Thailand festivals Events across Thailand

Thailand festivals Events across Thailand in May 2017

April 2, 2017 By Richard

Thailand festivals Events across Thailand in May 2017

Discover Thailand with Thailand Discovery

Thailand festivals Events across Thailand. While Songkran takes centre stage in the Kingdom every April, the month of May is slightly less manic and is more about the Royal Family, Buddhism, agriculture shows and the manic arms race that takes place across the Northeast of the country every- year


Thailand festivals Events across Thailand. Revised March 2017

The actual dates of festivals across the Kingdom are never easy to pin down as they are defined by all manner of calendars and other strange and wonderful reasons see more.


Labor Day in Thailand

Thailand festivals Events across Thailand.

While the world may use this day for political flag waving, here in Thailand it is a time of dance, music and an elephant or two.

When: 1st May Annually

Where: Across the Kingdom

May Day, Labor Day, or International Workers’ Day, is a public holiday in many countries throughout the worldwide; 80 in total. (The United States, celebrates Labor Day on the first Monday of September).

Usually occurring around May 1st, the date varies across countries and is traditionally associated the start of spring in the northern hemisphere, it was much later in 1886 that the day was associated with a worldwide call for an 8-hour working day, as well as the celebration of workers.

The day time festivities normally consist of parades featuring marching bands, sometimes lead by magnificently dress elephants, along with its fare share of beautiful Thai women, dressed in traditional local attire. The parades will also include local businesses and state agencies mingled with numerous other percussion bands playing traditional lively music, associated with the local culture. For more on this day in Thailand click Here

Thailand’s Coronation Day

Thailand festivals Events across Thailand.

Coronation Day (วันฉัตรมงคล-wan chat-mong-kol). When the people of the Kingdom of Thailand, get the chance to pay their respects to “Their King”


When: Annually on the 5th May (Public Holiday) Due to the demise of the late King this day may be changed. Any Changes have to be made by the Thai Cabinet

Where: Grand Palace in Bangkok and Across the Country

His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej was the ninth King of the Chakri Dynasty and on the 5th May each year the people of this grateful nation celebrate their Kings coronation. While the King began his  reign on the 9th June 1946 he was not crowned until the 5th May 1950. In doing so he was the first King of Thailand to have a coronation ceremony, prior to this there was a private function only attended by royalty and high ranking officials, the King chose to celebrate his crowning with his people and so became the first king to break with a centuries old tradition and have a public coronation.

The love and reverence the Thai people have for the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej and the monarchy in general is often difficult for outsiders to fully comprehend, but it is there for all to witness in the faces of its people, when they come to pay their respects to “Their King” on this most special of days.

For more on what is really a 3 day event click here

Royal Ploughing Ceremony

Thailand festivals Events across Thailand.

A combination of two religions and three Ceremonies and the only ‘Royal Ploughing Ceremony’ still to be held in South East Asia.

When: Date TBA From 8:19am to 8:49 am.

Where: Grand Palace and the fields of Sanam Luang. Bangkok.

The Royal Ploughing Ceremony is an ancient rite dating back over 2,500 years and heralds the start of the new rice-growing season. The event is usually in May, with the actual date determined by the king’s own Brahmin astrologers.

While the ceremony was once a purely Brahmin ritual it is now split into two distinct religious events combined into one Royal Ceremony. The Temple of the Emerald Buddha (Wat Phra Kaew) on the grounds of the Grand Palace in Bangkok hosts the Buddhist element while the Hindu part is held five minutes’ walk due north on the open fields of Sanam LuangBangkok.

For more on the three separate events that make up this ancient ceremony click here

In celebration of the birth, enlightenment and death of the Buddha


When:  Full moon of the month of Visākha. In 2017 it falls on the 10th May

Where: Across Thailand

 The Meaning of Visakha Bucha

Visakha Bucha (วันวิสาขบูชา), pronounced Wisakha Bucha in Thai, is the most important religious holiday in the Thai Buddhist calendar. Bucha means ‘Worship’. It is also known as Wesak or Vesak,  Buddha Purnima and Buddha Day.

The exact date of Visakha is based on the Asian lunisolar calendars and is primarily celebrated in Visakha month of the Buddhist calendar and the Hindu calendar, and hence the name Vesak

The day is to celebrate the birth, enlightenment and passing of the Buddha. According to the Theravada Buddhist traditions observed in Thailand, (95% of the population is recognized as Theravada Buddhist), these three events all took place on the same day of the year, on the full moon day of the Indian lunar month of  Vesakha.

The Buddha’s enlightenment took place on his thirty-fifth birthday and he passed away on his eightieth birthday. Wisaka, the sixth lunar month, usually falls in May.

For more on the day and the associated National Tree Day click here. Thailand festivals Events across Thailand


Prachin Buri Agricultural Products Fair

When: 1 May – 30 June 2017

Where: Muang Prachin Buri, Prachinburi

A traditional Thai agricultural fair where local farmers have the opportunity to show off the best vegetables, plants, and all manner of agricultural products, with contests for best in category. There is the almost obligatory beauty contest, an agricultural vehicle parade along with an army of people selling locally grown and hand made products along with farming demonstrations, local traditional dancers and musicians.


The Tradition of Buddha Cremation (ประเพณีถวายพระเพลิงพระบรมศพพระพุทธเจ้า)

Thailand festivals Events across Thailand.

When: After Visakha Bucha Day 11th May 2017

Where: Wat Phra Borom That Thung Yang along road 102, just a few kilometres west of Uttaradit

This unique one of a kind religious ritual is seen nowhere else in Thailand. It features the re-enactment of the funeral ceremony for the Lord Buddha. With the backdrop of the ancient temple, the event includes both monks and local people in traditional dress presenting flowers to the statue of Buddha.

Later while flames consume the statue, the scene climaxes with a firework display that bathes the whole area in a multitude of colourful lights.


Chanthaburi Fruit Festival

When: 1st – 31st May 2017

Where: Chanthaburi City Eastern Thailand

Previously known as the ‘World Durian Festival’ the fair features competitions for the best decorated floats, featuring locally grown fruits such as rambutan, durian, mangos teen, Rakam and Sala zalaccas and varieties of santol

Plus there will be a vast array of stalls selling locally worked gems and jewellery along with other traditional handicrafts. The event also includes a beauty contest and demonstrations of traditional local music and dance.

Sukhothai Mini-Light and Sound show

Thailand festivals Events across Thailand.

When:  May 2016 (Reportedly coming back in May 2017)

Where: At Wat Sra Sri Sukhothai Historical Park Sukhothai

The former Thai capital city of Sukhothai will once again present a series of the mini-light and sound presentation with one show per month scheduled between February and September 2016. The show consists of classical performances, fireworks display and a Loi Krathong scene starts from 19.00 hrs and lasts about 1.5 hours. Visitors can listen to the narration in several languages including English, Japanese, French and German. At the event, visitors can take part by taking photograph with the performers, floating a Krathong or launching a hot-air balloon, Best of all its FREE.

The title ‘Mini Light Show’ does not do this event justice as while it cannot compete against the major shows staged at the same venue for Loy Krathong Festival in November, they are still a wonderful presentation of the former capitals glorious past.

Sukhothai, which literally means “dawn of happiness”, is located 439.7 km north of Bangkok or about four-five hours by car or 1 hour 15 minutes by air.

Nonthaburi Fruit Fair

Thailand festivals Events across Thailand.

When: Annually mid April – to the beginning of June

Where: Rip-rap court in front of the old city hall, Muang District. Nonthaburi province Central Thailand

Nonthaburi Province is renowned for growing the best durian in the country, where it has been grown for over 400 years. The fruit is known as “Durian Nont” which means durian from Nonthaburi Province, it is also known as the most expensive durian in the world.

If you like your fruit why not stop in at the Nonthaburi Fruit Fair, there are plenty of stalls and booths selling fruits, such as mangosteen, santol, Burmese  grape, mango and of course Durian amongst other tasty local fruits. Plus there will be a huge selection of flowering and decorative plants produced locally.

The event also includes colourful parades of decorated floats, exhibitions, local performances, and beauty pageants where those put off by the heady scent of durian will find “Miss Durian” less pungent and much more appealing. Nonthaburi is home to the world’s most expensive Durian and can cost as much as 20,000 baht, or about $600, see more

Contact Nonthaburi Provincial office of Tourism and Sport Bangkra-Sor, Nonthaburi 11000, Thailand Tel. 0-2589-5479

Koh Chang’s Food and Fruit Festival


Thailand festivals Events across Thailand

When: 1 Apr – 31 May 2017 (TBC)

Where: Koh Chang Municipal Office Koh Chang, Trat Southwestern Thailand

Koh Chang is the second largest island after Phuket and benefits both from an abundance of sea and land produce, which it proudly showcases during this event. This is your opportunity to try the famous and uniquely tasting Chani Durian or as it is commonly known as the “Koh Chang Durian” which has a hint of salt to its normal smelly but tasty flesh.

You can expect to find a vast array of locally produced agricultural products and freshly caught fish and shell fish, along-side a magical assortment of traditional handicrafts, there are also a number of various stage performances featuring the local Thai culture.

For more info contact: Koh Chang Municipal Office Tel. 039-586176 Koh Chang agricultural office Tel. 039-586180

Rocket Festivals in Thailand

Thailand festivals Events across Thailand.

While April is undoubtedly the month of Songkran, May is the month of ‘Rockets’. These huge pyrotechnics are more the ‘WMD’ proportion than the fireworks that most of us would have encountered. They come in all shapes and sizes from the cylindrical to massive sky bound cartwheels that reach high into the day time sky and which in turn seem to get bigger and bigger each year. (You Tube)

Rocket Festivals (known as Bun Bang Fai) take place throughout Isan (North East Thailand) prior to the start of the rainy season, May-June, with the exact dates specific to each village. Traditionally this ancient festival lasts for 2-3 days.

The Bun Bang Fai is a time when local people will let their hair down and party before the hard work of planting begins, with the new season’s rainfall. The time is one of joy and merit making with food and drink, in evidence everywhere, all wrapped up in a carnival atmosphere.

For more on these festivals including many more pictures and details on the three biggest annual events click here


Rayong Fruit Festival

When: 30th April – 4th May 2017

Where: Rayong Eastern Thailand

This festival is the perfect place for fruit lovers and offers you the chance to enjoy the taste of fruit from all over Thailand.

There are also fruit procession, a Miss Fruit Orchard beauty pageant, a fun filled fruit eating competition, fruit basket arrangement competition, papaya salad cooking contest and cultural performances.


Yasothon Rocket Festival


Thailand festivals Events across Thailand.

When: Normally early to mid May (2017 TBA)

Where: Phaya Thaen Park Yasothon. 1.8 kms south west of the main Yasothon bus station

This is undoubtedly the largest rocket festival in the region and as with the majority of rocket festivals across Northeast Thailand the event is spread over three days but Yasothon has its own twist to what can only be described as an ‘Arms Race’.

It is worth noting that the origins of this festival goes back centuries and has its roots firmly steeped in ancient fertility rites.

This is most prevalent in the phallic symbols, that are seen just about everywhere and the bawdy behavior of some of the participants, who amid the riotous festive atmosphere, join in the parade by cross-dressing in gaudy clothing, which in turn leads to air becoming full of smutty (yet inoffensive) humor.

“This festival is truly a unique spectacular and if you are lucky to be in the vicinity during this magical, comical and at times raunchy event do bring both your sense of humour and a set of ear defenders as you will need both in equal measure. The whole festival promises to be a rollercoaster of a weekend”.

For more on the festival, expected dates, location and heaps more pictures click here

Ngan Bun Klang Ban and Phanat Nikhom Basketwork Festival

Thailand festivals Events across Thailand.

When: Normally early May (dates TBA)

Where: The Park of Phanat Nikhom district (Amphoe) in the northern part of Chonburi Province, Eastern Thailand.

While the festivals name, may not fill your imagination with images of dragons and witchcraft, this melting pot of faith and culture, demonstrates in a most colourful way, just how diverse the people of Thailand are and how, the Kingdom has benefited by welcoming ethnic groups from all over Asia.

The Ngan Bun Klang Ban and Phanat Nikhom Basketwork Festival,  (งานบุญกลางบ้าน และเครื่องจักสานพนัสนิคม) is by its very name a combination of two events ‘Ngan Bun Klang Ban’ (roughly meaning to ‘Work Together Traditional Fair’) This ancient festival is to celebrate the coming together of three distinct groups of people; the original ethnic Thai’s, Lao and Chinese communities.

For more on the event including why these 3 ethnic people were brought together, some of their shared spiritual beliefs and more click here

Chanthaburi Fruit Festival 2017

Thailand festivals Events across Thailand

Chanthaburi fruit festival is a fruit lover’s paradise offering fresh-picked tropical fruits from local orchards

When: Annually one week in May

Where: Chanthaburi Stadium and throughout the province.

This festival has been known by a number of names over the years and was once had the lofty title of the ‘World Durian Festival’ while the Tourism Authority of Thailand now calls it the less grand name that of  the Chanthaburi Fruit Festival. What-ever it is called it is normally held in May each year and held over a one week period at the Chanthaburi Stadium and at venues throughout the province.

The event celebrates of the vast amount of tropical produce grown in the orchards surrounding Chanthaburi city, which is renowned as a rich agricultural region, near Thailand’s eastern border with Cambodia and produces half of Thailand’s durian crop

It’s then not surprising that the most popular fruit, of course, is the Durian, aka, the king of fruits. Loathe it of love it (It is barred from many flights, trains, hotels and closed areas due to its pungent smell) this football-size fruit with its outer spiny armour-like casing, protects the inner 10 or so seeds the size of dates, each covered with a thick, custardy, off-white “meat”, the only edible part of the fruit is as much a cultural icon in Southeast Asia as it is a treasured, eagerly anticipated food.

Not every-one is a fan of this acquired fruit with some even going as far as to write:

“It tastes like completely rotten mushy onions” – Andrew Zimmern, host of Bizarre Foods

“Like eating raspberry blancmange in the lavatory” – Anthony Burgess, author

Whatever your thoughts on the King of Fruits this festival allows you to try it, in all its varies forms along with numerous other fruits grown locally.

For more on the festival and this divisive fruit click here


Nang Lae Pineapple and Chiang Rai Linchi Fair

When: 1st -31st May 2017

Where: Chiang Rai

A traditional fruit fair celebrating locally grown fruits, including the delicious exotic Linchi fruit. The fair is held to promote the distribution of locally grown Linchi and other agricultural products such as mango and the famous Nang Lae pineapple. Highlights include a beauty contests and shows celebrating the local cultural diversity along with a mass of stalls offering local hand made products plus food and a selection of folk entertainment.


Phrathat Si Song Rak Fair

Thailand festivals Events across Thailand

The fair is to celebrate that two opposing armies did not spill each other’s blood and whose alliance kept both Kingdoms free from Burmese occupation.

When: Annually usually late April – early May (The full moon day of the 6th lunar month)

Where: Wat Phra That Si Song Rak Dan Sai district Loei Northeastern Thailand

This fair is to celebrate the age old bond, between the Thai people of Northern Loei and their boarder kin of southern Lao, it is in the main a spiritual event combined with a great deal of colour and pageantry.

The spiritual element is centered around cleaning of the Buddha images, a quiet and respectful lighting candle ceremony combined with a ceremony to ask for the rains to come and for the spirits to provide an abundant harvest.

The wat is a focal point of this event which always draws many thousands of people from all over the region and from neighboring Lao.  Local residents and many social and educational institutions offer simple but colourful ‘Ton Puoeng’  to the Wat Monks.

These inexpensive but lovingly made, sacred offerings are unique to the festival and are placed all around the temple, forming a colourful wall and the perfect backdrop for the many people who come to make merit, dressed in traditional local attire.

For more on the festival along with further pictures click here


Sweet Santols festival and Lopburi food fair 2017

When: 1st – 31st May 2017

Where: Lopburi. Central Thailand

While the fruit is not actually a native of these shores it is used in Thai cooking in things such as som tam when still not fully ripe.

It is also one of the main ingredients in the santol and pork dish แกงหมูกระท้อน and santol and prawn Thai curries แกงคั่วกระท้อนกุ้ง. The festival hosts its own ‘Santos Contest’, the Miss Santol Beauty Contest and has a wide variety of local food and handicrafts to haggle over, plus a range of shows featuring the local culture.


Lychee Festival

Thailand festivals Events across Thailand.

When: Annually in May

Where: Muang district, Chiang Rai Northern Thailand

Here in the far north of Thailand, Chiang Rai has made a name for itself as one of the best places to try this wonderful produce, along with many other locally grown Asian fruits.

As with almost all agricultural fairs in Thailand there will be a host of contests running side by side with a Miss Lychee beauty pageant, plus a myriad of cultural performances. The fair will also be your opportunity to buy a raft of beautiful local handicrafts along with the chance to let your taste buds run wild trying a multitude of local dishes and drinks.

For more on this festival and the health benefits of Lychee click here

Urak Lawoi Sea Gypsies Festival

Thailand festivals Events across Thailand.

Plajan or Loi Ruea Boat Floating Festival. Where the ancient beliefs of an ever adapting group of Sea Gypsies are blended with the music and dance from two continents.

When: On the full moon day in the sixth (May) and the eleventh months (October) of the Thai lunar calendar. The festival is over 3 days and nights.

Where: Phuket, Lanta Island & Krabi

The festivities are different to the Moken Festival held on the full moon in April, in both the size and shape of the boats that are built to take away bad karma from the villages and the fact that the Urak Lawoi incorporate song and dance into their events.

The ceremonies centre around the setting adrift of small model boats, (thought to represent the craft the people used on their migration north, but which are no longer in use). The launching of these intricately carved vessels bearing candles and tokens from the people is held at night, their purpose is to drive away evil and bring good luck, and it’s also believed that the boat will float back to their ancestral home at Gunung Jerai.

For more on these people and the festival click here


Phrathat Kham Kaen Fair

Thailand festivals Events across Thailand

When: The full moon day of the 6th lunar month

Where: Phra That Kham Kaen Chedi Khon Kaen Northeast Thailand

The city (and later province of Khon Kaen) acquired its name from this ancient Laotian style Chedi which sits some 27 kms from the provincial capital in the grounds of Wat Chetiyaphum, the actual date of construction is believed to be prior to 1783.

Temples across Thailand have been used for eons as both a spiritual heart of a village plus a central meeting place and fairs in all their different guises have been a part of these rural communities for the same period. During the annual Phra That Kham Kaen fair, many thousands of people visit both the temple and the Chedi to make merit and pay homage to the Stupa and the Buddha relics held within it.

The fair is a time of joy when local people have the chance to sell and buy each other’s agricultural products and handicrafts and to take part or simply to admire time honored cultural and musical performances.

Phra That Kham Kaen is historically an important and highly revered Chedi for the people of the province and features prominently on Khon Kaen’s provincial seal, the reverence and importance of the Chedi is believed to come from an ancient legend, concerning a Tamarind Tree

The folk story goes something on the lines of; a former Khmer King ordered 9 senior monks to take relics of the Buddha to be enshrined in the soon to be finished, newly built Chedi of Wat Phra That Phanom in Nakhon Phanom province, (approx. 295 kms northeast of Khon Kaen).

The monks on their way to Wat in Nakhon Phanom camped overnight near the stump of a dead tamarind tree on which the relics were placed…….

For more on the Chedi, Khon Kaen, the legend and why nine is a lucky number in Thailand click here

Boon Mahachart Festival and Boon Bangfai or Rocket Festival 


Thailand festivals Events across Thailand

Where: Amphoe Phang Kone Sakon Nakhon Northeast Thailand

When: 1st Week of May

Mahachart Festival and Boon Bangfai or Rocket Festival, (งานบุญมหาชาติและบุญบั้งไฟ อำเภอพังโคน) – The festival is held annually in the first week of May. With a host of activities include the local rocket contest, Mahachart Preying, Phang Kone Cuisine Festival, and the local rocket parade.

See a Video of the event Click Here:

Namatsakan Phrathat Khao Noi Fair 

Thailand festivals Events across Thailand

When: May

Where: The temple of Phrathat Khao Noi. Nan Province Northwest Thailand

This annual festival (Thai: งานประเพณีนมัสการพระธาตุเขาน้อย), takes place on the grounds of temple of Phrathat Khao Noi, with its white chedi and a huge walking Buddha statue overlooking the valley below. Situated high in the hills around 5 km west of town, over-looking the city of Nan. It takes place on the full moon night of the 8th northern lunar month (Lanna Calandar) or the 6th central lunar month (around May).

In the main this event is a Buddhist affair, with a number of merit making ceremonies and a ceremony paying respect to to the Wat itself and the religious relics it contains. That said there is an element of fun in the proceedings, when in the early evening the night sky is lite by the flames of thousands of small bamboo sky rockets, fired as an offering to the Buddha.

Picture from Charm Nan Today


Ordination Parade on Elephants Back Tradition

Thailand festivals Events across Thailand. TAT


When: 14th waxing moon, of the 6th Thai Lunar Month (May – June) TBC

Where:  Elephant Study Centre, Ban Ta Klang, Surin. Northeastern Thailand

The annual Ordination Parade on elephant’s back is held around the 14th waxing moon, of the 6th Thai Lunar Month (May – June). It is a time when as many as 100 elephants will transport novice monks and their entourage on this most auspicious occasion.
Activities: Witness the novice monk’s head shaving ceremony at Wat Chaeng Sawang, the ceremony to bless the novice monks, and the great procession to take the novice monks on an elephant ride to Don Buat or the hill where the ordination ceremony is preformed. There is also making offerings to the spirits and asking for forgiveness ceremonies at Talu Palace

TAT Surin Office +66 4451 4447


Yala City Pillar Ceremony (งานสมโภชเจ้าพ่อหลักเมืองยะลา)


Thailand festivals Events across Thailand.

When: Annually in May

Where: On the grounds of the Yala Municipal Office

Once a year the sacred Yala City Pillar, is taken from the safety from its home, in the centre of the circle in front of city hall, to be paraded around the city in a colourful and equally noisy procession. Added to the numerous religious ceremonies, that take place over the event are untold stalls displaying goods for sale and others showing exhibitions on local handicrafts. Plus there any number of traditional folk entertainments displays, such as Manora Dance, Nung Talung, and Hulu Li Ke.

These sort of festivities happen all across the Kingdom, where there is reportedly historical evidence that in the beginning of the seventeenth century the practice of human sacrifices was still wide spread and employed when-ever a new City pillar was built in Thailand see more


Khuen That Duean Kao Tradition

Thailand festivals Events across Thailand.

An ancient tradition that is a time for the local people to show respect to Buddha, local monks, and to honour former kings 

When: Annually May – June

Where: Tambon Ko Taphao, Amphoe Ban Tak, Tak. Northwest Thailand

Each year in this quiet northerly outpost and former independent Kingdom, a warm hearted and colourful, merit making event takes place,  to worship the Lord Buddha’s relics, that have for centuries been kept safe in local temples.

This ancient tradition is held annually on the fourteenth waxing moon day and the full moon day of the ninth lunar month of the Lanna lunar calendar, which coincides with the seventh lunar month of Thailand’s own lunar calendar, roughly late May or early June.

For more click here


Pang Sida Butterfly Watching Festival

When: May 1st – 30 June 2017

Where: Pang Sida National Park Sa Kaeo

See more than 300 species of butterfly, while camping and trekking in the National Park visit the butterfly exhibition and play in the Pang Sida waterfall.




The Ritual Bathing Ceremony for Phra That Hariphunchai Chedi


Thailand festivals Events across Thailand.

When: Mid May

Where: Phra That Hariphunchai Temple., Lamphun Province. Northern Thailand
This annual week long celebration, (known as ประเพณีสรงน้ำพระธาตุหริภุญชัย), is an ancient Buddhist festival where people of all ages and from all over the province, come to make merit.

Wat Phra That Hariphunchai, is situated in the small town of Lamphun approx. 28 km from Chiang Mai, its earliest origins are believed to be from 897 when the then king of Hariphunchai is said to have built a stupa (now the central stupa) to house a hair of the Lord Buddha.

The south-western corner of the temple compound is also home to a stone, indented with four footprints. Worshippers believe these footprints, confirm the legend of a Buddha visit to the area, when during his daily alms rounds, he is said to have predicted that a man would in the future, build a town on that spot and call it Harinphunchai.

It is to these relics that Buddhist people from all over Thailand, have flocked for centuries, to participate in the many ceremonies that take place every day. Along with the ritual cleansing of relics held, normally held in the unusual pyramid-shaped, 46 m high Dvaravati-style, Chedi, built within the temple grounds.

Besides the religious ceremonies, the event also boasts numerous cultural performances, including a battle drum beating contest and a royal drum beating contest…….for more click here




Thailand festivals Events across Thailand.

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