Festivals in Phuket, Thailand

  • Chinese New Year

    • 30 Jan 2014–4 Feb 2014

    Chinese New Year takes place around the end of January or beginning of February, according to the moon. Phuket Town puts on a show of firecrackers, lion dancers parade, live music and food stalls. Lanterns line the streets and the smell of incense wafts through the air.

  • Songkran

    • 13 Apr 2014–15 Apr 2014

    Beginning on the 13th of April Thai people all over the country celebrate the Thai New Year, the most important holiday on the Thai calendar. The holiday is best known for revellers playfully splashing water on each other and dabing scented powder on each others faces as a new year blessing. Over the years this has escalated into a huge water fight where anyone is fair game. People roam the streets armed with high pressure water pistols or stand by the side of the road with buckets and hoses, ready to drench any passer-by. If you venture out during this period, the 13th in particular, expect to get soaked!

    Traditionally, however, Songkran is a time of cleaning and renewal. During Songkran Thais perform religious rituals such as cleaning Buddha images, giving alms to the monks and going to the temple to pray. Songkran is also a time for families. Many people return home over the Songkran holiday and pay respect to their elders by sprinkling scented water over their hands.

  • Buddha’s Birthday

    • 15 May 2014–6 May 2014

    The 15th of May is Buddha’s Birthday. Local Wats (Buddhist Temples) celebrate by holding candlelit processions. A tourist may take part in these parades and it can prove great fun.

  • Queen’s Birthday

    • 12 Aug 2014–13 Aug 2011

    It’s the Queen’s Birthday on August 12th and also Thailand’s Mother’s Day. As with all royal anniversaries this celebration guarantees a display of fireworks and light.

  • The Vegetarian Festival

    • 15 Oct 2014–23 Oct 2014

    The Vegetarian Festival takes place at the start of the ninth Chinese lunar month, which falls in late September or early October. This is Phuket’s most famous and spectacular festival. The rituals, which last for nine days, are performed to purify both body and mind. During this time, participants go on a strict diet, which is technically vegan as no animal products are allowed to be consumed.

  • Loi Krathong

    • 28 Nov 2014–29 Nov 2014

    Loi Krathong takes place on the night of the full moon in November and is the most magical of all Thai festivals. Small lotus-shaped boats woven from banana leaves, called krathongs, are floated on water. These vessels contain small flowers, candles, incense and offerings to thank Mother Water for providing water for them to use. Thai people also believe that if they place a strand of hair or nail clipping in the krathong their troubles will be carried away with it.

    In Phuket, many people go to Saphan Hin on the edge of Phuket City to launch their krathongs. The beach at Patong is also popular. There you can also float paper lanterns into the sky. Watching hundreds of these glowing lanterns drifting up into the sky over the sea is an enchanting way to spend an evening.

    In November, Phuket holds the Phuket Triathlon. Like the Kings Cup Regatta it too attracts participants from around the globe.

  • The Phuket International Seafood Festival

    • 1 Dec 2014–6 Dec 2014

    The Phuket International Seafood Festival from December 1st to 6th presents a delicious array of seafood samplings as well as a parade, ice carving and regional cuisine demonstrations, bar tender shows and fireworks. All this and much more are part of this wonderful gastronomic delight that takes place in Patong.

  • King’s Birthday

    • 5 Dec 2014–6 Dec 2014

    The King is much revered throughout Thailand, something that is probably unique in the world today. All Thais celebrate his birthday and government buildings, private homes, businesses and the palace are all illuminated specially for the occasion. In Phuket, they hold a regatta in his honour.

    Held from 5 December for one week is the popular week King’s Cup Regatta, honouring the King’s birthday and his love of sailing. The regatta attracts yachts from around the globe and bases itself at Kata Beach.

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