Thailand Festivals

Thailand plays host to countless festivals and events throughout the year. Some of the better known ones, like Songkran and Loy Krathong are celebrated nationwide, while others take place on particular islands or in cities. The exact dates of the numerous Thai festivals and Buddhist holidays tend to vary from year to year as they depend on the lunar calendar and the night of the full moon.   

Loy Krathong is an enchanting Thai tradition and festival that is celebrated nationwide. The word loy (or loi) means to float and krathong are small baskets or rafts that are traditionally made from the bark or leaves from a banana tree. These delightful krathongs often contain a candle, together with incense and flowers. The candle and incense are lit and wishes made as the krathong is put onto water. This celebration signals a fresh start as it’s believed the krathong carries away bad luck. 

Joining in with New Year's celebrations in Thailand isn't for the faint-hearted. One of the most famous traditions involves a massive water fight with people roaming around squirting water pistols and throwing buckets of water at each other. Celebrated each year from 13th -15th April. The word Songkran comes from a Sanskrit word meaning astrological passage, which means change. The fun and festive water festival is celebrated by young and old alike, splashing water on each other and with traditional and colourful parades. Major roads are closed and then used as arenas for the water fights. There are many iconic rituals that accompany Songkran, including visiting temples and offering food to the Buddhist monks and pouring water on statues of Buddha. This represents the washing away of sins and bad luck.  Songkran is also a time that local people go home to spend time with their family and loved ones and younger people show respect by pouring water over their elders' hands. 

A trip to Thailand wouldn't be complete without experiencing a Full Moon Party, and the island of Koh Phangan is the best place to enjoy one. Every month, under the gaze of a full moon, this world-renowned party takes place on Haad Rin Nok Beach. The Full Moon Party's electronic beats are danced to by anywhere from 10,000 to 30,000 people. If you miss out on the big one, there are still plenty of other parties to keep you busy throughout the month.