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Thailand, a major travel destination, hosts many festivals and events throughout the year. The Thai way of life and the age old traditions and customs are brought to light in the form of festivals that attract numerous visitors to this country. Here is a list of some of the most popular annual festivals celebrated in Thailand.

Loy Krathong

Celebrated annually on the evening of full moon of the 12th month, Loy Krathong is a prominent festival of Thailand. The popular Thai festival witnesses numerous exciting activities across the country including boat races, beauty contests and parades. Floating colourful candlelit banana leaf bowls on the rivers during the festival is symbolic of letting go of grudges and anger from the past and a means of welcoming good luck and happiness in the coming year.

 

Songkran

Celebrated annually in April, Songkran is perhaps the most well known festival of Thailand. Also known as ‘Thailand Water Festival’ or ‘Thai New Year’, Songkran witnesses fun-filled water fights and other exciting revelries. Cleaning the images of Buddha with scented water, during the 3 day festivities, is a traditional way of celebrating the festival. Wonderful Songkran parties are held throughout the country, especially in Bangkok.

 

Rocket Festival

Also known as ‘Bun Bang Fai’, Rocket Festival is a famous ancient festival usually held in April or May. The festivities begin with launching of firework rockets as a call for rain and a celebration of better farm produce. Other festive celebrations include musical shows and dance performances. Most of these firework rockets are made by the villagers in their homes. As per a popular tradition, the first rocket launched from a tall ladder-like structure predicts the next season’s harvest and rains!

 

Phi Ta Khon

Better known as Ghost Festival, Phi Ta Khon is held in Dan Sai, Loei province, Isan. It takes place over three days some time between March and July. One of the most colourful festivals in the country, it witnesses men dressing up as ghosts and spirits in the brightest of costumes and with masks on their faces. Along with the costumes and masks, there’s plenty of singing, dancing and rejoicing.

 

Ubon Ratchathani Candle festival

Celebrated at the beginning of the Buddhist Lenten period, Ubon Ratchathani Candle Festival is traditional parading of candles to wats. Held in Ubon Ratchathani, Isan, the popular festival marks the beginning of rain retreat or the period during which all Buddhist monks retreat to temples. As a popular festive tradition, Buddhist monks remain inside the temple and do not venture out for over a period of 3 months. Parades, dance and music performances are the key attractions of the festival.

 

Monkey Buffet

Held annually in Lopburi, Monkey Buffet is a unique festival celebrated every year in November. Interestingly, the traditional festival is held for the benefit of the monkeys in the region! On the day of the festival, more than 4000 kilograms of fruits, vegetables, sweets, cakes and candies are spread outside the temples to serve the monkeys.

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