th Thai lunar month in October)
Taking place in Nakhon Sawan on 1-2 Oct, Nakhon Phanom on 13-19 Oct, Sakon Nakhon on 15-18 Oct, Surat Thani on 14-22 Oct, Chumphon on 18-22 Oct, and Nan on 29-30 Oct.

Traditional boat races are held to celebrate the Buddha's return to earth after spending one season preaching in heaven.


Chulalongkorn Day (23 Oct 06)
Held to commemorate the death of King Chulalongkorn the Great (Rama V) who passed away in 1910.

 

Loi Krathong Festival (8 Nov)
Loi Krathong is probably the most romantic festival of this country. In the evening, people gather at the waterside to float krathongs, lotus-shaped vessels lovely decorated with flowers and lit candles, as a thanksgiving and worship to the Goddess of Water. Magnificent celebrations are held in Sukhothai and Chiang Mai.

loi khrathong thailand

 

The River Kwai Bridge Week (late Nov to early Dec)
It is held in Kanchanaburi province to commemorate the horrible ordeal suffered in the construction of the Death Railway to be used by the Japanese army as a route of supply from Thailand to Burma in World War II. The festival features a historical exhibition, fun fair, bazaar and exciting light & sound presentation.

 

HM the King's Birthday (5 Dec)
It is also observed as National Day. Huge crowds gather at Sanam Luang and on Ratchadamnoen Road in Bangkok on the evenings of the 4th and 5th to celebrate jubilantly.

 

Phuket King's Cup Regatta (early Dec)
The Phuket King's Cup Regatta was first held in Phuket in December 1987 in celebration of the 60th birthday of His Majesty King Bhumibol. Since then, the Regatta has become an annual affair attracting more and more of the region's top yacht enthusiasts among hundreds of participants each year. It is now recognized as a world-class yachting event.
The best place to view this yachting spectacle is from Phromthep Cape, the southernmost tip of the island.

 

Constitution Day (10 Dec)
It is to commemorate the day on which Thailand's first Constitution was promulgated by King Prajadhipok (Rama VII) in 1932.

 

New Year's Eve (31 Dec)
Public Holiday

 


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