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Festivals & Events
     
Phuket’s shares all of the annual festivals of the Thai year, including many with Buddhist traditions. Here are the best known:

January
   
February
   
March
Two Heroine Sisters' Festival ( 12 - 17 March 2006 )
An annual event held in memory of the two heroine sisters, Khunying Muk and Khunying Chan, who jointly led the soldiers and people of Thalang, as Phuket was known formerly, in repelling the invading Burmese troops after a siege of one month. The titles of Thao Thep Krasattri and Thao Si Sunthon were bestowed on the sisters by King Rama I and a statue was erected at a crossroads near the centre of the island in recognition of the invaluable service they did to the country. Many celebratory events and activities are organized to commemorate this historical event.
April

Sea Turtles Releasing Ceremony (13 April 2006)

Phuket used to be a home of various species of sea turtles which came ashore to lay eggs seasonally around the end of the year. Although tourists are no longer organized to watch sea turtles laying eggs at night, when they go diving they can still find some swimming past them. In order to help preserve these lovely animals, they are bred at the Phuket Aquarium and when the young sea turtles are mature enough, they are released into the sea in a ceremony. The ceremony is usually held at Phanwa Cape and Nai Yang- Mai Khao Beaches on 13 April to coincide with the Songkran Festival. Bang Tao Beach, Phuket
May

Phuket International 10s Rugby Tournament ( 27-28 May )
Don’t miss your chance to catch some live rough-and-tumble rugby action at Karon Beach, in the annual Phuket International Rugby 10s Tournament. This year's event has attracted 20 teams from around the world, each vying for the Clive Williamson Memorial Trophy. Karon Municipal Stadium, Karon Beach, Phuket

June

Amazing Thailand Grand Sale
( 1 June - 31 July 2006 )
A two month long shopping extravaganza. Look for discounts of 10 - 50% from participating retail outlets. Several special 'Shopping Streets' will have numerous special events including prize giveaways and free gifts.

Phuket International Marathon ( 18 June 2006 )
2006 is the inagural year for this event, which promises to attract runners from across the globe. The event consists of three events: a 10 km 'fun run', a half marathon and a full marathon. The course winds its way from Laguna Phuket to the airport and back. Email: phuketmarathon.com
Bang Tao, Phuket

July

Phuket Race Week
( 27-30 July 2006 )

A week of international-standard yacht racing, off Phuket’s east coast. Plenty of social activities throughout the week. See http://www.phuketraceweek.com for further details. Chalong Bay, Phuket


August

Por Tor Festival
( 22 August - 3 September 2006 )
The "Hungry Ghosts" festival, an important merit-making event for ethnic Chinese. Special food, flowers and candles are presented to the ancestors' altars in order to feed the ghosts that have been released from hell for the month. Colourful cakes in the shape of turtles are made and put on display. Since turtles symbolise longevity, worshippers believe that making such an offering will help extend the length of their lives. Contact the Tourism Authority of Thailand Phuket office (Tel: 076 212 213) for details. Phuket Town, Phuket

Phuket Fireworks Festival (12 August 2006)
4000 explosions illuminate this lively and popular event. The fireworks are launched from Sapan Hin in Phuket Town but can be seen as far away as Rang Hill. Head to the east coast of the island to get a great view of the show. Phuket Town

 
September
   
October

Phuket Vegetarian Festival
( 21 - 30 October 2006 )

Despite its seemingly unattractive title, Phuket Vegetarian Festival is one of the most popular and most successful annual celebrations of Thailand. This 9-day event does not have fixed dates on the Gregorian calendar, but it is always held from the 1st to the 9th day of the 9th moon according to the Chinese lunar calendar which usually roughly corresponds to late September to mid-October. This is because the festival originated from immigrant miners from China in the 19th century.

Phuket residents of Chinese ancestry, and many Thais too, go on a vegetarian diet and attend ceremonies at local Chinese temples during this period. But to the tourists and non-participants, the most absorbing part of the long event is the colourful processions and the remarkable feats performed by possessed mediums. You won't believe your own eyes when seeing them.


November

Patong Beach Festival
(1 November 2006)
This annual event, firstly held in 1985, marks the beginning of the tourist season in Phuket. It has been organized by the tourist trade community of Patong Beach to promote tourism in the province and to contribute to the unity among people in the various branches of the tourist industry. Activities include watersports and tourist beauty contests. Patong Beach, Phuket

Phuket Laguna Triathlon (18 - 19 November 2006)
The famous sporting event, held annually at Bang Thao Beach, comprises a 1800-metre swim, a 55-kilometre bike race and a 12-kilometre run. It attracts world-class triathletes from around the world. Bang Tao, Phuket

Wakeboarding Pro Tour (11-12 November 2006)
The Annual Wakeboarding Pro Tour takes place at Nai Harn Lake, in the south of Phuket Island. Professional wakeboarders from around Asia including Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Indonesia compete in this low key but very cool event. Fax: 076 236 840 Nai Harn Lake

December

Phuket King's Cup Regatta
(December 2006)
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 Adulyadej. 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 due to the top standard racing, the wonderful scenery and sailing conditions.
The best place to view this yachting spectacle is from Phromthep Cape, the southernmost tip of the island. Kata Beach, Phuket

Phuket International Marine Expo (PIMEX) (7-10 December 2006)
Complimenting the King's Cup Regatta is this world famous marine and boat show. 1,800 square metres of boats, marine equipment and displays including product launches and on water displays. Buyers, brokers and yacht owners from all over the Asia-Pacific region converge for this outstanding show.
Boat Lagoon, Phuket



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