Best Festivals in Thailand in 2023

Have you ever thought about experiencing some of the unique festivals in Thailand?

From Songkran to Loi Krathong, and Yi Peng Lantern Festival to Boon Bang Fai – Rocket Festival, there is no shortage of incredible celebrations throughout this vibrant country. Whether it’s taking part in the Phuket Vegetarian Festival or celebrating Chinese New Year with a bang, attending Chiang Mai Flower Festival or getting spooked at Phi Ta Khon – Ghost festival , joining locals for Ubon Ratchathani Candle festival or witnessing the mysterious Naga Fireballs during Bang Fai Phaya—festivals in Thailand offer something truly special!

Songkran Festival

Festivals In Thailand

Songkran Festival is an annual celebration that marks the traditional Thai New Year. It is celebrated from April 13th to 15th each year and is a time of joyous festivities, water fights, and religious ceremonies. The word “Songkran” comes from the Sanskrit language and means “passing” or “approaching” – symbolizing the passing of one year into another.

The festival has its roots in ancient times when people would bathe Buddha statues with scented water as part of their cleansing rituals. Nowadays, Songkran celebrations involve throwing water at friends and family members as a sign of respect for elders, good luck for the coming year, and to wash away bad luck from the previous year. People also pour scented water over Buddha images in temples during this time to show reverence towards them.

In recent years, Songkran has become more commercialized with many cities hosting large-scale events featuring music performances by popular artists as well as parades through city streets filled with revelers carrying colorful umbrellas or dressed up in traditional costumes such as those worn by Thai royalty centuries ago. Water guns are often used during these parades too!

The biggest event takes place in Chiang Mai where locals build sand pagodas around temples which are then blessed by monks before being taken apart piece by piece until nothing remains but dust – symbolizing impermanence according to Buddhist teachings. Other activities include beauty pageants held throughout Thailand where contestants dress up in traditional attire while competing for prizes like Miss Songkran Queen or Miss Teen Thailand titles.

At nightfall on April 14th, people gather around riversides holding candles while making wishes for health and prosperity before releasing them into flowing waters, creating a beautiful sight that can be seen across all parts of Thailand during this special holiday season.

Songkran Festival is a great way to experience Thai culture and celebrate the New Year. Next, we’ll take a look at Loi Krathong Festival, another popular festival in Thailand.

Click here to learn more about Thai New Year and Songkran festival.

Loi Krathong Festival

Festivals In Thailand

Loi Krathong Festival is one of the most popular festivals in Thailand. It takes place annually on the full moon night of the 12th lunar month, usually in November. The festival celebrates the end of monsoon season and marks a time for renewal and reflection.

The word Loi means “to float” while Krathong refers to a small lotus-shaped vessel made from banana leaves or bread dough which is filled with incense sticks, candles, flowers and coins. On this special day people gather around rivers, lakes and ponds to release their krathongs into the water as an offering to Buddha. This act symbolizes letting go of bad luck and negative energy from past years so that new beginnings can be made in peace and harmony.

The celebration also includes traditional Thai dances performed by locals dressed up in colorful costumes accompanied by drums, gongs, flutes and other musical instruments. Fireworks are set off at night to add more sparkle to this magical event! People also enjoy eating delicious local snacks such as kanom buang (crispy crepes) or sangkhaya fak thong (pumpkin custard).

In addition to releasing krathongs into bodies of water, some people choose instead to light sky lanterns known as Khom Loy during Loi Krathong Festival. These large paper balloons are released into the air with wishes written inside them for good fortune throughout the year ahead. Watching hundreds of these beautiful lanterns drift away together is truly a sight worth seeing.

Click here to learn more about Loy Krathong Festival.

Yi Peng Lantern Festival

Festivals In Thailand

Yi Peng Lantern Festival is a magical event celebrated in Chiang Mai, Thailand. It is held annually on the full moon of the 12th month of the traditional Thai lunar calendar. The festival has its roots in ancient Buddhist and Brahmanic traditions, where people would light lanterns to symbolize their prayers for good luck and fortune.

The main highlight of Yi Peng Lantern Festival is releasing thousands of sky lanterns into the night sky. People write wishes on paper strips attached to each lantern before setting them off into the air. This act symbolizes letting go of negative thoughts and emotions as well as making space for new beginnings. Many also believe that when these floating lights reach high enough altitude they will be answered by celestial beings from above who grant wishes made with sincerity and faithfulness.

The ritual begins with a parade led by monks carrying large candle-lit processions through town streets accompanied by music, chanting, and drumming performances from local musicians dressed in colorful costumes representing different gods or goddesses associated with this celebration such as Rahu – god of darkness or Indra – god of rain among others . During this time locals dress up in traditional clothing while enjoying food stalls selling regional delicacies like grilled pork skewers (moo ping) or sticky rice cakes (khanom bueang). Afterward, everyone gathers at nearby fields to release their own handmade paper lanterns which are usually decorated with intricate patterns depicting various symbols related to Buddhism such as lotus flowers or stars signifying hope and peace respectively.

At midnight, when all the lanterns have been lit up, it creates an incredible sight – one that looks almost surreal due to its sheer scale. As they slowly drift away across vast open skies, many onlookers can’t help but feel overwhelmed by feelings of joy mixed with awe-inspiring beauty; something truly unique only experienced during this special occasion every year.

The Yi Peng Lantern Festival is a magical event that allows visitors to experience the beauty of Thailand and its culture in an unforgettable way.

Boon Bang Fai – Rocket Festival

Festivals In Thailand

Boon Bang Fai, also known as the Rocket Festival, is an annual event held in northeastern Thailand. It is celebrated by people of all ages and backgrounds to mark the beginning of the rainy season.

The festival dates back centuries and has its roots in ancient animist beliefs that rockets were used to ask for rain from the gods. During this time, villagers would construct bamboo-and-paper rockets which they believed would bring good luck and prosperity if launched successfully into the sky.

Today, Boon Bang Fai remains a popular celebration throughout Thailand’s Isaan region. The festival usually takes place during May or June each year depending on local customs and traditions. On the day of Boon Bang Fai, locals gather together with their homemade rockets made out of wood, paper and gunpowder – these are then placed onto long wooden poles before being fired off into the air!

In addition to launching rockets into the sky, participants also take part in various other activities such as traditional dancing performances or musical concerts featuring traditional instruments like xylophones or gongs. There are often food stalls selling delicious snacks like grilled pork skewers or sticky rice cakes while some villages even have beauty pageants where contestants compete for prizes!

At nightfall, when all of the rocket launches have finished, spectacular firework displays light up the skies above – it is truly a sight to behold. Afterward, everyone celebrates until late at night with music playing until dawn breaks over Isaan once again signaling another successful Boon Bang Fai celebration.

Boon Bang Fai – Rocket Festival is a unique and exciting celebration of Thai culture, which brings together locals and tourists alike to enjoy the spectacular fireworks display.

Phuket Vegetarian Festival

Festivals In Thailand

The Phuket Vegetarian Festival is an annual event held in Thailand, usually during the ninth lunar month of the Chinese calendar. It is a unique festival that celebrates abstinence from meat and other animal products for nine days. The festivities are marked by colorful parades, religious ceremonies, and fire-walking performances.

The origins of this festival can be traced back to 1825 when a group of Chinese opera performers were struck with disease while performing in Phuket Town. To rid themselves of their illness they adopted vegetarianism and abstained from eating meat or any other animal product for nine days. Afterward, they made offerings at local temples as thanksgiving for their recovery which has become part of the tradition ever since then.

During the festival period it’s believed that gods descend to earth to join in on the celebrations so people dress up accordingly wearing white clothing and yellow sashes around their waists as symbols of purity and respect for deities respectively. They also carry lanterns shaped like dragons or phoenixes as these creatures are thought to bring good luck according to ancient beliefs. Additionally devotees often practice self-mortification rituals such as body piercing with spears or swords which is seen as a way to gain merit from gods who will grant them wishes if they endure pain without flinching or screaming out loud.

In addition there are many street stalls selling food items that adhere strictly to vegan diets such as noodles cooked without eggs, soy milk drinks, mock meats made out of mushrooms etc., all prepared according to traditional recipes passed down through generations over centuries ago.. There are also plenty of activities available throughout the duration such as lion dances performed by groups carrying ornate floats accompanied by drummers playing traditional music known locally called “Gong Lang” along with fireworks displays at night time creating quite an atmosphere!

At its core, this festival serves both religious and health-promoting purposes. Despite changes in modern times, locals have been participating in it year after year due to its cultural significance within Thai society today, making it an experience worth having if you happen to visit Thailand during this special occasion.

Click here to learn more about the Phuket Vegetarian Festival.

Chinese New Year

Festivals In Thailand

Chinese New Year, also known as the Spring Festival, is an important holiday celebrated by Chinese people all over the world. It marks the beginning of a new year according to the traditional Chinese lunar calendar and usually falls between late January and mid-February.

The festival typically lasts for 15 days with various activities taking place throughout that time. During this period, families come together to share meals, exchange gifts and celebrate their ancestors. Red decorations are hung up around homes and streets in order to bring good luck for the coming year. Fireworks are lit up at night in order to ward off evil spirits while dragon dances take place during day time parades.

Food plays an important role during Chinese New Year celebrations with dishes such as dumplings (jiaozi), fish (yu) and spring rolls (chun juan) being served on special occasions like family reunions or gatherings with friends. People also give each other red envelopes filled with money which symbolizes good fortune for everyone involved in the celebration.

Gift giving is another common tradition associated with Chinese New Year. People exchange presents such as fruits, chocolates or even clothes depending on their budget or preference. This helps to strengthen relationships between family members while creating a sense of joy among them all at once.

Chinese New Year is an exciting time to experience Thailand’s culture and traditions.

Click here to learn more about Chinese New Year.

Chiang Mai Flower Festival

Festivals In Thailand

Usually takes place in early February.

The Chiang Mai Flower Festival is an annual event held in the city of Chiang Mai, Thailand. It takes place every February and celebrates the blooming of flowers from all over northern Thailand. The festival features a parade with floats adorned with colorful flowers, traditional Thai music and dance performances, as well as other activities such as flower arranging competitions and food stalls selling local delicacies.

The highlight of the festival is its parade which includes large floats covered in various types of flowers including roses, orchids, marigolds and more. Each float is decorated differently to represent different aspects of Thai culture such as Buddhism or traditional folklore stories. Alongside these floats are performers dressed in vibrant costumes who perform traditional dances while playing instruments like drums and cymbals.

As part of the festivities there are also flower arranging competitions where participants can show off their skills by creating intricate floral arrangements using fresh cut flowers from around the region. These arrangements often feature unique shapes such as animals or mythical creatures made out of petals and leaves that have been carefully placed together to create beautiful works of art.

In addition to this there are also plenty of food stalls set up throughout the area offering delicious local dishes for visitors to enjoy during their visit to Chiang Mai Flower Festival. Some popular items include sticky rice cakes filled with sweet coconut milk called khanom khrok, grilled pork skewers known as moo ping, spicy papaya salad called som tam and much more!

Traditional music performances featuring musicians playing flutes, xylophones and gongs provide a lively atmosphere throughout the day. Dancers wearing elaborate costumes perform graceful routines on stage that tell stories about ancient Thai legends or celebrate important figures in history such as kings or warriors who fought bravely for their country’s freedom. These performances create an enjoyable experience for all to enjoy.

The Chiang Mai Flower Festival is a vibrant celebration of Thai culture, art and beauty that should not be missed by any tourist visiting Thailand.

Chiang Rai Flower & Art Festival

Festivals In Thailand

Usually held around the last week of December, into January.

Chiang Rai, around 200km north of Chiang Mai, is also host to an annual flower festival. The event takes place at the Mae Kok Riverside Flower Park.

The Northern Province of Chiang Rai’s cool weather and hilly climate make it ideal for growing many different types of flowers and plants that aren’t normally found in Thailand. Visitors will be treated to a variety of ornamental flowers and lovely cold-climate plants.

The picturesque venue is located on the banks of the Kok River and offers a variety of activities. The event is really quite impressive with an abundance of market stalls, food and cultural stalls. There are also live music stages and light shows in the evening.

This is well worth a trip to Chiang Rai.

Phi Ta Khon – Ghost Festival

Festivals In Thailand

Phi Ta Khon is a traditional festival celebrated in the Dan Sai district of Loei province, Thailand. It takes place annually during the sixth lunar month and lasts for three days. The festival celebrates fertility and prosperity with colorful costumes, music, dancing, and parades that feature giant masks made from bamboo frames covered with cloth.

The origins of Phi Ta Khon date back to an ancient legend about Prince Vessantara’s journey to give away his possessions as part of his spiritual quest for enlightenment. As he was leaving his home village, he was accompanied by a group of spirits wearing colorful masks who were sent by Indra (the god of thunder) to protect him on his journey. This story has been passed down through generations and is now celebrated every year at Phi Ta Khon Festival as a way to honor this legendary tale.

During the festival there are many activities that take place such as processions featuring people dressed up in elaborate costumes carrying large wooden phalluses or “ghosts” which represent fertility symbols; performances by local musicians playing traditional instruments like drums and gongs; theatrical plays depicting stories from Buddhist scriptures; competitions between teams competing in various sports such as tug-of-war or archery; food stalls selling delicious Thai dishes like som tam (spicy papaya salad); and much more!

The highlight of the festival is undoubtedly the vibrant costumes worn by participants who dress up in brightly colored clothing decorated with bells, beads, feathers, sequins and other decorations. Men wear black pants paired with bright yellow shirts while women don intricate headdresses adorned with flowers or fruits along with long skirts embroidered with intricate patterns. Many also paint their faces white to resemble ghosts – hence why it’s called “Ghost Festival”!

At the end of each day, there is an evening ceremony where offerings are made to Buddha followed by fireworks displays which light up the night sky above Dan Sai District. It is truly a magical sight. Afterward, everyone gathers around bonfires until late into the night singing songs together before finally heading home after another successful celebration.

Phi Ta Khon is a unique and vibrant festival that offers visitors the opportunity to experience traditional Thai culture.

Ubon Ratchathani Candle Festival

Festivals In Thailand

Ubon Ratchathani Candle Festival is a unique and beautiful celebration that takes place annually in Ubon Ratchathani, Thailand. It is celebrated during the full moon of the sixth lunar month, usually falling in July or August. During this festival, people make colorful candles out of wax and paper to honor Lord Buddha and his teachings.

During the festival, Buddhists gather at Wat Nong Pah Pong temple to participate in a candle-lighting ceremony which symbolizes their devotion to Buddhism. People also bring offerings such as flowers and incense sticks for monks who are present at the ceremony. Afterward, they light up their candles with fire from an oil lamp lit by one of the monks before releasing them into rivers or ponds nearby as part of their prayers for good luck and fortune.

The candles used during this festival are made from wax or paraffin mixed with natural ingredients like beeswax or coconut oil for added color and scent. They come in various shapes such as lotus flowers, stars, birds etc., each representing different meanings associated with Buddhist beliefs such as peace, prosperity etc.. The colors used on these candles can range from bright yellow to deep purple depending on what kind of meaning it’s supposed to represent; some even have intricate designs carved onto them!

If you ever find yourself visiting Thailand around the time of Ubon Ratchathani Candle Festival, do not miss out on this amazing opportunity! This event allows visitors to experience a unique culture while learning about Buddhism’s teachings through its rituals and symbols represented by these beautiful handmade candles. It is truly an incredible experience that should not be missed.

The Ubon Ratchathani Candle Festival is a unique and beautiful celebration that brings together thousands of people to enjoy the vibrant atmosphere.

Bung Fai Phaya Nak – Naga Fireballs Festival

Festivals In Thailand

The Naga Fireballs Festival is an annual event held in the northeastern province of Nong Khai, Thailand. It takes place at the end of Buddhist Lent in late October and is believed to be a time when supernatural beings from heaven come down to earth. The festival celebrates this belief with fireworks, parades, and traditional Thai music and dance performances.

The highlight of Bang Fai Phaya is the spectacular display of “Naga fireballs” that shoot up into the sky from rivers or ponds during the night. These mysterious balls are said to be caused by a combination of natural gases released by underwater creatures such as snakes or dragons (hence their name). Other activities include boat races, beauty pageants, lantern processions, and food stalls selling local delicacies like grilled fish cakes and sticky rice desserts.

Naga fireballs have been seen stretching approximately a 160 mile section of the Mekong River with the center around the Phon Phisai District in Nong Khai.

The Bang Fai Phaya – Naga Fireballs Festival is a mesmerizing spectacle of natural phenomena that should not be missed by anyone visiting Thailand.

FAQs in Relation to Festivals in Thailand

What are the two famous festivals in Thailand?

The two most famous festivals in Thailand are the Songkran Festival and the Loy Krathong Festival. The Songkran Festival is held annually during April 13-15, and marks the traditional Thai New Year. It is celebrated with water fights, music, parades and religious ceremonies throughout the country. The Loy Krathong Festival takes place on a full moon night in November each year. During this festival people release floating lanterns into rivers or lakes to symbolize letting go of their worries and sorrows as well as making wishes for good luck in life.

How many festivals does Thailand have?

Thailand is home to a wide variety of festivals throughout the year. Depending on the region, some are celebrated nationally while others are more localized and observed by certain communities or villages. Generally speaking, Thailand has over 300 different festivals that take place annually, ranging from religious celebrations such as Songkran (Thai New Year) to cultural events like Loy Krathong (floating lantern festival). Many of these festivals offer unique experiences for visitors and provide insight into Thai culture and traditions.

What is the most beautiful festival of Thailand?

Thailand is home to many beautiful festivals, but the Loi Krathong Festival is arguably the most stunning. Celebrated annually on the full moon of the 12th lunar month, this festival sees people releasing decorated floats made from banana leaves and flowers into rivers and lakes as an offering to Buddha. Fireworks light up the night sky while locals enjoy traditional music and dance performances. This unique celebration of Thai culture is a must-see for any tourist visiting Thailand!


Thailand is a country full of vibrant and unique festivals that are sure to make your holiday an unforgettable experience. From the Songkran Festival, Loi Krathong Festival, Yi Peng Lantern Festival, Boon Bang Fai – Rocket Festival, Phuket Vegetarian Festival, Chinese New Year, Chiang Mai Flower Festival, Phi Ta Khon – Ghost Festival and Ubon Ratchathani Candle festival to the Naga Fireballs festival; there is something for everyone when it comes to celebrating festivals in Thailand.

So don’t miss out on these amazing opportunities and plan your next trip now! You can also check our full events calendar for more information on upcoming events in Thailand.

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