CULTURE TOURISM
Exploring the Vibrant Festive Shades of Thailand
Discover the charm of Thai culture through a mesmerizing array of festivals celebrated across the country's diverse regions.

Exploring the Vibrant Festive Shades of Thailand Thailand has long been a melting pot of various cultures and the four regions of the country have their own distinct traditions and background, making it feel like exploring a completely new culture as you shift from north to south.
The fun-loving temperament that Thais have is reflected in the vibrant festivals that take place throughout the country, and to experience these festivities is to truly understand the charm of Thai culture, religion and way of life. Make the trek to these different regions and you will unlock an unforgettable experience at these lively celebrations. 

 

 

 

 

Exploring the Vibrant Festive Shades of Thailand

 

North : 

Relax with flowers and hilltribe folk at Colours of Doi Tung Festival in Chiang Rai

If you’re feeling flowery and want to immerse yourself in nature, the annual Colours of Doi Tung Festival in Chiang Rai is a great way to get your fix of both culture and soothing relaxation. When the weather gets cooler in December and January, the Doi Tung Development Project serves as frolicking grounds every weekend for visitors to come and enjoy their winter flower showcases and live music. As the area spanning 15,000 hectares is also home to more than 10,000 people from six ethnic northern tribes, this is also the place to experience their culture through dance performances, local dishes and handicraft workshops. By far, this is one of the best places to shop for flower-inspired products, handmade arts and crafts, fresh fruits and northern snacks.

 

Exploring the Vibrant Festive Shades of Thailand

Northeast : 

Dance and get cheeky with ghosts at Phi Ta Khon Festival in Loei

Thailand’s own version of Day of the Dead festivities happens in the form of Phi Ta Khon Festival usually sometime in June-July. This carnival-style attraction in the northeastern province of Loei is instantly recognisable for its grand parade of villagers who wear bold, colourful ghost masks made from sticky rice baskets. The fun part is seeing these villagers outdoing each other with their beautiful costumes as they playfully sing and dance to music and drums loud enough to wake the dead. You’ll spot lots of cheeky and humorous phallic objects too, as it connects to the festival’s underlying theme of fertility.  Over the three-day festival, visitors can partake in merit-making ceremonies at temples and also watch the firing of bamboo rockets, a spectacle to beg the gods for rain and a fertile planting season.

 

The fun part is seeing these villagers outdoing
each other with their beautiful costumes as they playfully sing and dance to music and drums
loud enough to wake the dead.

 

Exploring the Vibrant Festive Shades of Thailand

South : 

Taste delicious vegetarian dishes with a side of death-defying performances during the Vegetarian Festival in Phuket

The Phuket Vegetarian Festival (also known as the Jay Festival) is not for the faint-hearted and offers a thrill for those looking for startling spectacles. For nine days in October, Thais of Chinese descent will worship deities and ancestors by refraining from consuming meat as one of the practices to purify their body and mind. While this means lots of yellow-flagged stalls selling a mouthwatering array of vegetarian dishes (like tofu that looks like chicken wings), lots of dramatic street processions and ceremonies also happen in Phuket Town and at Chinese shrines across the island. Lively and loud parades usually feature booming firecrackers, traditional Chinese performances and devotee performers who engage in daring acts, such as walking over hot coals or piercing their cheeks and body parts with sharp objects. Amazing to witness, little blood or scarring is involved as it is believed that the Chinese gods will protect these performing devotees from harm.  

Exploring the Vibrant Festive Shades of Thailand

Central : 

Cheer and party at Long Boat competitions all across the central region

The lifeline of Thais is the river and it’s no surprise that long boat competitions are a part of our sporting culture. Although it started out as a friendly pastime that villagers would engage in to add festive cheer and a sense of community at religious ceremonies, today it has become a seasonal competition with professional teams trying to win the Royal Cup. Usually held during a high tide and to celebrate the Buddhist Lent during Sept-Oct, provinces across central Thailand such as Ayutthaya, Nonthaburi and Sing Buri will host their own races. Whether it’s a race featuring boats with 10 or even 55 oarsmen, the fast-paced action is exhilarating and colorful to behold, thanks to the bright uniforms rowers wear. Alongside the races, attendees will also find country music concerts and merry temple fairs with lots of local food, traditional products and carnival games to peruse. 

Exploring the Vibrant Festive Shades of Thailand

Nationwide : 

Let go of all misfortunes during Loy Krathong Festival nationwide

While some Westerners repent their sins through confessions in church, the Thais have a national day to literally float away life’s negativity.  

One of Thailand’s most iconic festivals which is celebrated all over the country in November is Loy Krathong. On the night of a full moon of the 12th month in the traditional Thai lunar calendar (the exact date of the festival changes every year), bodies of water turn into a dazzling display of candle light. On this evening, people head out to lakes, rivers and canals to release their krathong, a floating bouquet offering made of banana leaves, flowers and candles, to let go of negativity. In the northern region, Loy Krathong usually coincides with the Yi Peng Festival, where paper lanterns are released into the sky to symbolize letting go of bad luck.

On the night of a full moon of the 12th month
in the traditional Thai lunar calendar (the exact date
of the festival changes every year), bodies of water turn into a dazzling display of candle light.

 

Exploring the Vibrant Festive Shades of Thailand