Thailand boasts one of the highest numbers of public holidays in the world and with so many magical Thailand festivals taking place throughout the year, it’s easy to see why.
This section therefore highlights some of the most interesting events and festivals taking place in Thailand month by month.
Best to double check first that the dates and events described are going ahead as planned, as dates and events can change.
The weather in January perfect, offering a break from the chill with clear skies and pleasant temperatures.
Golf Vacationers can take in the rich Thai culture by participating in traditional festivals or by exploring the many ancient temples that stand as testaments to the country’s history.
From the busy cities like Bangkok to the peace of Chiang Mai or the exotic islands of Phuket or Koh Samui, Thailand provides a diverse range of experiences.
For the outdoor types you can enjoy water sports, trekking, and exploring national parks, while foodies can try out the Thai cuisine at its authentic best. January in Thailand promises an unforgettable blend of beauty, adventure, and cultural experiences for all.
Across the country, every town or city tries to up the other in hosting the grandest of New Year celebrations. The New Year celebrations include moon parties, beach parties, street parties, and New Year celebrations in night bazaars all around the country.
- 1 January. New Year’s Day (public holiday)
- 11-14 January 2024. Thailand International Boat Show, Phuket. …
- 13 January 2024. Children’s Day (Wan Dek)
January / February 2024 (to be confirmed) Bo Sang Umbrella and Sankhampaeng Handicrafts Festival, Chiang Mai is a 3-day festival celebrated normally on the third weekend in January each year to honour the efforts of local artisans.
Amazing Muaythai World Festival 2024 will take place at the Lumpinee Stadium in Bangkok from February 1st – 5th 2024. Over 600 athletes from at least 60 countries will participate in this unique event, that presents an official WBC MUAYTHAI tournament right in the capital city. Friends, family, and training partners will accompany the athletes, doubling or tripling the attendance. For more information check out: https://www.amazingmuaythaifestival.com/
The Chiang Mai Flower Festival has been running for over 43 years and celebrates the beautiful flowers in bloom during this time. Scheduled to take place on 2 -4 February 2024, the festival runs over three days at the start of February each year and draws thousands of visitors to Chiang Mai.
The Chinese New Year has become one of the most famous festivals in Thailand. It takes place in January or February, depending on the lunar calendar. This year it is due to take place on February 10th celebrating the year of the Dragon. One of the best places to enjoy the celebrations is in Bangkok’s own China town called Yaowarat, where you will experience firecrackers and traditional dragon dancers. Other Thai cities with Chinese populations will also host their own Chinese New Year festivals too.
Sukhothai Mini Light & Sound 2024 show takes place every first Saturday of the month, from February to August. This event highlights the history and prosperity of the ancient Thai kingdom of Sukhothai. For more information, contact the TAT Sukhothai Office, Tel: +66 (0) 55 616 228-9.
Each March in Hua Hin, Thailand, the Hua Hin Kite Festival attracts kite enthusiasts from around the globe to celebrate the art of kite flying. The festival showcases kites of various shapes, sizes, and colors, including traditional Thai kites, giant kites, and stunt kites.
Visitors can enjoy the colorful and picturesque display of kites as well as participate in kite-flying competitions for prizes. The festival also offers a chance to immerse oneself in Thai music, food, and cultural activities. The dates for the 2024 festival have not been announced yet, but it is expected to take place in March, as usual.
Also, during March Buddhist ceremonies are held at some elephant sanctuaries to bless the elephants and their mahouts. At some locations the elephants are also treated to a sugar cane and fruit banquet. The Elephant is Thailand’s national animal and is honoured during March
Songkran – Water Festival – Thai New Year (April 13-15 2024). This festival is the largest and arguably the best festival in Thailand, a huge celebration for Thai New Year which takes the form of massive, country-wide water fight!
The tradition started back in the 13th century when religious rituals such as sprinkling water on images of the Buddha took place to symbolise washing away the bad deeds of the previous year and starting anew.
Today, water is thrown by the bucketload and whether you’re Thai or foreigner, you are guaranteed to get very wet. Songkran is also one of the most significant Buddhist holidays in Thailand and although water fights and celebrations can get raucous, remember to be respectful, especially if visiting temples or religious sites around this time.
You may also get covered in chalk, a custom originating from the chalk used by monks to mark blessings. This combination of water and powder is almost identical to the celebrations of Holi, and indeed, it may be that the customs originated in India as certainly Songkran is celebrated more widely and longer in the Northern part of Thailand.
If you are celebrating Songkran in Thailand, be like the locals and wear a bright, floral shirt on top of your swimsuit (Thailand is still a conservative country and Songkran is a religious holiday). Goggles or sunglasses help protect your eyes from water and also the white paste Thai’s will spread on your cheeks as a blessing. If you are taking your phone out, keep it in a plastic wallet or to be on the safe side, leave it at your hotel!
Some cities such as Pattaya celebrate Songkran for up to 10 days and over 500,000 have been known to attend on the last day.
There are a number of national holidays during the month of May including Labor Day on May 1st, HM King’s Coronation of King Maha Vajiralongkorn on May 4th and Visakha Bucha on May 22nd to commemorate the birth of Buddha.
This day commemorates three defining events in the life of the Lord Buddha which all occurred on the full-moon day of the sixth lunar month (known as the Visakha month). The Visakha full moon marks the day on which Buddha was born, reached his enlightenment 35 years later and the day he died and entered Nirvana 45 years after that
Boon Bang Fai – Rocket Festival (May) also known as Rocket Festival, is celebrated by the farming communities of Isan, up in the northeast of Thailand, as well as throughout neighbouring Laos. Taking place at the start of the wet season, Boon Bang Fai is the big party before planting season begins.
During the festival, villages come together and celebrations take the form of music, dance, pageants, float processions featuring homemade rockets and plenty of rice wine. On the third day, the rockets are fired as part of a competition and are judged by height and distance of the launch, as well as the beauty of the vapour trail. Quite a spectacular!
Phi Ta Khon Ghost Festival at Dan Sai is located in Loei region 450kms north of Bangkok in North East Thailand near Laos’s border. The town celebrates, every year, from end June – start July (the 6th or 7th lunar month, different dates) with three days of this unique local festival. Exact dates TBC.
The festival’s roots come from local legends on demons and ghosts. The festival combines the spirit of happiness with the fear from the unknown that is presented by figures of demons and ghosts. Other versions claims that according to local legend, the root of the festival is about the last days of Buddha before he reached the Nirvana.
The main event of the festival is a disguise and masks parade. As preparation to the parade, the men gather on the river shore and smear themselves with mud from bottom to head, so only their eyes are without mud.
Tens of men take part in the mask parade that accompanied with music, dance, singing and shooting of measles made of bamboo that cause fierce explosions. Contents for the beautiful mask, cloth and dance are held.
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